Some of the best shelling beaches in the world can be found near Fort Myers Beach on neighboring Sanibel and Captiva islands. An impressive collection of shells, not just from Sanibel but from around the world, is housed at the island’s Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Also on Sanibel is the famous lighthouse. Standing 90 feet tall, it dates to 1884 and is still in use. It’s not open for tours, but visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds and beach.
Also nearby is the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – 6,000 acres of protected wetlands, beaches, and mangrove forests. The refuge has a massive migratory bird population, 250 native bird species, and plenty of other wildlife, including alligators, river otters, manatees, sea turtles, and snakes. Visits are welcome to hike or bike its more than seven miles of trails, take a guided canoe trip, or sign up for a narrated tram tour.
Another treat, especially for adults and older children, is attending a play at the Florida Repertory Theatre in downtown Fort Myers. Performances take place in the historic Arcade Theatre, built in 1908 and originally a vaudeville house. The Florida Repertory Theatre Company is one of the top repertory companies in the nation.
More popular activities include dolphin-watching and sightseeing cruises, kayaking, canoeing, diving, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, and other water sports. More than 20 miles of bike paths wind across Sanibel Island, and the beach at Fort Myers has hard-packed sand that’s perfect for biking or a sunset stroll. For an unforgettable day trip, drive down to Everglades National Park and take an airboat ride through its acres of unspoiled wilderness.
Warm, sunny, and full of fun, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, is the perfect choice for your next beach vacation, whether it’s a romantic weekend escape for two or a weeklong trip with family.