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Bonita Springs, Florida
Bonita Beach
Bonita Beach
Official seal of Bonita Springs, Florida
Etymology: Spanish: bonita (beautiful), English: beautiful springs
Gateway to the Gulf
"Small Town Charm Big Bright Future"
Location in Lee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Location in Lee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Country United States
State Florida
County Lee
Established December 31, 1999 (1999-12-31)
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 46.51 sq mi (120.47 km2)
 • Land 38.42 sq mi (99.50 km2)
 • Water 8.09 sq mi (20.96 km2)  13.95%
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total 53,644
 • Density 1,396.32/sq mi (539.12/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 239
FIPS code 12-07525
GNIS feature ID 0279207

Bonita Springs is a city in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 43,914 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, on the state's southwest coast.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.0 square miles (106 km2), of which 35.3 square miles (91 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (13.95%) is water.

The city is located on both Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The area referred to as Bonita Beach is located on a road-accessible barrier island (Little Hickory Island) that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay. The Imperial River flows through the downtown district of the city and empties out into Estero Bay.

Climate and weather

The city lies in the tropical climate zone, having a mean January temperature of 65 °F (18 °C). Hurricane Wilma made landfall south of Bonita Springs on October 24, 2005.

Points of interest

  • Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs - an arts organization that hosts local, regional and national traveling art exhibitions; a year long Performance Series featuring jazz, classical and rock music, dance and theater; arts classes in all disciplines and multiple community events. The organization has two campuses, the 10-acre Center for Visual Arts with galleries, studios, classrooms, art library and offices; and 1.8 miles south, the 4-acre Center for Performing Arts that features two auditoriums, black box theater, film center, music rooms and studios for study of performing arts. The organization's Bonita Springs National Art Festivals, ranked high in US are held January, February and March in downtown Historic Bonita Springs.
  • Bonita Beach Park - a 2.5-acre (10,000 m2) beachfront park that features a boardwalk and swimming area. Sand dunes and coastal vegetation surround a gazebo and 8 picnic shelters.
  • Barefoot Beach Preserve Park - is 342 acres (1.38 km2) of natural land and one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida's southwest coast. It is located on the border of Collier and Lee Counties and accessible by Bonita Beach Road. In 2013, Forbes ranked the park's beach as the sixth best in the United States.
  • Little Hickory Island Beach Park.
  • There are also 10 beach accesses with public parking located up and down Bonita Beach.
  • Bonita Springs is located west of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a significant Bald Cypress reserve under management of the National Audubon Society.
  • Lover's Key State Park, a 1,616-acre (6.54 km2) park made up of four barrier islands, is located within the city and just north of Bonita Beach. The park features nature trails for hiking and bicycling, a canoe launch, kayak and canoe rentals, acres of unspoiled mangroves and miles of pristine beaches. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian Manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits and bald eagles.
  • The Everglades Wonder Gardens features a large collection of Florida wildlife including exotic birds, panthers, alligators, flamingos and bears. The facility, originally opened in 1936 as both a wildlife exhibition and a refuge for injured animals, also boasts a botanical garden and a natural history museum.
  • The Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track is located in Bonita Springs.
  • Situated on Big Hickory Island is the Bonita Springs Water Tower. Built in 1982, the water tower stands at 156 feet. The water tower is best viewed during the day; at night the water tower is illuminated only by a blinking red beacon.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 356
1970 1,932
1980 5,435 181.3%
1990 13,600 150.2%
2000 32,797 141.2%
2010 43,914 33.9%
2020 53,644 22.2%

As of the census of 2010, there were 43,914 people living in the city. Household data and density data have not yet been released, but as of the 2009 census estimate, there are 19,233 households, and 12,974 families living in the city. The population density in 2000 was 929.4 inhabitants per square mile (358.8/km2). There were 31,716 housing units at an average density of 661.1 per square mile (255.2/km2). The 2010 racial makeup of the city was 88.8% White, 0.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.5% of the population.

Bonita Beachfront
Bonita Beach, as seen from the Gulf of Mexico

There were 19,233 households in 2009 out of which 16.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 4.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.55.

In 2000, the city the population was spread out, with 13.9% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 19.8% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 31.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The 2009 estimated median income for a household in the city was $53,452, and the median income for a family was $53,436. Males had a median income of $31,227 versus $25,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $37,958. About 6.2% of families and 10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.


While existing primarily as a retirement and second home vacation community, Bonita Springs is home to a growing number of businesses due to low business taxes, an abundance of inexpensive commercial office space, and a growing community of educated professionals.

Homebuilder WCI Communities is headquartered in Bonita Springs.



  • Southwest Florida International Airport in nearby South Fort Myers serves over 8 million passengers annually.
  • Naples Municipal Airport in Naples is a smaller airport primarily for private aviation

Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41 "South Tamiami Trail"
  • Lee County Road 865 FL.svg (County Road 865) Bonita Beach Road / Hickory Boulevard

Mass transportation

Fixed-route bus and trolley service is provided by the Lee County Transit Department, operated as LeeTran.


Seminole Gulf Railway owns and operates a line which passes through the city. The company offers freight service and local, daytime excursions.

Sister city

  • Gruenstadt, Germany


Bonita Springs is served by the Lee County School District.

Notable people

  • Glenn Steil Sr., member of the Michigan Senate

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bonita Springs para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Contemporary Hispanic artists
Firelei Báez
Coco Fusco
Diana Guerrero-Maciá
Harmonia Rosales
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