Lover’s key state park - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > State Parks
Lover’s Key may sound like a ‘make-out’ point from a 1950’s American teen movie but in reality it’s a popular state park on the west coast of Florida. Situated a short drive from Bonita Springs near Fort Myers, it provides a great day out for Families, Lovers & lonely singletons alike. Spotting wildlife is a key attraction of Lover’s Key State Park; the 2. 5mile stretch of beach offers a great place for some Dolphin spotting out in the ocean. While taking a stroll up and down the sandy beach will offer a treat for the more ornithological minded visitors, there is a plethora of wading birds to see but perhaps the most interesting bird to spot is the iconic Bald Eagle. Seeing this great symbol of the states is about as American as apple pie on the fourth of July and it would be a privilege to discover one of the two nests confirmed at the state park.
The other big draw to wildlife enthusiasts is the somewhat mysterious Manatees. These sea mammals are not known as well as others like the dolphin however this is what makes them so interesting. Set back from the beaches, Lover’s Key State Park also contains a large wooded area with many walking/hiking trails that run adjacent to the rivers that lead to the ocean. This gives visitors an incredible opportunity to catch a glimpse of the manatees. For those unfamiliar with Manatees, they are also known as Sea Cows; but forget the image of a standard brown & white cow doggy-paddling in a flooded field in England, these creatures are a whole lot more spectacular. Imagine a sea lion on steroids as this will give you a rough impression of what they look like.
Now imagine standing at the bank of a river mere metres from these gentle giants as their large grey backs breach the surface of the water. Unfortunately, given that they are hefty big bests this and maybe a snout is about all you’ll manage to glimpse of the animals, but it is worth it. If you go in the autumn months the rivers of Lover’s Key should be teeming with Manatees.
Wildlife spotting isn’t the only thing to do at Lover’s Key. As mentioned above they have lovely sandy beaches for a bit of R& R but if you’re a bit more active the hiking/walking trails are a great way to explore the flora and fauna of the area. And the trees provide nice shade for the more pasty in your party. There are a varying range & length of paths but all are suitable for small children and the less able bodied. Canoes and kayaks are also a good way of exploring the park- unless you have a fear of water, then not so much. However, for the more H2O savvy the canoes of a chance of getting closer to and a different perspective of the wildlife and plants.
You could spend a day at Lover’s Key and that would be a perfect amount of time to see all it has to offer, it really does provide an interesting and varied day out for people and groups of all ages. Given that it is a western facing beach it is highly recommended that you stay until sunset if you get the chance. Sitting on a sandy beach looking out at the vast spreading ocean as the sun sinks below the horizon is a truly beautiful part of the Lover’s Key experience. Who knows, maybe some dolphins will leap out of the ocean as the sun sets: to make it a real Hollywood finish to your stay.
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