Fort Myers Beach: strolling among white beaches and natural attractions

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martímicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

We continue our journey in Lee county in Florida, this time in the town of Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Fort Myers and Cape Coral. The highway leading to Estero Island is 865 (San Carlos Boulevard and the Sky Bridge) which then leads, both west and east, to Estero Boulevard, the main artery that runs throughout the island.

The area is renowned for its soft white sand beach, beautiful shells, emerald waters, palm trees and sports practices. This small town is lively and colorful, with a very pleasant architecture. A large wooden sign complete with a sailboat, seagulls, sun, palm trees, sea, sky and the words "Welcome to Fort Myers Beach" gives us a "tropical" welcome.



Fort Myers Beach is one of those locations that is difficult to leave. We enjoyed the many opportunities that the town offers: tranquility, relaxation, warmth, suggestive sunsets, but also energy, fun, water and land activities and last but not least, good food. It is a mix that attracts families, entrepreneurs, retirees, sportsmen, golfers and vacationers. There is even a floating casino. And let's not forget how many other beautiful locations await us around Fort Myers Beach, a destination not to be missed.

Index

  • What to see in Fort Myers Beach
    • Lovers Key State Park
    • Bowditch Point Park
    • Lynn Hall Memorial Park
    • The Mound House
    • Ostego Bay Marine Science Center
    • The other attractions
  • The churches of Fort Myers Beach
  • Where to shop
  • Fort Myers Beach events
  • Where to eat
  • Where to sleep in Fort Myers Beach
  • How to reach Fort Myers Beach

What to see in Fort Myers Beach


It is impossible to get bored here because the activities related to the world of the sea and the land are many (fishing, swimming, diving, katesurfing, parasailing, but also biking, hiking and golf). It is also a must, almost a must, to experience the sensation of being lulled by the breeze and kissed by the sun on one of the main attractions: the beaches. And it is precisely from those that we begin to tell you about Fort Myers Beach.



Lovers Key State Park

Il Lovers Key State Park (8700 Estero Blvd.) is a wildlife lover's paradise. West Indian manatees, bottle-nosed dolphins, bald eagles, blue herons, ibises and turtles live here. But in addition to this, three kilometers of white coastline are an irresistible attraction for swimming, enjoying the sun, going in search of shells or admiring the sunset, perhaps taking a picnic in a dream location where palm trees sway and umbrellas create a color contrast that creates beautiful postcard images.

Here we also find a ramp for boats and we can rent many things: canoes, kayaks, deck chairs and umbrellas. We opt for bicycles. The park is open every day from 8 to sunset. Admission is paid: $ 8 for vehicles, $ 4 for single occupant vehicles, $ 2 for pedestrians and bicycles.

Bowditch Point Park

At the north end of Fort Myers Beach, Bowditch Point Park (50 Estero Blvd.) is a green area where paths develop and at the same time also a splendid coast with a mooring for boats, a very popular location for weddings. On the beautiful clean beach, shell collecting is almost a ritual and then the tables invite you to stay here simply to enjoy the view or, given the presence of grills, for a dinner in such a special place. The area, accessible every day from 7am to sunset, is also a reserve where jellyfish, rays and turtles have been spotted. The cost of parking is $ 2 per hour.


Lynn Hall Memorial Park

even the Lynn Hall Memorial Park (950 Estero Blvd.) is a park overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, also a corner of paradise with its own distinct identity. The park ends with a splendid beach with a covered area for picnics, a children's play area, a ramp from which canoes and kayaks leave and dock and the pier Fishing Pier (10 Old San Carlos Blvd.) where you can meet for fishing. At the foot of the pier on the weekend takes place the Sunset Celebration, the event that celebrates the magic of the sunset, which sees musical groups perform and which hosts eclectic artists.


The Mound House

In the natural setting of Estero Bay, in a riot of vegetation, The Mound House (451 Connecticut St.) is a house restored with the aim of reviving the architectural style of the 20s. The first floor is furnished while the second has been transformed into a sort of museum of native Florida culture. On the whole, the Underground Archeological Museum has been built, dedicated to the history of the Calusa Indians and their land; inside are exhibited tools, works of art and crafts of that time.

It seemed interesting to us to try to find some time, between one beach and another, to get to know the past of this place, especially when the location is a property surrounded by lush greenery, an oasis surrounded by water where you can stroll along the waterfront and along the Great Calusa Blueway Padding trail.


From here you can also take boat trips and practice kayaking. The facility operates from January to April from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 16pm and from May to December on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am to 16pm. Admission costs $ 10 for adults, $ 8 for students. and $ 5 for ages 6 to 12.

Ostego Bay Marine Science Center

THEOstego Bay Marine Science Center (718 Fishermans Wharf) instead contains the charm of the aquarium, with tanks where you can interact with the fish and interactive exhibits. At certain times you can attend the fish lunch but you need to inquire about the exact time.

This marine center can be visited from Monday to Sunday between 10 and 16 with guided and self-guided tours. A donation of $ 5 for adults and $ 3 for children under 6 is recommended.


The other attractions

Next to the pier and the Lynn Hall Memorial Park it develops Time Square, the city center, a sparkling pedestrian area with restaurants, shops, evening entertainment with live music, psychedelic lights, street performers, illuminated palm trees, characteristic lamp posts and sea-blue clocks. It is very pleasant and "energetic" to spend the evening here.       

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Do you love dogs and are you on vacation with Fido? If the answer is yes then Dog beach (8800 Estero Blvd.) is for you. This beach, the only one of its kind in the town, is a "canine paradise" where four-legged friends run, play free and then take a refreshing shower. This free parking area is prone to tides and has calm, shallow waters and is accessible daily from 7am to sunset.

Holiday Water Sports (200 Estero Blvd.) is a good point of reference in Fort Myers Beach to organize jet skis, dolphin encounters, parasailing tours and to rent kayaks, sailboats, sun beds and umbrellas.

Are you ready for a 90 minute adventure? Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise (2500 Main St.) offers an interactive show in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico aboard Pieces of Eight, the replica of a Spanish galleon. Between laughter and fun there is dancing, a limbo competition, and playing pirates. On board, for a fee, there is a refreshment corner. The cost of the "trip" is $ 29.95 for adults and $ 24.95 for children.

More fun for everyone at Jungle Golf (17710 San Carlos Blvd.) where mini golf is played amidst lush tropical landscapes, streams, waterfalls and a lagoon. This attraction has earned awards from the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, Trip Advisor and the local newspaper. It is open every day from 9am to 11am. Admission costs $ 12.50 for adults and $ 10 for ages 4 to 12.

The churches of Fort Myers Beach

In the village we see several religious buildings. In the episcopal church St. Raphael (5601 Williams Dr.) A blessing ceremony for boats and their crews takes place every year in March. We also visit the Catholic Church Church of the Ascension (6025 Estero Blvd.) who welcomes us in the garden surrounded by palm trees.

Other churches are the Presbyterian Chapel by the Sea (100 Chapel St.), the Methodist The Beach United Methodist Church (155 Bay Rd.), La luterana St. Pete’s Luthetan Church (3751 Estero Blvd.) and the Baptist Beach Baptist Church (130 Connecticut St.). Visiting them all makes us understand how important it is that everyone is free to profess their beliefs and how much this is possible here.

Where to shop

Beyond the shops found in Time Square and others scattered here and there, in the town there is a small shopping center, the Santini Marina Plaza Shops (7205 Estero Blvd.), an outlet with shopping and catering, also home to events with various themes (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, car show, music, cooking). It is not very big (13 shops and 8 food and beverage outlets) but it boasts a great choice of garments for beach and sea activities.

Fort Myers Beach events

Others Events which take place in Fort Myers Beach, not located at Santini Plaza, have interested us as they are also of great appeal. In March it is the time of the Shrimp Festival starring the delicious shrimp cooked and served by members of the local Lions Club. The event is completed by a nice parade about three kilometers long and the presence of street vendors.

The Historic Seaport District takes place in October the Beach Pirate Festival which has pirates as its theme with performances, naval battles, bazaars and live music. It is certainly the ideal event to step into the shoes of these characters. At the beach of the Wyndham Grand Hotel (6890 Estero Beach) in November the Beach Sand Sculpting Championship, a spectacular ten-day art event during which sand sculptures created by professionals and amateurs fill the waterfront scene.

Beach Pirate Festival
Beach Sand Sculpting Championship

Through the port of Matanzas and two channels of Siesta Isles, the Christmas Boat Parade; on the occasion, illuminated and festively decorated boats parade on the water near some city locations.

Where to eat

We report some restaurants in which to try typical dishes. The Salty Crab & Grill (1154 Estero Blvd.) is a place also equipped with a pleasantly colored bar that offers American cuisine with moments of entertainment. Its beachside location makes it a special sunset spot. From Fresh Catch Bistro (3040 Estero Blvd.) American dishes such as lobster mac'n cheese, shrimp and filet mignon are served. This restaurant has its own private beach from which you can enjoy splendid views of the sea.

The Salty Crab & Grill
Fresh Catch Bistro

The Beached Whale (1249 Estero Blvd.) is a restaurant with various land and sea specialties: burgers of fine Angus and Tacos meat, barbeque fish, coconut shrimp, lobster rolls and shellfish soup. The restaurant has a bar outside, on some evenings you can listen to live music on the patio and from Monday to Friday from 14 to 17 pm it's time for happy hour.

At lunch and dinner you can enjoy dishes with a Caribbean flavor from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill (708 Fishermans Wharf) choosing from spicy chicken wings, seafood paella, penne with shrimp, tacos with shrimp and fresh local fish. On some days the restaurant offers live music.

The Beached Whale
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill

Where to sleep in Fort Myers Beach

We recommend a few structures receptive in which to stay overnight. The Pink Shell Resort & Marina (275 Estero Blvd.) is a pool hotel offering rooms and suites with waterfront views. The Mango Street Inn (126 Mango St.) is a short walk from the beach and a short distance from the pier, restaurants, shops and clubs. This B&B is surrounded by a beautiful tropical setting.

Pink Shell Resort & Marina
Mango Street Inn

A few steps from the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico we point out the Wyndham Garden Ft. Myers Beach (6890 Estero Blvd.) with comfortable, well furnished rooms and sea views. The hotel offers its guests a fitness center, meeting room, heated outdoor swimming pool, free wi-fi and a restaurant with a relaxed casual atmosphere.

Al Tip Top Isles Waterfront Resort & Marina (17863 San Carlos Blvd.) Excellent service at reasonable prices. The rooms and suites (with kitchen) are equipped with wi-fi and the parking space is in front of the room. The hotel offers boat and kayak rentals. The services offered by this accommodation facility are business center, lounge with recreation area, wi-fi, swimming pool with solar heating, picnic area with barbeque grills, fishing pier and marina.

Wyndham Garden Ft. Myers Beach
Tip Top Isles Waterfront Resort & Marina

Find all the hotels in Fort Myers Beach

How to reach Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach can be reached by direct flights from Europe via theairport international Miami  (2100 NW 42nd Ave.) which is about 2 hours and 30, or with other stopovers in the States arriving then atairport di Fort Myers about 30 minutes (11000 Terminal Access Rd.). We recommend renting a car to have more autonomy but for those who prefer i mezzi di transportation we report Lee Tran, a local bus company operating efficiently in the county of the same name.

Are you planning a Florida tour?

I recommend these articles:

  • How to organize a Florida tour on your own?
  • Car rental Miami and Florida: low cost practical tips
  • Florida climate: when to go and what temperatures to expect
  • Miami Travel Guide: Useful Tips for Planning a Vacation
  • Low Cost USA flights: how to save money for your flight to the United States
  • America health insurance: how to choose the best policy
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