Things to do in Cape Coral

Cape Coral at sunset

Connected by more than 400 miles of canals, it’s not hard to see why Cape Coral is known as a ‘Waterfront Wonderland’. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, this laidback city is home to a huge range of alfresco adventures. If you’re planning a trip, why not check out some of our favorite things to do in Cape Coral!

1) Hit the Cape Coral beaches

The summers in Cape Coral are long, hot, and balmy, so the beach is one of the best places to enjoy the sunshine. As Cape Coral is located on the Gulf coast, some of Florida’s finest beaches are less than half an hour away! With seemingly endless stretches of white sand on offer, a beach day is one of the best things to do in Cape Coral for families, couples, and sun-seekers looking to take advantage of Florida’s famously idyllic weather.

2) Yacht Club Community Park

Situated directly on the Caloosahatchee River, the Yacht Club Community Park is Cape Coral’s only public beach. Although it isn’t on the Gulf of Mexico, this popular beach still offers a huge stretch of white sand and some amazing views across the water! If taking a dip in the river isn’t your thing, the Yacht Club also has a free community swimming pool.

3) Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key State Park is around a 30-minute drive from Cape Coral. A secluded collection of barrier islands, the beaches here were once only accessible by boat. If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxed day out, Lovers Key is the perfect destination! A favorite with locals, the beach is a hotspot for shelling, sunbathing, and picnics.

If you’re up for exploring, the park also offers kayak tours, as well as canoe and kayak rentals. The calm waters here are a haven for wildlife, so look out for manatees and dolphins along the way!

4) Sanibel Island

Famed for its amazing sunsets, Sanibel Island is considered to be one of the most beautiful beach locations in Florida. The island is just a short drive (or boat ride!) from Cape Coral and is home to a number of uncrowded public beaches.

One of the most popular pastimes on the island for both residents and tourists is shelling. Due to its location, the Sanibel Island beaches are home to over 250 different kinds of seashells, which wash up throughout the year!

Sanibel Island lighthouse

5) Captiva Island

Also popular with shell-seekers, Captiva Island is directly connected to Sanibel Island. Although both beaches offer a great range of outdoor activities, Captiva Island is perhaps better known for its relaxed and romantic atmosphere. Home to some of the prettiest beaches in the area, the island offers breathtaking views across the Gulf.

6) Try the local cuisine

Fuelled by an influx of innovative chefs in the area, Cape Coral’s dining scene has exploded over the last few years. Now considered an exciting culinary hotspot, the city’s restaurant scene is constantly evolving and changing!

7) Sample some Florida seafood in Cape Coral

Despite now having a diverse range of eateries, Cape Coral is still best-known for its huge variety of seafood restaurants. With the Gulf of Mexico on their doorstep, the chefs here have access to some of the freshest seafood in Florida.

Seafood restaurants in the city range from upscale fine dining to roadside lobster shacks, so whatever your preference, Cape Coral will definitely fulfill all of your seafood needs!

Shrimp on a plate

8) Rum-tasting

Since opening in 2012, the Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral is now the largest craft rum distillery in America. A family-owned business, Wicked Dolphin’s artisan rums are all made from natural, locally sourced ingredients.

A must-visit for any rum enthusiast, the company now offers free guided tours around the distillery. Available on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, each tour lasts around an hour. As well as learning about the cooking, fermenting and distilling process, you will also be able to sample and purchase some of their award-winning produce!

9) Cape Coral Farmers market

The Cape Coral Farmers Market is host to a huge variety of shopping opportunities. Open on Saturdays from May through October, this market offers a smorgasbord of local produce and handcrafted goods.

From meat and cheese to bread and cakes, the Farmer’s Market is always guaranteed to be overflowing with delicious treats. If you are staying in a self-catering vacation home, the market is the best place to pick up some fresh produce for your evening meal!

As many of our vacation homes in Cape Coral have outdoor dining areas, you will even be able to enjoy your homecooked meal alfresco – surrounded by beautiful views!

10) Take to the water

The best view of southwest Florida is often said to be from the water. As there are hundreds of canals running through Cape Coral, it is no surprise that water-based activities in the city are in abundance!

11) Boat tours in Cape Coral

Boat tours are a fun and exciting way to explore Cape Coral. With an experienced guide on board, you will also be able to pick up some great tips and information about the city en route.

There are many different boat tour operators located in Cape Coral, all offering a unique experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset cruise or an action-packed adventure, there is something for everyone!

A boat tour is not only one of the best ways to see the city, but it is also the safest way to see all of the local wildlife. As well as dolphins and manatees, the Cape Coral canals are home to hundreds of native bird species.

Wild bottlenose dolphin

12) Sunsplash Family Waterpark

If you prefer to be in the water, rather than on it, the Sunsplash Family Waterpark is the place to be! With more than 14 acres of slides, pools, and aquatic fun, Sunsplash is the largest waterpark in SouthWest Florida!

Suitable for all ages, the waterpark is open from March through September. If you’re planning to stay all day, there are three different cafes in the park, serving a kid-friendly selection of food and drink.

13) Fishing

Without a doubt, one of the most popular things to do in Cape Coral is fishing. With its extensive canal system and convenient location on the Caloosahatchee River, the city has become a haven for anglers!

If you’re keen to head out on the water, the safest thing to do is hire a fishing charter boat. Your boat will be captained by a licensed professional, who will be able to take you to the best spots – safely and legally! If you don’t have your own equipment, rods, bait, and tackle are all available to hire.

As the canals themselves are full of fish, you don’t even have to charter a boat to make a catch. Just try casting your line at some of the local docks and piers – this is a great way to meet some of the local residents!

If you prefer a more solitary fishing experience, a number of our vacation homes in Cape Coral benefit from their own private boat docks. If you would also like to hire a boat during your stay, our Guest Experience team will be on hand to arrange everything!

14) Explore nature in Cape Coral

Cape Coral is home to a huge number of nature reserves, state parks, and protected habitats. With so many amazing walking trails and guided tours on offer, exploring the city’s natural environment is a must, and one of the very best things to do in Cape Coral for families, particularly when you want something different to lazy beach days.

15) Rotary Park Environmental Center

Spread over 97 acres, the Rotary Park Environmental Center is made up of a variety of different landscapes and ecosystems. Hidden around the grounds, you will find a great range of walking trails, boardwalks, and open parks to explore.

During your visit be sure to keep your eye out for some of the many critters living within the park, previous sightings include tortoises, alligators, and snakes. The many nature trails are also home to a number of unusual bird species, including the official city bird of Cape Coral – the Burrowing Owl.

16) Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden

Also located within the Rotary Park Environment Center is the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden. A fun and educational place to visit with kids, this beautiful garden is dedicated to preserving the area’s native butterflies from predators.

There are guided tours around the butterfly house on Monday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. During the tour, you will be able to witness all 4 life stages of a butterfly.

You will also have the chance to learn about each different species, as well as the garden’s ongoing project to protect them.

17) Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve

Located on the Caloosahatchee River, the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is a huge marshland and river system. Spanning over 365 acres, this preserve is the second largest natural space in Cape Coral.

Popular with hikers, a 1.2-mile trail loops around the preserve. It winds through a jungle of marshes, mangrove trees, and giant ferns. This hidden trail is home to all sorts of native wildlife, from owls and eagles – to otters and raccoons. As the trail leads straight to the waterfront, you may even spot some dolphins!

If you are visiting between November – May, you will also have the opportunity to explore the preserve’s meandering waterways by kayak. However, it is worth noting that this route isn’t suitable for beginners or children.

If you’re not sure where to start, there is a handy visitor center on-site. You will be able to pick up trail guides, maps, and information about the local wildlife.

Cape Coral canal

Tempted to visit Cape Coral?

If you’re planning a trip to Cape Coral, we offer a selection of beautiful vacation homes in the area. When staying in one of our waterfront homes, you will be able to enjoy a huge range of luxury benefits. Choose from homes with facilities including private boat docks and swimming pools to amazing canal views.

All of our homes are located within easy access to the local amenities and attractions, allowing you to explore the city with ease.

With Top Villas, booking a stay couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. Our website makes it easy to check availability, get a quote, and book instantly online. Alternatively, you can submit an inquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.