Perfectly placed between the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico in the sunshine state of Florida lies the vibrant and friendly town of Cape Coral, a vacation destination of outdoor adventures, award-winning galleries, waterfront shopping and gourmet dining. It’s a coastal town with over 400 miles of sparkling canals and waterways and 27 miles of shoreline surrounded by stunning natural parks and nature preserves. Settle into a relaxed tropical lifestyle as you begin to discover all the attractions and things to do in Cape Coral.
Surrounded by the waters of the Caloosahatchee River and Matlacha Pass, Cape Coral is a myriad of waterways and canals more so than sandy beaches. Sun lovers and beachcombers flock to Yacht Club Beach, where the scenic shores of the Caloosahatchee River lap the beautiful brown sandy beach. Fun for the whole family, Yacht Club Beach has shady picnic spots, beach volleyball, a fishing pier and community pool. The white sands of Four Freedoms Park overlook the Bimini Basin, a picturesque yet smaller stretch of sand suited only for sunbathing, with a fun, fenced playground for kids and an ice-cream store right in front of the park to treat the little ones.
Parks and Reserves
Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city on earth! Fondly known as “Waterfront Wonderland,” Cape Coral is surrounded by over 400 miles of navigable waterways, mangrove forests teeming with aquatic life and over 30 beautiful parks and preserves to explore. Hiking, biking, kayaking, birdwatching, fishing and crabbing are simply a few of the activities that await.
Escape into nature to discover the beautiful, peaceful waters of Matlatcha Pass Aquatic Preserve, where mangrove tunnels, back bays and estuaries are teeming with marine life and birds. Watch for dolphins and manatees as you kayak the waters of the Great Calusa Blueway, which meanders through Estero Bay, Pine Island and Matlacha Pass. The refuge has 23 islands encompassing 512 acres offering great fishing, hiking & paddling trails and spectacular waterfront vistas. On the border of Matlatcha is Sirenia Vista Park, an 8-acre environmental park surrounded by water and the best place in Cape Coral to watch the manatees. Walk the trails, kayak the calm waters buzzing with wildlife or quietly sit and watch the manatees and eagles from the viewing area. A short drive will take you to the tropical island paradise of Pine Island. Surrounded by three aquatic preserves, mangroves and palm trees, Pine Island is a secluded haven for nature lovers.
Follow the nature trail that weaves through the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, home to Cape Coral’s most beautiful and majestic wetlands. Set on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, visitors can walk the boardwalk to discover the wildlife, flora and fauna and kayak the serene waterways.
A stone’s throw away on Sanibel Island lies J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the nation. World-renowned for its migratory bird populations, the refuge is a favorite amongst bird watchers, photographers and outdoor adventurers who come to kayak and fish the waters.
The “Waterfront Wonderland” of Cape Coral is just that…an outdoor wonderland on and off the waterways. Take an airboat tour through the mangroves, kayak the Great Calusa Blueway, take a powerboat to explore the charming islands and private beaches and sail the waters on a sunset cruise. Need to rent a boat? Florida Adventures R&R will drop off deck or pontoon boats at the boat ramp of your choice!
Famous for its fishing and marine life, Cape Coral is an angler’s paradise with 295 miles of freshwater, 105 miles of gulf access and 24-hour fishing allowed in many parks. Explore the waters alone or get the catch of the day on a guided fishing excursion. Cape Coral has world-class fishing, both deep sea and on the freshwater canals, with eight boating marinas and five boating ramps. Beat your personal catch record on our fishing-friendly waters!
If golfing is your game, you are sure to find the perfect lush golf course in Cape Coral. There are four Cape Coral golf courses. Coral Oaks is a championship course set in an old oak hammock with lakes and beautiful surrounds. This 18-hole course has a state of the art practice facility and the Knickers Pub for food and refreshments. Hunters Run is Cape Coral’s other public course, a 9-hole course and the more affordable in Cape Coral. Set in Cape Coral’s golf community is Royal Tee, a 27-hole semi-private championship course of rolling terrain and lakes, one of the nicest courses in Cape Coral. For a perfect setting of palm trees and pines, tee off on the 18-hole Palmetto Pine course!
Shopping, Dining & Entertainment
Cape Coral is by no means a shopping mecca, however, the Cape Harbour and Marina Village have great waterfront boutiques and restaurants backdropped by the beautiful setting of boats settled in the scenic marina. There’s a myriad of hidden gems from eclectic galleries to funky boutiques and waterfront bistros. Kids will love the vibrant colors of the rare tropical fish at Exotic Reef. If you have chosen to prepare a tasty homemade meal over eating out, the Cape Coral Farmers Market is the place to stop for the freshest local produce and treats. Only a short drive away are the pet-friendly shops of Coconut Point in Estero and the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers.
The streets of downtown South Cape Coral are buzz at night with tiki huts, trendy waterside bars, comedy, karaoke and live music. Stop off for some tapas or pizza at Rumrunners, settle for sundowners at Fathoms, or tap away to live music at the Nauti Mermaid at Marina Village. Slip your feet into your boots for some line dancing at Dixie Roadhouse and treat yourself to the Backyard Bluesfest at the Buckingham Blues Bar. Be sure to head to the Cape Coral Brewing Co. and the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery to sample Cape Coral’s local beverages of choice. Theatre lovers can enjoy year-round productions at Cape Coral’s community theatre, The Cultural Park Theatre.
Family Fun Attractions
Cape Coral is a family-friendly vacation destination with plenty of attractions and activities for the kids! Here are our top tips for a fun-filled family vacation in Cape Coral!
- Stroll through the glass conservatory at Butterfly Estates, where butterflies dance from flower to flower in the lush tropical gardens decorated with cascading waterfalls.
- Tour the beautiful estuaries on an Eco Boat Tour to watch the dolphins frolicking in the water or go in search of shark’s teeth and alligator bones on a Fossil Expedition.
- Stroll the boardwalk through the mangroves and climb the observation towers for great views of both the Caloosatchee River and the City of Cape Coral at Rotary Park, Cape Coral’s tropical preserve. Picnic on the water’s edge, visit the critters at the nature center and explore the cactus garden and butterfly house. If you are on vacation with your four-legged friend, Wagging Tails Dog Park at Rotary Park is the perfect place for them to play.
- Sun Splash Family Waterparks – This 12-acre aquatic wonderland features thrills for adventure seekers of all ages. Thrilling water slides, tunnels, tube rides, lazy rivers and a fun interactive play land for the little tikes.
- Bucket loads of fun are to be had at Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park. We’re talking batting cages, go karts, paintball, mega maze, mini golf and a games arcade. Hours of fun for the whole family.
- Looking to entertain the kids on a rainy day? Animal encounters, rainstorms and a sporty science arena await at the Imaginarium in nearby Fort Myers. A fun and educational day of exploration.
- The world’s largest collection of rare shells, coral and fossils can be found at the pet-friendly Shell Factory in nearby Fort Myers. With arcade games, mini golf, bumper boats and a nature park with wildlife exhibits, aquariums and alligators, you won’t know where to start.
- If you are on vacation with adrenaline-infused teens, the Eagle Skate Park is the place to go. Whether it’s by skateboard, rollerblades or bicycles, amped kids cruise the ramps, rails, pipes and boxes covering the nearly 27,000-square-foot facility.
- Challenge the family to a game of bowling! Cape Coral has two great bowling alleys, HeadPinz and Bowland, featuring the latest in state of the art technology and a Sports Café for the family to relax!
- Animal lovers may be keen for a trip to the Naples Zoo, a scenic one-hour drive from Cape Coral. It’s easy to spend a day here feeding the alligators, meeting the keepers, floating the shores of Lake Victoria to visit the primates and exploring the tropical gardens. If there is time to spare, a stop off at the Naples Botanical Gardens is also worthwhile!
- Step back in time and learn about Cape Coral’s storied history at the Cape Coral Historical Museum. From old cracker-style houses and rose gardens to the rare burrowing owls that still call this home, this small museum fascinates even the youngest learners.
MHB Property Management Inc. offers a diverse portfolio of Cape Coral vacation rentals, from Gulf access rentals and Caloosahatchee Riverfront Rentals to luxury pool homes and pet-friendly rentals. Relax, unwind and enjoy all there is to offer in Cape Coral, a true “Waterfront Wonderland” in the beautiful sunshine state of Florida.