"Cape Coral Quick Trips"
Go Splash!: Luckily, summer lasts a long time in these parts, and kids can enjoy the thrill slides and the Main Stream River Tube Ride at Sun Splash Family Waterpark (239-574-0558) in Cape Coral seven months out of the year.
Look for Fins and Snouts: Each day brings new surprises when you set sail on a nature cruise. Some tours cast seine nets to introduce visitors to tiny creatures from the sea. Others go in search of dolphins, manatees and birds where they live.
Follow Ancient Trails: Paddle your way from one end of the county to the other along the Great Calusa Blueway (239-461-7400), a marked and GPS-plotted waterway trail named for a native tribe that covers 190 miles.
Captain Your Own Destiny: Or at least your own salty, exciting day riding the waves: Rent a powerboat from one of the local marinas. Explore secluded beaches, visit uninhabited islands and cast for your fantasy fish.
Get Racy: Compete or watch at the Strausser BMX (Bicycle Moto-Cross) Sports Complex (239-458-1943), Cape Coral. For less extreme entertainment, there are picnic grounds, a playground, three lighted softball fields and a sand volleyball court.
Escape the Urban: Leave city noise behind for Cape Coral’s little corner of wilderness – Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve (239-574-7395), where a boardwalk and nature trail take you into undisturbed habitat.
Picnic with the Locals: A local secret, the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park (239-574-0806) has all of the ingredients for a day of family fun: picnic shelters, a beach, a swimming pool, shuffleboard, outdoor racquetball courts and a fishing pier.
Go To Bat for Your Kids: Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park (239-574-4386) in Cape Coral – named after the city’s favorite sports son, ex-Red Sox player Mike Greenwell – is a funland of batting cages, miniature golf, a paintball park, videogames and go-cart tracks.
See a Burrowing Owl’s Home: Learn all about rose gardens, Cracker-style houses and burrowing owls at Cape Coral Historical Museum (239-772-7037).