Naples, Bonita Springs & Estero Real Estate Industry News & Updates

Top 5 Differences Between Naples and Bonita Springs

November 18th, 2014 by

Both Naples and Bonita Springs are incredible places to visit or call home. Just 15 miles apart in Southwest Florida, Naples and Bonita Springs offer up some of the best weather on the planet as well as gorgeous scenery and exciting attractions. For people from all around the world, this part of Florida is arguably the best place to spend time, particularly in the winter months when the skies are clear and sunny.

Whether you are thinking about investing in a golf course home, an apartment, a condo or a single-family home with a pool, you may be wondering which destination is better: Naples or Bonita Springs.

While both have a lot to offer residents, there are definitely some key distinctions between the two cities. The following are the top five differences between Naples and Bonita Springs as well as who would most enjoy each of these amazing locations in Southwest Florida.

1. Naples vs. Bonita Springs: City Size

One of the biggest differences between the cities of Naples and Bonita Springs is size. Despite the fact that Naples is the better known of the two destinations and might seem like the bigger city, the reality is that Bonita Springs has a much larger population. The most recent census shows that Naples is home to just under 20,000 residents while Bonita Springs is home to almost 40,000 people.

There are a lot of factors that create the disparity in population. Many of the homes and properties in Naples are used as second homes or vacation homes, which means that the owners do not claim residency in Florida and perhaps spend just a few weeks or months each year actually living in the home.

If you are looking for a stunning place to get away, Naples might be the right answer. If you would prefer to be surrounded by full-time residents who focus on a more community-based style of living, then homes or condos in Bonita Springs might end up being a better match. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that the two cities are just 15 miles apart, and the area between the two is often a mix of all kinds of residents and properties.

2. Naples vs. Bonita Springs: Tourism Attractions

Despite Bonita Springs having a bigger population than Naples, the latter tends to have more tourists visiting on a regular basis. The city of Naples boasts a greater number of tourism attractions, including access to beaches and piers, which in turns brings in more visitors from around the world.

If you want to be as close as possible to the various attractions in Naples, then living nearby would be an obvious choice. The biggest landmarks and highlights in the Naples area includes the fisherman’s wharf in Tin City, the Naples City Pier, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Vanderbilt Beach, five impressive museums and a world-class shopping district on 5th Avenue.

Of course, all those tourism attractions are not always a positive thing. During peak season for travelers, typically the winter months, traffic can be heavy in many parts of Naples thanks to the influx of visitors who want to see all of these popular landmarks.

3. Naples vs. Bonita Springs: Access to the Water

Another major difference worth highlighting is access to the water. In Naples, it is hard to take a walk without spotting some water somewhere. Between the canals that crisscross the city and the Gulf of Mexico just a few blocks from most spots downtown, there is a water-based culture in Naples.

Surfing, swimming and snorkeling are all popular pastimes, and many property owners in Naples are fortunate enough to be within walking distance of the beach. Naples may also be the top choice for those who are interested in boating on a regular basis, thanks to the prevalence of homes with docks or marinas nearby.

Of course, living in Bonita Springs doesn’t mean that you can’t make the beach a part of your routine. It simply means that you might have a little further to drive in order to get to the beautiful white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

4. Naples vs. Bonita Springs: Lee and Collier Counties
Although Bonita Springs and Naples are relatively close to one another, one of the biggest differences between the two is that they are part of different counties.

Naples is located in Collier County, which has a total population of just over 300,000 people. Bonita Springs belongs to Lee County, which has a smaller overall size but more than 500,000 residents, creating an area with a much higher population density.

Since Collier County is home to a greater number of second home owners who don’t live there full time, the age demographic is skewed slightly higher than in Lee County. That means there may be slightly fewer families with children or schools in the vicinity.

If you are retired, that may be a plus, but young families often prefer the vibrant, young atmosphere of Bonita Springs and Lee County instead. Also worth noting is the difference in property tax between the two counties.

Naples and Collier County have a lower property tax of just 1.2 percent, which is due to the higher overall property values in the area. Bonita Springs and Lee County have a property tax of 1.7 percent for their residents, which is enough of a difference to keep in mind when choosing a home in the area.

5. Naples vs. Bonita Springs: Cost of Properties and Cost of Living

The final big difference between the cities of Naples and Bonita Springs is the price of property. Per square foot, properties in Naples will tend to be more expensive than in other parts of Southwest Florida. However, that doesn’t mean that those on a limited budget will be forced out of the market.

In fact, more than 47 percent of the housing units in Collier County are condos, which are far less expensive than single-family homes. That means that whatever your budget or the kind of home you are searching for, you can find something suitable in both Bonita Springs and Naples.

Cost of living is comparable between the two destinations, but it is worth noting that many restaurants and shops are slightly more expensive in Naples than in Bonita Springs.

There are plenty of similarities between the Southwest Florida destinations of Naples and Bonita Springs. Both offer a variety of real estate options as well as incredible weather for most of the year. However, there are some differences between the two cities as well. 

No matter which city suits your lifestyle best, you’re sure to find the perfect property to make Southwest Florida your second home. Contact Melinda and Paul Sullivan today to get your search started.

About the Author:


Melinda Sullivan is Realtor specializing in luxury property in the Naples, Bonita Springs & Estero areas. She updates this blog on a weekly basis and writes about anything and everything to do with buying or selling property in Southwest Florida. You will find regular blog posts on her website at

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