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Fort Myers & Sanibel Island, Florida Travel Guide

Over the years, I have taken many trips to the Fort Myers/Sanibel area.  I thought I would share a travel guide of places to go and things to do for anyone ready for a fun trip! Whether its for the weekend, a full week or even a month you’re guaranteed to make memories you’ll never forget!

Where to stay?

Residence Inn Fort Myers

2960 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers, Florida 33966 | website

Located just minutes from Sanibel, Captiva Island, Ft Myers beach, RSW International Airport and a pet friendly hotels in Fort Myers makes this a great place to stay. Baseball fans, get ready, because every year spring training is held in Fort Myers and our hotel is just a few miles from both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins training facilities. Shoppers will enjoy the convenient access to Miromar Outlets and the Edison Mall, which is right around the corner.

Their extended stay Fort Myers hotel offers one or two bedroom suites or studio suites with features such as a fully equipped kitchen and large work station with free high speed Internet access. Take advantage of the complimentary breakfast buffet, Monday through Thursday evening dinner socials, fitness center, outdoor pool, tennis court and basketball court and before you head out grab an ice cold beverage from the 24-hour Market.

Signal Inn

1811 Olde Middle Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957 | website

Signal Inn is a Sanibel Island vacation hideaway of the rarest kind, with charming elevated beach houses in a lush tropical vacation setting.  With 19 tastefully decorated, fully furnished condos, they have a unique environment, unlike any other on the island. They’re also pet friendly.

All of their elevated beach condos are spacious and comfortable, with individual washer and dryers, plus fully equipped modern kitchens including dishwashers, ice makers, self-cleaning ovens, disposals, and microwaves. Each condo has windows on 3 sides, which provide wonderfully relaxing gulf breezes. Their updated accommodations include spacious living, dining, and deck areas with one to four bedrooms, some with two full baths and sleeping lofts.

Hurricane House Resort 

2939 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957 | website

The renowned shelling beaches of Sanibel Island are just steps from Hurricane House, providing the ideal setting for an unforgettable vacation on the shore. Guests enjoy complimentary tennis privileges and greens fees at the nearby 18-hole championship golf course at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. The resort also features close proximity to excellent dining and shopping.

Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina

275 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

Beginning with a single cottage in 1953, Pink Shell is now an expansive 12 acres.  They are surrounded by the Matanzas Pass on one side of our island and Gulf of Mexico on the other. Though it has been expanded, renovated and rebranded since the first beachfront property that sat on the sand, the Fort Myers, Florida resort continues to celebrate the memories that were once made on the sun-kissed beach while providing all the necessities for friends and families to make ones of their own.

Their Fort Myers Beach hotel is a Boykin Lodging Company offering studios, one- and two-bedroom accommodations, meeting facilities, a spa, full-service marina, fitness center, two restaurants and fun activities for the whole family.

Mango Street Inn

126 Mango Street, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

When you arrive at Mango Street Inn in Fort Myers Beach, you can simply park your car and enjoy your vacation. Everything you need for the ideal vacation in beautiful Ft. Myers Beach is within walking distance of this adorable bed & breakfast. You can stroll to the local fishing pier, an array of fabulous restaurants, Times Square, shopping and tons of nightlife. You can even take their guest bikes from the Inn to the nearby activities and sights.

Edison Beach House

830 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

The Edison Beach House is an all suites hotel located on Ft Myers Beach, Florida. The Edison Beach House is located directly on the beach an within a 5 minute walk to all the local shops and restaurants.  It’s a beautiful place to stay that will not only let you relax, but feel like you are at a home away from home.

Where to eat?

Nervous Nellies

1131 1st St. Fort Myers Beach, Florida | website

Nervous Nellie’s is a casual, family-fun restaurant that boasts a large selection of appetizers, fresh seafood, over-stuffed sandwiches and entrées. Dine in air-conditioned comfort or outside on Nellie’s expansive waterfront patio.  There are so many options, you’ll understand when you check out the menu.  Located right on the water this is a great place for dinner, drinks and live music!

Lazy Flamingo

1036 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida | website

The Lazy Flamingo restaurants operate in the casual dining, seafood class of restaurant. The Company philosophy is to serve only fresh seafood and, provide a festive and “local” type of atmosphere in an establishment decorated with a nautical theme.  My personal favorite is their caesar salad, seriously so good.

The Island Cow

2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida | website

Your trip to Sanibel isn’t complete without a stop at The Island Cow. With great cookin’, cold drinks, outdoor games, and live entertainment, you can relax knowing you are truly on Island Time. Come as you are. Their whimsical, island-style environment is perfect for adults and kids of all ages. At the Island Cow, everyone is family.

The Beached Whale

1249 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

The Beached Whale’s menu includes BBQ, Seafood Baskets and full plated entrees. Happy Hour features their ever popular Whale Wings, mussels, and famous Flat Breads.  The Beached Whale offers live music on their patio! Just steps from the Gulf of Mexico, they are a great place on Ft. Myers Beach to relax and enjoy great food and a great atmosphere.

Cabanas Beach Bar & Grille at SunStreamResorts

2000 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

Head on down to Cabañas, a neighborhood favorite with a large menu of signature drinks and beach eats. Indulge in one of their fresh, local dishes and sip on a cold tropical cocktail, with your toes in the sand. They’ve got a laidback island flair to put you at ease, live music to get you singing, and daily food & drink specials that will get you dancing. It’s no wonder Cabañas is a go-to spot for visitors and locals alike.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille – Ft. Myers Beach

708 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

“A rum bar? What’s a rum bar?” they were asked.  The people behind Doc Ford’s are creative enough to embrace an entirely different kind of sports bar concept. “You’re gonna have gourmet finger foods? Sports bars don’t serve great food,” they were told. Well, they do and you’ll get to enjoy it! Right on the water with live music.

The Bubble Room

15001 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924 | website

Keeping driving down Sanibel island and you’ll make your way to Captiva, home of the Bubble Room. Born in 1979 on its present site on Captiva Island. The world famous restaurant that it is today followed a very modest beginning of just a few tables in the front room of the home of the Farqhuarson family. Today’s famous multi- theme restaurant slowly took shape. Starting with old toys from the 1930’s and 1940’s as its décor in the one room, the collecting began and has continued to the present day. The Bubble Room was one of the first on the Island to introduce the bright and cheerful pastel colors now widely used on the island. Enjoy your visit to the now famous Bubble Room Restaurant.


18100 San Carlos Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | website

Fresh is everything to a seafood restaurant, especially at Pinchers, they try their best to deliver fresh seafood to your table each and every visit. Local fishermen and crabbers leave their shores daily and guide their boats out into the Gulf of Mexico to fish on behalf of Pinchers. They return each night with the best that the Gulf has to offer. They bring this precious catch to Pinchers and are one of the primary reasons people agree this is a must visit restaurant. 

Love Boat Home Made Ice Cream

16229 San Carlos Blvd, Fort Myers, Florida | website

My favorite! If you love ice cream like I do, go here! Serving SW Florida’s finest home made ice cream since the mid 60’s. 50+ flavors of the creamiest ice cream,sugar/fat free selections, sorbets, and more! They have so many flavors to choose from and it taste oh so good, especially after a day on the beach.

What to do?

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33901 | website

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates boasts over 20 acres of botanical gardens, nine historic buildings including Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum which contains an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibit galleries. The Edison Ford offers a variety of tours, insuring that there is something for everyone.  Make sure to read about my visit here.

CenturyLink Sports Complex – Hammond Stadium

14100 Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile Cypress Parkway Fort Myers, Florida 33912 | website

Go catch a baseball game.  Both minor and major league teams play here.  The CenturyLink Sports Complex is home to Hammond Stadium, five additional playing fields as well as the new Twins Player Development Academy. It is also the home to two Twins’ minor league affiliates, housing both the Ft. Myers Miracle of the Single-A Florida State League and the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Twins.

Gulf Coast Town Center

9903 Gulf Coast Main Street Ft. Myers, FL 33913 | website

Shopping? Dinner? A movie? The Gulf Coast Town Center has it all.  It is an open-air regional shopping, dining and entertainment destination.  They have so many different events going on throughout the year.  There really is something for everyone here.

Lani Kai Island Resort

1400 Estero Blvd Fort Myers Beach, Florida | website

The beach is a personal favorite past time of mine and many others who are heading to the sunshine state.  Lani Kai is located right on the beach. They have talented performers and entertainers to dance & sing along to. Limbo, water balloon toss, and dance offs daily with special prizes for winners!

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

Royal Palm Square, 1380 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33907 | website

The theatre entertains over 170,000 guests annually. The facility includes a 450-seat dinner theatre, a 100-seat “black-box” theatre called The Off Broadway Palm Theatre, a 120 seat dining room called Café Cabaret and a 30-seat space just off the main lobby called, The Art Café. The theatre can be found on Florida’s Gulf coast between Tampa and Miami.  The best part, you get dinner and a show.

Castle Golf – mini golfing

7400 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33908 | website

There’s ONLY ONE Castle Golf!! Your adventure begins from the moment you enter the Castle gates where you’re instantly surrounded by lush tropical plants, waterfalls and local wildlife. Step back to an enchanted time of knights, dragons and medieval chivalry! Get swept up in the spellbinding mystery that only happens at knight (night) as you make your way over the lagoon, through the forest and fog, to the castle under the stars. Even the most serious player will find it difficult to unlock the mysteries of the 18 holes at Castle Golf, but if you get lucky be sure to ask about the mystery hole that day…you might win a free round of golf!

Shell Point Golf

17201 On Par Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33908 | website

In southwest Florida, golf is a year-round passion– the smell of the grass, the crack of the ball, the lovely sight of a chipshot that falls in the cup. There is no better place to share this golf experience than at the Shell Point Golf Course.  Designed by Gordon Lewis, architect of some of the finest golf courses in Florida, the Shell Point Golf Course has challenging fairways, winding water hazards, and eight tees on every hole. This provides challenges and rewards to every golfer, from the newest beginners to the biggest hitters.

Manatee Park

10901 State Road 80 (Palm Beach Blvd), Fort Myers, FL 3390 | website

Manatee Park is a non-captive warm water refuge for the Florida Manatee. Optimum viewing months  are late  December, January and February when the gulf temperature is below 68F.   The park has an extensive butterfly garden, birds and other wildlife can be found throughout the park.  Amenities include restrooms, playgrounds, a Live Oak amphitheater, Chickee Hut, a pavilion, shelters, and a picnic area. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the fishing pier on the Orange River. Bring your canoe/kayak, and launch to the Orange River for fun and exploration.

The Shell Factory and Nature Park

2787 N Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL 33903 | website

The largest collection in North American of taxidermy animals, on free public display is located at the Shell Factory. The estimated value is over six million dollars. An amazing sea shell replica of All Saints Church is the signature piece of the Shell Museum.  Their Fun Park is designed for the young and young at heart. Get wet and wild on the bumper boats, pitch a few water balloons at water wars and see if you are ready for the “masters” with a round of miniature golf. Don’t forge to grab a shell while you’re there.

Sun Harvest Citrus 

14601 6 Mile Cypress Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33912 | website

Juice, fruit, ice cream, treats, shopping and more. Sun Harvest citrus is a must stop while you are in the Fort Myers area.  The vanilla/orange ice cream is a personal favorite of mine. Plus, they have samples of their fresh Florida oranges and their juice is just what your taste buds are missing.

Sanibel Island Lighthouse & Beach Area

112 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-7416 | website

This 120 year old lighthouse sits on a wildlife refuge.  The lighthouse itself is not open to the public, but you can snap some nice photos from the outside.  There is beach access here as well.  This beach has shells, but swimming is not recommended due to causeway currents.  Since it’s so easy to reach, the Sanibel Lighthouse beach can get crowded, but its worth it.  The beach mile markers begin at mile 0 near the north end of the lighthouse parking lot.

And of course days at the beach just might be my very favorite things to do. Enjoy the fun, active atmosphere at Fort Myers Beach or head to Sanibel for more relaxation and unlimited seashell collecting! Safe travels. 🙂

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Leland Garvin

Thursday 12th of December 2019

If you have never been to the Fort Myers area I would definitely recommend taking a trip out to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and also spending some time walking around downtown. You will definitely need a vehicle as our public transportation systems are not great. If checking out Sanibel or Captiva a bicycle is a great way to get around. On the above list, I would recommend checking out Doc Fords, there is a great one on the way to fort myers beach and also on Sanibel.

Fort Myers

Monday 4th of June 2018

Thank you for helpful article, very pleasure that you point some adresses , and it is easy to find some good places. Also found some new places to visit (I'm gonna visit Fort Myers in August with my family). Thank you very much, love your blog)

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