Get in touch with nature however you choose on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, either by uncovering history, spotting wildlife or kicking back.
White-sand beaches and warm Gulf of Mexico waters make The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in Southwest Florida ideal for long days spent outdoors. All the right elements combine here: beautiful weather, calm waters, soft sand, colorful seashells and historic enclaves full of surprises. Hit the beach at your pace, whether that’s riding bikes through lush foliage or island hopping, time spent with family and friends playing in the gentle surf, or simply indulging in a bit of island life.
Interact with History
On the bayside of Fort Myers Beach is Mound House, an archeological site that sits on a 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian shell mound. The site is rich with the stories of the native Calusa Indians and the natural history of Estero Island. Spend some time exploring the on-site museum, which features exhibits showcasing artifacts and daily life of the Calusa Indians in the restored 1921 William H. Case House, before heading underground for the “Stories Beneath Our Feet” museum. This immersive experience features a large cut-out of the shell mound and a mural of a Calusa village. You can also explore the beautiful grounds, which include gardens and an observation pier. For a true outdoors immersion, sign up for a guided kayak eco-tour of Estero Bay along the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail to experience these waterways as the Calusa once did.
The Mound House, a historic site and relaxing escape on Estero Island
Adventures with Wildlife
Up and down the Gulf of Mexico coast, ecological niche habitats thrive – habitats that are found nowhere else in the world. To get a closer look at the region’s unique ecosystems, board a Captiva Cruises tour to the pristine beaches of Cayo Costa State Park. This barrier island is only accessible by boat or kayak and is mostly untouched by humans, making it one of the most natural places to explore in Florida. Throughout your trip, you might spot dolphins playing in the surf, wading birds looking for a snack and colorful fish darting in the waves. As you walk the white-sand beach, be on the lookout for seashells to take home as well. If you’re taking a longer excursion to the northern tip of the island, plan to spend some time hiking the trails or exploring the waterways via kayak or stand-up paddleboard. If your adventurous side is seeking the full island experience, rent a cabin for an overnight stay.
Searching for seashells on the secluded shores of Cayo Costa State Park
Beach Town Cruising
Compact, lush and serene, Sanibel Island is a great place to explore by bike. Pedaling along the quaint roads with views of the surf, palm trees and sand will quickly take your worries away. Pick up a bike rental from a local vendor or the resort where you’re staying, and enjoy fresh air, island architecture and mom-and-pop shops and eateries. For a must-have photo op, drop by the Sanibel Lighthouse, which was built in the late 1800s. The nearby beach (Lighthouse Beach Park) is a popular spot for fishing and shell-collecting as well. Round out your bike excursion by grabbing a scoop at popular ice cream shop Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream, where each serving of ice cream is handcrafted daily and topped with an animal cracker.
Biking beneath a Sanibel Island tree canopy
Fly into Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers to begin your adventure here.