Fort Myers Beach - An Island Vacation And More

For years, people from across the country and around the world have chosen Fort Myers Beach as their vacation destination.  Our family friendly atmosphere, old Florida charm and laid back attitude are what keep visitors coming back year after year.   This article was written to help introduce those of you who may be coming down for your first time to the splendors our island and surrounding area and to keep those of you who are returning up to date what’s new.

Whether you are planning a family vacation, family reunion or a romantic get-a-way for two Fort Myers Beach has just what you’re looking for and Leisure American has the perfect accommodations waiting for you.  Choose from a wide variety of resort style condos, beach cottages and private pool homes and our staff will provide you with excellent service, from start to finish, making your vacation on Fort Myers Beach totally stress free. 

Fort Myers Beach, also know as Estero Island, offers 7 miles of soft, sugar-white sand to wiggle your toes in and our tropical gulf waters offer up so many activities year round from pure relaxation to fun and exciting.  Enjoy the day by sun bathing, swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing  in the gulf.  If you’re a nature lover you’ll want to take advantage of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile marked trail that meanders through LeeCounty’s coastal waters and inland tributaries. Paddle boats rentals are available at about 20 sites.

How about some fishing?  Whether you’re a novice or a pro you’ll find just what you’re looking for all year round.  Private charters and group charters are available offering day and night time fishing excursions into the gulf as well as trips through the back bay and inland waterways. You can also try your hand at surfcasting right from the beach or the towns pier (a license is required).

If fishing isn’t your thing but you want to venture out on the water there are numerous marinas on the island where you can rent your own boat and explore the back bay where dolphins are often seen playing or take a sight seeing cruise through the back bay to the gulf.  There are also sailboat charters for the day or for enjoying a spectacular sunset on the gulf.

Are you a nature lover?  Well here in paradise there’s a lot for nature-lovers to do that’s close to you Fort Myers Beach vacation rental. The Matanzas Pass Preserve is just one mile south of the MatanzasPassBridgethat brings you onto Estero Island and offers nearly 60 unspoiled acres with 1.25 milesof trails through the mangroves.

Fort MyersBeach also has a one-of-a-kind theater with first-run movies. It’s a dinner theater where you can watch a movie with your meal, complete with wine or beer if you like. Movie viewers can order from the menu and be served in their dinner-style seats.

We certainly hope you will indulge in some of these activities and have the time of your life doing so!!  There’s plenty of fun in the sun for all while visiting Ft Myers Beach.

Okay, who’s ready to take a trip off island and do some exploring?  There’s so much to do and so much to discover…

Venture into downtown Fort Myers and you’ll go by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates on the Caloosahatchee, where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters. Visitors can tour their homes, a museum, botanical gardens, and laboratory. A fantastic experience for adults and children.

Art galleries abound in downtown Fort Myers, along with plenty of restaurants and other shops. There’s also a theater, the Florida Repertory Theatre, should you want to see a show. Downtown, now called the “River District” because it is on the banks of the Caloosahatchee – a nice walk, by the way – is filled with lovingly renovated historic buildings; it’s worth a visit just to see them.

A real treat is the Southwest Florida Museum of History. Housed in the former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot, beautifully restored, the museum records life in southwest Floridafrom prehistoric times to today. You can step aboard a 1929 private Pullmanrailroad car and peek inside a Cracker House.

Particularly enjoyable for children is the Imaginarium, a hands-on museum and aquarium. The little ones can touch sea life, feel hurricane winds, and run through a rainstorm. Exhibits include stingrays, live fish, sharks, turtles, swans and iguanas. There’s a lot to see and learn at the Imaginarium.

After that, see what it feels like to be surrounded by thousands of butterflies at The Butterfly Estates. The Butterfly Conservatory is 3,614 square feetof cascading waterfalls, lush tropical nectar plants, and of course butterflies! It includes a veranda restaurant, Flutterby’s Café, and a gift shop, as well as Caterpillars Ice Cream Shop & Fudge Factory.

And every vacation must include a shopping spree. After you’re finished with the fine shops of Fort Myers Beach and the downtown area, it will be time to head for the outlets. Tanger Outlets is just a stone’s throw away, with over 40 outlet stores. If that’s not enough for you, right off I-75 is Miromar Outlets in Estero where there are over 140 top designer and brand name outlets. Wait, there’s more. We have Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers with 20 anchor stores, 80 specialty shops and 30 eateries, as well as 17 theaters one of which is an IMAX. Coconut Point Mall in Estero has 113 stores and 25 restaurants, all surrounding several acres of lakes with a boardwalk. Enjoy hours of shopping and fun in an open, Main Street-style setting with the Mediterranean Revival-style architecture so popular in southwest Florida. Movie theaters are available, too.

Just a half-hour drive from your beach rental is a child’s paradise: The Shell Factory in North Fort Myers. It’s not just a huge seashell and gift shop. There’s a Holiday House, a NaturePark, an arcade, a petting zoo, bumper boats, and a Natural History Museum that is the largest free private natural history exhibit in the United States. Plan on a whole day if you want to see everything!

Do you prefer to watch rather than play? Fort Myers is home to the minor league Fort Myers Miracle baseball team. They play at Hammond Stadium, just a short drive from Fort Myers Beach. If you’re visiting in the spring, we have two major league teams that train here: the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a minor league or spring training game, along with the novelty of seeing your favorite players perform in stadiums surrounded by palm trees.

Golfers can choose from 21 public golf courses in Fort Myers alone, and many more if you care to drive a little farther from you home base at the beach. Miniature golf courses are very close to the beach, where the whole family can enjoy hitting a little while ball amidst pirate ships or in a jungle.

Okay, its back to the island… but how about visiting our neighboring island of Sanibel?

Sanibel is a little over 10 milesfrom your cottage or condo rental on Fort Myers Beach.  Hope over the bridge and in no time you’ll be crossing a beautiful causeway leading you to the lush landscaped islands of Sanibel, a sanctuary island with shell-laden beaches and plenty of activity if you want it.

We suggest Bowman’s Beach off Sanibel-Captiva Road. It’s a family-oriented beach with rest rooms, showers, picnic tables and shady places to rest. It’s a bit of a walk out to the sandy beach from there but you’ll be able to find your own little spot among the piles of seashells that dot the beach.

Close to Bowman’s Beach is the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, with more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world. A learning lab features a hands-on play area for children, displays, games, and a tank with mollusks native to Sanibel.

One of Sanibel’s main attractions is the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United Statesand is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations. Drive or bicycle along Wildlife Driveto “see what you can see.”

Sanibel is also known for its 26 milesof shaded bicycle paths; there are several places that rent bikes. You can have a full day on the island before heading back to your very own island condo or cottage.  End the day by watching a spectacular sunset over the gulf with Sanibel Islandin the foreground.

These are just some of the things available to the Fort Myers Beach vacationer.  For more information check with Leisure American Vacation Rentals.