Fort Myers is located in sunny Southwest Florida. The area is known for its pristine beaches, warm waters, laid-back lifestyle, warm hospitality, and mouthwatering seafood-centric eats. All in all, the islands, beaches, and neighborhoods of Fort Myers truly offer something for every type of traveler: Adventure seekers can enjoy an ample amount of water sports, while nature gurus can spot a wide variety of native and migratory birds, rich flora, and more.
Need even more convincing? Read on for five ways to have a good day in the greater Fort Myers area.
Reason 1: Hit the beach, and you'll feel waves of relaxation.
There are over 50 miles of beaches and a variety of islands to explore around Fort Myers, which means there's a stretch of sand for everyone. Depending on where you choose to hit the beach, you could have a private oasis all to yourself. You may even stumble upon groups of friends playing a game of beach volleyball or families collecting shells along the shore.
Those who enjoy collecting seashells will want to scour the shore at Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island, which is affectionately known as "The Seashell Capital of the World." If you prefer somewhere more under the radar, make your way to one of the other barrier islands, including North Captiva Island and Cayo Costa State Park.
Reason 2: Playtime happens naturally on the water.
The serene blue waters in Southwest Florida are especially ideal for exploring. While the water is typically warm and calm throughout the year, we wouldn't judge you if you just wanted to sit on the sand and take in the breathtaking scenery. Those who want to get out on the water can find plenty of rental shops for kayaking and paddleboarding.
The Fort Myers area is also a popular spot for fishing and boating excursions. Additionally, boat tours are a great way to island-hop and spot some of the area's natural wildlife, such as birds and manatees.
Reason 3: You'll be surrounded by wildlife.
Throughout the year, you'll be surrounded by native and migratory birds and plenty of other wildlife, including manatees. Although these beautiful creatures can be seen year-round, they migrate towards inland waterways in winter to seek warmer water temperatures. Meanwhile, in the warmer months, manatees can be seen throughout the waterways, like offshore from the beach and in glistening back bays.
Each winter, American white pelicans flock to Fort Myers to escape the brutal cold and take in the warm sunshine. The burrowing owl also calls the region — specifically Cape Coral — home. This tiny owl is no more than 11 inches tall and weighs just five to eight ounces. Keep your eyes peeled for them in the early mornings or early evenings, and consider planning your visit around the annual Burrowing Owl Festival in February.
Reason 4: It's easy to go all-in on a night out.
Around town, travelers can find plenty to see and do at any time of day or night. On the first Friday of the month, Art Walk beckons people to explore downtown Fort Myers' thriving arts and culture scene.
Meanwhile, Music Walk, which takes place every third Friday of the month, features local artists and bands that play to the beat of their own drums. Expect everything from jazz to blues, to classic rock & roll. Afterward, stick around and stroll through the walkable entertainment district, where drinking and dining options abound. Keep the good vibes going all night long as you bounce around between the area's many bars, restaurants, and shops.
Reason 5: You'll be spoiled by all the good eats.
There are plenty of fantastic restaurants, dive bars, and seaside shacks around Fort Myers, and seafood is on the menu at most of them. Stone crab connoisseurs will want to visit between October and May, when the bright red crabs are in season and offered at many of the local seafood markets and restaurants.
The area is also known for its fresh shrimp, which is harvested straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Shellfish lovers will want to plan a trip around the annual Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, which takes place each spring. Festivities include a parade, an arts and crafts expo, a five-kilometer run, and, of course, a shrimp eating contest.
These are just a few of the many reasons to visit Fort Myers' islands, beaches, and neighborhoods. However, we're sure that once you hit the beach, experience the nightlife, or get up close to nature, you'll have even more reasons to return.