Beach Essentials: What to Bring for the Perfect Beach Day

One of the things that Bonita Springs is best known for is its beautiful beaches. Though Southwest Florida surely has some stiff competition when it comes to beaches, Bonita Beach is one of the best spots to enjoy a picture-perfect beach day. As summer approaches, it’s important that you bring all of the essentials for a relaxing day on the sand.

What to Bring for a Perfect Beach Day

It’s that time of the year! Though it may be getting hotter, it’s also approaching the time where locals can best enjoy a comfy spot on Bonita Beach. If you’re ready for a day at the beach, don’t forget to bring the essentials:

  • Sunscreen – To avoid sun damage, make sure that you apply sunscreen before you head to the beach, and reapply throughout the day.
  • Lip Protector – Many people forget to protect their lips from sun exposure. Bring a lip protectant with an SPF to avoid damage from the UV rays.
  • Summer Gear – With the heat at its peak, you’ll need to bring appropriate summer gear to keep you cool and protected from the sun. Wearing a light colored t-shirt or swimsuit cover-up, sunglasses, and a hat with a brim help protect your skin, while also keeping you cool.
  • Funds for Parking – Don’t forget to bring money for parking! At Bonita Beach, parking fees are $2/hour, and are strictly enforced at the designated parking locations. If you’re a resident, you can purchase a parking sticker for Lee County parks online at
  • Water – In order to get the most out of your beach visit, it’s important to hydrate throughout the day, especially in the summer heat. Bring bottles of water or a plastic container for your drink as glass is not allowed on Bonita Beach.
  • Your Friends and Family – What better way to make your beach day the best than spending it with the people you love!

Now that you’ve got your essentials, you’re ready to head to the beach! With the weather getting a bit hotter, you’ll want to make sure that you visit during the cooler hours of the day. The best time to go to the beach in the summer is the morning hours. That way, you can avoid being exposed to UV rays when the sun is at its peak. This is also the best time to avoid the Florida summer showers.

Enjoy the Beach without All of the Crowds

Does the idea of access to a private beach appeal to you? This is just one of the many amenities that residents of The Colony Golf and Bay Club can enjoy. At The Colony’s private beach park, you’ll need not worry about funds for parking or any of the other hassles that come from visiting a public beach. The Pelican Landing Beach Park is available exclusively to residents of The Colony and their guests.

If you’re interested in finding out more about one of Southwest Florida’s most thriving lifestyle communities, contact Jill Kushner today. Jill is an experienced real estate agent who loves helping new homebuyers find the perfect home at The Colony in Bonita Springs.

What are your favorite beach supplies? Share them in the comments below!

Barefoot Beach Named Top 10 Beaches for 2014

One of Southwest Florida’s most beautiful beaches, Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, FL was named among the top 10 beaches for 2014 by Dr. Beach, a website that offers yearly ratings for the most beautiful beaches in America. Barefoot Beach took the number two spot and was recognized along with other Florida beaches such as St. George Island State Park in the panhandle and Cape Florida State Park Key in Biscayne, Florida, as well as beaches in Hawaii and the Carolinas.

Stephen P. Leatherman who runs the website as “Dr. Beach” chooses this annual list based on 50 factors. Bonita’s Barefoot Beach beat out other contenders based on:

  • Water temperature
  • Sand softness
  • Number of sunny days
  • Public Safety
  • Level of Noise
  • Maintenance of grounds and natural environment
  • Scenic views
  • Amount of trash and litter

Once you step foot on the beautiful sands of Barefoot Beach, you will soon see why it has found its place on the list of America’s most beautiful beaches.

Visit Barefoot Beach and Preserve in Bonita Springs

Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs is one of Southwest Florida’s hidden treasures. With 342 acres of natural land, Barefoot Beach Preserve is one of Southwest Florida’s last underdeveloped barrier islands. Locals and tourists alike love to frequent this spot because of its lush surroundings, well-maintained environment, and abundant opportunities to fish.

Barefoot Beach is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon by yourself or with company. Though the location is not hard to reach, it is still separated from the nearby busy streets of Bonita Springs, allowing you to leave the worries and stresses of the day far behind.

But what about the water? When Barefoot Beach made Dr. Beach’s list of top beaches in 2013, Leatherman had this to say, “The surf is gentle… and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families.”

Don’t take Dr. Beach’s word for it. Visit Barefoot Beach for yourself and see what all the fuss is about!

Want to Move Closer to the Beach?

Who doesn’t want to live near the beautiful beaches of Bonita Springs? If you want to be a little closer to one of America’s top beaches, contact Jill Kushner. Jill is an experienced real estate agent specializing in luxury, gated communities in the Bonita Springs area. She can help you find the home of your dreams near the beautiful white sands of Barefoot Beach.

Are you a regular visitor of the beaches in Bonita Springs? Tell us why you love Barefoot Beach!            

7 Reasons You Should Be In Southwest Florida

Here’s an interesting statistic I just found. There are 78 million baby boomers  in the U.S., and professionals predict that one-sixth of them will spend part of their lives in the state of Florida. That’s almost 13 million new residents of Florida between now and 2023.” It’s no surprise to anyone who lives here! Here are just 7 reasons why Southwest Florida, especially Bonita Springs, is among the top choices.

7. Boating, Fishing & Golf– Our area has some of the best waterfront in the world. Fishing and golf are not hobbies here, they are ways of life.

6. Pristine – The word “pristine” comes up often when explaining our area to an outsider. It best describes the litter-less streets, low crime, clean beaches, expertly shaped landscaping and conscious efforts of residents to keep it that way.

5. Sunsets – Sunsets in Southwest Florida are very special to say the least, and for lovers, nowhere will you find more romantic sunsets than on Florida’s West Coast. Around the time of the setting sun, if you are anywhere near the Gulf, you are bound to be shoulder to shoulder with several others looking West. When the sun hits the horizon put your cocktail down and join the clapping, for you have just witnessed one of the most sacred moments on the Gulf: Sunset.

4. Weather –Bonita Springs’ weather has average air temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest summer months are July, August and September. The best weather months are November through May where there is little rain and less humidity. Gulf water temperatures range from the 60′s in the winter to the mid 80′s from spring through fall.

3. Beaches – Bonita Springs has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Florida and it’s no wonder, since the word “bonita” in Spanish translates to mean just that, “beautiful”. The beaches that line the coastline attract people in from all over the world for the sun and the miles of soft, white sand.

2. The People – This one is easily #1. People who live herecome from all around the world – mid-westerners, New Yorkers, Canadians, Europeans and everyone in-between. SouthwestFlorida is a global melting pot with one common denominator:everyone is extremely happy to live here! This attitude shows on the suntanned faces of most everyone you’ll meet.

1. The Colony Golf & Bay Club– Amidst scenic nature preserves and overlooking the glorious waters of Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Bonita Springs, The Colony Golf & Bay Club offers spectacular high-rise and mid-rise towers, custom single-family homes, villas and classic coach homes. Each distinctive residence within The Colony’s 809 exclusive acres is a modern-day renaissance representing the ultimate union of art and function. While this private, gated community defines grandeur and elegance, I realize that what usually inspires people is the lifestyle offered, including social opportunities, activities, sports and recreation, as well as security. The Colony has a unique array of amenities, and I want to make sure you’re able to experience it for yourself. I am passionate about The Colony, and once you see our little piece of paradise, I know you will be too.

Uncovering your Dream Home in Bonita Springs, Florida

Searching for a new or second home is easier once you understand what’s most important to you. I always tell clients who are considering moving to The Colony Golf & Bay Club that it’s best to organize your thoughts by writing down what you absolutely need in a new or second home, and what you don’t. After all, buying a home whether it be here at The Colony in Florida or elsewhere, is a huge decision. Here’s a good list to help you narrow down your decisions:

Look at the Community

  • Variety of architectural styles (vs. cookie cutter homes)
  • Natural lush landscaping
  • Walking and biking trails
  • Amenities like golf, tennis, and swimming
  • Activities and social events
  • Sense of community
  • People my age

Look at the Location

  • Beach access
  • Quick drive to shopping and dining
  • Access to theater, museums, and nightlife
  • Proximity to airports and public transportation
  • Quality school system (for families)

Determine the type of Home Structure

  • Single family or high-rise home
  • One- or two-car garage
  • Home office
  • Guest bedroom/bath
  • Formal living room
  • Eat-in kitchen
  • Patio or lanai
  • Bonus room

Think about Your Living Style

  • Low maintenance (high-rise homes)
  • Private land for tending a garden, making home improvements (single-family homes)
  • Gourmet appliances
  • Outdoor living area
  • View (Gulf of Mexico, natural preserve or Golf Course)
  • Light and bright
  • Lots of shade
  • Onsite amenities without leaving your home

I’d love to take you on a tour of The Colony, so feel free to contact me today. Happy Dream Home Hunting!

All About Bonita Springs, Florida!

Named after a local medicinal spring, Bonita Springs history began in the 1870’s when surveyors working for the United States Government explored the Southwest Florida region. Originally named “Survey,” huge plantations were established to grow pineapples, bananas and a variety of tropical fruits.

Then in 1912 a man from Tennessee made plans to expand the town of Survey. He decided the name wouldn’t entice people to move to the area so the name was changed to Bonita Springs.

I don’t think people needed a name to entice them. After all Bonita Springs is one of Southwest Florida’s fastest growing cities, due in large part to its location between Naples and Fort Myers. Bonita Springs is a welcoming beach community that offers a lifestyle for just about everyone. From award winning planned golf communities to serene waterfront living, Bonita Springs exudes an urban setting with small-town charm.

If you’re living here seasonally enjoying the retirement lifestyle, or simply on vacation, there’s an abundance of things to do.

Beaches. People from all over the world flock to Bonita Springs’ pristine shoreline, which includes Bonita Beach, Lovers Key and Barefoot beach. The backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico will keep you wide-eyed along with its white sands, great shelling, dolphin sightings, and turtle nesting grounds. Swimmers, snorkelers, rafters, kayakers, and windsurfers will appreciate the aquamarine waters just steps away.

Shopping and Dining. Shop and dine to your hearts content here in Bonita Springs. There’s something to suite every taste. Choose from a plethora of shopping choices from outdoor malls to boutique shops. Enjoy casual dining or fine dining – all just minutes away!

Family Fun. While the beaches will keep kids and parents content for hours, there are also a variety of attractions to take the children or visiting grandchildren to. Whether it’s going to a water park, visiting the zoo, or heading to the museum, you’ll never run out of ideas or places to go in Bonita Springs or the nearby area.

Here’s some helpful information to keep handy if you’re visiting the area, or moving to the area for the season:

  • Obtaining a Bonita Springs Parking Sticker: Parks and Recreation,
26740 Pine Avenue,
 Bonita Springs, FL, 34135
(239) 992-2556. You will need property tax bill, Car or Truck Registration and Driver’s License Address must match on all. The parking decal you have acquired will allow you parking at Bonita Beach Park, Access #1 and Little Hickory Island Beach Park only. Parking availability is not guaranteed.
  • Fishing Licenses: 
(239) 533-6000; Instant License Line
(888) 347-4356
  • Boat Ramps: The Imperial River Boat Ramp in Bonita Springs,
(239) 229-0459
  • Major Ports/Waterways: Port Boca Grande (Gulf) and Okeechobee Waterway (coast to coast through Lake Okeechobee).
  • Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue: (239) 949-6200
  • Lee County Office of the Sheriff: Emergency 911 or (239) 477-1000
  • Bonita Springs Public Library: (239) 992-0101
  • Lee Memorial Health System: (239) 466-4455
  • Lee County DMV Offices & Services: Your Lee County DMV offices provide vehicle registration, drivers licenses, ID cards, tag and title services for cars, trucks, trailers, vessels and mobile homes.


Things to Do with the Grandkids in Bonita Springs and Naples, Florida

What’s more fun than having fun with grandkids? Not much else if really enjoy every moment with your grandchildren.

I’ve spoken to residents here at The Colony Golf & Bay Club who have grandchildren and sometimes they get into a rut and can’t think of fun things they can do with their grandkids.

The good thing is, Southwest Florida boasts awesome weather year round so this list incorporates a lot of outdoor activity.

Go for a walk or bike ride around The Colony. There are wonderful walking and biking paths throughout the entire community and it’s safe for children of all ages. In fact, biking is the transportation of choice for most residents! It’s a great way to stay active and be outdoors. You can even stop over to The Country Club when you’re done and grab a beverage!

· Visit the water park. Collier County’s premier water park, Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is a great place to take the kids. It offers one million gallons of water fun that will thrill children, parents and grandparents alike. Make sure to bring your sunblock!

· Visit the zoo. A great place for families, The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens offers a nature path almost a mile in length that winds past rare and beautiful animals residing within a 52 acre jungle of exotic plants.

· Go to the museum. No, I don’t mean a typical adult museum, I’m talking about an awesome children’s museum in Naples, Florida. The Golisano Children’s Museum is packed with 30,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. With 12 hands-on exhibit galleries, there is plenty of fun and learning to be had. You can also their calendar for events and camps.

· Visit an adventure park. King Richard’s Park is billed as the #1 Stop for Fun in Naples, Florida. They feature a popular go cart track and video games along with exciting attractions and features like Laser Tag, Dance Machine, and interactive video games.

· Play mini golf. A stone’s throw away from The Colony, Congo River Golf is a challenging miniature golf designed giant waterfalls, rocky summits, mysterious caves and tropical rainforests.

· There’s always the favorite go-to among residents and tourists – the beach!

· And if you encounter a bit of rain during the day, you can always occupy their time with a movie at Silverspot Cinema, an indoor picnic, or tea party!

These are just a few ideas, but trust me, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy with your grandkids.

What is your favorite place to take the grandkids when they visit Florida?

Naples and Bonita Springs Beaches – Paradise Awaits!

Naples and Bonita Springs have some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in all of Florida. It’s one of the reasons why people visit from all over the world. The white sands and the aquamarine, warm waters are truly breathtaking. There is something to do for everyone in the family like swimming, kayaking, shelling, kiteboarding, windsurfing and dolphin watching.

Family Favorites

Bonita Beach Park – This beach front park is on the northern tip of Bonita Beach. It offers a variety of amenities such as restrooms, shelters with tables and grills, a playground, and a sand volleyball court.

Little Hickory Island Beach Park – A white-sand beach combined with a feeling of seclusion is the main attraction at this beachfront park. Surf fishing is a favorite pastime for visitors. The beach is wide and clean and offers restrooms, picnic tables and showers.

Naples Municipal Beach – There is plenty metered parking in the lot on 12th Avenue South. The beach provides picnic tables and showers.

Vanderbilt Beach Park – The beach public access to the Gulf of Mexico, white sands wispy with sea oats, abundant shells and birding. It’s a perfect spot for families as it includes concessions, restrooms and showers, expanded parking, handicap access and close proximity to shops and restaurants of north Naples.

Nature Lovers

Barefoot Beach – Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast. Explore on your own or inquire about ranger-led programs to learn of the flora and fauna that characterize the barrier island, from the gumbo-limbo tree to the gopher tortoise.

Clam Pass Park – Clam Pass boasts 35 acres of coastal habitat and preserves that habitat by providing beach access from a three-quarter-mile boardwalk to the sandy beach.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – One of the most popular seaside destinations in Naples, the mile-long stretch of white sugar sand has been rated one of the best beaches in the nation.I t’s equally celebrated for its mangrove forest and tidal pools that support a variety of marine life, including loggerhead sea turtles.

What is your favorite beach in Naples or Bonita Springs?