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Old 5 Nov 19, 05:03 PM  
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Milpston
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Help - Enough in Cape Coral for 5 nights?

Can anyone with experience of Cape Coral tell me if there is enough to do and see in Cape Coral to warrant staying there for 5 nights?

We are a family with kids of 18, 5 and 3 with possibly and extra 18 year old.

We would have a villa on the waterways and potentially a boat hire for 2-3 days. We would have a car for the duration.

Are the beaches of Sanibel etc drivable and can you park? Are the shopping malls/outlets within a sensible driving distance.

Any help appreciated as I have big decisions to make .

Thank you
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Edited at 05:33 PM.
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Old 5 Nov 19, 07:39 PM  
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JohnD
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The beaches on Sanibel are easily within driving distance. Plenty of parking but it's 5 dollars an hour. The Edison Ford estates will take a solid half-day and can be combined with a trip to Coconut Pointe or Miramar. You could consider taking the Key West express from Fort Myers down to the Keys as well. Lastly that are lots of cruises available.
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Old 5 Nov 19, 08:39 PM  
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COL41
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Did ten nights at CC and loved it. Went to Sanibel, Barefoot Beach, Naples, dolphin tour, local outlets and had some lovely chilled out days
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Old 5 Nov 19, 09:21 PM  
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ChrisS
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I highly recommend a boat trip out of Maria Drive Marina, Pine Island with Capt Bruce. We go out with Bruce 3 or 4 times during our winter stays. He charges $50pp, minimum of 4. His boat is a 21 foot, double bimini (great for shade) and his service is 5*. Others charge considerable more. See HERE for reviews and photo's. My bro and sis in law are currently at their CC home, they went out with Bruce the end of last week and are having a sunset cruise this Thursday.

Depending on when, and where, you are in SW Fla, Cape Coral has a water park, Sunsplash. sunsplashwaterpark/

SW Fl is a lovely area down, you'll have a smashing time. Plenty of beaches, watersports, fishing. Naples is a nice place to check out too - excellent soft white beach and long pier - naplesdowntown/naples-pier.htm
Naples conservancy - conservancy/
Tin City in Naples - tin-city/
Corkscrew Swamp - corkscrew.audubon/
Ding Darling on Sanibel (closed Fridays) dingdarlingsociety/
Edison Ford Estate in Fort Myers - edisonfordwinterestates/
Boat trips/dolphin watching/sunset cruises; from Captiva to Cabbage Key - captivacruises/
Casino Big M boat from Fort Myers Beach - bigmcasino/fort-myers-beach/
Everglades National Park boat tours - evergladesnationalparkboa...gulfcoast/
Babcock Ranch, on SR31 between Fort Myers and Arcadia - babcockwilderness/#!home/mainPage
Octagon wildlife sanctuary, just off SR31 between Fort Myers & Punta Gorda; Lauri Caron is an incredible lady who provides home to a multitude of animals, from exotic tigers, a rare black leopard, lions, bears, wolves to donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, racoons, gators et al - check out the website video. The citizens/local big & small businesses donate food, supplies, manpower to keep them all fed. All volunteers happily donate their time, some for 10 plus years, ensuring the majority of monies collected cares for the animals. Hours: Mon - Fri 9 am - 12 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm (Year round), Sun 11 am - 4 pm (Nov - May) - octagonwildlife/
Fort Myers tourist website - fortmyers-sanibel/?gc...FdY8gQodTo8ACA
Visit Florida website - visitflorida/en-us/ci...ort-myers.html
Muscle Car City, Punta Gorda - musclecarcity/
Shopping anyone? Miramar Outlets with over 140 top designer outlet stores - miromaroutlets-px.smrtlnk/
Sanibel Outlets - sanibeloutlets/

If you like music then the top SW Fla band is Deb & the Dynamics - boy they're good. Take a look at their schedule - HERE
We winter on Pine Island and see them at Berts Bar on Matlacha Thursday nights but like to head for Doc Fords on a Sunday (under Fort Myers Beach Bridge docfordsfortmyersbeach/) as they play outdoors from 1 to 4pm - or on a Friday night 6 to 9pm at Pinchers @ Wyndham Hotel where they play on Estero beach. Extremely professional band, Deb sings like Janis Joplin, take a peek here -
the sax players wander into the audience when playing - there's no charge to these venues, eat, drink or drink, don't eat, nobody cares, just go, watch this excellent band and have a good time.
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Old 5 Nov 19, 11:07 PM  
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TheHughesCrew
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Originally Posted by ChrisS View Post
I highly recommend a boat trip out of Maria Drive Marina, Pine Island with Capt Bruce. We go out with Bruce 3 or 4 times during our winter stays. He charges $50pp, minimum of 4. His boat is a 21 foot, double bimini (great for shade) and his service is 5*. Others charge considerable more. See HERE for reviews and photo's. My bro and sis in law are currently at their CC home, they went out with Bruce the end of last week and are having a sunset cruise this Thursday.

Depending on when, and where, you are in SW Fla, Cape Coral has a water park, Sunsplash. sunsplashwaterpark/

SW Fl is a lovely area down, you'll have a smashing time. Plenty of beaches, watersports, fishing. Naples is a nice place to check out too - excellent soft white beach and long pier - naplesdowntown/naples-pier.htm
Naples conservancy - conservancy/
Tin City in Naples - tin-city/
Corkscrew Swamp - corkscrew.audubon/
Ding Darling on Sanibel (closed Fridays) dingdarlingsociety/
Edison Ford Estate in Fort Myers - edisonfordwinterestates/
Boat trips/dolphin watching/sunset cruises; from Captiva to Cabbage Key - captivacruises/
Casino Big M boat from Fort Myers Beach - bigmcasino/fort-myers-beach/
Everglades National Park boat tours - evergladesnationalparkboa...gulfcoast/
Babcock Ranch, on SR31 between Fort Myers and Arcadia - babcockwilderness/#!home/mainPage
Octagon wildlife sanctuary, just off SR31 between Fort Myers & Punta Gorda; Lauri Caron is an incredible lady who provides home to a multitude of animals, from exotic tigers, a rare black leopard, lions, bears, wolves to donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, racoons, gators et al - check out the website video. The citizens/local big & small businesses donate food, supplies, manpower to keep them all fed. All volunteers happily donate their time, some for 10 plus years, ensuring the majority of monies collected cares for the animals. Hours: Mon - Fri 9 am - 12 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm (Year round), Sun 11 am - 4 pm (Nov - May) - octagonwildlife/
Fort Myers tourist website - fortmyers-sanibel/?gc...FdY8gQodTo8ACA
Visit Florida website - visitflorida/en-us/ci...ort-myers.html
Muscle Car City, Punta Gorda - musclecarcity/
Shopping anyone? Miramar Outlets with over 140 top designer outlet stores - miromaroutlets-px.smrtlnk/
Sanibel Outlets - sanibeloutlets/

If you like music then the top SW Fla band is Deb & the Dynamics - boy they're good. Take a look at their schedule - HERE
We winter on Pine Island and see them at Berts Bar on Matlacha Thursday nights but like to head for Doc Fords on a Sunday (under Fort Myers Beach Bridge docfordsfortmyersbeach/) as they play outdoors from 1 to 4pm - or on a Friday night 6 to 9pm at Pinchers @ Wyndham Hotel where they play on Estero beach. Extremely professional band, Deb sings like Janis Joplin, take a peek here -
the sax players wander into the audience when playing - there's no charge to these venues, eat, drink or drink, don't eat, nobody cares, just go, watch this excellent band and have a good time.
What an amazing amount of information! I'm going to bookmark some of these
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Old 6 Nov 19, 01:50 AM  
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Originally Posted by TheHughesCrew View Post
What an amazing amount of information! I'm going to bookmark some of these
We previously owned a home in Cape Coral so we've done a canny bit in 25+ years. As you can see there's a myriad of places to visit, but top of the list has to be heading out into Pine Island Sound/the Gulf with Bruce onto Upper Captiva or Cayo Costa et al - he gives a superb 6 or so hours out on the water, he loves it as much as his passengers and will whip the boat around for a pod of dolphin or a sea turtle, you'll see so much wildlife, Frigate birds, osprey, baldies, dolphin et al. We now winter on Bokeelia but tend not to go out and about much, preferring the island pool coupled with island peace and quiet
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Old 6 Nov 19, 07:54 AM  
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Thanks for that very comprehensive answer Chris!

I will be book marking some of these too. Thanks for the question OP!
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Old 6 Nov 19, 08:21 AM  
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Thank you everyone for your responses.
ChrisS, you have given me some reading to do over the next couple days and itís much appreciated. Thank you.
We are looking at July. Would you recommend boat hire or just doing the organised tours?
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July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report
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Old 6 Nov 19, 02:20 PM  
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Originally Posted by Milpston View Post
Thank you everyone for your responses.
ChrisS, you have given me some reading to do over the next couple days and itís much appreciated. Thank you.
We are looking at July. Would you recommend boat hire or just doing the organised tours?
We went in August this year & had a boat included with villa. We only managed to get out on it twice in 12 days & only for a pootle round the canals. It was lovely & didn't cost us any extra but I think we would have been better off booking individual boat trips. I think you would need to take in consideration your level of boating experience & where abouts your villa is situated.
Cape Coral was lovely & very relaxing. This was the view from our boat dock. 🥰

Edited at 02:22 PM.
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Old 6 Nov 19, 03:10 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by joyo17 View Post
We went in August this year & had a boat included with villa. We only managed to get out on it twice in 12 days & only for a pootle round the canals. It was lovely & didn't cost us any extra but I think we would have been better off booking individual boat trips. I think you would need to take in consideration your level of boating experience & where abouts your villa is situated.
Cape Coral was lovely & very relaxing. This was the view from our boat dock. 🥰
That's really interesting. I have no boating experience at all but would not be shy about having a go
Both villas we have on our short list are very close to river in the South East which is one of the reasons I have shortlisted them.
How come you only managed to get out twice in 12 days? Was that due to weather? I have visions of us blasting over to Sanibel Am I living in a dream world? We would be booking our boat separately so for a 3 day hire the cost is not insignificant.
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report
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