You can spend countless hours trying to decide what day trips to take from Estero rentals, so let our recommendations for some of the best places to visit help with your decision making. Rest, relax and revel in the sights and sunshine Florida is famous for while enjoying your stay.
Mound Key Island
Just 90 minutes north of Estero is Mound Key Archaeological State Park. This remarkable island was created by ancient Calusa Indian middens, formed from an accumulation of discarded mollusk shells, pottery and fish bones. Encircled by mangrove trees, mounds shaping the island rise greater than 30 feet above Estero Bay's waters. Accessed only by boat, the waters offer an opportunity to reel in redfish and mullet, making for a great spot to drop a line while catching glimpses of manatees and dolphins at play.
Reached from the Sanibel Causeway, this 12 mile-long island has two primary roads, so it's easy to find your way around. Follow Periwinkle Way to access beautiful beaches and Sanibel Lighthouse, poised on four iron legs with a central column rising to the light. The Gulf of Mexico sweeps the coastline from the south, depositing an abundance of pink, coral and sun-bleached shells. The island is well-known for beach combing, as is evidenced by collectors in a hunched-over position referred to as the 'Sanibel Stoop.' Take a break from the sun and visit Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum or roam the four miles of trail and climb the observation tower at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Their nature center offers a close-up glimpse of nature at the butterfly house, where you can view these colourful creatures fluttering through native flora.
Once you've cooled off, continue your adventure at the amazing "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge, part of the most extensive, untouched ecosystems in the United States. Encompassing more than 6,400 acres of cord grass marshland, hardwood hammocks and mangrove forest, the refuge is a safe haven for nesting migratory birds. Take Wildlife Drive to access Indigo Trail, a four mile round-trip route where you can view alligators and tropical bird species, or Shell Mound, a quarter mile-long interpretive boardwalk trail with views of Pine Island Sound.
With a five-mile stretch of glorious, gleaming shoreline, Sanibel's sister island is the ideal spot to kick-back and do nothing but relax under the shade of dancing palms. Frolic in the Gulf of Mexico at Captiva Beach, or sift through mounds of shells at Turner Beach to find the perfect specimen for your collection. If you're feeling adventurous, rent a canoe to explore and encounter wildlife along the mangrove-lined coast, or take a tandem kayak tour around Buck Key with Kayak Co. & Wildside Adventures. Meander through 22 miles of paved pathways on a bicycle-built-for-two from Finnimore's Cycle Shop to see everything Captiva has to offer. If hunger strikes during your ride, stop to sample local cuisine and fresh-off-the-boat seafood at one of many fine bistros located throughout the island.
Plan your island get-away by finding the perfect Estero vacation home at VacationHomes.com, where you can sort by size, amenities, price and location.