Barefoot Beach, ‘second best beach in America,’ is wild & wonderful

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Unspoiled Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs near Naples

Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs
Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs

Though it’s easy to reach, Barefoot Beach makes you feel miles away from highways and highrises. It’s one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.

Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park  is located  at the end of Barefoot Beach Road off of Bonita Beach Road —  15 minutes west of I-75. To reach the park, you wind through a residential community of million-dollar homes.

Barefoot Beach is 342 acres of natural land and you can walk a mile along the beach to the end, where you reach the swift currents of Wiggins Pass.  (Across the pass lies the very nice Delnor-Wiggins Sate Park.)

Sanddollar found on Barefoot Beach
Sanddollar found on Barefoot Beach
Royal terns at Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs
Royal terns at Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs

Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, named it to his top 10 beaches in America list for several years, but, fortunately, it remains unspoiled.

When he named it #6 in 2013, he describes it this way: “The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families. The sand is fine and contains many small shells.”

Like at many of the Gulf’s spectacular beaches, you may find  sand-dollars, shells or spot a bottle-nosed dolphin in the water in the distance. Gopher tortoises and their burrows are plentiful along the nature trail that runs between the sand dunes and the hammock and it’s a good place to see crawl marks left by nesting Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles in the summer.

Barefoot Beach
Barefoot Beach

Kayaking is popular on the inland side of Barefoot Beach, with its tidal creeks and mangrove swamps.  Canoes can be rented at the Barefoot Beach concession. A one-mile nature trail weaves through the tropical hammock to Wiggins Pass.

The real attraction, though, is a perfect, unspoiled natural beach lined with a lush profusion of vegetation.

For more information:

Barefoot Beach
Barefoot Beach Road off Bonita Beach Road
$8 entrance fee
Hours: 8 a.m. to sundown
Phone: (239) 591-8596


An aerial-view video captures the beauty:

What’s nearby?

Walkway to Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs
Walkway to Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs

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