Naples Day Trips Part 8: Explore Cape Coral

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Nestled along the southwest coast of Florida, Naples and Cape Coral are two gems of the Sunshine State. While Naples boasts its upscale charm and serene beaches, Cape Coral offers a different flavor with its network of canals, vibrant arts scene, and abundant outdoor activities.

If you find yourself in Naples and fancy a change of scenery, a day trip to Cape Coral is just what you need. Here’s a guide to making the most of your day trip.

Getting There

From Naples to Cape Coral, the journey is just over 40 miles, taking roughly 45 minutes by car. The drive itself is a scenic one, passing through lush landscapes and occasional glimpses of the Gulf of Mexico.


Morning: Exploring Nature

Rotary Park Environmental Center

Start your day with a nature walk at the Rotary Park Environmental Center. This 97-acre park offers trails winding through various ecosystems, including upland pine forest, salt marsh, and a butterfly garden. Keep an eye out for local wildlife like gopher tortoises, bald eagles, and otters.

Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve

Just a stone’s throw from Rotary Park, this preserve is home to a vast mangrove ecosystem, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Explore the boardwalks and kayak through the waterways to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Southwest Florida’s natural landscapes.


Afternoon: Indulge in Culture and Cuisine

Cape Coral Arts & Cultural Center

Head downtown to explore Cape Coral’s vibrant arts scene. The Arts & Cultural Center hosts rotating exhibitions featuring local artists, as well as workshops and events. It’s a great place to soak up some culture and maybe even pick up a unique piece of art to take home.

Lunch at Gather

After a morning of exploration, satisfy your appetite at Gather, a cozy café known for its farm-to-table fare. From fresh salads to gourmet sandwiches, Gather offers a variety of delicious options made with locally-sourced ingredients.



Evening: Relaxation and Sunset Views

Tarpon Point Marina

Round off your day trip with a visit to Tarpon Point Marina. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, browse the shops, and admire the luxury yachts docked in the marina. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider booking a sunset cruise to cap off your day with breathtaking views of the sun sinking below the horizon.

Dinner at The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill

For dinner with a view, head to The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill. Located right on the water, this laid-back eatery offers a menu of seafood classics and tropical cocktails. Grab a table on the outdoor deck and watch the sky light up with hues of orange and pink as the sun sets over the Caloosahatchee River.


A day trip from Naples to Cape Coral is a perfect way to experience the diversity of Southwest Florida. Whether you’re into nature, art, or simply soaking up the sun, Cape Coral has something for everyone. So next time you’re in Naples, why not venture a little further and discover the charms of Cape Coral? You won’t be disappointed. As always, if you are staying in one of our luxury Naples Florida Rentals, we will be happy to help you with personalized recommendations.