Lovers Key State Park is ranked No. 1 on Trip Advisor for things to do on Fort Myers Beach.

The park that straddles a series of islands between Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach beat out dozens of other sites for this distinction.

“We are No. 1 out of 43 things to do on Fort Myers Beach,” said park director Gloria Beauchamp. “What makes us No. 1 is we have such a diverse number of activities.”

Beauchamp said the beach park is so much more than sun, surf and sand. There are kayak rentals, bicycle and walking paths, bicycle rentals, bridges over little waterways, fishing and more.

“There are dolphins and manatees so there is a chance for a wildlife encounter,” Beauchamp said. “The gopher tortoises here are pretty cool. We have a lot of birds out here now. You never know what you will see.”

Beautiful beach

“I think our beach is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful beaches in Lee County,” added Katie Moses, park service specialist. “You have the facilities, but you are at a nature beach. You don’t have the condos and the houses. You can find your own spot in the park.”

Another big plus is the parking.

While many beach parking lots fill up by late morning, Lovers Key rarely every gets so full that it has to turn people away. That’s because there are more than 300 parking spots, plus an overflow field that can handle another 100 spots, plus 60-70 more spots at the smaller north entrance.

Jennifer Heiss and Amber Ross of Bonita Springs are regulars.

“Seashells,” Heiss said when asked what she likes best about the park. “I found everything on the board and more.”

Lovers Key has a shell identification board showcasing all the shells that can be found at the beach and Heiss is excited that she has collected them all.

“Definitely the shells and it is a clean beach,” Ross added.

Lovers Key State Park is becoming more popular with the public, both with tourists and locals. The 1,021,061 visitors that came to the park during the July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016 fiscal year was a 9.4 percent increase over the previous year.

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