Spotlight On Southwest Florida: Bonita Springs

The City of Bonita Springs

The city is located on both Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The area referred to as Bonita Beach is located on a road-accessible barrier island (Little Hickory Island) that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay. The Imperial River flows through the downtown district of the city and empties out into Estero Bay. Bonita Springs is south of Fort Myers and North of Naples. 

Things To Do

According to visitflorida.com, Fishing and outdoor activities are popular in Bonita Springs, as are the pristine beaches. Bonita Springs is also home to Lovers Key State Park, a place so named because it once was an island so remote only lovers went to the trouble to seek its privacy. Today, you don’t need a boat to get to the beach. It’s easy to reach, but still not as well-known as many other state parks. The 2.5-mile beach is lined with natural vegetation and is perfect for beachcombing and birding. For some off-leash excitement there’s the rightly named Dog Beach Park. It’s one of Florida’s only no-leash beaches and a big hit for both locals and visitors. The secluded shoreline and shallow waters make Dog Beach Park one of our best pet-friendly beaches, and when you get the chance, there are even more spots to explore.

Climate

​Just like the rest of Southwest Florida, the city lies in the tropical climate zone, with drier warm winters and wet humid summers. It is a hotspot for Snowbirds and tourists alike, due to the inviting climate. 

History

According to the cityofbonitasprings.orgBonita Springs has long been inhabited. Archaeological discoveries place people here about 8,000 years ago and mound building was well underway by 4,000 years ago. By the time Ponce de Leon sailed along our beaches and first made contact with the Calusa Indians in 1513, this area was home to thousands. Native American village remains and mounds attest to their centuries of prosperity. However, within a couple of centuries, the once mighty Calusa Chiefdom was decimated by European diseases and slave trading. In the 1870s, Army Corps of Engineers’ surveyors mapped remote Southwest Florida and pitched camp along the upper Imperial River. After the crew left, the community became known and recorded on maps as “Survey”. The river became known as “Surveyor’s Creek”. Over the years, Survey developed from a scattering of homesteaders into a village. In 1901, a Post Office was opened, and in 1910 the two-story, Eagle Hotel was in business catering to visitors attracted to the unspoiled area’s bounty of hunting and fishing. Later, developers decided that the name, “Survey”, lacked sales appeal, so the town was renamed “Bonita Springs”; Indian Spring Branch became the “Oak River”; and Surveyor’s Creek was renamed the “Imperial River”. In the early 1920s, Barron Collier, wanting to expand his empire, extended his Fort Myers-Southern Railroad south to include Bonita Springs. This, along with the completion of the new Tamiami Trail in 1928, brought another land boom to the area. During this period, Bonita Springs was briefly incorporated as a city. Later, roadside attractions enticed visitors to stop in Bonita Springs. The first major tourist attraction to open was the Everglades Reptile Gardens in 1936. This roadside tourist attraction, featuring local and exotic animals, helped put Bonita Springs “on the map.” The Everglades Wonder Gardens is one of the few remaining historic resources of this type in Florida. Also, on December 27, 1957, the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track was opened in the city. Bonita Springs remained a quiet, small town for decades. But, as the years passed, the rush to build was about to start. With the advent of air conditioning, the opening of Interstate 75, a nearby major airport, along with the new US 41 bypass, the growth in population by the 1980s and ’90s ushered in shopping malls, modern office facilities, and golf courses. In 1999, residents voted to incorporate Bonita Springs for the second time. Today, the City of Bonita Springs is an attractive, affluent area with beautiful beaches, fine restaurants, excellent recreational facilities, and beautiful homes.

​Business Opportunity in Bonita Springs

Southwest Florida provides a positive environment to start and expand your business. As listed by southleeedc.org, here are just a few reasons businesses are flocking to this region: Florida has no personal income tax. In 2018, the Tax Foundation ranked the state No. 4 on its State Tax Climate IndexLocation, location, location. Lee County is well located for convenient business travel. The area is located along I-75, putting it within just a few hours of Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) served more than 8.8 million passengers in 2017, and is one of the top 50 airports in the country for passenger traffic. Lee County is also home to Page Field, a business and general aviation airport. Southwest Florida is home to a growing talent base. Home to several universities, colleges and technical schools, Southwest Florida is rapidly producing a young and well-educated workforce. Ample career opportunities for emerging professionals, as well as beautiful weather that allows year-round outdoor activities are encouraging more and more professionals to migrate to and stay in the region.