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Parks & Recreation

Beaches & Boating

Two of the most popular outdoor activities that attract visitors and new residents to Southwest Florida are beaches and boating. If planning to launch your vessel from one of Cape Coral's public boat ramps, please be aware of the City's Boat Trailer Parking Program. Click on the links below to get more details on each topic or scroll down to see all information.

* Boat Trailer Parking Program

 *Annual Parking Permit/Renewal


There are many beaches in the state of Florida for people to enjoy, two of which can be found in the City of Cape Coral. The main beach is located within the Yacht Club Community Park on the southeast corner of Cape Coral at the end of Driftwood Pkwy. In addition to the Yacht Club public beach, visitors to the Yacht Club Community Park can enjoy a covered playground with equipment for children ages 2-12 that can accommodate persons with disabilities, as well as picnic tables and BBQ grills, the adjacent Yacht Club Pier, a public boat ramp and free vehicle parking (there is a small fee for boat trailers).

Cape Coral's other beach is located at Four Freedoms Park on the banks of Bimini Basin just south of Cape Coral Pkwy. Visitors to four Freedoms Park can enjoy fenced-in playground equipment for children ages 2-12, picnic tables, and BBQ grills. Alcohol is not permitted in either of the parks and animals are not allowed on the beach.

Both the Yacht Club public beach and Four Freedoms beach are open from dawn to dusk daily; however, there are no lifeguards on duty. Those who wish to go in the water should understand that they are both non-swimming beaches so going in the water is at their own risk.

For people who wish to swim, the Yacht Club Community Pool is located just a few feet from the Yacht club beach and features a heated Olympic-size pool and a kiddy pool with interactive Dewdrop fountain and underwater bubblers. A daily fee is required to use the Yacht Club Pool, but fully trained lifeguards are on duty at the pool during all operating hours.

Additional Waterfront Parks

All of the above parks have picnic tables that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and sunbathing is permitted (swimsuits are required).

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The City of Cape Coral boasts over 400 miles of canals, many of which have direct access to the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico, offering a wide range of marine activities to boating enthusiasts of all ages. When combined with beautiful sunsets, great fishing, and cool breezes, Cape Coral offers a tremendous boating experience.

The City's waterways, which are overseen by the Marine Services Division of the Parks Recreation Department, can be accessed through the use of five (5) improved public boat ramps including:

Boat Trailer Parking requires a daily or annual fee to be paid when parking boat trailers for the day at any of the City's improved ramps that include paved parking lots and restroom facilities.

The City also oversees several additional unimproved freshwater boat ramps that are open to the public and do not require a daily parking fee; however, the majority of these sites are unpaved with limited parking available and have no restrooms or other amenities on site.

In addition to overseeing Cape Coral’s boat ramps, the Marine Services Division operates the Chiquita Boat Lock located on the South Spreader Waterway, which is utilized to help control boat traffic and maintain safe water levels.


A boating Safety Course is required by the State of Florida for all persons wishing to operate a boat who were born on or after January 1, 1988. Until these requirements are met, they must refrain from operating a vessel. Any person who operates a vessel in violation of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. Please contact any of the classroom course providers below to locate a course near you.

Please visit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's webpage on Boater Education and Lee County Government for any information on boating regulations for both fresh and saltwater as well as boating safety classes along with the below websites:

* United States Coast Guard Auxiliary  -
United States Power Squadron - 1-888-367-8777

Additional helpful material for Boaters:
A Boater's Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats
US Coast Guard: Aids to Navigation System

Chiquita Boat Lock - 5805 Cape Harbor Drive
The Chiquita Boat Lock provides Gulf access from Camelot Canal & Southwest Spreader Waterway into the ICW via the Caloosahatchee River and is located approximately 2.75 statute miles from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. 
Regular Hours of Operation: 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. 
After Hours Access:  239-542-5661 - Please call the lock operator one-half hour prior to usage.

Before going boating, particularly in a new environment, it is always a good idea to take a refresher course on Boating Rules and Safety. The following organizations offer instruction, workshops, and inspection service assistance to help keep residents and visitors informed and local waterways safe for all who use them:

  • Coast Guard Auxiliary – 549-1027
  • Power Squadron – 549-9754
  • Yacht Club Community Park (recreational boating seminars) – 574-0806
For a complete list of rules and regulations concerning recreational boating in Florida, visit the Boating page of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website at

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A permit is required to park your vehicle and trailer at any of the City's five improved boat ramp locations.  The fee is $15 per day. 

Through a partnership with Passport, the leading provider of mobile payments in parking and transit, drivers are able to pay to park from their smartphone, tablet or computer using an “app”.  When using the Passport Parking app, boaters are reminded to enter the tow vehicle license plate number. Please DO NOT enter the trailer plate number.

These improved boat ramps utilize the Passport payment system:
BMX Boat Ramp
Burnt Store Boat Ramp
Horton Park Boat Ramp
Rosen Park Boat Ramp 
Yacht Club Boat Ramp.

The Passport Parking app is free to download from the iPhone App Store and Android Google Play

If a boater does not have a smartphone, they can call (239) 424-9459 to register with Passport. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: When entering payment information, Passport will require that boaters enter the zone number of the boat ramp location where they will be parked. Please see the Boat Ramp zone numbers listed below

Boat Ramp Locations:   Zone #:  
BMX  1960
Burnt Store  1961
Horton Park  1958
Rosen Park  1959
Yacht Club  1957

Please be sure to pay for parking BEFORE launching your vessel. Cape Coral Park Rangers & Law Enforcement personnel patrol the five park locations daily and must issue violation tickets to any vehicles/trailers that do not pay the daily fee or have a current resident or commercial decal.

Annual Permit (Cape Coral residents only):  $75 plus tax (valid for one year from the month/year that the permit was purchased)

Commercial Permit (Cape Coral businesses only):
$100 plus tax for the primary tow vehicle (valid for one year from the month/year that the permit was purchased).  Additional tow vehicle permits are $50 plus tax.  Commercial permits apply to for-profit businesses, based in Cape Coral, which provide guide services, boat trips, construction, and other services on the water.

Permits must be affixed on the outside of the back window or the back bumper of the tow vehicle on the left side (driver's side). 

Commercial Paddle Sport Outfitter Permit: Permit and agreement with the city is required for paddle sports outfitters to be able to use Cape Coral launch sites for delivery of kayaks or SUP’s for use. Paddle Sport Outfitter application, proof of business license, and insurance are required to obtain approval for use.  $100 per month for seasonal operations, or $1,000 per year for annual operations. For details on which parks are available or how to become an approved paddle sport outfitter please email

Permits may be purchased at the Parks & Recreation counter in City Hall (239-573-3128) or at the front counter of the Yacht Basin Marina (239-574-0809)  with cash, check, or credit card.
** As of October 1, 2021 annual parking permits/renewals may be purchased online HERE**

  • Drivers license and vehicle registration
  • Proof of Cape Coral residency (i.e. local utility bill) w/ corresponding name address on it.

For additional information about the Boat Trailer Parking Program or for boater assistance, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (239) 573-3128.

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For general information about Cape Coral Parks and Recreation, call (239) 573-3128. Or if you encounter an issue in a Cape Coral park, please contact the Cape Coral Police Department's non-emergency line at (239) 574-3223.