Last weekend I was delighted to visit Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, more commonly known as Barefoot Beach. It’s located on Wiggins Island in SWFL between Fort Myers and Naples.
Location: 505 Barefoot Beach Blvd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Admission: $8.00 for parking
Hours: 8:00am – Sundown
Phone: (239) 591-8596
- There are 401 parking spots and they go fast. I arrived around 10:00am during off-season and the parking spots were already running low. If you plan on going during high-season (basically when kids are off from school around the country) you need to arrive promptly in the morning to ensure parking.
- The beachcombing here is absolutely amazing. If you are into shelling, this is the place. There are piles and piles of shells laying around.
- I highly recommend the field guide Florida’s Seashells: A Beachcomber’s Guide by Blair and Dawn Witherington. It’s the one I personally use and is the best one I have found so far.
- Barefoot Beach Preserve boasts 342 acres of natural land and is one of the few undeveloped barrier islands in SWFL.
Barefoot Beach is one of many beautiful beaches that’s in existence in Florida. The drive to the preserve brought me through a community of enormous and towering homes set along the coast on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. A redbrick road led me through the middle.
I reached the preserve gate and paid the ranger an $8.00 fee for parking. I was able to find a spot in the second parking lot. Within minutes I spotted my first bit of wildlife.
I took the walkway to the beach and picked a spot near the water to set up. The beach was definitely populated but wasn’t swarmed. I was able to get a spot right against the water without having to walk too far. I liked that the greenery wasn’t torn away like on so many other Florida beaches. There was a nice spot of green between the sand and the parking lot.
I saw plenty of wildlife, mostly birds, like the sandpipers and seagulls. Also, there was shells galore, which I was excited about. Lately I’ve taken an interest in identifying shells, sorting them, and finding their Latin names.
The most interesting ones to me that day was the Transverse ark (Anadara transversa) and Ponderous ark (Noetia ponderosa). They are both members of the Arcidae family and are common to Florida shores, except along the Big Bend. The shells look so similar they are easily mistaken for each other. Can you tell the difference?
Overall, Barefoot Beach is another beautiful Florida beach and one I am glad I was able to experience. It is the perfect place to go if you love combing the beach and like a little more natural feel to your beaching experience.
If you want to check out the shell book I mentioned you can click here to go to Amazon. If you make a purchase using my link I appreciate it because I get a small percentage of the sale. I also appreciate that you read my article. So thank you.
Well, thanks for reading and hope to see you around.
Until next time,