As the temperatures drop, Canadians begin to dream about winter vacations. Florida is one of the most popular vacation spots for us with attractions like Disney, Universal Orlando and, of course, the many beaches. In this post, I have a list of popular things to do in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
About The Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands Region
Fort Myers Florida is known for its beaches, excellent water sports, shopping and great dining. There is something here for everyone, from families, couples to friend getaways. You can explore the shops and attractions of downtown Fort Myers on the mainland or head to the coastal island where you will find plenty to do on Fort Myers Beach.
The bonus of visiting Fort Myers is that you’re a short causeway drive away from the beautiful Sanibel and Captiva islands where you will find more beach towns, beaches, eco-parks and plenty of shelling.
Read More: Things to do on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Getting to Fort Myers Beach Florida
Flying to Fort Myers Beach
You will find plenty of flights heading into Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). Direct flights will depend on your departure city. From Toronto, it was a quick and easy 3-hour flight.
Drive to Fort Myers Beach
Of course, if you prefer to drive to Florida, you will find Southwest Florida accessible via I-10 and 1-95 from the I-75.
Where to Stay in Fort Myers Beach Florida
I stayed in two hotels during my beach vacation in Fort Myers Beach. Each hotel had a unique vibe and would suit any traveller.
Sandpiper Gulf Resort
Located in the southern part of Fort Myers Beach, this hotel was more low key and was a smaller resort in general. The beach was magnificent, and all the suites face the ocean.
Each suite at the Sandpiper Gulf Resort consists of a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. This full kitchen allows you to prepare meals in the room during the day when hanging out at one of their two pools or the beach.
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
Located up in the north part of the island, the Pink Shell Beach Resort is a 15-minute walk from the pier and the Times Square District. Location wise this was a great hotel to stay at, but it was a much larger family-style hotel. There were activities for the kids at the main pool, a quieter pool and plenty of beach loungers on the vast beach.
The size of this resort changes the vibe, so if you like more quiet and intimate settings, you will love the Sandpiper more; however, if you want lots of activities, restaurants, fitness facilities and more, this hotel will have more than enough for you to do.
Fort Myers Beach Packing List
Here are a few of my favourite things to pack for a beach vacation.
Things to do in Fort Myers Beach Florida
The list of things to do in Fort Myers Beach is endless, from white sand beaches, shells for miles and the low key beach vibe made for a dream beach vacation. Each night there was a spectacular sunset on the water, there were m shops and attractions too.
Fort Myers Beach and Pier
Trust me when I say it doesn’t matter where your hotel is on Fort Myers Beach you will have miles and miles of white sand to walk on. However, if you happen to be on the Northern part of the island, you’ll be closer to the Fort Myers Beach fishing pier and the Times Square Shopping District.
Times Square District (Fort Myers Beach)
Fort Myers Beach has its very own Times Square district. The area features souvenir shops, cafés, and restaurants. A beachy feel this boardwalk type neighbourhood is super casual and within walking distance of the northern part of Fort Myers Beach.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
History buffs will love learning about the relationship between Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who vacationed in Fort Myers during the winter season. Edison stayed in Fort Myers for health reasons, and Henry Ford visited often. The result is a beautiful botanical garden that will appeal to nature lovers and tours of the historic winter homes of Edison and Ford. Check reviews of the attraction.
Downtown Fort Myers
The streets lined with shops and restaurants are perfect for those looking for an urban escape from the beach. Be sure to stop in at Ford’s Garage for a bite to eat.
Ford’s Garage (Downtown Fort Myers)
Located in downtown Fort Myers, this is an excellent stop on your way back from the Edison Estates. A great burger joint and bar decorated with a 1920s service station type decor. You’ll love the old model Ford above the bar which now and then during our lunch got a little feisty. Check reviews for Ford’s Garage Restaurant.
Sanibel Outlets Mall
Cross-border shopping Canadians love the search for bargains when visiting the U.S. The Sanibel Outlets is a small outlet mall but features around 40 stores which include: Adidas, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Gap, Nike, and Samsonite.
Where to Eat in Fort Myers Beach Florida
I have no shortage of recommendations of where to eat when visiting Fort Myers Beach, Florida. From family friendly, pub grub fair, cheap boardwalk eats to fine dining. Here’s a list of some great places I visited during my stay.
The Bayfront Bistro features a casually elegant dining atmosphere located on the waterfront of the Snook Bight Yacht Club. We had a fabulous meal featuring fresh seafood while sitting on the patio and watching the beautiful boats in the marina. See reviews for Bayfront Bistro here.
This casual restaurant located in the Times Square district of Fort Myers Beach had a fun vibe both inside and on the waterfront facing patio. While they have a fascinating bar on the second floor and a delicious and crazy cocktail menu, the restaurant was a real hit with families too. There were lots of casual eats and seafood fair on the insanely colossal menu. Check reviews for Nervous Nellies.
Pete’s Time Out
I had a quick and cheerful breakfast at this no-fuss food counter located on the pedestrian walkway just off the pier in the Times Square district. There are many cheap eats and boardwalk fairs in this area to choose from for a light meal or some fast food steps from the beach. Check Pete’s Time Out reviews.
Parrot Key Caribbean Grill
On our last night, we had dinner at this super fun and quirky restaurant. This Caribbean Grill will have you dining under hundreds of wooden parrots falling from the ceiling. Located at Salty Sam’s Marina, this casual restaurant is perfect for friends or families looking for some Caribbean inspired grub. Check Parrot Key reviews.
Read more: Dream of Shells? Best Shelling Beaches In Florida are on Sanibel Island
Travel assistance provided by The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Visitor & Convention Bureau on a Media Familiarization trip; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.