Staff Picks


Discover exciting area attractions, explore the island on an eco-adventure, or plan ahead for upcoming annual events. Our Staff Picks blog will help you make the most of your stay on Estero Island.

A Call to Nature at the Matanzas Pass Preserve

February 01, 2018

Just a brief fifteen-minute walk from our property grounds is the sanctuary of Matanzas Pass Preserve. One of the few natural habitats remaining on the island, the preserve is a 60-acre property of diverse wildlife, tidal swamps, and shady mangrove forests. In 1974, nature photographer and local resident John Dunning purchased the land and donated 22 acres to Nature Conservancy, and in 1994 the rest of the land was also donated. Avoid the usual tourist hubs and quietly escape onto one of the many trails that wind through forests and lead to a pavilion alongside Estero Bay. On one of these trails, see if you can spot the maritime oak hammock—one of the last still standing in the area. Looking to make this trip a real adventure? There’s a paddlecraft landing beside the pavilion, offering visitors the option to see the preserve from a whole new perspective.