Is there anything better than escaping the cold winter for sunshine with your family?! It is quickly turning into a requirement for me to survive winter and I’m not mad about it! Earlier this month we took our escape for us in Florida called Bonita Springs and absolutely loved it!! It is the perfect quiet side of typical vacation Florida, with a nice slow pace and plenty of beach + sunshine! I always love to hear people’s must eats, see, and do on their vacations, so I put together a little Bonita Springs travel guide for you here!
: WHERE WE STAYED
Long story short, but our original vacation plans completely fell through at the last minute. In a panic, I reached out to my friend Nicole (of the hilarious Johnson Files) who lived in Florida for a few years, to see if by some miracle she had any way we could book a last minute stay there. She reached out to a friend with an airbnb who just happened to have a last minute cancellation exactly when we needed it! It was basically the luckiest blessing ever and instantly took so much trip stress away!!
The house itself was a little smaller and older than it seemed in pictures, but the location quickly made up for that! It backed up to “the bayou” which was the ultimate paddle boarding spot we quickly fell in love with. And on the flip side, directly across the street from the house was beach access! We felt like we got the best of both worlds, but saved a ton by not being right on the beach side. It was so nice to be able to wake up and let the big kids go out and paddle board before we started our day, or for Joe and I to be able to go out in the evenings together without being far from the kids.
: THINGS TO DO
While we loved that Bonita Springs was so laid back and slow paced, there was still plenty to see and do both there and nearby. Here are some of the things we did and loved!
: THE BEACH:
Of course being in Florida, we spent a lot of time at the beach!! We loved how empty and low key the beach was compared to Southern Florida. The only beach we really went to was Barefoot Beach because we were right across the street. Some other great highly recommended ones in the area were Bonita Beach, Lowder Milk Beach, Naples Pier, and Lovers Key.
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: PADDLE BOARDING:
Since we were right on the bayou, we had the perfect spot for paddle boarding. We rented board from ebb n flow and it was so perfect. They brought them right to the house, including life jackets. When we were done we just called them and they came right back and picked everything up. It was so nice to not have to find the place and figure out the space to load them up. I highly recommend them!
: CAPTAIN JACKS
We drove down to the everglades for part of the day to Captain Jacks. You get to go on a fun airboat ride looking for gators and other wildlife. We also all got to see and hold baby gators too which the kids mostly loved! Haha!
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: SMALLEST POST OFFICE IN AMERICA
This was just a fun little picture spot and the kids love being able to say they’ve been to the smallest post office now!
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: WHAT WE ATE
Now let’s talk about food!! I think having good new food recommendations is one of the most important parts to planning a vacation! Nicole totally came through with some amazing recommendations. I wish we had another week to try the rest of them!! Below are the ones we got to, and what we thought!
We also ordered Walmart to be delivered right when we got there and it was such a game changer. It was so nice to have snacks and quick breakfast/lunches to just take out on the beach and not have to spend so much going out every meal.
: MISSION BBQ
The kids were very whiny/skeptical about eating here but we went anyway and are SO glad we did. Every single one of us loved it and wished we had time to go back again!
: VAMPIRE PENGUIN
This was one of the absolute best shaved ice places I have ever been to..and that is coming from someone that has tried all the popular spots in Hawaii. It was so different than your average shaved ice, with more of a shaved ice/ice cream mix. We loved it so much we went 5 times!
: BROOKS BURGERS
Such a yummy burger spot the whole family loved as well! A lot of unique ingredients and delicious milkshakes!
: BONITA BRUNCH
We had breakfast here one day and the kids are all still talking about it and wishing we had one here. The Cinnamon Roll French toast was to die for!!
: COCONUT JACKS
Joe and I did a date night while were there and went to Coconut Jacks. They don’t take reservations, but have it down to a science and while it seemed packed, got us back in 10 minutes. I will say this place is definitely more popular for the experience over the food. You sit out on a dock basically in the middle of the water and the sunset views are amazing. The food was just ok for me.
: OTHER BONITA SPRIGNS RECOMMENDATIONS WE DIDN’T GET TO:
: FOOD IN AND AROUND BONITA SPRINGS
Sweet Melissa’s Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie
Sun Harvest Citrus
1st Watch (breakfast brunch)
: ACTIVITIES IN + AROUND BONITA SPRINGS
Turner River Road to see Gators
Six Mile Cypress Boardwalk
Beaches: Bonita Beach, Lowder Milk Beach, Naples Pier, and Lovers Key
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I think that sums up our fun Bonita Springs getaway! I highly recommend it for a low key beach getaway!