Year after year, Bonita Springs' Lovers Key makes the short list of Florida's most popular state parks.
With near perfect beaches, trails and boat ramp, the Bonita Springs Park ranked as the fourth most popular destination among the 160 parks and historic sites in the entire state park system. Lovers Key State Park saw more than 850,000 visitors between July of last year and the end of June.
Those figures weren't enough to top the visitor counts at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, though.
- With 975,000 visitors, Honeymoon Island broke the attendance record Lovers Key set in the 2005-06 season and has yet to top: 970,000 visitors.
- St. Andrews State Park in Panama City and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo also had attendance figures that edged out Lovers Key this year.
This was a record-setting year for the Florida Park System. There were 19.5 million visitors to parks around the state, up from last year's figures.
Attendance at Bonita Springs Lovers Key is imprecise. At the park's northern access point, for instance, fees are collected on the honor system and attendance is self-reported. The entire island is also accessible by boat with no paid or recorded access for boaters.
Park attendance at Bonita Springs, Estero and North Naples areas.
- Lover's Key State Park, Bonita Springs - Fort Myers Beach: 850,000 (approx.)
- Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples: 461,819
- Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero: 64,585
- Estero Bay Preserve State Park, Estero: 11,708
- Mound Key Archeological State Park, Estero: 3,283
Source: Florida Department of Environmental Protection