Anchoring the southern county, Bonita Springs and Estero have been home to many interesting people and purposes throughout history. Today, these sunny and friendly communities boast natural charm, exceptional shopping, and year-round outdoor family activities.
The many faces of Bonita Springs’ past now smile on friendly accommodations, great shopping, beaches, parks and family attractions. This one-time plantation that harvested pineapple, banana and coconuts has reinvented itself over generations, now with access to the area's best malls, public beaches and parks.
Modern Bonita Springs was named for a medicinal spring on the Shangri-La property near U.S. 41. Attractions such as Everglades Wonder Gardens and the Koreshan State Historic Site continue to bring the wonders of the natural world to the forefront. Nearby Bonita Beach on Hickory Island was called Fiddlerville because of the vast number of fiddler crabs on its shell-strewn shores. Today, try boating the waterways and enjoy the amenities at Bonita Beach Park.
Just to the north, Estero boasts outlet and high-end shopping and stunning cultural attractions. Incorporated in 1904 by the Koreshans, this religious sect at one time numbered near 10,000 in Estero. The remains of their “New Jerusalem" on the banks of the Estero River can be seen at the settlement at Koreshan State Historic Site. Nearby, explore Mound Key, a major ceremonial center and village of the indigenous Calusa Indians that’s reachable only by boat or kayak. More recent attractions include great dining options, Germain Arena for live events and shopping emporiums such as The Promenade, Miromar Outlets, Coconut Point Mall, and Gulf Coast Town Center.