5 Places to Find Butterflies on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

butterfly
@breezywitch88

Beautiful scenery surrounds you on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, and many of the lush plants and trees you’ll see here are native to Southwest Florida.  They provide an important sanctuary for the area’s wildlife and the butterfly is one of our favorites.  The following conservatories, nature parks and wildlife preserves are all widely known for housing or attracting bountiful numbers of butterflies. 

The Butterfly Estates

This eco-friendly, non-profit conservatory is dedicated to protecting and growing Florida’s butterfly population. Since their grand opening in 2009, The Butterfly Estates has been raising and releasing hundreds of butterflies each week. Visitors can immerse themselves as they walk-through the conservatory filled with native butterfly species and take part in garden presentations about the butterfly life cycle. 

Manatee Park

This beautiful park in Fort Myers is home to a warm water refuge for the beloved Florida Manatee, but a number of butterfly gardens have also been installed, Head here for an experience that includes both beast and beauty.

Lakes Regional Park

Spanning nearly 300 acres in Fort Myers, Lakes Regional Park offers spectacular nature trails, lake–front views and beautiful gardens. For the butterfly watcher on the go, the botanic garden is a popular destination to enjoy nature at its finest, and the most likely place in the park to sight a few friendly butterflies.  

Rotary Park Environmental Center

Located near the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral, Rotary Park Environmental Center is a tropical preserve laced with sandy paths and boardwalks that run through mangroves, salt marshes, open fields and playgrounds. After taking a healthy stroll, butterfly enthusiasts can enjoy a pit stop at the park’s nature center, home to its very own butterfly house.

Bailey Homestead Preserve

Located in the heart of Sanibel Island, this beautiful nature preserve is the newest addition to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). Locally regarded as Sanibel’s plant zoo, all 28 acres pose as a preservation shelter for a number of native plants and a sanctuary for surrounding wildlife. That said it should come as no surprise that butterflies are a common sight.