On any family vacation, the most memorable moments are those you spend together. And there’s no better way for your family to explore and experience the sights, sounds and colors of Southwest Florida than on foot – whether that’s exploring a wildlife preserve teeming with life, indulging in some light shopping or enjoying a Technicolor sunset on a peaceful beach. See our collection of family-friendly strolls where you’ll find memories to last a lifetime.
Get up close and personal with some Florida wildlife! The Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs is both a botanical garden and a wildlife rehabilitation center. Established as a roadside attraction in 1936, the vintage, throwback charm of this historic cultural icon is a great time for adults and kids alike. The 3-and-a-half-acre garden is home to an old-growth botanical jungle, a butterfly garden and dozens of exotic birds and reptiles. Watch alligators glide through the water, wonder at the pale-pink flamingos and explore the history of this unique Old Florida institution.
For an easygoing hike in Southwest Florida that’s fit for every age group, check out the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. This protected species habitat is home to a 1.4-mile wheelchair-accessible boardwalk, so you can explore the subtropical climate and spy many wetland creatures – without venturing into the mud. Want a slightly longer exploration? Try the Four-Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, another boardwalk trail. You’ll find wild otters, migratory birds, raccoons, snakes and more.
Looking for some stroller-friendly shopping? Cruise up and down the beachfront at Fort Myers Beach for kitschy finds – and don’t forget to stop for some chocolate ice cream at Kilwin’s Chocolates right off the beach. If you’re looking for big stores and designer goods, head up to Bonita Springs to the Coconut Point Mall, or save up to 70 percent off retail prices at Miromar Outlets, where you can find high-end stores like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Off Fifth and more.
On Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, kids can play all day in the sun and surf, and tranquil evenings are framed by swaying palms and white sand. Spend the day walking the coastline for a panoramic view of the warm blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and be sure to stop for a midday picnic (and to build a sandcastle or two). In the evening, head north to Bonita Beach, and stop at Doc’s Beach House for a local favorite: the grouper sandwich (or mahi bites and fries for the kids). Then, sit back, relax and watch another beautiful Florida sunset end another perfect day together.
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