This is our guide to the best places to run in the Naples-Fort Myers area, including Sanibel, Captiva, and Bonita Springs. Located in southwest Florida on the ‘Paradise Coast’, Naples and Fort Myers are 45 miles apart, bordered by the gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Everglades to the south. Some of the best beach running in Florida is located in this area, as well as wonderful running around bays, parks, tony neighborhoods, and greenways.
The running highlight in the Fort Myers area is a nearly continuous beach, starting with 7-mile long Fort Myers Beach and heading south toward Naples, including Lovers Key State Park (which also has 5 miles of trails), Bonita Beach, Barefoot Beach, and Delnor-Wiggins State Park. The 5-mile Linear Park between Cypress Six Mile Parkway & Colonial Boulevard is the best off-road trail in Ft. Myers. And just southwest of Ft. Myers, Sanibel/Captiva Island has some great running options and a wonderful beach.
Naples is well known for its high-end shopping, world-class culture and sophisticated dining. The best running near downtown Naples is along Gulf Shore Boulevard and Gordon Road, with views of the water, and some of Naples’ loveliest hotels and homes. Just north of downtown, there are some neat boardwalk and trail runs through Everglades-like foliage, along the Gordon River Greenway and Freedom Park. Still further north, the Pelican Blvd./Artis arts center are terrific, as are nearby Clam Shell Park and the Delnor-Wiggins Nature Trail. South of Naples, there is fantastic running on tony and bucolic Marco Island.