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Times of the Islands Magazine

10 Outdoors and Sports Activities to Enjoy in Southwest Florida in 2021

Photo courtesy of Sunny Island Adventures on Facebook

In the thick of snowbird season, it can be tough to find something new and exciting to do, especially during a pandemic!

Since the weather is perfect down here in Southwest Florida, we decided to put together a list of outdoor activities and sports to enjoy in the area. Check out our top 10 picks.

Sunny Island Adventures - 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva, FL

Whether you’re visiting Captiva Island for the day or for an extended stay at South Seas Island Resort, the adventure guides at Sunny Island Adventures are ready to assist! Sunny Island Adventures is a water sports rental business that serves all South Seas guests and the general public.

The shop has almost every outdoor equipment rental necessary for visiting the Captiva Island coastline, including golf carts, boats, bicycles, paddleboards, and kayaks. For more information, click here.

Captiva Cruises - McCarthy's Marina and South Seas Island Resort, Captiva, FL

Embark from Captiva Island to a nearby island destination, relax watching the sunset, or follow a pod of dolphins at play. Whatever cruise you choose, you’ll enjoy a beautiful adventure and take home memories that will last a lifetime. With more than 30 years of experience navigating Southwest Florida waters and barrier islands, the accommodating team at Captiva Cruises makes your time comfortable, safe, and fun!

Island adventures include: Cabbage Key, Useppa, Boca Grande, Tarpon Lodge, and Cayo Costa State Park.
Activities include: dolphin and/or wildlife cruises, beaches and shelling, sunset cruises, and private charters for special events. For more information, click here.

Tarpon Bay Explorers - 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel, FL

Tarpon Bay Explorers is the licensed concession to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center. Visitors can enjoy fun, low-impact, educational, and recreational opportunities courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Plus, 12 percent of sales directly benefit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service!

Flagship tours include the Wildlife Refuge Tram Tour, the Nature & Sealife Cruise, and the Kayak Trail Tour. For more information, click here.

Sanibel Thriller - 634 N Yachtsman Drive, Sanibel, FL

A beautiful, fast, safe, diesel-powered, 55-foot motor yacht piloted by a U.S.C.G. Licensed Marine Officer with a 100-ton license, Sanibel Thriller takes visitors on a cruise of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound, circumnavigating the shores of both Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The tour is narrated while visitors have an opportunity to see dolphins throughout.

The Sanibel Thriller also offers the boat as a private charter. Planning a trip? Call ahead for departure times. For more information, click here.

Sanibel Island Golf Club - 1100 Par View Drive, Sanibel Island, FL

Sanibel Island Golf Club plays about 6,300 yards from the back tees. Golfers will enjoy a trip around 150 acres of semi-manicured natural barrier island terrain. Often, golf will take a back seat to the natural sights. Patrons often enjoy picturesque views of the Sanibel River, which is prevalent around the entire course. All levels of golfers will find the course fair yet challenging, with only two greens fronted by water.

Be sure to check out the golf shop, which carries a variety of apparel and accessories that'll help improve performance and style. And after your day of fun, the new Blue Giraffe at Beachview Estates Clubhouse is the perfect place to grab a great meal and delicious drink to toast your scores. For more information, click here.

The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club - 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel, FL

Nestled inside stunning wildlife preserve protected by the Audubon Society—prepare for a unique experience when you play The Dunes. Suitable for those of all skill-levels discover why The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club is one of Sanibel Island’s premier golfing destinations. Play on the Har-Tru tennis courts or receive instruction from certified professionals. There are also golf school packages available.

Sit waterside next to the 18th green—the newly remodeled Dunes Clubhouse is available to members for dining and gatherings. Complete with picturesque views of the Sanibel sunset, the patio has become a favorite spot for members to gather for cocktails or delicious dining options. For more information, click here.

Disc Golf at Estero Community Park and Recreation Center - 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd, Estero, FL

The disc golf course at Estero Community Park is an 18-hole course. Membership to the recreation center costs $10 per individual or $25 per family for a lifetime membership. Membership entitles general use of the four large Recreation Centers in Lee County, including gymnasium activities and use of the "Rec Room." Enrollment in programs and use of the fitness center may have an additional monthly fee.

Additionally, there is a K-9 Corral Dog Park on site. This dog park features two off-lead play areas for small/shy and large dogs. Please remember to clean up after your pet. The park features water and shower stations for our canine friends to use while they exercise and socialize. For more information, click here.

Congo River Golf - 24270 S Tamiami Tr, Bonita Springs, FL

Play award-winning miniature golf at Congo River Golf. Experience tranquil waterfalls, mysterious caves, tropical rainforests, challenging golf holes, and more as you follow in the footsteps of Stanley and Livingstone on an unforgettable African adventure. It’s fun exploring the Congo during the day and at night, under the stars!

Search for lost artifacts, feed live gators, mine for gemstones, and challenge your skills in the arcade. Birthday celebrations and group parties provide fun for all ages. Grab a putter and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! For more information, click here.

Tropical Breeze Fun Park - 234 Santa Barbara Blvd, Cape Coral, FL

Enjoy a deluxe, beautifully landscaped, tropical miniature golf course featuring cascading waterfalls, adventurous holes, and the signature world’s longest mini-golf hole. The Tropical Breeze Extreme Outdoor laser tag is the first of its kind in this area. It features state-of-the-art equipment and delivers fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping fun.

The park is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and now serves beer, wine, wine slushies, pina colada, and strawberry daiquiris for adult guests. For more information, click here.

Cape Coral Sports Complex - 1410 Sports Blvd, Cape Coral, FL

This 52-acre park, which opened in March 1994, is the largest of the city of Cape Coral’s athletic facilities. It is the home of the Cape Coral Youth Soccer Association for ages 4 to 16 and Junior and Big League Baseball for ages 13 to 18. It also houses Adult Men’s softball leagues and hosts many state and national tournaments throughout the year.

Amenities include five lighted soccer fields, five lighted softball fields, four lighted regulation baseball fields, picnic shelters available on a first-come-first-serve basis, picnic tables, playground equipment for children ages two to 12, restrooms, and three concession stands. For more information, click here.