Lover's Key is a small group of mangrove islands located in Lee County between Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, and Bonita Beach. It's right on the Gulf of Mexico. The islands are collectively known as Lover's Key State Park (formerly Carl E. Johnson Park).
Inland backwaters full of fish, birds, and marine life, separate the islands from each other. Boats with motors are not allowed within the Park, but motorboats are allowed in the Gulf and Bay waters surrounding the Park, and there is a boat ramp within the park. This is to protect the abundant wildlife, which includes manatees, dolphins, various herons and roseate spoonbills, ospreys, bald eagles, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, snook, mullet, rays, and a large variety of shellfish.
There is a snack bar in the park and bicycle, canoe, and kayak rentals are available. The park has all kinds of interesting nature tours available. To make tour reservations or to find out more about the facilities available at the Park visit Lover's Key State Park Official Home Page .
Lover's Key has nearly a million visitors every year, but despite its popularity, if you go on a weekday it is easy to find a quiet beach to enjoy. Weekends bring lots more people and boats. The entrance fee to the Park is $5 per car with up to 8 people, or $3 for a car with a single occupant. After a short drive you will find a paved parking area near the food and rental concession. You can either walk to the beach by traversing a boardwalk and trail (about a quarter-mile) or you can take the tram. The tram is a slightly bumpy ride, but is much quicker. If you have a lot of beach gear, take the tram. There are actually two trails to the beach, one is more than twice as long as the other, but leads to a quieter beach.
Lover's Key beach is renourished periodically, so the beach is fairly wide. The water is quite calm and shallow and the beach is popular with picnickers and fishermen and kids and sunbathers and families.
There is also a gazebo on the beach with picnic tables and there are restrooms down on the beach. The gazebo is frequently used for beach weddings and is outfitted with that in mind.
Because Lover's Key is a state park, there are no homes or other buildings on the beach, just lots of mangrove trees and other coastal vegetation.. The park is open every day of the year. The gates open at 8am and close shortly after sunset. This park offers a nice change from the crowds and the parking nightmare of Ft. Myers Beach. I like it because there is so much nature here and its not hard to find a quiet spot during the week.