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Top Wildlife Preserves to Visit Near Lely Resort

The area in and around Lely Resort is naturally stunning. Some of the best family-friendly activities near Lely are the numerous wildlife preserves, and couples can escape off to the water and soak in the views. The whole group will enjoy learning about the native animals of the area, and Lely’s vacation rentals are only a short drive away.

florida panther wildlife refuge

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most glorious creatures in Florida is the panther, and the National Wildlife Refuge is the best place to witness this endangered species. This spot is ideal if you like hiking, as two public trails are available for you to explore. Open during daylight hours, these trails give you an inside look of the Refuge and let you try to peek in on the panthers. You may also see bears, deer, hawks, and other animals!

While much of the Refuge is not open for public access, the hiking trails and occasional Open Houses present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to witness some of the most stunning nature in Florida. For more information or to learn how to contribute to the Refuge, visit their website

NGALA Wildlife Preserve

Located just down the road in Naples, NGALA Wildlife Preserve is a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike. NGALA was built paying special attention to environmental friendliness, and the combined efforts of many consultants have helped craft this location into the magical destination it is today. One of their most popular activities is the Exotic Animal Encounter and Educational Tour, where you can get up close and personal with creatures like giraffes, rhinos, birds, and more!

NGALA is also a great stop if you’re in town for a wedding, birthday, or other special events. They are happy to customize an experience for your group and work with your needs to plan for a fantastic evening. Visit their website for more information.

corkscrew swamp wildlife preserve

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary makes the perfect day trip to complete Lely beach vacations. You’ll feel like part of nature as you wander through the environment of the Everglades, surrounded by all the breathtaking native plants and animals. Their famous boardwalk offers 2.5 miles of walkway through multiple habitats to let you spy on various creatures, such as red-bellied turtles, songbirds, otters, and more.

No matter what time of the year you are visiting, you will find Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary open. They operate from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every single day of the year. Last admission to the sanctuary is at 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $14, which will allow you to visit for two back-to-back days, and guided walks are included in your ticket price.

Barefoot Beach Preserve

Barefoot Beach Preserve is home to 342 acres of gorgeous land and is one of the last remaining undeveloped islands on the coast of southwest Florida. Here, you can enjoy wading and sunbathing at the beach while observing the breathtaking nature and clear waters. Wander through the butterfly and cactus gardens, or explore the learning center and its natural history exhibits. You will also find picnic pavilions and bike racks, along with numerous other amenities so that you can spend the whole day here!

To access Barefoot Beach Preserve, enter through Barefoot Beach Access, found 20 feet off of Bonita Beach Road on Lely Barefoot Boulevard. The Preserve is accessible year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. There is an $8 fee to park at the beach, which you can pay by credit card.

Of the many fun things in Lely, perhaps the most unique are the nature opportunities. These wildlife preserves are the ideal addition to Lely Resort vacations, giving you a unique perspective on the area’s stunning plants and animals. Ready to make the trip? Contact us today for information about our vacation rentals near Lely. We are happy to work with your group and plan your dream getaway.