Last week I had my last post on my adventures in the Deep South, and after visiting New Orleans, Alabama, and Mississippi, I went to Florida to visit my family. They recently moved to Fort Myers, and I visited them last March and wrote a post about some hidden gems there, and I’ve visited them twice since this trip so be on the lookout for lots of fun Florida posts in the future! Whenever I visit, we always go to beaches in Bonita Springs, and they are some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to in the U.S.! 🙂
We go to the beaches in Bonita Springs at Big Hickory and Lovers Key State Park instead of Fort Myers because the Fort Myers beach is more crowded, and I’m always a fan of empty beaches. There are lots of pretty shells and you can rent jet skis (which will be in a future post!) and paddle boards, AND there are tons of dolphins and manatees that swim really close to shore! 🙂 (And yes, I took lots of photos of them!)
The day I took most of these photos was pretty cloudy and the water was rough (this was during Hurricane Harvey and right before Hurricane Irma), so if you want to see them on a sunny day, check out my Fort Myers post.
I love these purple flowers all over the beach!
You can see lots of hermit crabs crawling around!
These photos don’t show you exactly how close these dolphins were to the shore, but they were probably only 20 feet from me! My dad swims in the ocean, and they were swimming all around him. I’ve seen dolphins almost every time I’ve been to the beaches in Bonita Springs, and they’re pretty amazing to see jumping around in person!
We also saw a manatee! They’re very friendly and are known for coming up to people in the water and rolling over for a belly rub, so I was in the water part of the time hoping he would come up to me, but sadly he didn’t. He did pop his nose up and look around a lot though! I saw a manatee in the ocean during another trip to Florida and that one didn’t pop up nearly as often as this one. This manatee was even closer to the shore than the dolphins, and he was swimming in water that only came partway up my thighs.
If you’ve read my many beach posts, you know I can’t go to the beach without getting photos of the sunset! (If you’re interested on seeing them, I have posts on Daufuskie Island, Chincoteague Island, Florida, and the Amalfi Coast). Like most photographers, it’s no secret that I do edit my photos some, but I barely did anything to these sunset photos because the colors were so vibrant! You should definitely watch the sun rise and set on the beach if you’re ever in Florida.
If you’re shooting a sunset, don’t forget to look at the sky behind you! The colors tend to be more pastel, and I loved how the colors looked with the softness of the clouds.
I have never seen these colorful beams after a sunset before! I have no idea how the sunset had this effect, and I haven’t seen it since
If you’re visiting southwest Florida, I highly recommend going to the beaches in Bonita Springs! The water is such a pretty turquoise (when there isn’t a hurricane), and the beaches are beautiful and empty 🙂