Top 12 Boating Communities in Southwest Florida

Posted by Katie Egan on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 at 10:06am

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Whether you are looking for a place to retire, or you’re just looking to live in paradise, Southwest Florida is a great place to do both. Spending time on the water is like a national pastime here, and it’s one of the many reasons people choose to live here. If that sounds like you, there are a variety of boating communities in Southwest Florida offering you myriad choices.  

We get it. We’re boaters ourselves. If you’re not sure which boating community in Southwest Florida is right for you, we can break down each location by price, amenities and lifestyle. Let us know if you’re looking for a home that’s bayfront, canal-front or Gulf-front. Our real estate agents will answer any questions you have and get your search for your next dream home on track so you can check off all of the boxes on your wish list. We make it easy, you make it home. 

From Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero to Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Sanibel and Captiva Islands, depending on your lifestyle, price range and desire for amenities, there are countless options. And we can help you narrow them down. Some boating communities in Southwest Florida are gated, offer golf, restaurants, boat launch areas, private docks, boat storage and full-service marinas. 

In no particular order, here are the top 12 boating communities in Southwest Florida:

  1. Bonita Bay

  2. Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club

  3. Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club

  4. Port Royal

  5. Park Shore 

  6. Bay Beach 

  7. Town & River Estates

  8. Cape Harbour 

  9. Tarpon Point Marina

  10. Pelican Landing

  11. Hidden Harbor

  12. Palmetto Point

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Bonita Bay in Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs is one of the most desired areas to live in Southwest Florida, and Bonita Bay is where everyone wants to call home. In addition to a full-service marina with access to the Gulf of Mexico, there is also a private beach and three on-site championship golf courses at the Bonita Bay Club. The master-planned, gated community is situated among 1,400 acres of lush foliage, surrounded by Estero Bay, Spring Creek and the Imperial River. When you’re not on the water, you can relax in one of the community’s two clubhouses and Lifestyle Center. The full-service Bonita Bay Marina has everything you’ll need. It’s equipped with dry storage for 326 boats and 98 wet slips. There is also a fuel dock, boat launch, bait shop, Ships Store, and waterfront restaurant. If you’re new to the area, don’t worry. Residents can pick up a chart at the Ships Store with information about how to navigate to the Gulf of Mexico from the marina. If this sounds like the place for you, homes for sale in Bonita Bay include coach homes, single-family homes, luxury high-rises and villas.

Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club in Fort Myers

Homes for sale in Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club are in a prime location along the Caloosahatchee River, making it one of the best boating communities in Southwest Florida. In addition to the full-service deep-water marina, the gated community is also home to an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a waterfront restaurant, and other luxury amenities. Located about 20 minutes from the downtown Fort Myers River District, Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club is on 547 acres of riverfront property and consists of more than 1,600 single-family homes, high-rise and mid-rise condos, coach homes and townhouses. And with 26 neighborhoods, we’re sure you’ll be able to find something you love. 

Port Royal in Naples

Port Royal is not your typical neighborhood. It’s a lifestyle community. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay, Port Royal offers a wide range of real estate from custom-built estate homes to single-family homes that range in size from 3,000 to more than 18,000 square feet. Its main thoroughfare, Gordon Drive, is impeccably landscaped and the homes along the road each have their own unique character. Port Royal homes for sale feature easy access to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and some are located directly on the Gulf. If you are looking for a luxury waterfront estate where you don’t have to go far to get to the emerald-turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, we have a variety of Port Royal homes for sale we think you’ll love. 

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Park Shore in Naples

One of the most appealing things about homes for sale in Park Shore is that most of them are either on the water or within a couple of blocks from it. From high-rise condos to single-family homes, Park Shore boasts 760 acres of pristine waterfront property. Most homes offer docks and are located on Inner Doctors Bay, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico. They are also a stone’s throw from the Village Shops on Venetian Bay, which will make you feel like you’re in Venice, Italy. Enjoy the restaurants that overlook the bay and indulge in shopping in the various boutiques. It’s also the only place you’ll find a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream store in Southwest Florida.

Bay Beach on Fort Myers Beach

You’ll find Bay Beach on the southern end of Fort Myers Beach. The development features panoramic views of boats gliding by on Estero Bay. You may even see a dolphin or two. Most of the buildings in this mid- to high-rise condo community feature boat docks that can be rented. Some docks are also deeded with the condo. These homes embody luxury waterfront living at its finest, and they’re located on the quiet end of Estero Island. Many units have been upgraded with modern finishes, gourmet-style kitchens and spa-like bathrooms. In addition to the docks, the community also offers resort-style amenities including heated pools and saunas, barbeque grills, a fishing pier and tennis courts. Homes for sale in Bay Beach feature views of Ostego Bay and Coon Key. Boaters can access the Gulf of Mexico via Big Carlos Pass from Ostego Bay. Condo communities within Bay Beach consist of Royal Pelican, Hibiscus Pointe, Casa Marina Condos, Harbour Pointe, the Palms of Bay Beach, Waterside and Condo Dolphin Pointe. 

Town & River in Fort Myers, Florida

Town & River is one of the best boating communities in Southwest Florida. It’s located directly on the Caloosahatchee River, providing strategic and convenient access to the Gulf of Mexico and the islands of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva. Most homes for sale in Town & River have private docks and consist of riverfront, canal-front and lake-front options. Besides having easy access to the water, Town & River is situated on one of the prime intersections of Fort Myers, McGregor Boulevard and Cypress Lake Drive. You’re close to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and historic downtown Fort Myers. You’ll also be near the company of some of the most influential minds this country has ever seen. The historic Edison & Ford Winter Estates are just up the road. 

Cape Harbour in Cape Coral

Cape Coral is one of the fastest growing cities in Southwest Florida and Cape Harbour is one of the most popular boating communities in Cape Coral. This yachting community features gated waterfront condos and coach home complexes. The deep water marina with dry and wet slips are the focus of the community, and future residents will also love the on-site art galleries, shops and four different restaurants. Homes for sale in Cape Harbour include waterfront condos, estate homes, waterfront villas and lakefront coach homes. In addition to those options, there are homes available on a private and secluded island called Harbour Preserve. Another choice is Harbour Pointe. The gated enclave offers gorgeous single-family villas. Cape Harbour’s newest neighborhood consists of the Funky Fish Houses. The waterfront Key West style beach cottages range from 1,500 to 4,000 square feet and can be up to four stories tall. Whatever you’re looking for, you should be able to find it in Cape Harbour. 

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Tarpon Point Marina in Cape Coral

Homes for sale in Tarpon Point Marina are located in three different neighborhoods: Tarpon Estates, Tarpon Landings and Tarpon Gardens. They each  have their own amenities and different floor plans. There is also a full-service marina with a depth of eight to 12 feet that can house most watercraft. The fuel dock sells both diesel and gas. Tenants get discounts on fuel and pump-outs are free of charge. The 216 slips can accommodate vessels up to 75 feet with special accommodations for boats up to 100 feet. Tarpon Point is located on the site of the former Rose Garden. It’s a Cape Coral landmark because it was the city’s first tourist attraction. The gated community of Tarpon Point offers beautiful views of the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico beyond from its high-rise luxury condos.   

Pelican Landing in Bonita Springs

Pelican Landing is the perfect community for someone who loves being out on the water, making it one of the best boating communities in Southwest Florida. It has its own private beach and marina. The master planned community features 46 subdivisions with villas, coach homes, luxury condos, townhomes and single-family homes. Boat slips may be leased at Coconut Point Marina, owned by Pelican Landing, and at the Spring Creek dock behind the Pelican’s Nest Golf Club. There is a boat ramp as well. Owners who store their boats off-site will be granted unlimited access for a yearly fee. In addition to the private beach park, future residents who purchase one of the homes for sale in Pelican Landing can take advantage of three 18-hole golf courses, tennis courts, a fitness center, pickleball courts, butterfly garden, bocce ball courts, sailing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing.  

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Hidden Harbor in Fort Myers

Hidden Harbor is an up-and-coming boating community. Homes for sale in Hidden Harbor feature direct Gulf of Mexico access so you won’t waste any time enjoying the salt life. Most homes have water views and private boat slips are available. It’s easy to get to the Gulf of Mexico from Hidden Harbor, too. Boaters will enjoy easy access via the Ten Mile Canal and Estero Bay. 

Palmetto Point in Fort Myers

You’ll find homes for sale in Palmetto Point located just off McGregor Boulevard, which is just a few miles south  of the historic Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Homes in Palmetto Point feature water views and direct access to the Caloosahatchee River. Homes in this community consist of luxury estate homes and most have private docks. This is a true boating community in the heart of Fort Myers, close to the Gulf islands and white sand beaches.

Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club

Homes for sale in the Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club are located in south Fort Myers near Florida Gulf Coast University and the Miromar Outlets open-air shopping center. Home styles include estate and grand estate homes, waterfront homes, coach homes luxury villas and condos. Many are either on the lake or have lake views. If you’re looking for a different type of boating, Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club offers a 700-acre freshwater lake and three miles of sandy beach. Homeowners can use the lake for boating, water-skiing, swimming, jet-skiing, sailing and fishing. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own neighborhood. Future residents can also take advantage of the 39,000-square-foot clubhouse, signature 7,400-yard, par-72 golf course, restaurant, and other luxurious amenities.

Boating on Sanibel and Captiva Islands

The islands of Sanibel and Captiva are very boater friendly. Many homes with docks are on San Carlos Bay or a canal, bayou or pass that leads to the Bay, which has access to the Gulf of Mexico. The island communities are a boater’s paradise and if you’re up for an adventure, there are islands to explore and discover. Cabbage Key is 100 acres and the funky Cabbage Key Inn is a must-visit. Enjoy a great lunch or dinner in the gorgeous rustic house built in 1938, then take a walk on the path to explore the tiny island and climb the observation tower for a great view of Old Florida. The small, private Useppa Island features the Collier Inn, which overlooks Pine Island Sound. Arrange to visit the island and enjoy delicious seafood lunches and dinners in the historic inn with country club ambience and beautiful waterfront views. Be sure to visit the Barbara Sumwalt Museum, named by  the Smithsonian as one of the best small museums in America, while on Useppa. Also explore Cayo Costa, a pristine barrier island, part of which is a state park, with miles of white sand beaches, mangrove swamps, grasslands, pine forests and oak-palm hammocks. 

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Boating Communities on Sanibel Island

There is a public boat ramp on Sanibel Island near the Causeway at 888 Sextant Drive. There is also a marina located next to the popular Gramma Dot’s Restaurant near the lighthouse on the east end of the island. The marina has 65 boat slips for vessels up to 70 feet long. It provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico via Pine Island Sound, and offers a fuel dock, ship’s store and a newly dredged inlet. 

Some popular boating communities on Sanibel Island include Shell Harbor, Sanibel Isles, Woodrings Point, Wulfert, homes on the bayside, homes on Dinkins Bayou and homes on Kinzie Island. Many homes are on canals and some are located directly on the bay. Homes located on canals are a short boat ride from the Gulf. 

  • Shell Harbor is on Lindgren Boulevard off the main thoroughfare, Periwinkle Way.  Homes are on a canal system that leads to Pine Island Sound near the Sanibel Causeway. 

  • Sanibel Isles is off Dixie Beach Boulevard and is near the Woodrings Point boating community. All homes are on canals and some are located directly on Pine Island Sound with easy access to the Gulf. Those who choose homes on canals also enjoy quick access to the Sound and the Gulf.

  • Homes in Woodrings Point feature large homesites and many properties have boat docks. Homes here are a bit more secluded and offer more privacy than other neighborhoods on the island.

  • Many homes for sale in Wulfert are on Dinken Bayou or canals that lead to the Bayou,  Blind Pass,Pine Island Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • There are homes for sale across the Bayou from Wulfert. Properties on Dinken Bayou and the canal leading to it have private docks and access to Blind Pass, Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Homes for sale in Kinzie Island are located on the island’s east end. The large, estate-sized homes have private docks on a canal that leads to Pine Island Sound. 

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Boating Communities on Captiva Island

On Captiva Island there are a few different options. Homes on Roosevelt Channel have docks and offer Gulf access via Blind Pass to the south or Pine Island Sound to the north. If you choose to own a home in South Seas Island Resort, it has two marinas available to homeowners: the Bayside Marina and the Yacht Harbour & Marina. The resort is also a great place to purchase an investment property if you’re interested in our rental management program. In addition to a fabulous place to live, the resort is a popular vacation destination, making it very attractive to renters from all over the world.

Homes for Sale in the Best Boating Communities in Southwest Florida

Boating on the Gulf of Mexico and beautiful inland waters is one of the top reasons people move to Southwest Florida, but there are so many cities and communities that each offer something different. This guide about the top 12 boating communities in Southwest Florida can make it easier for you to decide which one is best for you. When you decide, we’ll be there to help you find your dream waterfront home.

Look forward to days with perfect Southwest Florida weather when you can cruise through channels and passes into the Gulf of Mexico, look out at the peaceful emerald-blue waves and enjoy the warm sunshine on your face. Pull up near a small island for lunch or boat over to one of the many restaurants along the coast for a bite to eat. Stay out for the sunset and gaze at the pink, mango and violet colors. It’s easy to feel peaceful here and let all of your worries slip away. Life is just simpler when you’re out on the water. 

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