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Neighborhood Spotlight: Estero

Locals may say “Bonita Springs Estero” all in one breath, but it’s worth getting to know each of these neighborhoods all on their own. If you’re searching for top-tier shopping and outdoor exploration, Estero is the place to start your adventures.

You could spend the entire day shopping at Coconut Point Mall, where over 110 brand-name shops and popular restaurants are surrounded by an easy-to-stroll boardwalk. After a busy day of shopping, grab a seat on the patio of the Marlin Bar at Tommy Bahama for cocktails and light bites.

At Miromar Outlets, over 140 premier outlet shops and restaurants are wide open for business — and kids will enjoy a break in the outdoor play area, climbing walls and the hands-on STEMLAB, as well as meeting the resident ducks and koi fish. For a fun evening out at Miromar, Ford’s Garage has a huge selection of craft beer and some of the best burgers in town. On Saturdays, the weekly farmers market brings a buzz of activity that’s perfect for sipping a fresh lemonade while picking out baked goods and locally made crafts. 

Learn more about this corner of Southwest Florida at the Estero Historical Society’s One-Room Schoolhouse and Cottage Museum, open every Saturday and by appointment. Your visit will illuminate the local lifestyle from the early 1900s, while the adjacent gift shop offers crafts, artwork and other artisan-made goods.

While outdoor spaces currently have limited amenities, you can still come and enjoy the experience. Share the trails with local wildlife and native plants at Estero Bay Preserve State Park. Wander among the oak trees of Koreshan State Park where remains of a settlement offer a window into a world where communal pioneers once lived.

If the water is calling you, Estero River Outfitters can equip you to get out on the Estero River — where a gentle current carries you along a few miles of mangroves and scrub forests. Travel deeper into the Florida Everglades at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. A 2.25-mile boardwalk meanders through a variety of ecosystems, connecting pine flatwoods and the largest old-growth bald cypress forest in North America through a watery marsh.

See what Estero has waiting for you, and pay a visit to its neighbor, Bonita Springs to explore history and adventure.