Things to Do in Southwest Florida for Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted by on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 at 12:05pm


One of our favorite things about the holiday is that there are always things to do in Southwest Florida for Thanksgiving. From shelling, beach days, cruising the Gulf on the boat, to nature hikes, Southwest Florida has it all. Come visit us and celebrate Thanksgiving the Florida way.

We’ve compiled a list of things to do for Thanksgiving in Southwest Florida. Celebrate the holiday, Florida-style. The weather will be nice so you can go to the beach for a picnic or to watch the sunset. Or you can look for seashells. And then there’s always shopping! Southwest Florida has a ton of malls and shopping centers with all of the big brand name stores you can take advantage of. From the Promenade at Bonita Bay to shops on Sanibel Island, you should be able to find whatever you’re looking for! There's something to do for each member of the family.

Things to Do in Bonita Springs and Estero for Thanksgiving 


  • Learn About the Origins of Koreshan State Park. All state parks are open on Thanksgiving weekend, and this is your chance to see how the Koreshans in Estero used to live. They built their settlement in 1893 and they believed they would live forever. See 11 restored buildings and get a glimpse into their lives.

  • Experience the Real Florida Landscape at Lovers Key State Park. This is what the Sunshine State looked like before people began to build things and develop the land. There are hiking trails, kayaks, the beach and so much more. Enjoy a picnic with your loved ones or just get back to the simple things and enjoy the natural surroundings. Lovers Key State Park is located in Bonita Springs.

Things to Do in Cape Coral for Thanksgiving

  • Visit the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. There is a nature trail, seasonal kayak rentals, picnic areas, Veterans Memorial area and it’s the second-largest preserved green space in the city. You may even see ibis, eagles, herons, and other migratory and wading birds. 

  • Check Out the Rotary Park Environmental Center Near Tarpon Point. This Cape Coral park has a playground, nature trails, butterfly house, native and butterfly gardens, an observation tower and picnic shelters with barbeque grills. The center is used for a mix of programs, activities and classes. If you want to go for a walk and enjoy the weather, one of the trails snakes through mangrove wetlands and ends an area of shallow flats and oyster bars called at Glover Bight, which is a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. The park is also part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Things to Do in Fort Myers for Thanksgiving 

  • Visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates for Holiday Nights. See the Fort Myers property lit up with thousands of lights. There will be live music, crafts, Inside the Homes tours and food and beverages. The homes will be adorned with historic decorations, too.

Things to Do on Fort Myers Beach for Thanksgiving 


  • Check Out the American Sand Sculpting Championship. It is the largest sand sculpting competition in the U.S. and more than 30 artists from eight countries will compete in a sequence of contests to see who will be crowned the winner. Trust us; you’ve never seen sand castles like these before! 

  • Go to the Beach! One of the greatest perks about staying on Fort Myers Beach is that you’re not far from a fun-filled day at one of Southwest Florida’s greatest attractions. There’s plenty of space for everyone and when you want to get up and cool off, you can walk up and down the pier. Feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes. 

  • Take a Tour of the Mound House. Tours of the 2,000-year-old shell mound are offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. There are also engaging and interactive activities for you to learn about the Calusa Indians and their culture. They made the shell mounds and were the area’s first settlers. 

Things to Do in Naples for Thanksgiving 

  • See a Movie! Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to turn off your phone and get lost in a movie. Silverspot Cinema at the Mercato has comfortable seats and great food and beverage options. You’ll have everything you need to sit back and enjoy the show.

  • Try the Gordon River Greenway. Located about 15 minutes North of Downtown Naples, you can walk or bike and you'll feel like you've been transported away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's a good place to go and recharge and think about what you're thankful for. 

Things to Do on Sanibel and Captiva for Thanksgiving 


  • Rent a Kayak or Standup Paddleboard. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are some of the most scenic places in Southwest Florida. Rent a kayak and see the island from a different perspective. When in doubt, visit one of the beaches on either island. You can't go wrong. 

Staying in Southwest Florida for Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for cold weather, fall leaves and scarves and chunky sweaters, but there are plenty of things to do in Southwest Florida for Thanksgiving and tons of reasons why it’s a magical place to be during the holidays. The palm trees are lit up and it feels even more like paradise. The weather is favorable so you can get out and explore this beautiful tropical jungle. Or you can take the boat or kayak out and explore the tranquil emerald-turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico.

Thanksgiving is about getting back to the simple things and spending precious time with your loved ones and there are countless things to do to make the holiday and Thanksgiving weekend even more memorable. Contact us today to learn more.

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