Located in southwest Florida, Cape Coral is located near popular beach destinations like Venice, Boca Grande, and Fort Myers, but this amazing town is full of fun in the sun too!
With awesome beaches and 400 miles of canals, Cape Coral is also home to good food, fun adventures, family-friendly activities, and even manatees for you to visit!
Ready to learn more about this amazing city? Here are 21 things to do in Cape Coral that you don’t want to miss!
Lakes Park was created in an area previously used for quarrying and opened in 1984. Here you will find biking and walking trails of all kinds, including boardwalks, as well as areas for water sports, like canoeing, kayaking, or fishing. Birders love this area for its wildlife, while other nature lovers adore the gardens at Lakes Park.
Kids will love the splash pad here in the summer months! You’ll also find the Railroad Museum of Southwest Florida here, and you and the kids can enjoy miniature train rides.
Because the park is an active member of the community, there are often events happening throughout the year. So be sure to check out the Lakes Park website before heading out to see if you’re in for some extra fun.
THE CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
Nearly 70 miles long, the Caloosahatchee River winds through several parts of Florida. Its name is derived from the Indigenous Calusa people who originally inhabited the land. Caloosahatchee means “river of the Calusa.”
Traveling the river by kayak or canoe is a favorite for watersports enthusiasts visiting the area. At the nearby Caloosahatchee Regional Park, there are also other outdoor activities to do, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
By the river, you will also find the Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson. Across from the refuge is where you’ll find the Lee County Manatee Park which helps protect the vulnerable manatee population. Please remember to not touch the manatees, even though they are very friendly and will probably let you. Part of the reason they are a vulnerable species is because of their friendly nature, which causes a lot of boating collisions with these gentle giants.
YACHT CLUB COMMUNITY PARK BEACH
At Yacht Club Community Park you’ll find an amazing beach on the Caloosahatchee River, a marina, boat ramps, a heated Jr. Olympic community pool, a playground, picnic shelters, a Tiki bar (see below), and more.
You’ll find special events hosted here throughout the year, such as the Holly Jolly Breakfast with Santa, and the Paradise Flea Market. This park is a great place to spend the day!
NOTE: Yacht Club Community Park will be undergoing construction in 2022.
BOATHOUSE TIKI BAR AND GRILL
An oceanside bar, especially a good one, is hard to come by. Boathouse Tiki Bar and Grill has two locations, one in Cape Coral and one in Fort Myers. The Cape Coral Yacht Club location was the first, which originated in 2014.
Open every day of the year, Boathouse has already become one of the most popular Tiki bars in the country. It was even showcased on Travel Channel’s Food Paradise!
SIRENIA VISTA PARK
Sirenia Vista Park is a favorite among manatee fans, because you can see these delightful critters romping through the water. (Romping is the key word here, watch out for their footprints!)
Kayaking and fishing are allowed here, but please do be mindful of the manatees. They are overly friendly, so mind where they are with your boats.
SUN SPLASH FAMILY WATERPARK
Should you need some thrilling water fun, check out Sun Splash Family Waterpark. Chill out in the Main Stream lazy river, get your adrenaline pumping on the Terror Tube, or bring your little adventurers over to Pirate’s Cove for fun on a smaller scale.
Sun Splash even has cabanas for rent, with wait service! Those cabanas also include plenty of shade for when the sun gets a little too bright.
WICKED DOLPHIN RUM DISTILLERY
If you can’t make it out to the Caribbean or Latin America for some locally sourced rum, you might want to check out Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery in Cape Coral. At Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery, their small-batch spirits aren’t just locally made, they’re also locally sourced with Florida sugarcane. (Just like in many distilleries found in places like Puerto Rico or other Caribbean islands.)
Take a tour of their distillery, learn about how their award-winning rum is made and bring some home with you afterward. Wicked Dolphin’s tasting room is also open for anyone who would rather skip out on the tour. The distillery recommends doing tasting-only visits on Mondays and Wednesdays which are non-tour days.
A visit here is one of the best things to do in Cape Coral!
Because of the unique environments around Southwest Florida, there are several preserves here that protect the delicate ecosystems found in the area. Bunche Beach Preserve is one such area, and it can be enjoyed by visitors who want to see the animals and plants that call this place home.
With over 700 acres of protected wetlands on San Carlos Bay, Bunche is a much-beloved spot for guests. It’s a great place to enjoy wildlife viewing and watching beautiful sunsets.
Bunche Beach is also part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, so don’t forget those binoculars!
EAGLE SKATE PARK
Texas might be the “everything is bigger” state, but Florida skate parks are no joke. Eagle Skate Park in Cape Coral is 27,000 square feet of skating paradise. And it’s not just for skateboarders either!
At Eagle Skate Park, you’ll find ramps, obstacles, and other tricky tests for scooters, skaters, bladers, and bikers too. Children under 18 must have a parent- or guardian-signed waiver to participate.
TOM ALLEN MEMORIAL BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Open on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden is a great place to visit in Cape Coral.
Many Floridian native butterflies live in the garden, including the state butterfly — the Zebra Longwing. The Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife host free tours at the butterfly house and garden from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the open days.
FOUR MILE COVE ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Cape Coral’s second largest preserved green space, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, is 365 acres of protected nature open 365 days a year. Kayak rentals are available from November through May on weekends, while the trails are open all year long.
Walking the boardwalk at Four Mile Cove is a particular favorite, because many of the area’s wildlife can be spotted from there, including eagles, herons, and snakes!
HARBOUR VIEW GALLERY
You may find other art galleries around the Cape Coral area, but you won’t find any just like Harbour View Gallery, which is the only artist-owned co-op gallery in the city.
Since opening in the fall of 2007, Harbour View has hosted over 300 local artists and continues showcasing artists monthly as part of its featured artists program. As they house art by so many different artists, you’ll find a little bit of everything here.
CAUSEWAY ISLANDS PARK
Pull up to the water in your car and have a little picnic at Causeway Islands Park. Enjoy the serenity of the water or take a quick driving break to watch the sunset.
Fishing, swimming, picnicking, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing, kite boarding and shelling are popular here.
This island stop-off park is a unique hidden gem and a great place to spend the afternoon.
ROTARY PARK ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER
Another stop along the Great Florida Birding Trail, the Rotary Park Environmental Center is nearly 100 acres of protected ponds, wetlands, salt flats, and uplands that wildlife rely on.
This park is also where you will find the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House, in addition to nature trails, a playground, and areas to have a picnic.
CORAL OAKS GOLF COURSE
Loved by amateurs and aficionados alike, Coral Oaks Golf Course is an 18-hole course in Cape Coral. Named for the oak trees surrounding the course, Coral Oaks was also built with eight lakes and 37 bunkers to help challenge even the most skilled golfers on the green.
The course also boasts one of the most extensive practice facilities around. Plus, if you need a hand with your swing, there are PGA professionals on staff to help.
CAPE CORAL FARMERS MARKET
Found at Club Square every Saturday, the Cape Coral Farmers Market is a community staple. Joined by two other markets, the Surfside Sunshine Market on Tuesdays at Surfside and the autumnal Sunday Mid-Cape Farmer’s Market, these markets are a crowd-pleaser.
The markets have consistently been voted Best of the Cape for Farmers Markets for several years in a row.
CAPE CORAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Founded in 1980, the Cape Coral Historical Society works to preserve the history of the area.
The society opened the Cape Coral Museum of History in 1987. Self-guided tours through the museum are available, or there are guided hour-long tours on offer as well. The museum campus includes four areas: the Rosen Building, the Gulf American Land Corp. Building, the Kelly Building, and the Gardens.
At the Rosen Building, guests can learn about the Rosen brothers, who designed Cape Coral. This building also houses the museum store as well. The Gulf American Building shows the history of the Cape Coral area, the history of the Calusa and Seminole Indigenous peoples who lived on the land, as well as the archival collection from the development of Cape Coral. The Kelly Building shows the city’s economic growth, with histories associated with businesses, schools, parks, and other important civic programming.
As for the Gardens, that’s where guests can unwind and take in the beauty of the area. Surrounded by native plants, visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Coral. You may spot some butterflies too — it’s a certified butterfly garden, after all.
Cape Coral’s premier food and shopping hub, Cape Harbour, is like a miniature city of its own design. Part residential too, many folks live here beside the Cape Harbour Marina. Some of the eateries and boutiques here are favorites of locals and visitors alike. Enjoy eateries like Rum Runners, Venture Out Tiki Bar, Cape Harbour Oyster Bar, Fathoms, The French Press, and Dockside Juicery.
Cape Harbour is home to fun shops too, like Harbour View Gallery (mentioned above), Sentiments, Tropics & Paradise, and more.
If you want to get out on the water, you’ll find a couple boat companies here that can help. You can take a dolphin eco tour with Banana Bay Tour Company, or you can rent a boat at Cape Coral Boat Rentals.
CARDBOARD BOAT REGATTA
From its beginnings in 1994, the Cardboard Boat Regatta has become a major tradition in Cape Coral. Now held every April, the regatta is hosted by the city’s Rotary Club.
The race is done with teams building cardboard boats that can actually hold them in the water! Some of them are so amazing, you won’t believe they’re made of cardboard. Don’t worry, the Rotary Club has plenty of boatbuilding tips on its website for newbies.
DAY TRIP TO SANIBEL ISLAND OR FORT MYERS
Sanibel Island: ~ 33 minutes
Fort Myers: ~18 minutes
Not only are Sanibel and Captiva Islands considered some of the most breathtaking places in the country, but they are also an easy trip from Cape Coral. These unique island destinations are home to hundreds of species of birds, dozens of fish species, and so much more wildlife. Nature trails, bike paths, and other ways to immerse yourself in nature abound here. Here, the lifestyle is slow and steady.
Fort Myers, on the other hand, is one of Florida’s fastest-growing cities. This is a shopping, nature wandering, beachcombing, foodie paradise. Here, you’ll find beaches, parks, gardens, wildlife refuges, historical attractions, and more.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- CAPE SAN BLAS: A Vacation Guide To Florida’s Forgotten Coast
- DESTIN RESORTS: 6 Fantastic Destin Florida Resorts Perfect For Fun In The Sun
- FLORIDA BEACHES: 17 Best Florida Beaches for Families To Relax and Unwind
- FLORIDA’S WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops For A Perfect West Coast of Florida Trip
- FLORIDA KEYS: 3 State Parks & 1 Dreamy National Park You Can’t Miss
WHERE TO STAY IN CAPE CORAL