Spend a relaxing day swimming, fishing and exploring at Barefoot Beach Preserve. This strip of coast is one of the last undeveloped beaches along the Florida coastline and is home to a number of native species of flora and fauna. Enjoy the fresh air and take part in a number of fantastic activities that bring you closer to nature.
The Barefoot Beach Preserve is a barrier island, with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and two bays on the other. This 342-acre (138-hectare) patch of land is connected to the mainland by a thin road surrounded by swamplands and mangroves.
Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the sandy beachfront, which rarely becomes overcrowded except on the hottest summer days. This sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and collecting the shells of all shapes and colors that wash ashore.
Look out to sea to spot a variety of animal species, including dolphins and manatees, that play in the water and ospreys that soar overhead seeking prey. Explore the inland side of the barrier island and see a number of gopher tortoises as well as sabal palms, Florida’s state tree, that populate the tidal creeks and swamplands. Stay for an evening walk down the coastline and admire the sunset.
Explore this natural scenery with a hike through the shady mangroves. A 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) track leads you past incredible scenery. Be sure to wear shoes since the pathways can be rough. Alternatively, enjoy great fishing along the seafront or around the inland swamps where you’ll find rich breeding grounds of sports fish.
For a nice lunch and another view of the stunning coastline, head to the nearby Delnor-Wiggins State Park. Here you can sit at picnic tables provided under shady trees near the beach and purchase food or beach equipment at a convenient concession stand.
Barefoot Beach is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of central Naples. Affordable parking is provided.