Bonita Beach Parking Tips & Tricks
If you're looking for ways to spend the day during Christmas break (or any holiday) and, like a reader in the community forum, you're surprised by the lack of parking, keep in mind you're looking for beach parking on a holiday weekend, while school is out, during tourist season, at the threshold of "high season". There are going to be lines in a lot of places, most especially the beaches. This is NOT an indication of how user friendly our local beaches are.
Even the locals don't go to the beach during these times. It's like buying a boat on the 4th of July! You can find parking at the beaches by using a few tools:
1. Choose a different time to go. Show up early around 9 or after 3 in the afternoon instead of prime time. There is plenty of sun and you'll get a coveted parking spot for a sunset. This works at both Bonita Beach and Barefoot Beach.
2. Learn the little nooks and crannies like the public parking on the Lee County & Collier County side. The Collier side gets driven by because everyone is paying attention to the guard house at Barefoot Beach. As you enter the community of Barefoot Beach, turn right into Collier County Parking. Also, if you drive beyond the guard house you do NOT have to stop during daylight hours. You can drive to the end of the community where Barefoot Beach State Preserve. The charge is $8 to get in but there is a lot of parking, bathrooms, vendors for food, canoes, chairs, etc.
3. There are little "flags" on Hickory Blvd north where parking is free. These are hard to land during season, but more free parking.
4. At Bay Park North (in front of Big Hickory Grille) there is free parking and then you can walk across to beach access 10. You can just park at 10 and pay the modest fee, too. Lot number 10 is a huge lot. On the other side of the bridge from Bay Park is vacant land. You an park there, too, free of charge.
Have fun at the beach. I probably won't see you there because I won't go until April or May! I'm a local and that water is way too cold for me!
If you'd like to check out the community forum to learn more from local insiders, visit: