Cayo Costa State Park is one of Florida's best-kept secrets. The barrier island is only accessible by boat. Activities ... More
Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa State Park is one of Florida's best-kept secrets. The barrier island is only accessible by boat. Activities include hiking, swimming, fishing and shelling. If you go swimming, there are no lifeguards, but there is a shark named Old Henry. You can camp in tents or rent cabins for USD20 per night. There is no electricity on the island, and all supplies must be brought with you. There are bathrooms and showers. Watch for wildlife, like raccoons and wild hogs. Cabins must be reserved 11 months in advance. This place is open daily from 8 AM.
I loved how secluded and peaceful camping at Cayo Costa was. You really get away from it all when you camp here. Kayaking was wonderful, full of manatees in a bay. Downside, if you don't have a boat, it's an expensive place to camp at $26 extra a person just to get there on the ferry. Then there's the having to drag your stuff down the sand trails to your campsite. It's inconvenient not having your car, but if you can minimize, a great way to do it!
I don't know what to say. It absolutely took my breath away. Everything there, the water, the plants, the history, was fantastic. But...I camped in a tent sooooo it was a little rough. Of course, there are cabins but I don't think there's any running water in them. You have to walk down to the showers...even that was amazing. While you're showering, the sea breeze is just blowing around you, sending your shampoo in little flurries. :D The downside to that sea breeze is that my tent almost blew over in the night and it rained a lot. But if you enjoy beauty and roughing it, definitely visit Cayo Costa State Park.
I've been there 5 or 6 times in the last 10 years. Even when the camping area is full a few minutes walk will take you to a deserted section of the beach. The water is wonderful and the beach goes on for miles. There is great bird watching: ibis, spoonbills and egrets, ospreys, I once saw a great horned owl right in the campground. All kinds of wildlife viewing as well: dolphins and manatees, skates and rays, feral hogs, alligators, gopher tortoises and other smaller reptiles. There is good shelling, good fishing, good stargazing. Since hurricane Charley there is now very little shade on the island. The island has been restored to it's natural "low growing" state. Tents and cabins can be hot in the middle of the day. Non-swimmers may have trouble cooling off sufficiently in the hotter months. You may want to bring a tarp/sun shelter to provide shade. You need to bring everything with you as all there is to purchase is ice. (Which you will want.) There is running water and flush toilets but only cold showers. No electricity. The bugs can be bad. Do not go without plenty of DEET and sunscreen of course. Last time I took a "all natural" bug dope and boy was I sorry. Much more bothered by bugs than during "pre-Charley" trips. My companion was also bothered even with DEET. I was able to get cell phone reception with my provider so family could leave messages for me in case of emergency.
Camped for long weekends prior to Charlie. Haven't been since. If you like all the comforts that electricity can offer this is NOT the place for you. If you like to get away from it all this IS the place for you. Probably one of my favorite spots. BEAUTIFUL beaches and even more beautiful sunsets! Rangers are friendly and helpful. Would like to know what it's like now - - without the trees. MISS IT
We loved our trip! We went on the overnite camping trip and rented one of the cabins (only $30/day!) Everyone there was really nice and the park rangers were super! If you feel the need for all the modern conveniences of home this may not be the place for you. There are restrooms and showers available but no electricity. We bought a couple of battery operated fans from Wal-Mart and those came in handy, as it only got down to about 75 that evening. The beaches were great and the shells we found were unreal! Reservations can be made on-line and specific cabins and/or tent-sites can be reserved. Also make sure if you don't have a boat to reserve transportation. We used the Tropic Star Ferry. Also be sure to take all the food and drinks you need. You can purchase ice from the ranger station. It is sold by the scoop (kinda like a shovel) and they were very generous on the amount! If you are camping there is no limit to the amount of "stuff" you can bring, and the park has a "shuttle" that will take you right to your campsite. We are planning a trip back for a week in May! Can't wait!
Cayo Costa is a must see for anyone who loves Florida's beaches. We live on the mainland and felt we were hundreds of miles away while camping there. The cabins are rustic enough to feel you are still "roughing it", but offer that extra protection from cold fronts and busy racoons. The park rangers were awesome and go the extra mile to make sure you're safe, comfortable, and having fun. We're going back monthly now!!!!!!!!!
Lakes Park is a popular recreational area in Fort Myers. The 279 acre park has 158 acres of fresh water
lakes for swimming, fishing for bass and catfish, and canoeing. Swimming season with lifeguards is Memorial Day to Labor ...