Bonita Springs, Florida

Coordinates: 26°20′59″N 81°47′27″W / 26.34972°N 81.79083°W / 26.34972; -81.79083
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Bonita Springs, Florida
Bonita Beach
Bonita Beach
Official seal of Bonita Springs, Florida
Etymology: Spanish: bonita (beautiful), English: beautiful springs
Gateway to the Gulf
"Small Town Charm Big Bright Future"
Location in Lee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Location in Lee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Coordinates: 26°20′59″N 81°47′27″W / 26.34972°N 81.79083°W / 26.34972; -81.79083
CountryUnited States
EstablishedDecember 31, 1999 (1999-12-31)
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorRick Steinmeyer
 • City ManagerArleen Hunter
 • City46.51 sq mi (120.47 km2)
 • Land38.42 sq mi (99.50 km2)
 • Water8.09 sq mi (20.96 km2)  13.95%
10 ft (3 m)
 • City53,644
 • Density1,396.32/sq mi (539.12/km2)
 • Urban
425,675 (US: 97th)[2]
 • Urban density1,752.0/sq mi (676.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code239
FIPS code12-07525[3]
GNIS feature ID0279207[4]
WebsiteOfficial website

Bonita Springs is a city in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 53,644 at the 2020 census.[5] It is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, on the state's southwest coast.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.0 square miles (106 km2), of which 35.3 square miles (91 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (13.95%) is water.

The city is located on both Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The area referred to as Bonita Beach is located on a road-accessible barrier island (Little Hickory Island) that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay. The Imperial River flows through the downtown district of the city and empties out into Estero Bay.


The city lies in the tropical climate zone, having a mean January temperature of 65 °F (18 °C). Hurricane Charley made landfall north of Bonita Springs on August 13, 2004. Hurricane Wilma made landfall south of Bonita Springs on October 24, 2005. On September 9–10, 2017, Hurricane Irma, at the time a slow-moving Category 3 storm, passed over the southwest coast of Florida. The eyewall/eye passed overhead in Bonita Springs. Many structures were damaged or destroyed and the city experienced significant flooding.


Historical population

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 43,914 people living in the city. Household data and density data have not yet been released, but as of the 2009 census estimate, there are 19,233 households, and 12,974 families living in the city.[8] The population density in 2000 was 929.4 inhabitants per square mile (358.8/km2). There were 31,716 housing units at an average density of 661.1 per square mile (255.3/km2). The 2010 racial makeup of the city was 88.8% White, 0.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.5% of the population.

Bonita Beach, as seen from the Gulf of Mexico

There were 19,233 households in 2009 out of which 16.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 4.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.55.

In 2000, the city the population was spread out, with 13.9% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 19.8% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 31.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The 2009 estimated median income for a household in the city was $53,452, and the median income for a family was $53,436. Males had a median income of $31,227 versus $25,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $37,958. About 6.2% of families and 10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those aged 65 or over.

Points of interest[edit]

Barefoot Beach, a former recipient of a top beach award, is located within the community.
  • Barefoot Beach Preserve Park, a 342-acre (1.38 km2) park located on the border of Collier and Lee Counties. In 2013, Forbes ranked the park's beach the sixth-best in the country[9]
  • Bonita Beach Park, a 2.5-acre (10,000 m2) beachfront park with a boardwalk and swimming area
  • Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs - an arts organization that hosts local, regional and national traveling art exhibitions. The organization has two campuses, the 10-acre Center for Visual Arts with galleries, studios, classrooms, art library, and offices; and 1. 8 miles south, the 4-acre Center for Performing Arts, which has two auditoriums, a black box theater, a film center, music rooms and studios for study of performing arts. The organization's Bonita Springs Art Festivals, are held January, February, and March in downtown Bonita Springs
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a bald cypress reserve under management of the National Audubon Society
  • Bonita Spring's Wonder Gardens, features a large collection of Florida wildlife, including exotic birds, alligators, and flamingos. The facility opened in 1936 as both a wildlife exhibition and a refuge for injured animals and has a botanical garden and a natural history museum
  • Little Hickory Island Beach Park
  • Lover's Key State Park, a 1,616-acre (6.54 km2) park made up of four barrier islands, is within the city and just north of Bonita Beach. It has nature trails for hiking and bicycling, a canoe launch, kayak and canoe rentals, acres of unspoiled mangroves and miles of pristine beaches. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits and bald eagles[10]
  • There are also 10 beach accesses with public parking up and down Bonita Beach


Bonita Springs is served by the Lee County School District.



Major highways[edit]

Mass transportation[edit]

Fixed-route bus and trolley service is provided by the Lee County Transit Department, operated as LeeTran.


Seminole Gulf Railway owns and operates a line that passes through the city. The company offers freight service and local, daytime excursions.



Bonita Springs is served by local editions of the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News.


The metropolitan area is home to 36 radio stations. With an Arbitron-assigned 879,600 listening area population, the metropolitan area of which Bonita Springs is one part ranks 61/274 for the fall of 2013. Arbitron Standard Radio Market: Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco Island.[11]


Nielsen Media Research designated market area: Ft. Myers-Naples.[12]

2013 - 2014 estimate U.S. rank: 62/210 (517,920 TV Homes)

Sister cities[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ United States Census Bureau (December 29, 2022). "2020 Census Qualifying Urban Areas and Final Criteria Clarifications". Federal Register.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  6. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Census figures enumerated from 1970 to 1990 were prior to incorporation as Bonita Springs CDP.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder - Community Facts". Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Bender, Andrew (May 24, 2013). "America's Top 10 Beaches of 2013". Forbes.
  10. ^ "DEP confirmation that Lover's Key lies in city limits" (PDF). Dep. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Market Survey Schedule & Population Rankings" (PDF). Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  12. ^ "Local Television Market Universe Estimates : Comparisons of 2012-13 and 2013-14 Market Ranks" (PDF). Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Bonita Springs TV 98 Government Access Channel". BTV98. City of Bonita Springs. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "City Council Mieeting Agenda" (PDF). July 5, 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "Bonita Springs to become sister city with Isla Mujeres, Mexico". March 15, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "Glenn Steil obituary". Grand Rapids Press. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020.

External links[edit]