Naples vs. Bonita Springs

Those looking into Naples for a second home, often have heard of Bonita Springs and Estero as an alternative to Naples. These communities are located between Ft. Myers FL and the Naples area – mostly on the east side of the Estero Bay. Bonita and Estero both offer housing developments built to appeal to second home owners. There are also many neighborhoods with mostly local working residents, which would be more affordable than similar neighborhoods in Naples.

There are many golf course communities in Bonita Springs and Estero, both of the bundled golf type and equity golf courses. There are high rise communities offering fantastic views of the Estero Bay and Gulf of Mexico. There are also communities with large estates homes, with homes selling in the multi-million dollar range. Amenities range from golf courses, tennis club, boat access, or ferry’s across Estero Bay to the beach. Bonita Springs and Estero offer a wide assortment of different community types and home styles for second home buyers.

A large part of the population in the Bonita Springs and Estero access to their community by way of US41 (Tamiami Trail). Many of the main entrances to the communities are off US41. Either from the west or east side of US 41. Most of the area’s shopping and retail is also located on US41.

There is no downtown area in the region or central hub. The biggest destination areas would be the Coconut Point off of US41 and Gulf Coast Town Center off of Interstate I75. Both are large outdoor malls with big box stores, national retailers, boutiques and restaurants.

As Bonita Springs and Estero are east of the Estero Bay, most residents will have a good distance to travel around it for beach access. Either head south to Bonita Beach Road and then west to the beach. Or as an alternative, travel north to the Ft. Myers beach or south to the Naples beaches.

Naples Florida vs. Bonita Springs and Estero

Naples is located in Collier County, while Bonita Springs and Estero are located in Lee County. The two counties are very different from each other. 

Naples property taxes are much lower than those in Lee County as Naples market values of homes overall are higher, and with a greater proportion of second home owners, there are fewer children per housing unit in Naples vs. Bonita Springs/Estero (i.e. less schools required).

There are several major differences between the Naples FL area, and Bonita Springs/Estero.

  • Beach Access – To find a beach, in Naples, just head west, northwest or southwest and you have easy access to any number of the Naples area beaches. In Estero and Bonita Springs, residents either head south to the Bonita Beach Access or north to the Fort Myers Beach access, by traveling around Estero Bay. Residents in Estero will have a lengthy drive to a beach access point.
  • Dining and Shopping – Dining and shopping districts in Naples are throughout the area, they could be north, south, east and west of where you live. In Bonita and Estero, they are mainly along the major highways and mostly US41.
  • A Downtown – Naples has a very charming downtown area, referred to as “Olde Naples” which borders the beach. It is a popular destination spot, with many community activities, restaurants, bars, shops and services. It helps bind the area together. No such hub in Bonita or Estero.
  • Destination Areas – Naples has many destination areas beside Olde Naples which not only draws local residents, but residents and visitor from all over southwest Florida
  • Property Values – Because of these differences, property value are higher in Naples vs. Estero and Bonita Springs.
  • Regional Airport - The regional airport in Ft. Myers is closer to Bonita Springs and Estero, making those area very convenient for those second home owners that go back and forth often.

Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida extends from Cape Coral in the Northern end to Marco Island at the southern end, about a 90 mile distance.

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