Lakefront Hotel with Neoclassical Influences near Beach
Along the coastline of Bonita Springs, a white beach stretches along the Gulf of Mexico like the wings of a native egret. Nearby, past the twisting waterways of local inlets, stands Trianon Bonita Bay, its many columns and balustrades giving it the look of an enormous sandcastle come to life. The resort is just a 10-minute drive from the coast, and there's a private lake out back as well as a pool surrounded by palm trees and azaleas.
The hotel's neoclassical architecture extends to the lobby, where Doric columns support a domed nave. The elegant lounge is adorned with recessed panels and formal draperies. You can breeze in for a cocktail in the evening or for complimentary breakfast in the morning, when guests pile plates with muffins and croissants and play Jenga with slices of fresh fruit.
Upstairs, each superior guest room overlooks the lake. A sliding glass door opens onto a private balcony where deck chairs provide a cozy spot for basking in the Florida sunshine. The Lake House Bar and Grill gets you even closer to the water, thanks to a wooden dock that juts over the lake. Menu items include a blackened mahi-mahi sandwich ($10.95) and lime-cilantro crab cakes ($9.95). In the adjacent Promenade center, you can try out Roy's (dining credit included), where Hawaiian-inspired appetizers include kalua-pork dim sum ($8.95) and fried calamari in malaysian curry ($11.95).
Bonita Springs, Florida: Picturesque Beachfront on Gulf of Mexico
The area's most popular shoreline is Bonita Beach, where white sand meets bath-temperature seawater. Grassy dunes fringe the coast, which is accessible by wooden boardwalks. Slightly farther afield, a variety of state parks and nature reserves show off even more pristine sand and surf. In nearby Estero Bay, Mound Key Archaeological State Park—which can be reached only by boat—boasts lush mangroves as well as pottery, shells, and unsolved crossword puzzles left by prehistoric Native Americans. Farther west, the curve of Sanibel Island is dotted with glittering shells, and its shallows are populated by a variety of native birds, including snowy egrets, great blue herons, and roseate spoonbills.