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Visiting Fort Myers Beach, Florida: Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach

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Visiting Fort Myers Beach, Florida offers plentiful opportunities for sun and fun, and a whole lot more. There are many things to do in Fort Myers Beach.

Fort Myers Beach is located in the southwestern region of Florida, on Estero Island in Lee County. Estero Island is a subtropical barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico, and is known for its wide assortment of seashells that are plentiful on its white sand beaches. The area offers a number of hotel accommodations and numerous tourist amenities.

White sand beaches, warm gulf waters, plentiful sun, and numerous nearby sightseeing opportunities make this gulf-side part of Florida an excellent choice for leisure travel. Fort Myers Beach offers something for just about every traveler, from those who prefer relaxing on the beach at a seaside resort to those who like to take day trips and explore the surrounding area to those who prefer to spend time at local bars and restaurants.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Hotels Along The Beach In Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Hotels Along The Beach In Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Accessing The Beaches While Visiting Fort Myers Beach

Visiting Fort Myers Beach is all about enjoying the sunny beaches and warm gulf waters. Many of the hotels on the barrier island offer gulf facing views and direct access to warm gulf beaches, which makes getting from the hotel to the beach a breeze.

For those that are staying in the Fort Myers Beach area, but are not staying on the Beach, there are a number of public beaches that provide easy access to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico; all of which are assessable via a public trolley. A county park called Bowditch Point Regional Park, which lies on the northern tip of Fort Myers Beach, offers public beach access. On the central part of the island lies the commercial district, which is known as Times Square. Besides resturaunts and shops, the area features a fishing pier and public beach that is also a county run facility called Lynn Hall Memorial Park . For those looking for a natural beach setting, a beautiful state park called Lovers Key is located just south of Fort Myers Beach, and is accessible via the public trolley that runs from Fort Myers Beach to Bonita Springs.

Things To Do In Fort Myers Beach While Visiting

Fort Myers Beach offers typical warm water sports, from sailing to para-sailing to cruising the Gulf of Mexico on wave runners. One noteworthy trip in the area is an early morning guided dolphin sightseeing tour around the island on a wave runner, which includes the gulf and the bay-side.

A trip to nearby Sanibel Island and Captiva Island is a good day trip from Fort Myers Beach. The nearby islands offer beautiful tropical views and access to a number scenic natural public beaches that are fully exposed to the Gulf of Mexico and typically have higher waves than the beaches on Fort Myers Beach. Bowman’s Point is a particularly beautiful public beach that is accessed via a five minutes walk through natural areas. Just be prepared to pay for parking.

Marco Island, which is approximately one hour south of Fort Myers Beach, offers another day trip opportunity. With two public beaches and a pleasant gulf side atmosphere, Marco Island may be worthy of a trip for travelers who are staying on Fort Myers Beach and want to explore the surrounding beach towns.

Siesta Key is a longer day trip from Fort Myers Beach, approximately one hour and forty-five minutes to the north, but is worth the trip to see its unique extremely fine white sand beaches that were formed by natural weathering of quartz rocks in the Appalachian Mountains. Siesta Key offers two public beaches: Turtle Beach, which is a relatively narrow and steep beach, and the much larger Siesta Beach, which is a wide beach with a very gradual slope into the Gulf of Mexico (voted the #1 beach in the United States by The Travel Channel).

For those looking for a day trip from Fort Myers Beach on a boat, the Key West Express offers a relaxing way to reach Key West, Florida, via a three-hour journey along the gulf coast of southwest Florida. Considering that Key West is a five to six hour drive from Fort Myers Beach, the Key West Express is an appealing option for traveling to Key West without the stress of driving.

Bowman’s Beach On Sanibel Island, Florida

The View From Bowman’s Beach On Sanibel Island, Florida

The View From Bowman’s Beach On Sanibel Island, Florida

An Excellent Public Park For Kids Near Fort Myers Beach

Travelers visiting Fort Myers Beach with children may find the nearby Lakes County Park to be worthy of a visit. The park, which is approximately fifteen minutes from Fort Myers Beach, features two spray parks that allow children to cool off from the hot Florida sun, a large play area that has a train theme, and a one and one-half mile mini train ride through the park that helps support the Southern Florida Railroad Museum, which is located in the park. The park has a large lake in the center and a number of smaller lakes that can be viewed by foot or via a number of bike rental options, including two and four-seat bikes that accommodate children and are relatively easy to peddle along the park’s pathways.

Where To Stay While Visiting Fort Myers Beach

There are wide variety of choices for accommodations in the area, from full resorts to more modest beachside hotels, RV Parks, and bed and breakfasts. While there are many choices regarding where to stay while visiting the area, a resort called the The Pink Shell Resort, which is on the north side of Fort Myers Beach, stands out above the rest. The Pink Shell Resort offers resort amenities that families with children will appreciate, including three pools, a large gulf side beach, and children’s activities.

The Pink Shell Resort

Looking Back At The Pink Shell Resort From The Beach

Looking Back At The Pink Shell Resort From The Beach

The Lani Kiai Hotel in the central part of Fort Myers Beach may not be the sort of hotel that travelers with children would want to stay at, but travelers of all kinds will appreciate the beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico from the Island View Restaurant located on the sixth floor of the hotel. With both indoor and outdoor seating (which are actually tables that are on swings), the restaurant offers great gulf views, a lively atmosphere, stiff drinks, and surprisingly good food.

Pink Shell Resort in Fort Myers Beach

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Fort Myers Beach Sunset

Fort Myers Beach Sunset.  Taken From Pink Shell Resort Beach

Fort Myers Beach Sunset. Taken From Pink Shell Resort Beach

Best Time To Visit Fort Myers Beach

The best time to visit Fort Myers Beach depends upon a traveler's preferences. The area is usually warm all year round; however, cool weather does occasionally occur during the winter months.

The high season for Fort Myers Beach is from January through April, with large influxes of American and European travelers looking for a warm spot to vacation. The downside to visiting Fort Myers Beach during these months is that it is crowded, there is a lot of traffic on the roads, and the Gulf of Mexico, while warm, is not nearly as warm as locations further south in the Caribbean. Also, Fort Myers Beach gets a large "Spring Break" crowd in March, so you may want to avoid visiting during that time, if that is not your sort of thing.

The summer months feature much less in the way of crowds and a much warmer Gulf of Mexico. The downside to visiting Fort Myers Beach during the summer months is the strong and hot Florida summer sun. For those with a flexible schedule, the fall may be the best time to visit Fort Myers Beach, since the water is still on the warmer side and the sun is not as strong as it is during the summer.

Any time of the year, there are plenty of things to do inFort Myers Beach while visiting Fort Myers Beach. You may have to drive a bit to find things to do in the surrouding Fort Myers Beach area, but many of the destinations are well worth driving to.

© 2012 John Coviello


Liz Westwood from UK on October 28, 2018:

You give a good introduction to Fort Myers Beach. Great sunset photo too.

John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on February 20, 2013:

Thanks for the kind words about my article about Fort Myers Beach. I'm glad people are finding it useful. It's a great area on the quite side of Flordia with a lot more to do than one would initially expect when they think of vacationing at Fort Myers Beach.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 06, 2012:

Great article about visiting the beaches in the Fort Meyers area. I well remember picking up shells when my mother and I were visiting my aunt and uncle who lived not far from there. Never made it to Sanibel Island...but we got great shells anyway. My uncle was always on the lookout to add to his sharks tooth collection. Up votes and sharing!

Philip Cooper from Olney on October 06, 2012:

Nice hub and interesting. Thank you.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on October 04, 2012:

This is a great article! We are planning on going to Florida over spring break - either to Destin or to Ft. Myers. I prefer Ft. Myers because Sanibel Island is nearby and I think there will be more to do for my five and seven year old boys. The drive is almost the same (19 hours to Destin, 21 hours to Ft. Myers) - Sanibel Island is on my bucket list!

Michelle Cesare from New York on October 04, 2012:

Good topic, great pictures and good advice. Nicely done.

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