When most people think of Florida, they probably envision lovely white sandy seashores, palm timber swaying in the breeze, and completely manicured golf courses. In fact, you also can’t overlook concerning the spring breakers and retirees. Whereas a lot of them ring true for your complete state, in the event you’re heading to Fort Myers, you’ll also be capable of accent these clichés with accumulating sand dollars, unbelievable birdwatching, and breathtaking sunsets. Isn’t about time you made these daydreams come true? Use this Fort Myers Florida Travel Guide and Itinerary to plan out the right trip to Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.
Fort Myers Seashore is a popular destination for visitors keen to interact in watersports akin to kayaking and parasailing—or for anybody trying to simply loosen up on a smooth sand seashore.
Do You Need a Automotive in Fort Myers?
The Fort Myers area is pretty vast so plan on bringing your personal automotive or renting one when arriving on the airport. We’ve just lately been utilizing AutoSlash to seek out superb offers on rental automobiles. Having a car will make the trip rather more convenient and fulfilling for you. You’ll also be capable of see and do extra things and belief us, there are tons of issues to see and do round Fort Myers.
Fort Myers Florida | Greatest Things to Do
Loosen up on the Seashore
U.S. Information Travel Recognizes Sanibel Island’s Bowman’s Seashore within the Prime 10 Greatest Beaches on the earth. It’s also a world-class birding and shelling destination. Photograph courtesy of weekendtravel.org.
The laidback beaches of Fort Myers are a few of the most beautiful on the earth. Whenever you embrace close by Sanibel Island, there are over 50 miles of beaches and a wide selection of water sports and actions—there’s literally something for everybody. One of the best place to start out your journey is at Bowman’s Seashore on Sanibel Island.
Take pleasure in a Sundown on the Gulf
The sun sets proper over the water proper in entrance of you, and regardless of where you’re you’re pretty much assured to see one of the beautiful sunsets on the planet.
Trust us, when you haven’t seen the large orange ball sink into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, then you definitely’re lacking out. The dramatic colors in the sky bouncing off the clouds and water will make you are feeling such as you’re having some type of religious experience, assured. There’s an infinite number of seashores that face west, so seize a bottle of wine and a blanket and head out. One among our favorites is Tuner Seashore on Captiva Island. Afterward, head over to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille where you’ll dine on recent seafood in a fun environment!
Get Wild With Nature
There are only a few locations in the US the place nature and a large metropolitan area cohabitate so harmoniously. From just about anyplace along the coast you’ll have the chance to admire birds flocking throughout the ocean and dolphins leaping within the water. In case you’d like to extend the chances a bit, ebook a wildlife tour with a good operator. We propose Captiva Cruises or Good Time Charters—both are principally guaranteed to provide you with the wildlife journey of a lifetime. Get ready to identify manatees, bottle-nosed dolphins, unique birds, and go shelling.
The J.N. Ding Darling Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is house to 51 forms of reptiles and amphibians, 32 mammal species, greater than 230 species of birds.
Don’t overlook to visit the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge the place you’ll be able to go on a drivable safari. The most typical sightings embrace shorebirds and waterbirds, alligators, raccoons, marsh rabbits, and even the occasional bobcat. The refuge is closed on Fridays so plan accordingly.
Get Your Shell On
As you tour the smooth sandy seashores you’ll almost certainly feel like you’re walking on eggshells. Don’t be nervous. That crunching sound is seashells. Shell-lovers pilgrimage to Sanibel Island’s Gulf Coast as a result of it’s thought-about one of the best shelling spot in North America. In truth, shelling has turn into so well-liked right here that the “Sanibel Stoop” is the newest dance move. OK, perhaps not. Nevertheless, it’s the bent-at-the-waist stance that the majority shellers use to retrieve a seashell.
Individuals come from everywhere in the world to go shelling on Sanibel Island. Because of the water currents, the supply of shells are always updating. Photograph courtesy of sanibel-captiva.org,
In the event you grow to be obsessed with the “Sanibel Stoop,” then you might be focused on visiting the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum where you possibly can study every little thing you’ve ever needed to know concerning the shells you’ve been amassing on the seashore. Please understand that it’s illegal to take reside shells so watch out.
Shut Up and Fish
The perfect time to go offshore fishing down right here is from March by means of June, when the tarpon are migrating. Tarpon may be sighted from the shoreline near Boca Grande Cross, but the odds of catching one them from the sand is pretty slim. As an alternative, you might need to head out with Paradise Charters where you’ll have the prospect for anything from sharks to snapper.
Tarpon fishing principally put Pine Island and Boca Grande on the map. Matlach and Fort Myers, as well as the islands of Captiva and Sanibel, all function superb base camps for tarpon anglers.
Inshore fishing is just about nice all year-round. In style species embrace redfish, catch snook, noticed seatrout, jack crevalle, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and numerous other species. The most effective places for inshore fishing are often around mangrove-lined shorelines, open flats, bridges, beaches, docks, piers, and the various passes and inlets resulting in the Gulf of Mexico.
Get Up Close and Personal with Nature
The west coast might have the Pacific coast path however down right here in Florida, they’ve the Nice Calusa Blueway. This paddling path is about 190-miles lengthy. The marked route guides kayaks and canoes all the best way from Bonita Springs up to the Caloosahatchee River. Alongside the best way, you’ll cross all types of flora and fauna, including manatees.
The Estero River is about 6.5-miles lengthy and flows from east to west, emptying into Estero Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico.
The spotlight of your journey will in all probability be visiting the Mound Key Archaeological State Park. This island is just accessible by kayak or personal boat. This website was as soon as the capital city of the Calusa Indian tribe, the first Jesuit mission within the New World, the location of a Spanish fort, and the first Jesuit mission in the New World.
What? You didn’t deliver a kayak with you on the aircraft? No drawback. Join with Estero River Clothes shop to lease a SUP, kayak, or canoe. There are dozens of nice day journey routes. Head over to the Nice Calusa Blueway website to download free maps.
Tour Historic Houses
Do you know that the Edison & Ford Winter Estates are among the many 10 most visited historic houses in the US? Highlights of the tour embrace demonstrations using the gear in Edison’s analysis lab, behind-the-scenes views of the property buildings, and horticultural tours of the gardens.Two of probably the most artistic innovators in American history—Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—spent their winters in Fort Myers. They built two magnificent houses on a premier piece of real estate alongside the Caloosahatchee River. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates include a historic museum and a 21-acre botanical backyard on the adjacent websites of the winter houses.
Begin and End Your Day in Type
Begin your day at a coffee roastery the place you’ll be handled to beans that have been correctly roasted. Our prime decisions are The Grind and Bennet’s Recent Roast. Did I mention that Bennet’s additionally sells hand-cut from-scratch donuts?
Each Bennett’s Donut takes about two hours to make. They’re combined from scratch with their own family’s recipe, then hand reduce and cooked with tons of affection.
Rejoice your adventurous day at a micro-brewery over a pint. We advocate “No.3 Craft Brews & Beer Bar” or Bury Me Brewing, which options graveyard type decorations and tap handles you might want to see to consider. Be sure to attempt the Bag O’Bones, with its 6.zero% ABV, toasty and nutty notes, and a nice hop chew.
Escape to the Islands
If the Fort Myers space seems a bit too busy, attempt heading out to the islands to actually escape it all. On Cabbage Key, Gasparilla, or North Captiva you’ll in all probability end up seeing more golf carts than automobiles. It’s all about enjoying life on these islands.
Paradise awaits you at Cayo Costa State Park, with 9 miles of untouched beaches accessible only by boat.
Adventurous travelers will head to Cayo Costa and the Cayo Costa State Park where you possibly can lease one of the many small rustic picket cabins. The comfortable cabins are solely steps from one of the crucial spectacular seashores in the US and are surrounded by native vegetation. Hopefully, you’re not afraid of snakes.
The Umpire Strikes Back
Think about yourself very lucky when you make to Fort Myers in the course of the springtime. The Minnesota Twins play in Hammond Stadium at Lee County Sports Complicated and the Boston Pink Sox play at JetBlue Park, just some miles away.
Terry Park Ballfield is listed as a National Historic Website. The park is known as after the family who donated the land within the 1920s.
Baseball followers will really take pleasure in a visit to Terry Park Ball Area. Hall of Famers Jimmy Foxx, Bob Feller, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Roberto Clemente are just some of the good players that have graced the Terry Park Area. Ensure to verify their occasions calendar to see who’s in the lineup.
Greatest Fort Myers Itinerary
The itinerary under is predicated on 5 days in the Fort Myers area. It’s jampacked with every day activities and is nice for anyone in search of an lively trip. The itinerary begins close to downtown Fort Myers and progressively moves outwards in the direction of the islands. Take note, you may easily spend a couple of days in every location it’s in all probability higher to select one or two spots so you’ve gotten time to benefit from the sites. In any case, you’re now on island time!
1 Day | Fort Myers Itinerary | Fort Myers
Downtown Fort Myers, also called the River District, varieties the core of a city that stretches for miles south alongside the Caloosahatchee River and east to the agricultural inside.
Morning: Kick off the day with coffee and a selfmade donut at Bennett’s Recent Roast in Fort Myers. Afterward, go to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, situated along the Caloosahatchee River. The property options the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory, the place Edison, Ford, and Firestone labored on making a source of rubber that could possibly be grown in the US. In the event you’re visiting between December and February, it’s value going a bit additional north to Manatee Park. Manatees are usually not current in the course of the heat summer time months so plan accordingly.
Day: Tour historic Fort Myers, also called the River District on foot. Parking might be troublesome, so make certain to take a look at this map forward of time. Begin your self guided tour at the Franklin Outlets on First Road, or take a proper guided walking tour. Pressure your self to get misplaced within the maze of alleyways, courtyards, slender streets, and brick-lined sidewalks shrouded with palm timber. Now that you simply’ve built up an appetite, head over to close by Veranda for a wonderfully fancy lunch, or Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza for something just a little bit extra relaxed. After lunch, go on a river cruise. We want the Caloosahatchee River Cruise with Pure Florida.
Night time: Tonight, let’s reach new heights by warming up at the Firestone Sky Bar. Afterward, depending on the temper, take pleasure in reside jazz on the Roadhouse Cafe or eat like an area at Lehne Burger in Cape Coral. In case you’re lastly ready to turn Margaritaville right into a lifestyle, head on over to the Boat House Tiki Bar & Grill for dinner or a nightcap. It’s in all probability better to Uber at this level.
Where to stay: Hibiscus Home Mattress and Breakfast or Vacation Inn Fort Myers – Downtown
2 Day | Fort Myers Itinerary | Fort Myers Seashore
Fort Myers Seashore gained a wonderful fame because the World’s Most secure Seashore. The water could be very shallow and there isn’t any undertow. Guests take pleasure in walking all the seven-mile size of the island alongside its delicate sandy shores.
Morning: Start the day with a quick dip at Fort Myers Seashore on Estero Island. Afterward, head to Heavenly Biscuit and attempt their well-known cinnamon rolls and biscuits. A superb place to park is true around Occasions Square, the guts of Estero Island’s downtown—there’s tons of outside dining, road performers, and loads of spots to take a seat down and loosen up. Take some additional rolls or convey further snacks to Bowditch Level Regional Park to walk, swim, or sunbathe. There’s loads of parking, rest room and shower amenities, and beautiful smooth powdery sand. This is not a seashore for shelling though.
Day: Make your option to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. We advocate making an attempt the Panamaniac’s pulled pork sandwich, the Yucatan shrimp tacos, or the deep water mahi-mahi, or all three! Afterward, walk off all those indulgences on the Matanzas Cross Preserve, where you possibly can take pleasure in a quiet boardwalk path walk. You’ll you’ll want to see some unique birds and other wildlife.
Night time: Start the night time at Recent Catch Bistro, where you’ll be able to absorb the most effective sunsets on the planet and take pleasure in a cocktail. Stay for a romantic dinner of recent fish or head to The Doghouse for road meals. If The Doghouse was exactly what you have been in search of, you then’ve acquired to hit up The Seashore Pub afterward, the place you possibly can benefit from the coldest beer in Fort Myers together with your toes in the sand. Oh, by the best way, it’s a dive bar so convey loads of money!
Where to remain: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers Seashore or Greatest Western Plus Seashore Resort
three Day | Fort Myers Itinerary | Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island is about 15 miles lengthy and 5 miles vast. Its intriguing historical past, bountiful flora & fauna, long stretches of pristine seashores, and wealthy tradition make it the perfect trip destination within the Fort Myers space.
Morning: Begin your day at Over Straightforward Cafe on Sanibel Island with a Sanibel Shrimp Benedict. The dish features grilled shrimp on a toasted English muffin with two poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. A really native deal with! Cruise on over to J.N. Ding Darling Nationwide Wildlife Refuge for a cruise by means of the park on a bicycle. Right here you’re in search of exotic birds, alligators, and in fact manatees.
Day: Take pleasure in a light-weight lunch at Cip’s Place. They have indoor/outside dining and a lunch particular—soup and half sandwich served with Cip’s Chips. Afterward, discover and uncover the wealthy history of Sanibel up close and private on the Sanibel Historic Museum & Village. Next, visit the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum to view a number of the most lovely shells ever found from around the globe. It’s now to time to make use of all this newly acquired information at close by Blind Move Seashore, and go shelling—nevertheless, any seashore on Sanibel-Captiva Street will work.
Night time: Have fun the night time at the Mad Hatter, a comfortable, romantic restaurant on the seashore. The food is marvelous and the sunset view is spectacular.
The place to remain: West Wind Inn or Seaside Inn
4 Day | Fort Myers Itinerary | Pine Island
At solely about 30 minutes from Fort Myers, Pine Island is a totally totally different world. It’s very secluded and gives a peaceable laid-back environment, plenty of fabulous fishing, all in a lush pure setting.
Morning: Start your day with a scrumptious breakfast at Hart & Soul Cafe, a small local household run diner. The food is scrumptious and the service right here is quick and pleasant.
Day: Afterward, you’ll be happening a street journey to Pine Island. As soon as there, lease a kayak with Carmen’s Kayaks to paddle throughout Pine Island and Matlacha on the Calusa Blueway paddling path. In case you are hesitant to discover alone, no worries! Additionally they provide guided tours. After kayaking, be sure that to stop by the Randell Reseach Middle along the Calusa Heritage Path. It’s here that you simply’ll be capable of tour this internationally vital website and study concerning the Calusa tradition and their surroundings.
Night time: There are two dinner options relying on the mood. Either head to Tarpon Lodge to take pleasure in a 4-star waterfront restaurant or Bert’s Bar & Grill, a one-of-kind restaurant offering scrumptious and recent native seafood, refreshing brews, lovely views, and nightly entertainment.
Where to stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Coral or The Westin Cape Coral Resort At Marina Village
5 Day | Fort Myers Itinerary | Boca Grande
Boca Grande is situated on Gasparilla Island. It’s well-known for being in a really affluent residential neighborhood that gives locals and visitors with beautiful beaches and wonderful fishing.
Morning: Typically the most efficient factor you are able to do is to loosen up. And why not? You’ve earned it! Chill on the seashore as we speak or constitution a boat with Paradise Charters and head out to Cabbage Key. This “old Florida” island is where Jimmy Buffet was impressed to write down “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
If chartering a ship is a bit out of the price range, take your automotive to Boca Grande, particularly right to Sandspur Seashore which has good restrooms and picnic shelters. The town of Placida has a Publix so you’ll be able to decide up some food and drinks right here. There are a selection of tolls alongside the best way and a small payment to access the seashore, nevertheless it’s all value it.
Day: If that looks like a bit too much activity for the day, you’ll be able to simply head to Pine Island and take the ferry to Cayo Costa. Convey a picnic lunch and put together to chill out within the solar all day. I do know, it’s a troublesome job but anyone has to do it! An fascinating spot within the space is Whidden’s Marina, one of the oldest marinas on Boca Grande. For those of us who’re all the time need to go fishing and keep away from all of these grownup problems, additionally they present fishing charters.
Night time: Take a short stroll to the Boca Grande Bayou for an off-the-cuff dinner at The Pink Elephant. Begin the night with a celebratory drink in the downstairs pub. Afterward, head to the outside patio for some regional comfort food.
Where to stay: Gasparilla Inn & Membership or The Innlet on the Waterfront
Why Ought to I Visit Fort Myers?
In the event you’re in search of a quiet, stylish vacation spot, then Fort Myers is for you. In Fort Myers, the craziness that you simply’d come throughout in Fort Lauderdale and Miami is changed by an aesthetic “old Florida” feeling and with family-friendly seashores.
The pure areas and state parks are second to none with dozens of nature and wildlife preserves sprinkled throughout the world. Since a lot of the shoreline is preserved land, many beachgoers flock to Fort Myers Seashore or one of many outlying islands. The charming downtown and quite a few points of interest make it the right vacation destination.
Have you visited the Fort Myers region? Tell us about your experience within the comments part under.