Most folks who visit Southwest Florida come for the beaches. Small wonder. The beaches are *outstanding*. Soft. Gradually sloping. And occasionally heaped high with seashells.But if you visit this area and never get off the beach, it's my opinion that your family will be missing one of the great water treats available.SunSplash Family Water park is a city-run water extravaganza on 12 acres of Cape Coral.Could it have more things going against it? Being a city-run anything is usually a kiss of dearth. On top of that, Cape Coral itself is a kind of a municipal cypher, even though it is the biggest incorporated city - at 150,000 persons - in Southwest Florida. It also is reputed to be the second largest city in area in the entire state of Florida. It is largely a bedroom community for its smaller, but older city neighbor, Fort Myers. Personality is not its strong suit.Nevertheless, the city fathers pulled out all the pleasures at SunSplash, including a young, enthusiastic staff of lifeguards and customer service people who make the experience at SunSplash all the more remarkable. Admission is a maximum of $12.95 for full-sized resident adults and $16.95 for non-residents, with prices scaled down for smaller and younger individuals.That gets you a full day of wonderful watery wackiness. The park boasts seven (7) gut-challenging water slides. Some are enclosed tubes. Some are open flumes. One is five stories high. One moves the slider at a 40-feet-per-second descent. They all end up dumping their occupants in refreshing pools of cool, swimming water.After you have had you fill of the stomaching-churning adventures, retire to the Mainstream River Ride flowing gently around the perimeter of the park. Or, if slow is more of your speed to start with, hop in a tube and let the river carry you into laidback relaxation. Even the smaller denizens of H2O are catered to, with a Tot Spot of gentler fun activities. Of course, there also is a snack shop and cafe.A day at SunSplash exhausted me, in a way that raised my spirits, although not high enough to ride the five-story slide. Perhaps for a younger adventurer...Eyerater highly recommends taking a day from your Southwest Florida beach vacation to ride the water-wonders at Cape Coral's SunSplash Watrerpark.
Fort Myers, FL