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It’s summertime! Usually, it’s the time of year when we all look forward to festivals, stadium concerts, and crowding movie theaters to watch blockbuster films. Thanks to COVID-19, things are a little different.

Have no fear! Summer fun is not canceled. We’ve put together a list of 10 purely joyful and low-risk things you can still do this summer in Southwest Florida at a modest expense. After all, the sunshine and ocean waves are still doing what they always do!

Southwest Florida sunsets are truly picturesque and one of the best places to enjoy nature’s clock is by heading out to the Naples Pier. Just make sure to have a Collier County beach sticker or remember to pay the parking meter. The historic Naples Pier is located on the Gulf of Mexico at the West end of 12th Avenue South.  For more information, click here. 

Take the kids to have some fun at Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral. The waterpark has reopened at 50% capacity with a new 5-day weekly schedule and will be closed Monday and Wednesdays. Check out their new safety guidelines here. 

Sanibel Island is the perfect place to enjoy beaches, fishing, shelling, nature tours, bird watching, and dining. Rent a bike and enjoy 15 miles of unspoiled beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, and 0 stoplights. You can stop by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce for local tourist information. Click here for more information on bike rentals.

Take an adventure through Koreshan Park where the boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch is available. Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart and limit group size to 50 or fewer people. For more information on pricing, click here.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates date from 1885, when Thomas Edison first visited Southwest Florida and purchased the property to build a vacation home. You can take a tour through the historic homes, gardens, laboratory, and museum. For more information, click here. 

The Collier County Fairgrounds has been offering drive-in movie nights. Some of the featured films have included The Lion King, Independence Day and Jurassic Park. Check out their Facebook page for updates on the next show.

Businesses like Island Time Dolphin & Shelling Cruises, Inc. on Fort Myers Beach offer a variety of activities you can experience out on the water, and what’s better than seeing dolphins? Click here for more information.

Are alligators more your style?  Explore the everglades on an airboat and check out the natural lay of the land as well as native wildlife. There are plenty of places that offer these tours. Check some of them out here. 

Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours takes you on a 90-minute eco-tour through the Babcock Ranch. You will travel through the working cattle ranch and learn its history, wander through Florida ecosystems, all the while getting up close and personal with the local wildlife. But you have to make a reservation in advance. Check it out here. 

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is now open by timed ticket only. You can take the kids to see many of their favorite animals like lions, giraffes, monkeys, pythons, and bears. Learn more here. 

Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat