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Riverside Park in Bonita Springs is one of the city’s most important gathering places. It’s steeped in history and it’s the place for family-friendly events and things to do. The free park is located on Old U.S. 41 in historic downtown Bonita Springs on the Imperial River. Throughout the year, there are art shows, festivals, holiday celebrations, the Celebrate Bonita Festival and Movies in the Park. There is also a band shell, and it stays pretty active. If you’re looking for live music, chances are you’ll find it here.

The beautiful park is a great place for a romantic meal with your special someone. There are picnic tables, park benches, and plenty of space to put down a blanket or towel. Park visitors can also see the historic Liles Hotel and Imperial River cottages. Constructed in 1945, the bungalow-style cottages were originally built on the edge of the Imperial River. The hotel was built in 1926 and 1927. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city. There is also a small museum located inside.

special events riverside park bonita springs boy takes photo

Special Events at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Some of Riverside Park in Bonita Springs’ most notable events includes Fourth of July parties, the annual Celebrate Bonita Festival, and various art shows.

Celebrate Bonita Festival

This free event celebrates all things Bonita Springs, and it’s a great way to bring the community together. There are normally live music, food, games and kids activities.  

Bonita Blues Festival

This annual two-day festival pays homage to the blues. People drive from all over Southwest Florida to come to this festival and some people even plan their vacations around it. Proceeds also go toward local charities. Pets are not allowed, but you can bring chairs, blankets, and sunscreen.

Bark in Riverside Park

This is also a free event. Bring Fido and see if he or she has what it takes to win the pet tricks contest or pet owner look-a-like contest. There’s a silent auction, too. You can also bring a pet food donation so your pet can take advantage of cardiac and dental examinations. All leashed, friendly pets are welcome.

Bonita Springs National Art Festivals

Over 200 national and international artists showcase their works and art lovers from around the community come out to admire them. It isn’t just limited to paintings, either. Mediums include glass, jewelry, clay, photography, sculpture, wood and more. The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs hosts three annual fine arts/fine crafts festivals. The juried festival is rated one of the most popular Fine Art Festivals in the U.S. All proceeds go toward community art initiatives.

Bonita Brew Fest

Southwest Florida is an excellent place to be a craft beer lover. There are a variety of breweries located here and an annual festival dedicated to the frothy, amber-colored drink. Enjoy the live music, drink samples and discover your new favorite pour. In addition to craft beer, there will be hard ciders and meads. If you get hungry, there are food trucks on-site. Keep in mind that no one under 21 will be allowed to enter the festival. Pets also need to stay home.

Taste of Bonita

Come out to Riverside Park and try samples of delicious entrees from Bonita Springs restaurants and area food trucks. There’s also live music to help put you in a fun, festive mood. The community looks forward to the family-friendly event each year.

Other Festivals and Events to Look Forward To Include:

  • Taco Fest
  • Veterans Day Service
  • Holiday in the Park
  • Movies in the Park
  • Bonita Springs Concert Band
  • SWFL Veg Fest
  • Easter Sunday Church Service

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Enjoy the Imperial River at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Riverside Park in Bonita Springs can also give you a preview of what Old Florida used to be like when Bonita Springs was first discovered. One of the six historical cottages houses CGT Kayaks Inc., so you can rent canoes or kayaks and explore the breathtaking river.

According to FloridaRambler.com, the best paddling route is upstream to the east. If you go west, the views get more urban and the waterway is more crowded with motorboats. The eastern path takes you under Interstate-75 and the river gets more shallow and narrow. Mangroves line the shore and towering old trees provide a shady canopy from the sun’s rays. You’re not in the heart of Florida’s untouched wilderness, but it gives you a taste of it. You’ll pass cypress trees and probably spot a turtle or alligator sunning themselves. It’s a nice escape from urban life and it’ll leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Featured Royal Shell Vacation Rentals near Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Residents of the city of Bonita Springs have a lot of pride in their city and Riverside Park is the place where everyone comes together. It’s located in the middle of historic downtown Bonita Springs on Old U.S. 41. When you’re done exploring the park, attending one of its festivals or exploring the Imperial River on a canoe or kayak, you can meander through downtown’s picturesque streets and try authentic street tacos at Maria’s Restaurant or you can visit the Everglades Wonder Gardens and meet some Florida wildlife.

We have a variety of Bonita Springs rentals to choose from. Let us know what you think of Riverside Park and historic Bonita Springs. We hope you enjoy your stay in our little slice of paradise!  

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