There’s a saying that couples that play together stay together, and what better way to play than on the water. Stand up paddle boarding is the perfect outdoor activity that romantic partners can do together and The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offer endless choices for romance, privacy and accessing secluded spots.
First, it’s an excellent idea to take a lesson so that you’re both comfortable on a paddleboard and on the water. A variety of outfitters offer daily lessons with expert instructors. The Great Calusa Blueway is a beautifuly marked water trail that meanders through dozens and dozens of mangrove islands where you’re more likely to spot manatees than people. The trail is mapped and marked and the backwater is consistently flat and shallow – perfect for newbies.
Once you’ve got a little practice in, or if you’re already an experienced paddler, it’s time to explore the more secluded areas to paddle with your loved one. Here are a just a few of our favorites.
Bowman’s Bayou on Sanibel
Located off Bowman’s Beach on the west end of Sanibel, the mile-long bayou ends at a lovely isolated beach, which is perfect for a romantic picnic. Wildlife is abundant here with frequent sightings of manatees, dolphins, wading birds, bald eagles, ospreys and otters. Bowman’s Beach also has plenty of parking, picnic areas, barbecue pits, showers and bathrooms. There is also a ramp for non-motorized watercraft that makes it easy to launch a paddleboard.
Lovers Key State Park
For years, the aptly named Lovers Key was only accessible by boat and it was said that only lovers went there to enjoy its remote beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up the state park. Sitting between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach, the park allows access to both the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay. Its waters and white sand beaches are havens for wildlife including manatees, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, marsh rabbits, dolphins and much more. The park also boasts hiking and biking trails, parking, a boat ramp, restrooms and picnic areas.
Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa State Park sits on a remote barrier island off the tip of North Captiva and is only accessible by boat. If you don’t have your own vessel to get there, Captiva Cruises offers ferry service to the park that can accommodate paddleboards and camping gear from Bokeelia and Pine Island. The 2,426-acre park boasts camping areas, primitive cabins to rent, hiking trails and nine miles of secluded beaches. The calm, clear waters surrounding the island are chock full of wildlife and perfect for flat water paddling and escaping with your honey for your own private hideaway.
Learn more about paddling our beautiful barrier islands, estuaries and coastline here.
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