Fort Myers Beach is located on a barrier island on Estero Island and is has become a popular destination for spring break revelers, party-goers and families looking for a brief escape from reality and time to bask in the sunshine.
Fort Myers Beach has become a popular boating, fishing and sunbathing destination for Sunshine State residents and out-of-towners alike, and you’ll find plenty to do beyond the coastline. The area also boasts some of the best seafood and casual eateries along the coast. From fresh seafood to hearty steak platters, you’ll find something to please all palettes in the traveling party.
Whether you’re in the mood for an outdoor movie with your sweetheart, want to spend the day boating around the clear waters, or just want to kick back and relax oceanside, you’ll find a variety of opportunities for recreation and relaxation in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
History of Fort Myers Beach
Estero Island once served as the center of the Calusa Indian heartland and served as a rich, food-producing estuary. The Spanish explorers that once ruled the area established several empires and ceremonial centers throughout the region, and during the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, the occupants began to occupy many of the high shell mounds throughout the area. It wasn’t until 1893 that Dr. Cyrus Teed arrived on Fort Myers Beach and established a settlement right on the Estero River.
The rich Florida wetlands of the region continued to prosper, and settlers soon built waterways, buildings and huts around the fertile grounds. Today, Fort Myers Beach has become more of a vacation and resort destination, rather than a trading hub or outpost. It’s also one of the Sunshine State’s most popular nightlife beaches, boasting a thriving nightlife and party scene year round, but especially during spring break season.
Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach
The majestic waters of the Gulf of Mexico can b enjoyed from several viewing points and locations around Fort Myers Beach. This beach is a popular destination for swimming, fishing hiking and snorkeling, and many watersport and recreational enthusiasts head here to make the most of the spring and summer seasons outdoors.
The local Chamber of Commerce organizes several cultural events throughout the year, including the annual Edison Festival of Lights at the beginning of the year. This festival is a three-week celebration honoring the inventor and scientist, and includes a regatta, inventor fair, crafts show and orchid fair. The event ends with a spectacular fireworks show and the longest night parade that lights up the waterways in the state. Some fun and interesting things to do in Fort Myers Beach include:
- Visiting the Edison-Ford Winter Estates – two of America’s greatest inventors had homes here, and visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the estate and botanical gardens. The museum and laboratory are open to the public year round, and can give you some insight on the inventors’ lives, passion and notable achievements.
- Imaginarium Hands-On Museum – if you’re traveling to Fort Myers Beach with kids and want to treat them to an educational experience, head to this science museum where they can enjoy a variety of hands-on, interactive activities.
- Calusa Planetarium – learn about outer space and the solar system by enjoying a show at the Calusa Planetarium. The venue is also home to a 105-acre nature center with trails and dozens of displays and exhibits.
- Captiva Cruises – this excursion boat company has been offering guided tours since 1986 and offers half-day and full-day excursions to several key sites and points of interest around Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Island. Hop aboard for a dolphin cruise or just to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.
- Everglades Day Safari – learn about the history of the Everglades and the makeup of the wetland ecosystems with a guided safari or adventure tour. You’ll have the opportunity to see alligators in their natural habitat, learn about local fauna and wildlife, and see the waters from a fresh perspective.
- King Fisher Aerial Sightseeing – this locally-owned and operated sightseeing tour operator offers scenic tours by air over the beautiful Florida wetlands around Fort Myers. You can see dolphins, sharks, manatees, and other wildlife from a bird’s eye view.
- Big M. Casino – another draw to Fort Myers Beach is the casino nearby. Whether you’re a poker fan or interested in playing the slot machines, this is a popular destination for any gaming enthusiast.
Other Highlights of Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach caters to picnickers, swimmers, boaters and sun-seekers with several amenities and services. The Fort Myers beach stretch does have lifeguards on duty, and you can enjoy amenities including barbecue grills, picnic tables, a boat ramp, observation tower, accessible restrooms, bathhouses, showers, and plenty of parking spots around the beach.
Fort Myers beach is also within walking distance or a short drive from several great restaurants and eateries. If you’re looking for some classic American food, head to the Bayfront Bistro or Wahoo Willies for some reasonably-priced but hearty fare. Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach Rum Bar & Grille is a popular destination for all-American eats and tasty cocktails. Some of the popular casual dining destinations on and around Estero Boulevard include Mothers Beach Pub & Grill, Matanzas Inn Restaurant, The Beached Whale and Smokin’ Oyster Brewery. Steak and seafood enthusiasts can enjoy fresh seafood from the Gulf at the Gulfshore Grill & The Cottage, The Rusty Pelican and some light fare and appetizers from the Yucatan Beach Stand Bar &Grill. The Smokin’ Oyster Brewery on Old San Carlos Boulevards serves up fresh oyster platters, as well as a variety of fresh seafood entrees.
Those looking for the best of the nightlife scene in Fort Myers Beach can head to the Junkanoo Beach Bar and Dance Club that hosts live reggae and DJ music throughout the week. Other popular destinations include the Ricochet Nightclub, Bert’s Bar & Grill and the Indigo Room. From the thriving nightlife scene to the array of watersport activities and attractions, Fort Myers Beach offers something for all types of travelers. Head here for your next vacation in the Sunshine State or when planning a spring break getaway.