Bonita Springs Vacation Rentals
If you want to experience the laidback Southwest Florida lifestyle and soak up the sun on one of the area’s many white sand beaches, you need to visit Bonita Springs.
And if you’re a baseball fan, you’re in luck. Fort Myers, which is only about a half-hour drive away, is home to two Major League Baseball Spring Training camps. The Boston Red Sox play at Jet Blue Park and the Minnesota Twins practice at the CenturyLink Sport Complex.
Where exactly is Bonita Springs?
Royal Shell has a variety of rental homes and rental condos available throughout the area. Bonita Springs vacation rentals are centrally located between other major cities in the Southwest Florida area including Naples to the south and Fort Myers to the north. Rentals in Bonita Springs are also not far from top international vacation destinations like Captiva and Sanibel Islands.
Vacation rentals in Bonita Springs range from rental condos and rental homes on the beach to villas in exclusive, gated communities. Whether you are seeking a worry-free Florida vacation on the coast or you’re looking for activity-packed days full of family fun, the Bonita Springs area has it all. Sounds like the perfect vacation, doesn’t it?
This small Florida town has all the charm you’ll ever need
Bonita Springs has access to the Estero Bay as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Bonita Beach is a popular vacation rental home destination and you can get to it by travelling West on Bonita Beach Road. We have a variety of different types of rental condos and rental homes available. Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do our very best to accommodate your needs.
Downtown Bonita Springs FL is also known for its charming, artsy strip and the Imperial River flows through the downtown district, which adds a truly authentic Southwest Florida feel.
History of the Beautiful City
With streets lined with palm trees and an abundance of artwork, Bonita features a quaint downtown district with a rich history.
Prior to Ponce de Leon coming to what is now Bonita Springs in 1513; the region was previously home to the Calusa Indians. In the 1870s, the community was known as Survey and the picturesque Imperial River was called Surveyor’s Creek.
History buffs can take guided walking tours with members of the Bonita Springs Historical Society to learn more.
According to the Bonita Springs Historical Society, the area’s population more than doubled in the late 1880s when Braxton B. Comer bought 6,000 acres of land and hired people to work the large plantation growing pineapples, bananas, coconuts and other kinds of fruit.
Over the next 10 years, Survey saw a boom in citrus groves. And as a result, within the next few years, Survey grew from a handful of homesteaders into a bonafide community.
Becoming Bonita Springs
Bonita was on its way to becoming a legitimate town in 1912 when Tennessean J.H. Ragsdale and fellow investors from Fort Myers bought 2,400 acres around Survey.
Ragsdale and his associate, Dan Farnsworth, surveyed the area and laid out a small town with streets and avenues named after the investors. However, the name Survey lacked sales appeal, so the town was renamed Bonita Springs and Surveyor’s Creek was renamed the Imperial River.
From 1925 to 1934, Bonita Springs expanded and structures such as churches, saw mills, and two hotels were built. The old Banyan tree on Old U.S. 41 (which runs through downtown Bonita Springs) was also planted during this time.
A roadside attraction built in 1936 by the Piper brothers helped draw in even more visitors. The attraction displayed alligators, cougars, other wild animals and native plants. It was called the Everglades Reptile Gardens, and later named the Everglades Wonder Gardens. It remains a cultural icon in Bonita Springs to this day.
Explore Bonita Beaches
Get outside and enjoy the Florida sunshine while exploring the shell-strewn beaches of Bonita Beach Park and Barefoot Beach Preserve. Take a short and scenic drive north along the beaches to visit Lovers Key State Park, a barrier island just south of Fort Myers Beach.
Lover’s Key State Park boasts a whopping 1,616-acres and it’s made up of four barrier islands.
This park is for you if you’re looking for nature trails, a canoe launch, kayak and canoe rentals, miles of unspoiled mangroves and impeccably beautiful beaches.
Wildlife such as West Indian Manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits and bald eagles have also been known to frequent Lover’s Key State Park.
Or check out these beaches near our Bonita Springs vacation home rentals:
- Bonita Beach Park is on Hickory Island, which is a short drive west on Bonita Beach Road. It’s known for its boardwalk and swimming area. Sand dunes and coastal vegetation also surround a gazebo and eight picnic shelters. Bring your lunch and spend the whole day here, or have a romantic picnic with someone you love. The possibilities are endless.
- Barefoot Beach Preserve Park is one of the most popular beach destinations in the area. It is also on Bonita Beach Road, not far from Bonita Beach Park. The 342 acres of natural land is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s Gulf Coast. In 2013, Forbes ranked the park’s beach as the sixth best in the country.
If You’re a Foodie, These Places Are a Must
Bonita Springs is home to a variety of distinctive restaurants from authentic Mexican cuisine to charming spots with a relaxing vibe and delicious food.
Check out these places, or go out exploring on your own and see what you find:
- Survey Café for a unique menu and charming atmosphere
- Maria’s Restaurant for authentic Mexican food
- The Garden Café for breakfast or lunch
- DeRomo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant for some of the best Italian food around
DeRomo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant is located in the Promenade Shops at Bonita Bay.
If you want to do some shopping while you’re here, the Promenade also boasts some of the finest retail shops, distinctive boutiques and high-end salons in the area.
The park’s delicate and pristine wilderness dates back more than 500 years. The 2.25-mile boardwalk meanders through wet prairie, pine flatwood and around a marsh until you reach the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. You’ll truly feel like you’re travelling back in time to Old Florida.
Relatives of the redwood, Bald Cypress trees can reach 130 feet into the sky and can have a girth of 25 feet. Their massive branches are decorated with mosses, lichens, bromeliads and ferns, which only helps add to their allure.
Park visitors have also been known to spot alligators, white-tailed deer, otters and red-bellied turtles.
The park is also known for bird watching. Expect to see wading birds, raptors, songbirds and the remarkable Painted Bunting.
Become a kid again at the Everglades Wonder Gardens
The Everglades Wonder Gardens originally opened in 1936, and it acted as both a wildlife exhibition and a refuge for injured animals.
In 2014, it was endanger of being torn down and a group of local residents formed the Bonita Wonder Gardens Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, to save it.
The City of Bonita Springs gave the group a loan so the organization could purchase the property and business assets, saving it from potential commercial development.
Now, the non-profit is actively working to restore wildlife enclosures, nurture the property’s botanical beauty, add education programs and offer volunteer opportunities.
Today, the Gardens are still home to rescued birds and reptiles. You’ll probably spot them among the old growth plants.
Bonita Springs Art Scene
Downtown Bonita Springs also features a significant amount of murals and artists. And lately, they’ve become a standard sight. It helps add a unique character and atmosphere to Bonita.
According to the Bonita Springs Downtown Alliance, The City plans to eventually have several murals in the downtown area.
Alex Nunez’s “My Beautiful Town” on the north wall of Benson’s Grocery is the first of a series of murals that will call downtown Bonita Springs home. This mural depicts the history of the city from the Native Americans and their hunting instruments to what it looks like in the present day.
Six Artist Cottages
There are also six artists’ cottages are located next to the Liles Hotel at Riverside Park. The cottages feature an enchanting collection of handmade jewelry, paintings, sculptures and more. The Artist Cottages are open to the public on Sundays during the season.
Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs
The organization hosts regional, national and local traveling art exhibitions along with a year-long Performance Series featuring jazz, classical and rock music, dance and theater. The center also offers art classes and hosts community events.
The four-acre Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs also features two auditoriums, a black box theater, film center, music rooms and studios.
The Center for the Arts Bonita Springs National Art Festivals are held in January, February and March in downtown Bonita Springs.
Discover Bonita Springs Vacation Rentals
There is something for everyone in Bonita Springs, from fishing, boating, and beachcombing, to golfing, shopping, dining and more. Take a look at our selection of beautiful Bonita Springs vacation rentals to find your ideal rental home or rental condo accommodations so you can experience the best of Southwest Florida.