Bonita Beach After The Sun Goes Down
It's an almost sad parade of people leaving the beach after the sun goes down. Every day the sun goes down over the Gulf of Mexico in Bonita Springs, Florida. Most days I miss it. Periodically, guilt sets in that "other people fly from all over the world to be here to see it" so I load up and go. My favorite place to go **and get a close, free parking spot** is the Barefoot Beach Preserve. It's located in the Barefoot Beach Community. There is a guard gate that you do not have to stop for sunrise to sunset. (It's that neighborhood at the traffic light by the 5 buildings on the curve called The Bonita Beach and Tennis Club.) The street winds through the neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes for a few miles until you get to the park. There is a guard/toll collection booth there, but at 5:00 p.m. they stop taking fees, just drive right on through. The first access has restroom facilities and a boardwalk for easy stroller or wheelchair access. Two more access parking lots are beyond that. My favorite is the last one and it usually has less people. You're fairly close to Wiggins Pass and can easily walk south to it in a few minutes.
Barefoot Beach Park is a gopher tortoise preserve. The turtles do not swim, do not put them in the water, do not feed them and check under your car before you back out.
If it's been a while since you've heard the sun sizzle as it dips into the gulf check the sunset times and make a point to go - remember, people come from all over the world to see it and you're taking it for granted. Plus, it's leap year. Have you ever seen the sunset on February 29th?