Until the Village of Estero got incorporated end of 2014 Bonita Springs was the youngest city in Southwest Florida. Incorporated in 2000 Bonita Springs is an attractive, affluent area with beautiful beaches, fine restaurants, excellent recreational facilities, beautiful homes and upscale shopping opportunities. The explosive growth experienced in recent years of Bonita Springs caused development in the outlying area. Excellent communities, from unpretentious to luxurious, insure one can accommodate your criteria and lifestyle you desire.
Bonita is located conveniently between Fort Myers and Naples. Major highways I 75 and Highway 41, Tamiami Trail give you great options for transportation. The location is near the international airport of Southwest Florida connecting you to the world. The Naples Municipal Airport offers some regional flights.
All the growth has afford some of the best shopping in the area. One of the shopping treasures is the new Coconut Point Mall. It features 100 upscale shops and 25 great restaurants. The beautiful outdoor mall is designed with a flair for the Mediterranean style and colors. Miromar Outlets with over 90 shops of retail brand names will be a pleasant experience. Promenade at Bonita Bay is the epitome of boutique shopping at the 16 specialty shops.
Bonita Springs is just not the city. The Bonita area includes Bonita Beach, Estero Bay and Little Hickory a small barrier. The beaches here have white sugar sand, sea oats, sea grapes and dolphins playing in the gulf. For nature lovers, come enjoy the beautiful weather and all the outdoor activities .The landscape will change drastically from the beach when you enter the peaceful rivers of the Imperial and Estero or in the creeks Hendry and Mullock. In these waters are large oaks adorned with long strains of Spanish moss. Alligators and some of the gorgeous water birds make this estuary their home.
Marinas can be found in Bonita for the avid boaters. Bonita Bay Marina, Anglers Paradise of Bonita Springs, and Hickory Bay Boat House, will provide information for selecting a slip for you boat or yacht. The choices for boating in the area are endless from fishing in the rivers, Estero Bay, deep sea fishing in the gulf, boating lunch or exploring the islands around the area. The residents that are avid boaters can’t imagine living anywhere else and the boating season is 365 days a year.
Bonita has embraced the arts by the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs. Each year at the Promenade at Bonita Bay the National and International Arts Festival is held. The artisan’s chosen to participate are award winning artist from all over the world. Their not-for- profit organization has a great mission statement “ Not-for-profit with an exceptional focus on education and culture adventures”. This says it all. Artis-Naples and Barbara B Mann provide you the Broadway theater in your back door. Both have symphony orchestras and have concerts featuring top entertainers.
Many restaurants are in the area from beach bars, traditional, Mexican, Asian and dinners. We are high lighting just a few outstanding restaurants with creative menus. Chef Jason Grasty’s passion for Japanese, Thai, and French cuisine can certainly be seen in his interesting entrees. Roy’s Bonita Springs in the Promenade show cases Chef Grastys’ talents and tantalizes your palate. Angelina’s Italian Restaurant is rated as one of the best Italian restaurants in the area. From the stellar wine list, to creative entrees , and romantic ambiance we recommend call ahead for reservations. Chops City Grill has been attached to words like dazzling and city-chic. Most of all they are known as a serious steak house. We will be covering many of the other great restaurants in the area on our blog.
Property choices and price ranges for Bonita are from $100,000 to multi-million estate homes. Styles of property from villas, coach homes, condos, and single family homes ,gated communities, or quite subdivisions we can help you find the perfect new address for your home or winter haven. Search, save your favorite property and call us to preview and filter the list of favorites.
Bonita Springs historical past is fascinating. Bonita Springs has long been inhabited since the days of prehistoric man. The Calusa Indians colonized the area and controlled all of the Southwest Florida Coast. In the 1500’s the Spanish conquistadors under the leader ship of Ponce de Leon came to explore in search of the Fountain of Youth. They were met with the fierce Calusa warriors and the clashes lasted for years. Within a few centuries, the Calusa Indians were decimated by disease ,slave trading, and the continued war. What few Calusa Indians moved to the Florida Keys ,Cuba, and some may have joined the Seminoles.
In the 1870’s government surveyors came to the area pitched a camp near a medicinal spring and surveyed the area in advance of the homesteaders. The spring water was believed by the Indians to have healing powers. The stream later became named Survey’s Creek.
Few homesteaders moved in the area during the next decade. A log thatched roof school was built in 1887. Braxton Comer in the late 1880’s bought 600 acres and brought in 50 Negro families from Alabama with equipment and mules to work his pineapple, coconuts, bananas, and other fruit. Once there they stayed and named the new home Survey.
The next ten years Survey dramatically changed. A boom in citrus groves saw the homesteaders become a community. Post office, two story hotel, and students in the school numbered 70.
A Tennessean, Ragsdale, bought 2400 acres of land with his investors. He and Dan Farnsworth surveyed laid out a small town, the streets, and avenues. They felt Survey was not a good name for their new town. At this point the name of the town became Bonita Springs. Other name changes took place. Surveyor’s Creek was renamed Imperial River. Indian Spring Branch became Oak River.
Transportation for the town was mainly boat until Barron Collier extended his Southern Railroad and the new Tamiami Trail was completed. Growth came quickly with churches, saw mills, and more hotels.
In 1936 the attraction of Everglades Wonder Gardens was built by the Piper Brothers. The attraction is still one of Bonita’s largest attractions. Another attraction would open in 1938 called the Shell Factory by a Canadian, Harold Grant saw millions of the brilliant colored shells on the beach. The factory burned down in the 40’s and now in North Fort Myers.
Bonita remained the sleepy quite small town for decades. With highway 41 and then I 75 development exploded in the area. Bonita Springs has earned it right as a metropolitan city . Bonita Springs has luxurious estate homes, outstanding gated communities, golf communities, and waterfront communities with all the amenities to support the lifestyle. Could this be an area for you? Search the communities and give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you and sharing our area with you.