Beaches near Fort Myers make a great beach travel destination! There’s a change of pace when you go to Fort Myers & Sanibel Beaches. For a lot of people, it’s just slowing down and relaxing. For others, it’s enjoying the soft, white sandy beaches and just sinking your toes in. Then for some, it’s the outdoor activities, playing in the water, and the family activities where every minute it taken full advantage of.
If you’re looking for fun in the fun in the sun, you will find it all on the beaches surrounding Fort Myers. From the quiet and secluded Cayo Costa to the boundless activity found at Lynn Hall Memorial Park, there is beach for you. Lynn Hall is right in the heart of Fort Myers Beach. You will find more action here than at any of the other beaches with lots of restaurants, bars and lots of water sports.
First you will want to determine what part of Fort Myers you want stay in. Go here to visit the best beaches of Fort Myers
Weather (Best Time to Go)
The best time to visit Fort Myers is between March and May. Although the sun is up and rates are down, visitors wanting a quiet vacation should be on the lookout for spring breakers. The summer months see the most crowds, especially families, so plan to book at least three months in advance if you’ll be traveling then. Like other tropical locales, Fort Myers also sees an influx of travelers in the winter season when high temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s. During June – August “Hot” and “sweaty” don’t deter families from flocking here. Prepare for daily temperatures in the low 90s and remember to coat yourself in sunscreen. Also, don’t forget to pack an umbrella for those frequent afternoon rain showers – the area sees most of its rainfall this time of year. During September – November the rain has subsided; the families have fled; the heat has decreased; but the chance of hurricanes persists. These four factors encourage hotels to offer some great rates. Take a look at visiting during this shoulder season. Then not many people can resist mid to upper 70-degree weather and clean beaches December – February. Hotels recognize this and charge premiums, yet even these are much less than at other Floridian destinations.
Sights Not to Miss
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife
Named after a political cartoonist and conservationist, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge occupies 8,000 acres of land on Sanibel Island, located southwest of Fort Myer’s city center. The refuge, which takes up about half the entire island, was originally meant to conserve the island’s significant mangrove forest. Today, it is still home to those mangroves, as well as animals like crocodiles, alligators and countless species of birds. In fact, for herons, cuckoos, ospreys, and other birds, the refuge is an important stop along their migratory path.
It’s best to stop by Manatee Park, a refuge for Florida manatees, during the winter season (between December and February). During the colder months, the animals flock to warm pockets of water to escape chilly temperatures. Since the park is directly on the warm water discharge canal of the Florida Power & Light company, it’s a popular spot for these gentle creatures. There are a handful of observation decks to see the animals up close, but you can also hop into a kayak and paddle out to spot them. You probably won’t see manatees if you visit in summer, but you can enjoy the park’s 16 acres in kayaks or on guided tours.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are home base for history buffs who visit the area. The two American innovators – Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb and the phonograph and Henry Ford, the pioneer of the automobile – were good friends who built their winter homes next to each other about a mile south of downtown Fort Myers. Dating back to the early 1900s, the historic estates are now on display for visitors. Along with the grand homes, the grounds also include a botanical garden (with trees planted by Edison himself), a research laboratory and a museum with hundreds of artifacts and inventions from the entrepreneurs. Guided and self-guided tours are available.
Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium
You’ll see a wide range of animals native to Florida at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, including bald eagles, alligators, hawks and owls. There are also daily shows and animal demonstrations, as well as touch tanks and fossils that kids will enjoy. Allot one to two hours to enjoy tours of Calusa’s artificial habitats, experience the wetlands or visit the butterfly house, and if there’s still time left over, take in the Center’s laser and space-related shows.
Things to Do
San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve
This 718-acre facility is a natural tidal wetlands area that is located on San Carlos Bay. This is a living ecosystem that ranges from a sandy beach to Mangrove forests to salt flats and contains a wide variety of wildlife for viewing and offers great photographic opportunities from the flora & fauna to fantastic sunsets. The outdoor activity center has two paddle craft launches, two wildlife viewing and fishing piers, a 310 ft. boardwalk and composting restrooms. Bunche Beach Preserve is a designated Great Florida Birding Trail site. For more information, maps and guides please visit the Great Florida Birding Trail .Kayak Excursions is a full service kayak and SUP (Stand Up Paddleboards) company. They offer many different types of kayak rentals, kayak tours, kayak fishing, and lessons for adults and children, as well as SUP rentals, tours, lessons, and sales. For more information contact: 239-297-7011 or Kayak Excursions.
Sanibel Offshore Fishing Charters
You can go hunting in the Gulf of Mexico for Delicious Grouper’s and feisty fighting Snapper or maybe wrestle with some Sharks, Goliath Grouper, Amberjack, Barracuda, Permit, Tarpon, Cobia, King Mackerel and more as typical catches. Or they can take your group Inshore into the bay, Inside of the Barrier Islands and into the collection of protected bay’s known as Pine Island Sound, where you can fish for tasty Redfish, acrobatic Snook, feisty Sea Trout, tasty Mangrove Snapper, delicious Flounder, Giant Sheepshead, Bull Shark, Blacktip or Hammerhead Shark’s, Tarpon, and Goliath Grouper just to name a few. All of their Captains are: U.S. Coast Guard certified Master Captains. Southwest Florida Natives born and raised fishing and boating the waters surrounding Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach. Contact them at 239-337-4275 or visit Sanibel Offshore Fishing Charters
Magic Wind Adventure Sailing
Capt. Dan & Diane invite you to sail aboard “Star of Orion”, their 38 foot coastal cruiser. They will take you out to the Gulf of Mexico to share with the experience of the Sea. Don’t forget to take your camera and binoculars, it’s not out of the ordinary to see Dolphins, Sea Turtles and other amazing sea life! You’ll enjoy your time on the sea. Sunsets off the coast of Fort Myers beach are incredible. You can help set the sails, take the wheel, or just sit back and experience the wind and sound of the tropical sea flowing under your keel. Contact them at 1-800-975-5824 or visit Magic Wind Adventure Sailing
Adventures in Paradise
Adventures in Paradise Cruises & Tours hopes to show you just how amazing the islands of Sanibel and Captiva are and why they fell in love with the sea. Explore and take a journey with them to discover dolphins, manatee, sea horses, osprey, and pristine beaches brimming with shells, shells, and more seashells! The waters of Sanibel and Captiva provide for some of the worlds best boat cruises, and their family would like to guide you to the best fun-filled adventures. Contact them at 239-472-8443 or visit Adventures in Paradise
Quirky Captiva Island is beloved for it small size: most everyone walks everywhere. It’s also a stellar place to take in sunset; just stroll down to the beach as day fades into night, and join the nightly celebration. Galleries and outdoor restaurants line Andy Rosse Lane and Captiva Drive. And Captiva’s marinas are where you can arrange to go by boat to other nearby islands. For more information visit Captiva Island.
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$$ Sunset Beach Tropical Grille & The Playmore Tiki Bar
A fun gathering place with a phenomenal view. You can sit back and relax, watching the fishermen on the pier or the dolphins playing in the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s not forget, the white sandy beach and the world renowned sunsets. They have added great food and of course your favorite libations with live entertainment for a complete Ft. Myers Beach experience. They cordially invite you to go and enjoy all they have to offer to create fond lasting memories as their fore fathers have done in the past. For more information call 239-463-1028 or visit Sunset Beach Tropical Grille & The Playmore Tiki Bar.
$ Key Lime Conch Shack
They are excited to bring affordable, island style seafood to Fort Myers Beach. The menu is inspired by our travels and features cuisines from the Caribbean, Bahamas, Hawaii, and Florida Keys. For more information call 239-848-1010 or visit Key Lime Conch Shack.
$$$ Fresh Catch Bistro
Sit back, relax and enjoy. Indulge in a great bottle of wine, a fine bourbon or scotch and the best food and service on Fort Myers Beach. At Fresh Catch Bistro they work tirelessly to ensure your dining experience is simply the the best! For more information call 239-463-2600 or visit Fresh Catch Bistro.
$$ Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille
Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach sits on the back of beautiful Estero Bay on San Carlos Island and offers the best waterfront dining on Ft. Myers Beach. Feel free to go by car or boat and experience live music and watch the largest shrimp boat fleet in the U.S. head in and out of the gulf thru Matanzas Pass. With seating inside and out, it’s a view you will never forget! For more information call 239-765-9660 or visit Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille.
$$ Smokin’ Oyster Brewery
Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, known by locals as S.O.B., was established in 1997. Since the first oysters on the half shell where served many have enjoyed the Island atmosphere and the live entertainment on the outside porch of the renovated Florida home. When you go to S.O.B. you will notice a small boat behind the bar. It was originally thought it could be used in case of a hurricane to escape with some of the delicious crabs, island bread, or hamburgers prepared fresh daily. However, now it is much more useful displaying the many bottled beers, wines and liquors used to make fabulous tropical drinks (which, all need to be saved along with the seafood bucket at the time of a flood – basically they need a bigger boat!) For more information call 239-463-3474 or visit Smokin’ Oyster Brewery.
Cottage Beach Bar & Gulfshore Grill
The Cottage Beach Bar & Gulfshore Grill is a popular Fort Myers Beach restaurant destination. The restaurant and bar offers fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico from every table! A local’s favorite for 40 years, they offer the best in Ft Myers night life and are one of the top Ft Myers Beach bars in the area. For more information call 239-765-5440 or visit Cottage Beach Bar & Gulfshore Grill.
Junkanoo On The Beach
Join them at Junkanoo for a taste of the tropics. Guests will enjoy their open air or covered seating on the beach over looking the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to their fans, they’ve been voted the Best Restaurant, Bar and Drinks on Fort Myers Beach. Watch your favorite sporting event, play pool, dance or just relax on one of the many cabanas on the beach! The party never really ends there. For more information call 239-463-6139 or visit Junkanoo on the Beach.
The Beached Whale
Look Out over local happenings and Gulf waters as the sun sets over Times Square or watch the game from the Deck Bar under their covered awning. The Look Out Lounge serves the full Beached Whale menu including BBQ, Seafood Baskets and full plated entrees. Happy Hour features our popular Whale Wings, mussels, and famous Flat Breads. The Beached Whale was listed in Frommer’s Suggested Itineraries under ‘What to do on Day 1 on Fort Myers Beach’, along with many favorable reviews for the new Look Out Lounge, where guests can dine with a great view of the Gulf from atop The Beached Whale. For more information call 239-463-5505 or visit The Beached Whale.
Famous Blowfish Bar (Part of Pierside Grille)
The Famous Blowfish Bar at PierSide Grill is the perfect location for fun, cold drinks, and the best people watching spot on the beach! Located right beside the Fort Myers Beach pier, the Famous Blowfish Bar has live music twice every day and you can enjoy their delicious food while you soak in the best view of the Gulf waters! For more information call 239-765-7800 or visit the Famous Blowfish Bar.
Salty Crab Bar & Grill
Located directly on the beach, it’s the perfect place to grab some great food, a cold beer, all while digging your toes in the sand. With a fresh new look, and a killer menu, they’re sure that the Salty Crab Bar & Grill will be your new home away from home. Go on in and see for yourself. For more information call 239-233-8224 or visit the Salty Crab Bar & Grill.
Top Fort Myers Hotels
Tiki On The Beach
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Showcasing a barbecue and views of the sea, Tiki On The Beach is located in Fort Myers Beach. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Tiki On The Beach.
GullWing Beach Resort
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, steps from beautiful beaches, this condominium-style property offers spacious accommodations, and an unrivaled location, complete with many of the comforts of home. Guests will find a variety of recreational activities at the Gullwing as well as in the surrounding area. Take a stroll along the beach, play a game on the tennis courts, or enjoy deep-sea fishing. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit GullWing Beach Resort.
Edison Beach House
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Featuring free WiFi, a year-round outdoor pool and a barbecue, Edison Beach House offers accommodations in Fort Myers Beach, just 14 miles from Fort Myers. Free private parking is available on site. The hotel also provides bike rental. Naples is 24 miles from Edison Beach House, and Sanibel is 4.1 miles away. Southwest Florida International Airport is 14 miles from the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Edison Beach House.
Best Western Plus Beach Resort
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. On the Gulf of Mexico adjacent to Central Fort Myers Beach, this resort features an outdoor pool and rooms with private balconies. Free Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast are provided. After an action packed day of water sports, guests of the Beach Resort Best Western Plus can cook up a meal on the barbecue facilities. A laundromat and a 24-hour front desk are offered for added convenience. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Best Western Plus Beach Resort.