Looking for the best Cape Coral, Florida beaches to visit?
We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches in Cape Coral, FL, and the surrounding area, complete with information on what makes each one special and worth the visit.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or want to find a beach with plenty of activities and family-friendly amenities, we’ve got you covered.
It’s worth noting that the city of Cape Coral only has two beaches within the actual city limits.
Because of its prime location in Southwest Florida, however, there are plenty of beaches near Cape Coral that are featured in our list.
Let’s start planning your next Cape Coral area beach trip today!
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A Note About Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida is a city in Southwest Florida and is known as a ‘neighborhood’ of the larger Fort Meyer, Florida.
Other ‘neighborhoods’ of Fort Meyer, include:
- Captiva Island
- Sanibel Island
- Bonita Springs
- Boca Grande
- Fort Meyers Beach
- Pine Island
- Alva, Buckingham, and Lehigh Acres
(I mention this because the beaches here are often referred to interchangeably, which you will learn more about below).
Cape Coral is located on a large peninsula that is bordered in the south and east by the Caloosahatchee River and in the west by Matlacha Pass.
In other words, Cape Coral itself is not located on the actual ocean.
Instead, it is known for its 400 miles of saltwater and freshwater canals and is often referred to as a “Waterfront Wonderland,” because it has more miles of canals than anywhere else in the world.
When to Visit Cape Coral
Though Cape Coral, FL is a great place to be enjoyed year-round, the best time to visit Cape Coral is during the months of March to May.
From early March to late May, daytime temperatures range in the high 70s-80s (perfect beach weather!), and this is also the season when you’ll enjoy moderate crowds and fair prices.
Another popular time to visit Cape Coral is during the winter months of December to February.
During the winter months, you can expect clear skies and average temps in the mid-70s (perfect for outdoor activities).
It is during the winter months that you’ll experience peak crowds and price hikes, however.
For those looking to get away during the summer months, Cape Coral offers the same great atmosphere but with high humidity and temperatures in the high 80s and 90s.
In order to make these months more tolerable, it is important to understand how to stay cool in the Florida heat as it is quite intense.
Additional planning tip: Be mindful that Florida’s hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak of the season being the first week of September.
If anything, expect sporadic rainfall during these months.
*Get our Florida Packing List that includes what to pack for all types of weather, here!
Best Beaches in Cape Coral
Despite there being dozens of beautiful beaches around Cape Coral, Florida, there are only 2 public beaches located directly in Cape Coral, itself: Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach and Four Freedoms Beach.
Let’s take a look at these Cape Coral beaches, as well as the best beaches near Cape Coral (that are only a short drive away) so you can start your planning!
1. Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach
The main Cape Coral beach, Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach, is located within the Yacht Club Community Park on the southeast corner of Cape Coral.
This is the best public beach in Cape Coral, Florida, and is perfect for those who want to enjoy brilliant views of the Gulf of Mexico with plenty of amenities.
Visitors can enjoy activities including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, and walking along the gigantic pier located here.
The beach is also a great spot for launching your kayak or paddleboard, plus, a public boat ramp is available here.
Young children will especially enjoy the adjoining Yacht Club Community Park, where there is a playground and splash pad available.
There is also the Yacht Club Community Pool available 7 days a week, but either a membership or guest pass with a daily fee will need to be purchased first.
It’s worth noting that the Yacht Club Beach has a parking rate of $5 per hour.
*Important note: The Yacht Club Community Park is currently under construction for improvements and new features.
As a result, the entire Yacht Club Beach and Pier, as well as all other park amenities, with the exception of the Boathouse Restaurant, will be closed for 2 years beginning in March 2022.
You can check the timeline and proposed plans on the official project site.
2. Four Freedoms Beach
Cape Coral’s other beach is located at Four Freedoms Park on the banks of Bimini Basin just south of Cape Coral Pkwy.
It is important to note that Four Freedoms Beach is a “sunbathing beach” only, meaning that it is used for sunbathing and dipping your toes in and actual swimming is not allowed.
Amenities here include a large grassy play area, shaded, fenced-in playground, picnic tables, and restrooms.
Due to the lack of a swimming area, Four Freedoms Beach is most frequented by families with small children looking for fun and relaxation, as well as the use of its playground.
*Find our list (with shopping links!) of the best beach bags for families to help carry and store your beach gear!
3. Gulfside City Park Beach
Public beach and park in Sanibel, Florida.
If you are looking for a beach with plenty of activities and amenities, Gulfside City Park Beach is the perfect spot for you.
This beach has it all, from volleyball courts and picnic pavilions to a playground and fishing pier.
Located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, you’ll enjoy clear shallow water and a lovely stretch filled with white sand beaches.
Locally known as Algiers Beach, this Sanibel Island hot spot offers another fun activity – shell hunting!
In fact, this is one of the best beaches for shell hunting in the entire United States.
Additional planning tip: Admission to Gulfside City Park Beach is free outside of a $5 parking fee per vehicle.
4. Bowditch Point Regional Park Beach
Public beach and park in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
Another fantastic beach near Cape Coral, Florida is Bowditch Point Regional Park Beach.
Located at the northernmost tip of Estero Island in Fort Meyers Beach, FL, this beach offers a picturesque view of nearby Sanibel Island.
Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities here including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and kayaking.
It’s also the perfect place to pack a picnic and see what wildlife you can spot!
In addition, bird-watchers will enjoy the nature trails where they can spot some of Florida’s most varied bird species.
There is also a nature center on site where you can learn about the local ecosystem and wildlife.
And don’t forget to take a walk down the pier!
This beach does have a $2 per hour parking fee, but it is well worth it for all that it has to offer.
5. Fort Myers Beach
Public beach and fishing pier in Fort Myers Beach, FL.
One of the most popular beaches near Cape Coral is Fort Myers Beach.
This seven-mile stretch of white sand beach is located on Estero Island and offers plenty of activities for visitors, including swimming, biking, and shelling, just to name a few.
Want a bit more action?
You can also enjoy a variety of water sports here, such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and parasailing.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars located near the beach, so you can grab a bite or a drink without having to go far.
Popular options include the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, where, as the name suggests, you can enjoy oysters and beer, along with many other delicious offerings.
If you are looking for a relaxing way to end your epic day at this beach, check out one of the on-site tiki beach bars where you can take in the sunset with a beverage of choice.
6. Bonita Beach Park
Public beach located in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Located in Bonita Springs, Florida, (22 miles from Cape Coral) Bonita Beach Park is one of the prettiest public beaches in the area.
Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and kayaking. Amenities include showers, restrooms, a playground, sand volleyball courts, and picnic areas.
There are also fishing opportunities at Bonita Beach Park, but non-residents will need to obtain a saltwater fishing license from the state.
Once you catch your fish, you can take advantage of the on-site charcoal bbq grills to cook up a quick feast.
Whether you are looking to relax or play, Bonita Beach Park has something for everyone!
Additional planning tip: This popular spot has a $2/hour parking fee per vehicle.
7. Barefoot Beach
Public beach in North Naples/Bonita Springs, Florida.
A beach mostly known by locals, Barefoot Beach is a large area of unspoiled oceanfront with gentle waves and shallow water (making this a great beach for swimming for families).
In addition, the sand is fine and contains many small shells.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico in Bonita Springs, this beach allows visitors to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, and kayaking.
There is also a nature center and a 1-mile walking trail on site where you can learn about the local ecosystem and wildlife.
With public restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and concession areas, this natural beach is a great place to enjoy an easy and fun day for everyone.
Additional planning tip: A $10 beach parking fee applies.
8. Lover’s Key State Park & Beach
Public beach and park in Fort Meyers Beach, Florida.
Lover’s Key State Park is a 712-acre state park and wildlife habitat located on Lover’s Key barrier island that protects some of the most pristine barrier islands in Southwest Florida.
Lovers Key has a stunning two-mile long sandy beach which was listed by the Travel Channel in the Top 10 Florida beaches.
It’s a good place for swimming, collecting shells, and enjoying a picnic.
There are also several walking and biking trails that wind through the island, making it a great spot for nature lovers.
Showers, restrooms, and picnic areas are available as well as access to Lovers Key State Park Welcome & Discovery Center.
The admission fee varies between $2 and $8 depending on the number of occupants and mode of transport.
Additional planning tip: No pets are allowed on Lover’s Key Beach to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
9. Captiva Island
Captiva Island is located 28 miles from Cape Coral, Florida.
Captiva Island is home to 3 public white-sandy beaches available to anyone staying on the island, or visiting for the day.
Beaches here include:
- Alison Hagerup Beach Park
- Andy Rosse Lane Park (most popular)
- Turner Beach
Captiva Island is one of the most popular spots for a beach day in the Cape Coral area as it’s a hot spot for swimming, tanning, and people-watching.
If you’re looking for watersports, there are also kayak and paddleboard rentals available.
Additionally, you can take a kayak tour or even floating yoga classes!
Another one of the best things about the area is that if you get hungry and need a break from the sun, there are plenty of food options ranging from casual to fine dining.
10. North Captiva Island
Transportation to North Captiva Island is accessible via the North Captiva Water Taxi or other methods of boating.
Located just north of Captiva Island, this island is only accessible by boat or private aircraft, which makes it feel even more remote and special.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise.
With its crystal clear water and white sand beaches, it’s easy to see why this spot is worth the extra effort to visit!
Enjoy a long walk down the five miles of coastline, or, if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, there are also parasailing and jet skiing rentals available.
*Due to the island’s remote location, it is absolutely essential to review our beach packing list so that you don’t forget to bring the necessities.
Final Thoughts on Cape Coral, Florida Beaches
Hopefully, our list of the best beaches near Cape Coral has provided you with helpful information for your upcoming Florida family vacation.
My hope is for you to have an amazing and carefree experience!
Before you go, don’t forget to read our family packing tips.
Finally, if you’re looking for some additional family-friendly Florida vacation itineraries, be sure to check out our other favorite spots:
- Siesta Key, FL family vacation itinerary
- Sarasota, FL family vacation itinerary
- Orlando, FL family vacation itinerary
- Tampa Bay, FL family vacation itinerary
Do you have a favorite beach in Cape Coral that didn’t make the list?
If so, let us know in the comments below!
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*