Main Content

Insider’s Guide to The Best Things to Do in Estero, FL

blue post lamp on street

Estero is a is a delightful village located between Naples and Fort Myers in Southwest Florida. Here in the warm weather of Southern Florida, life is easy and exciting with so much to see and do. There are golf courses, (of course), but also wonderful open land that hikers can explore, rich in beauty as well as history. There are also great shopping and dining options for both casual dining and for times when you want something a little more upmarket. Add to this that Estero is also near enough to large cities like Sarasota, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Jacksonville, and you have even more amenities and destinations to enjoy, including beaches and the bay allowing for water and outdoor activities.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best things to see and do in Estero, to help visitors and even those who may be thinking that a place in Southwest Florida might be a great place to call home.

Historical Tours

Koreshan State Park

One of the best things to do in Estero is to discover the town’s remarkable history, something which is preserved and showcased in Koreshan State Park. Among magnificent oak trees lining the banks of the Estero River, Koreshan State Park offers a glimpse of the life and times of the Florida pioneers.

A religious sect founded in 1893 by Dr. Cyrus R. Teed, the Koreshans established a community that cultivated a farm, nursery, and botanical gardens. They were also known for their innovative use of electricity, which provided not only for the needs of the community but for their neighbors as well. In case you’re wondering, the Koreshans have nothing to do with the infamous David Koresh who gained notoriety in Waco.

The park is home to 11 immaculately restored and nationally registered historic buildings erected by the Koreshans some two centuries ago. Worth checking out are the Founder’s House, Planetary Court building, and Damkohler’s cabin.

Watch how food was prepared from scratch and cooked on a 19th-century wood-burning stove. A peek at the industrial area reveals the 1929 Fairbanks-Morse Engine and the machine shop. Guided tours, conducted by seasoned volunteer and ranger staff, are available year-round.

There are also 60 campsites, all with electricity and water, picnic tables and fire rings. RV campers have access to a dump station. Washers, dryers, sinks, and vending machines are available at the bathhouse. The campground is pet-friendly but dogs must be kept on a leash.

Wildlife Viewing

Along with both native and non-native species, gopher tortoises have made Koreshan State Park their home. These rare land-dwelling reptiles are considered threatened in Florida under the Endangered Species Act.

Gopher tortoises play a crucial role in Florida ecosystems, as over 350 other animals use their burrows as habitat for finding food, shelter from fires and predators, and protection from the elements.

Sporting yellow-orange and brown colors, gopher tortoises grow from nine to 11 inches, with some up to 15 inches. They can live for as long as 60 years in the wild.

white egret bird

Koreshan State Park is likewise excellent for bird-watching as it is home to over 100 bird species, including swallow-tailed kites, bald eagles, bobwhites, belted kingfishers, and many wading bird species.

Community Parks

Estero Recreational Center and Park

Estero Recreational Center and Park opened on October 30, 2006, a welcome addition to what was then known as the 10-acre Estero Park with just two ball fields off of Williams Road.

Today, the Center is located just off Corkscrew Road west of Three Oaks Parkway at 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd. It occupies over 80 acres and includes a nearly 40,000-square-foot dedicated to recreation, sports, and games.

Spread throughout the Center are activities and facilities for pickleball, bocce courts horseshoes, frisbee (disc) golf course, weightlifting room, table tennis, volleyball, walking, biking, basketball, games room, art room, Zumba, kickboxing, jazzercise, line dancing, and more programs. It also features a full gymnasium, fields for softball, soccer, and football, as well as a children’s playground and dog park.

Hikes and Trails

Mound Key Archeological State Park

Be ready for a true outdoor adventure at Mound Key. Here, you’ll find no facilities, and the remote island is accessible only by boat, which launches from Koreshan State Park or Lovers Key State Park to reach Mound Key located in Estero Bay.

The entire island of Mound Key is one large historic site. Its trails take you through the history of the Calusa Indians who built the site, to the Spanish explorers and colonizers, and up to turn-of-the-century frontier settlers.

A 0.75-mile linear hiking trail crosses through the island, over steep shell mounds, the tallest at 33 feet. Interpretive displays along the trail help reveal the history of the island to explorers.

Stimulate the Mind

Camp IMAG at STEMLab

Spark your family’s curiosity and imagination in Camp IMAG at STEMLab. Based at Miromar Outlets, its curriculum integrates STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), history, the arts, and humanities to encourage an overall love of learning. Inventing, experimenting, exploring, and investigating are some of the fascinating activities that campers can enjoy.

Camp IMAG sessions incorporate fun and educational hands-on activities, games, crafts, special guests, and exhibit explorations. Designed for rising 3rd to 5th graders, these activities and interactive exhibits include SOS Explorer, Google Earth Wall, Animated Augmented Reality Sandbox, DrawAlive Studio, Hurricane Simulator, and much more.

Aside from these, STEMLab offers special daytime and evening programs. All educational events offer families, children, and adults the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of science from the safety of STEMLab’s spacious classroom.

Relax and Rejuvenate

The Happehatchee Center

The Happehatchee Center is a nature sanctuary and spiritual center operated by a non-profit organization in Estero, Florida. Founded by environmental activist Ellen Peterson, it is currently being managed by the Bonita Springs YMCA.

Located on 4.5 acres of subtropic forest, spanning 150 feet on both sides of the Estero River, it is adjacent to the Koreshan State Historic Site. Both of these properties host a variety of flora and fauna along the river.

This sanctuary offers weekly healing circles and yoga. Walking down the path toward the Peace Pavilion, you can easily breathe in the serene atmosphere surrounded by old pines, oaks, and palms. Past the pond, you’ll find picnic tables, a butterfly garden, and a nursery.

Golfing in Estero

Stoneybrook Golf Club

This is Florida, so wherever you are, you’ll not be far away from a top golf course. One of the longest courses in Florida, Stoneybrook Golf Club in Estero spreads at over 7,300 yards. A par-72 golf course, golfers will find inspiration amidst its natural setting and tranquil scenery.

Old Corkscrew Golf Course

This is another long course at 7,400 yards from the tips. This Jack Nicklaus-designed course is tough, with obstacles like tall pine trees and water hazards along with fairways. As you approach the greens which are small these greens will taper down. Challenging as it may be, the scenic location serves as a fine backdrop for a very satisfying game.

Sports and Entertainment

Germain Arena

Relish the thrill of a hockey game at the Germain Arena. Formerly known as the Hertz Arena, the Germain Arena is considered Southwest Florida’s premier event venue. A multipurpose setting for sports events, it hosts the Florida Everblades ECHL ice hockey team. It was also the home of the Florida Flame NBA Development League team, the Florida Firecats, Florida Tarpons, and Gulf Coast Fire, an indoor football team.

The arena also holds concerts, circuses, boxing, mixed martial arts events, AEW shows, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling shows, WWE shows, Professional Bull Riders events, and family shows.

The Germain Arena is equipped with LED lighting, luxury seating, a state-of-the-art sound system, video boards, and a VIP lounge, among other features. It also includes Breakaway Sports Pub, a restaurant overlooking the arena bowl, catering, meeting space, luxury suites, a pro shop, and two adjacent recreational ice rinks.

Shopping in Estero

Some claim that shopping is one of the best things to do in Estero, Florida. Perhaps, they have already experienced Coconut Point and Miromar Outlets.

woman drinking coffee on the outdoor shopping

Coconut Point

This shopping center is a scenic sprawling outdoor mall surrounding several acres of lakes. There are 110-plus stores that offer a variety of shops that sell jewelry, apparel, accessories, and sporting goods. Find what you need at Dillard’s, Super Target, Apple Store, Tommy Bahama Store Marlin Bar, Barnes & Noble, and other retail establishments.

Need a quick break? Coconut Point offers a wide selection of al fresco dining options from The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, South Fork Grille, Ted’s Montana Grill, Rodizio Grill, Amfora Mediterranean Restaurant, El Nido Modern Mexican, and Joe’s Fresh Catch.

Coconut Point also entertains shoppers with events like live music and hosts annual festivals.

Miromar Outlets

On the lookout for bargains? Check out Miromar Outlets, an open-air shopping center that is home to more than 140 top global designer brands. Offering substantial savings of up to 70% off original listed prices are apparel retailer favorites like Saks OFF 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet, J.Crew Factory, Kate Spade New York, H&M, Puma Outlet, OshKosh B’Gosh, and Janie and Jack.

Full-service and quick-casual dining is also available in favorites such as La Bamba Real Mexican Food, Starbucks, Dairy Queen, and the Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Lounge.


Coconut Point Art Festival

This yearly festival both enchants and inspires and you don’t need to be serious about art to enjoy the event. This art festival showcases over 200 exhibitors displaying sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photography, prints, home décor, glasswork, and much more.

Estero Fest

The festival features food trucks, beverages, and ice cream; beer and wine garden; live music and DJ; a business expo; and Estero Fire & Lee County Sheriff displays. A Kids’ Zone has games, crafts, and shows. It’s a great event for the whole family to enjoy.

Wine and Dine

With so much choice, dining out is one of the best things to do in Estero. Here are a few select establishments you can try.

fine dining

R.A.D. Winery and Cidery

R.A.D., which stands for Really Awesome Drinks, is located at the Miromar Outlets. Established in 2021, R.A.D. owner, Rockie J. Rick, describes the range of wines as “hard cider and wine-based cider, lightly sparkling with higher ABV.”

Growing up on a farm, Rick’s palate was exposed to the flavor profiles of fruits such as apples, peaches, and strawberries. These he infused into the unique selection of wines and cider at R.A.D.

R.A.D.’s signature brands – Gravity Wine, Equation, and Red Top Winer – are available at the Estero tasting room.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – Fort Myers

While this establishment may not be located exactly in Estero, the short distance to Fort Myers is well worth the trip.

The concept behind Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant revolves around five distinct components: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private dining room, Napa-style tasting room, and retail gift store. And all these concepts are experienced and enjoyed under one roof.

The award-winning wines, superb dishes, and creative cocktails create a delicious mix. The aim is to create “food and wine that have the ability to forge lasting connections.” This vibrant interaction has earned Cooper’s Hawk the distinction of being home to one of the world’s largest wine clubs.

Ford’s Garage

In keeping with the name, Ford’s Garage at Miromar Outlets has the feel of a 20th-century automobile garage and service station. This deliberate design goes the whole mile with bathroom sinks made from tires and faucets that resemble gas handles.

Ford’s Garage is the go-to place for prime burgers and craft beer. The BBQ Brisket Burger, Blackened Salmon, and Estate Burger with gouda and red onion marmalade are tasty winners.

Naples Flatbread Kitchen and Bar

This establishment which opened in Estero in 2009, serves signature artisanal pizzas. Also on the restaurant’s menu is its signature half-pound overstuffed burgers topped with quinoa, portobello mushrooms, and guacamole. Appetizers like Santa Fe-style chicken egg rolls and fire-roasted chicken or cauliflower wings are good for sharing. Craft beers and wines are available from the full-service bar.

South Fork Grille

For American-style farm-to-table dining, try South Fork grille. Inspired by the owners’ Long Island hometown, it serves a selection of dishes with ingredients sourced from nearby farms and fishers. The freshest and highest-quality dining experience is expressed through the restaurant’s signature Montauk-style lobster rolls, braised beef gnocchi, seafood pappardelle, and Tuscan-style capellini. Also available are brunch favorites like eggs Benedict, Buddha bowls, and quiches.

Find Your Place in The Sun

These are just some of the best things to see and do in Estero. Of course, there are many places of interest that we couldn’t add, we’ll leave that for you to discover.

If you would like to explore your real estate or renting options in Estero and the surrounding areas, turn to The Lanners Group.

Our team specializes in rentals and residential sales in Naples, Marco Island, Estero, and nearby communities. With over 22 years of experience in real estate, we have the in-depth knowledge and expertise to help you find a property that will not only meet your requirements but will delight.

Call us at 239.253.5446 or send an email here. Let’s start your journey to a better place in the sun.

Have some questions?
Contact Us

Keep up to date with the latest market trends and opportunities in Naples, Florida.

    Skip to content