A gorgeous Florida setting on the Gulf of Mexico, Cape Coral is home to everything to do when the sun is shining, plus so many family-friendly activities. You’ll have a full itinerary before you know it! Check out some of our absolute favorite things to do in the area, and start planning!
Let’s explore the best things to do in Cape Coral:
1. Soak Up Some Sun
One of the most popular beaches lies within the realm of the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park.
This yacht club has been around for nearly 70 years, and is one of the original attractions in the city.
The beach zone offers gorgeous white sand, and plenty of family-friendly space to stretch out and enjoy yourself.
If you’re not feeling your inner beach bum, you can also take advantage of the club’s fishing dock, or their swimming pool.
Check out their events calendar in advance, so you can catch one of their many festivals throughout the year.
2. Check out the Farmers Market
A popular choice over hotels in any Florida beach town is a rentable condo.
As such, you’ll find many families doing their own cooking during their stay.
So where better to shop for fresh Floridian produce than the Cape Coral farmers market? Find fresh veggies and fruits (all well priced), flowers and even some great souvenirs handmade in the area.
3. Splash Around
If you’re more into water parks than sea water, you may want to take the kids to Sunsplash Family Waterpark.
They have 14 acres of aquatic fun, including water slides, a lazy river and a toddler section.
This is the largest waterpark in the southwestern portion of the state! They’re open March through September, and there are a few nights a month that they stay open late, for family fun and movies in the pool!
4. Hike the Ecological Preserve
Head to Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve and enjoy the boardwalk that winds its way through marshy jungle and straight to the waterfront.
There are kayak rentals if you want to float around a bit, or you can take in some history at the Iwo Jima Monument.
You’ll find a real sense of the Floridian landscape, back before the jungle was paved to make way for high-rise hotels and endless condominiums.
You may even spot some dolphins if you’re lucky.
Just be sure to bring the bug repellent!
5. Visit the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden
The Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden provides the native butterflies with a spot to live in relative peace and harmony, away from their natural predators.
Butterflies in this garden often start out as babies, and are allowed to grow to maturity, before they’re released into the wild.
This stop is a great educational opportunity, as it allows visitors to see the entire lifecycle of the insect, as well as learn about various different butterfly species.
Better yet, tours are free for the entire family, so long as you visit on a Monday, Friday or Saturday morning.
6. Invest in Your Veterans
The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library began with help from the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation, and now has a new home as of five years ago, in a 34,000-square-foot facility.
It’s the largest military museum in southwest Florida, and features artifacts, books and papers on all American wars, conflicts and important events.
The family-friendly museum includes 60 fully-dressed mannequins, a theater and various display stations.
You’ll find the majority of the artifacts and information stem from World War II, but there are many other time periods celebrated as well.
7. Explore More History
The Cape Coral Historical Museum offers three exhibit buildings and a historic rose garden, which is often one of the favorite aspects of the experience.
The focus is on the history of the city, and shows its development over the years.
Interesting artifacts from the area include those found at Native American archaeological sites.
The tour of the Florida Friendly Garden is free and teaches visitors how to take best advantage of green space; however, the regular museum tours are hardly pricey, at only $5 for both the guided and the self-guided tours.
8. Eat Some Seafood
You can’t leave the Gulf Coast and Cape Coral without enjoying some freshly caught seafood that just so happened to be hanging out in the ocean moments before.
You can find just about any kind of seafood restaurant here, whether you’re looking for an elegant and upscale dining experience, or you’d rather have a classic, roadside stand-type lobster joint.
Whatever your preference, Cape Coral has it, and to fit any budget.
Lobster, scallops, oysters, local fish — you can find it all.
If you’re not keen on eating out, you can also buy your own at one of the city’s markets, and cook it up at your condo.
9. Head to the Marsh
Go to the Rotary Park Environmental Center for a varying collection of Florida ecosystems.
Set on 97 acres, there’s plenty to explore, see and do, whether you want to take a walking trail, the boardwalk or a kayak.
Check their calendar for regular classes on everything from gardening to exercise, as well as festivals.
If you’re headed to the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden, you’re in luck, because the two are adjacent, making them a convenient stop to get two tastes of Cape Coral’s best at once.
10. Get Your Drink On
Nothing says Caribbean like rum, and, being on the Gulf, you knew you’d have to find some here in Cape Coral.
Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum offers award-winning handcrafted libations distilled from sugar cane grown right in the state.
Schedule a tour of the distillery and barrel room, to see how the delicious drink is made, and even get to sample a few limited editions that aren’t available to the public quite yet.
Tours are available Tuesdays, Thursdays, Friday nights and Saturdays, and a reservation is required.
While children are allowed on the tour if accompanied by an adult, this may be one Florida activity that you save for yourself.
11. See a Show
The longest-running theater in southwest Florida, the Cultural Park Theatre’s season runs from September to May, and puts on Broadway favorites such as “Chicago” and “South Pacific.” There are almost 200 seats, and they’ve been showing off the local talent since the 1960s.
In addition, the venue also hosts an art gallery, with a new set of artwork displayed for each show. Performances are weekend nights, with a matinee on Saturday and Sunday.
Check out the season to see what catches your fancy!
12. Watch the Cardboard Boat Regatta
One of the favorite annual events around the area is the Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta, held in April.
This is one you’ll want to mark on your calendar, as it’s a load of fun, whether you watch or participate.
Groups band together to create a cardboard (yes, cardboard!) boat and then race them in, yes, the water.
While cardboard and water usually don’t mix, you’ll find that these experts have made it work, and have even come up with some pretty ingenious (and sophisticated!) designs.
13. Attend the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts
Each January, Cape Coral attracts hosts of visitors who come into town for a little bit of art to go with the great weather.
Tons of exhibitors bring their wares for display and shopping, and food vendors are on site to fulfill all your festival food cravings (as well as give you a sampling of the local restaurants, so you know where you want to head later!). For the kids, there’s a rock climbing wall, a play area and an activity center, so they’ll be just as pleased to show up as you are!
14. Enjoy Art All Year-Round
If you’re not heading to Cape Coral in January, you can still catch a glimpse of the region’s art world by heading to Harbour View Gallery.
It’s the only artists-owned co-op in the region, with galleries changing each month.
Public receptions are held each month as well, so check their calendar to see if you’ll be in town to catch the unveiling of the month’s artist!
15. Go Beer Tasting
If you’re not into rum, but you still want to enjoy the area’s best beverages, go to Cape Coral Brewing Company, a venue that’s relatively new on the city’s scene.
The local craft brewery is more than happy to serve you up a cold one, but you can also take advantage of one of their events or tours.
The self-guided tours are available throughout the day, but if you visit on the weekend, you can enjoy a guided tour by one of their professionals, who will not only tell you all about the company, but also teach you quite a lot about the work and machinery that goes into brewing a craft beer.
16. Get on the Water
If you’d rather be on the water than in it, look into one of the many different tourism providers around the city that offer boat tours.
You’ll be able to safely see some of the area’s best ocean life, including dolphins and manatees, and learn about the native bird species, such as pelicans, osprey and eagles.
Depending on the provider you choose, you may be able to schedule a sunset cruise, or choose the size of boat you’d prefer to be on, whether that’s a larger or smaller vessel.
There are several different routes to choose from as well, so you can pick what interests you most.
17. See Some Soccer
You’d probably not guess it, but Cape Coral is actually home to their very own professional men’s soccer team! A part of the National Premier Soccer League, the Cape Coral Hurricanes are a 4th Division team within the Sunshine Conference, which includes teams in the South, like those in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Atlanta.
The regular season runs May through August, with pre-scrimmage and pre-season games in March and April, so you can find a game most of the year.
Tickets are very affordable and parking is $2 or free.
18. Go Golfing
Golfing and Florida go pretty much hand in hand, so you’ll want to check out the 18-hole, Arthur Hills-designed Coral Oaks Golf Course.
The beautiful setting makes it a pleasure to play, as you look out over eight lakes and 37 bunkers.
In addition to the course itself, there’s a huge practice facility, with a driving range, chipping area and putting green.
You can also stick around and enjoy the on site restaurant.
There are also PGA professionals on staff to help you brush up on your golf skills, with some private lessons or a golf clinic.
19. Set Sail on the River
While the ocean is certainly a Cape Coral draw, the Caloosahatchee River is a nice change of pace.
At the mouth of the river, there’s a wildlife refugee for manatees, that you’ll want to check out.
Otherwise, up and down the 67-mile river, perfect stopping points dot the trail.
There are historic attractions, hiking, biking, horseback riding, birding, boating and more.
You may even find the perfect spot to enjoy some freshly caught seafood, or be able to hop on a river cruise.
Of course, if nothing catches your fancy, you can feel free to float along for as long as the river will take you.
20. Go Fishing
If all this talk of fresh seafood doesn’t make you hungry so much as it makes you want to grab your rod and reel, make sure to schedule a fishing charter boat to take you out on the water.
Your boat will be captained by a licensed professional, and you can either bring your own equipment or rent.
You’ll be able to catch giant tarpon, trout, redfish, snook and more.
You can also try shelling, and you’re even able to find some charter boats that’ll take you out for shark fishing!
21. Head to the Islands
You can drive to a number of heavenly island spots from your base in Cape Coral, all within less than an hour thanks to the city’s great location.
These are none of your top Florida tourist traps, either.
Try Sanibel Island on for size, for quaint and homey restaurants and local shops in an island setting, surrounded by white, sandy beaches.
You can also go to Captiva Island, where there are more than 300 species of shells.
In fact, it’s a favorite place for many tourists (and locals alike) to go shelling.
22. Bike Your Way Around Town
Bicycling is a great way to see Cape Coral, so don’t pass up on taking one of the easily found rentable bikes for a spin around town.
The League of American Bicyclists have even named Cape Coral a designated Bicycle Friendly Community! There are more than 90 miles of interconnected bike routes, and they’ll take you to some of the best scenic spots, such as the Caloosahatchee River, the canals, marinas and more.
All you have to do is hop on your bike and ride to wherever the road takes you!
23. Dig in the Mud with a Fossil Hunt
That’s right! You can take the kids on a hunt for fossils within the southwestern Florida rivers and streams.
Fossil Expeditions provides you the opportunity to head to a real dig site to mess around in the mud and excavate your very own fossil to take home with you.
Expect to find lots of alligator bones and shark teeth! This is the perfect outing for a family with dinosaur-crazy kids, or just a few grown friends who dreamed of starring in Jurassic Park! Be prepared, though — you will have to drive a little out of your way to get to the remote dig site.
24. Hit the Skate Park
For those who are more Tony Hawk than Ross Geller, it may be more tempting to head to Eagle Skate Park, one of the largest skate facilities between Tampa and Miami.
There are nearly 27,000 square feet of skate space, with challenges for your experienced skaters, and newbie-friendly spots for those who aren’t quite sure of their skills.
You can watch the kids from the pavilion, or join in.
Kids must have parental consent before heading inside, and, of course, all safety gear is required.
25. Shop and Dine at Cape Harbour
Cape Harbour is a trending neighborhood in Cape Coral, with waterfront restaurants and local shops that sell lots more than just your average souvenirs.
You’ll find that the farmers market sets up here for a few hours each Saturday, and there are several events that occur yearly, such as Oktoberfest, fishing tournaments and charitable events.
It’s the perfect setting for a leisurely evening stroll and a bite to eat, after a fun day enjoying the best outdoor activities that this picturesque Florida town offers its many guests.