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Fort Myers & Sanibel Beaches and Islands

  • Fort Myers & Sanibel Beaches and Islands

    The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel in southwest Florida are made up of over 100 barrier islands strung along the Gulf of Mexico - including Captiva, Cape Coral, and Bonita Springs. The area is renowned for its laid-back, barefoot holiday destinations, each offering visitors a different experience, but drawn together by nature and the water.

    • Kayaking On The Estero River

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    • Susie the Otter

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    • Beautiful Scenery

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    • Fort Myers White Sandy Beach

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    • Sanibel Island Pelicans

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    • Manatee

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    • Sunrise on Sanibel Island

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    • Stunning Wildlife

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    • Sanibel Lighthouse

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    • Turtles of Fort Myers

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    • Watching over Fort Myers

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    • Matlatcha Art Gallery

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    • Harbourside

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    • Fountain at Bloomingdales

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    • Edison House

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    • Beautiful Crabs on Fort Myers

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    • Fort Myers Sign Post

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    • Captiva Island Aerial View

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    Fort Myers

    Fort Myers is a bustling metropolis with ecological, historical and cultural attractions, as well as shopping across the spectrum – high-end outlets, antiques, boutiques, and outdoor shopping malls. Dining and nightlife entertain when the sun goes down, with almost nightly spectacular shows as it sinks over the Caloosahatchee River.

    Fort Myers is also the perfect place to soak up some history. Take a historic downtown walking tour with the Southwest Florida Museum of History, or take the family to the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum & Aquarium for an afternoon of hands-on learning and exploration. Budding historians, scientists, and inventors will want to take a narrated tour of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, just south of downtown - children of all ages will enjoy the indoor/outdoor celebration of the prolific inventors’ and industrialists’ lives.

    Sanibel Island

    Sanibel Island, a barrier island stretching for 12 miles off the coast of Fort Myers, offers some the best beaches in the USA due to it being left undisturbed by islanders who want to preserve the natural beauty of the region. There is an abundance of natural wonders on Sanibel including the largest Mangrove ecosystem in the USA which gives a home to an array of species such as Florida’s state bird the Roseate Spoonbill, manatees, dolphins, alligators, sea otters, pelicans and more. The J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge is free to visit by car, cycle, foot or kayak, or for a nominal fee you can take a guided trolley tour and spot the wildlife for yourself. 

    The geography of the island is also unique, with the tides of the Gulf of Mexico washing up hundreds of shells each day. Shelling is a popular pastime and those who partake in gathering these beautiful shells develop what is fondly known as the ‘Sanibel Stoop’. You can walk for miles discovering different shells at every turn. Of course, the best way to discover Sanibel is by bike – there are 25 miles of cycle paths designed to make it safe and easy to get around.

    Captiva Island

    Located close to Fort Myers, you will be captivated by beautiful, alluring Captiva Island with its white sandy beaches. There are so many activities to choose from, fishing, golf, boating, kayaking, canoeing, tennis, swimming or bike riding. Go boating down the waterways and view a variety of wildlife such as dolphins, blue herons, raccoons and many different species of colorful birds. Don't forget to go 'shelling' a local activity collecting the prettiest pastel colored seashells.

    Captiva Islands shops are clustered at the north end of Captiva Drive and on Andy Rosse Lane. Strolling along the village paths from shop to shop, you will find antiques, casual fashions, pottery, and many unique gifts for that special someone. Your visit to Sanibel Island or Captiva Island is not complete without sampling some of the local fare and succulent fresh seafood. You will also find a wide selection of ethnic foods in the area.

    Cape Coral

    Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and Miami on the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to Fort Myers by two bridges. Renowned Gulf Coast beaches, verdant golf courses, and family attractions make it a great holiday destination. Over 400 miles of canals make this city a boater's and fisherman's paradise. Many canals lead to the Gulf of Mexico, others to lakes and favorite fishing spots. It is the perfect destination for any outdoor enthusiast, and from hiking one of the many trails at the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park to fishing at the Cape Coral Yacht Club there are activities for just about everyone. Coral Oaks Golf Course is a great place to work on your game, and if history is your thing or you just love beautiful flowers, don't forget to check out the Cape Coral Historical Society Museum to see some interesting relics and their prized rose garden.

    Bonita Springs

    Located on the Gulf of Mexico between Fort Myers and Naples, Bonita Springs has a tropical climate, with southern charm, rivers, bays and finger canals. Relax on the sunkissed pristine beaches or have fun with the water sports readily available. Enjoy fishing and boating on the backwaters. Improve your handicap at one of the beautifully designed golf courses or pamper yourself at one of the many spas. Take a sunset cruise on a catamaran and watch the dolphins play.

    Visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk or hike through Koreshan State Park and experience the Western Everglades. Restaurants in the area offer diversified cuisine. Many spotlight Florida's freshest, finest seafood "straight from the docks" - jumbo shrimp, sweet scallops, succulent crabs and, of course, great grouper.

    TOP 10 THINGS TO DO

    1) Sunrise or Sunset – a picture postcard
    Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, experiencing the sun rise and fall against the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico is a truly spectacular event. The sky above transforms into a performance of soft light that melts into the horizon. Fort Myers Beach entertains the morning sun quite majestically while Captiva is renowned for its sunsets which change with a blink of an eye. Why not choose our Dolphin and Shelling Sunset Cruise

    2) Become one with nature at the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge
    Lose yourself in the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the USA with miles of primordial wetlands. Watch flocks of birds migrate across land and sea and see alligators and manatees in their natural habitat as you head along the drivable 'safari' trail. Grab a pair of binoculars from the visitor center to help you spy on some of the 220 migratory species of bird that are protected in this pristine habitat.

    3) Step back in time at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
    As well as learning about Edison and Ford's lives and inventions, visitors can go back further and learn about the Koreshan settlers, Florida pioneers and the areas original inhabitants, the Calusa Indians. If you are interested in the history of Fort Myers we have the perfect tour for you - Historic Walking Tour of Fort Myers

    4) Island-hopping, Florida style
    With over 100 barrier islands to explore, the best way is to jump on a boat, whether paddle powered or escorted by a trusty captain, by getting on the water you will really experience The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Many of the islands are uninhabited mangrove clusters, whilst others take visitors' breath away with their beautiful beaches, historic homes, and wonderful restaurants. Places like Cabbage Key and laid back Gasparilla are well worth visiting.

    5) Sanibel sea school
    Living with nature is the lifeblood of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and every effort is made to ensure the beaches and wildlife is protected for everyone to enjoy. Sea Schools are fun ways for kids to learn about nature and the waters of Sanibel and Captiva. Kids get to spot dolphins, search for crabs, discover beautiful shells and learn about the abundant wading birds that live off the islands. A variety of fun and educational courses are available.

    6) Shopping
    A fantastic holiday favourite in the USA, and something that The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel excel at.  Miromar Outlets in Estero has over 140 top designer stores offering discounts of up to 70%. Grab a coffee or lunch as you will be sure to spend the day on those bargains! On your way to or from Sanibel? Tanger Outlets is perfect for a pre or post shopping experience. And if you are in the Bonita Springs area Coconut Point Mall offers a nice selection of high-end brands in a very walkable, outdoor space.

    7) Watchable wildlife
    Anhigas dive, pelicans flap, herons pose, alligators cut through the water and manatees roll like giant grey jelly beans… animal lovers will find a lot here to enjoy. Watch dolphins when you hop on a seagoing charter with outfits like Tarpon Bay Explorers, or go to Sanibel Island and visit education centers like the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. The clinic serves as an animal hospital for birds, otters, sea turtles, and even deer. Get up close and personal on our Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

    8) Paddle the same trails… as the Calusa Indians
    Head out on one of the largest, best-executed blueways in the country - a network of water trails. Get geared up with one of the local outfitters at Estero River Outfitters and hit the teal spiderweb that is the Great Calusa Blueway, which provides access to 190 miles of pristine, water-bound goodness.

    9) Get your fish on
    From March through June, anglers from all over the world come here for Megalops – the tarpon, one of the world’s great game fishes. You can catch some yourself at Boca Grande Pass, on the south edge of Boca Grande, known as the ‘Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World’. We have two fantastic fishing trips to choose from Lake Okeechobee Fishing Trip near Fort Myers and Cape Coral Inshore Fishing

    10) Watch the world go by
    Head to Times Square and San Carlos Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach to watch the world go by. Street cafés and restaurants offer live music and beach stores sell all you need for the kids to look the part on the beach.

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    • Top Tip 1

      From May to October, look out for the sea turtles laying their eggs in the sand and the subsequent migration of the hatchlings from their nest to the ocean. Some turtles will lay up to 250 eggs in the one nest! Naples is a great place to experience this.

    • Top Tip 2

      Driving through the Florida Keys is straightforward as there is just one road in and out - Highway 1. Everything is measured by 'Mile Markers'. Start at MM127 and go through to MM0, which is when you know you've arrived in Key West.

    • Top Tip 3

      Whilst in the Keys, visit the Dolphin Research Centre in Marathon. You'll not only learn all about our favourite marine mammal, you can swim with them too.

    • Top Tip 4

      For the best Florida shopping experience, and there are plenty of them, our vote goes to Mizner Park in Boca Raton for a relaxed, upscale shopping and dining experience.

    • Top Tip 5

      Another 'must do' shopping experience is of course Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, even if it's just for a little window-shopping.

    • Top Tip 6

      There are lots of toll roads in Florida, and you may find you're on one soon after you leave the airport so be prepared with some quarters to save time. Charges vary but expect to pay approximately $1.50 each time.

    • Top Tip 7

      For a really fun experience, take an airboat ride on the Everglades spotting alligators and manatees. It's an experience that all the family will enjoy.

    • Top Tip 8

      If you're travelling during the summer months, be prepared for afternoon showers most days. They only last a couple of hours and it soon dries up...and of course it's usually warm rain!

    • Top Tip 9

      Longboat Key, Naples and Marco Island are three of Florida's best kept secrets. All have wonderful beaches as well as great golf, fine dining and luxury shopping.

    • Top Tip 10

      One of Florida's most scenic drives is route A1A which hugs the coast all the way from Fernandino Beach in the north to Fort Lauderdale where it becomes Highway 1 and continues down to Key West.

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  • Showing Results 1 to 7 of 7

  • Dolphin and Shelling Sunset Cruise, Fort Myers

    Fort Myers, Florida

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    • Dolphin and Shelling Sunset Cruise

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    • Fun for all the family

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    See dolphins swimming through the waves at sunset on this 3-hour catamaran cruise from Fort Myers — dolphin sightings guaranteed. Learn about dolphins and other wildlife from a certified Florida Master Naturalist guide onboard your boat, and stop to look at seashells on a barrier island while enjoying views of the sunset over the ocean.

    • 3-hour sunset and dolphin-watching cruise from Fort Myers
    • Led by certified Florida Master Naturalist guide
    • Includes 1-hour stop at a shell island
    • Dolphin sightings guaranteed 

    Duration: 3 hours

    Prices

    From £48 per adult or from £32 per child (age 0-11)

    Lake Okeechobee Fishing Trip near Fort Myers

    Fort Myers, Florida

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    • Fish at Lake Okeechobee, known for trophy largemouth bass

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    • Suitable for all levels of experience

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    Go fishing for trophy largemouth bass on Lake Okeechobee during a private freshwater fishing trip from Fort Meyers. Your captain takes you to spots where the fish are biting and guarantees that everyone gets a fish. Fishing equipment and life jackets are provided, along with coolers stocked with ice and bottled water. Live bait is available at additional cost, and you must purchase a Florida freshwater fishing license.

    • Fish at Lake Okeechobee, known for trophy largemouth bass
    • Right- and left-handed fishing rods, reels, and tackle provided
    • Suitable for all levels of experience, and wheelchair accessible
    • Includes ‘No Fish No Pay’ guarantee

    Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

     

    Prices

    From £340 per person

    Cape Coral Inshore Fishing

    Cape Coral, Florida

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    • All types of anglers are welcome

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    • Cape Coral Inshore Fishing

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    Catch some fish on a fishing tour through Cape Coral's inshore, backwaters, barrier islands, and Caloosahatchee River. Enjoy the scenic boat ride to top fishing spots chosen by the guide, and reel in snook, tarpon, snapper, grouper, or other fish species in this local ecosystem. A fishing license is included.

    • Get tips on fishing in Cape Coral from a guide
    • The fishing license provided so you don't have to get one on your own
    • All types of anglers are welcome, from beginners to experts
    • Drinking water, fishing gear, and safety equipment included on board

    Duration: 4 hours

    Prices

    From £489 per person

    Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise, Fort Myers

    Fort Myers, Florida

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    • Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

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    • Get up close and personal

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    • Stunning wildlife from every angle

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    The waters of Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve are famously home to populations of manatees, dolphins, seabirds, and more. See these wild animals in their beautiful natural habitat on this 90-minute boat tour of Estero Bay and Fort Myers, including guided commentary from a certified Florida Master Naturalist for a full educational experience.

    • 90-minute ecotour of Estero Bay and Fort Myers Beach
    • Guided commentary from certified Florida Master Naturalists
    • Opportunities to see dolphins, manatees, and more
    • Cruise past mangrove islands, rookery islands, and Lover’s Key State Park
    • Kid-friendly tour ideal for families
    • Snacks, drinks, and personal coolers allowed on board

    Duration: 90 minutes

    Prices

    From £21 per adult or from £16 per child (age 2-11)

    Historic Walking Tour of Fort Myers

    Fort Myers, Florida

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    • Historic Walking Tour of Fort Myers

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    • Learn about the town’s founders and history

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    See Fort Myers charm with a local on this guided walking tour. Learn about the town’s founders and how a frontier fort transformed into a city as you explore. There are several shady spots and benches to stop at for a break during the excursion.

    • Guided walking tour lead by a local
    • Learn about the town’s founders and history
    • Departs from a central location
    • Ideal for first-time visitors

    Duration: 90 minutes

    Prices

    From £15 per person

    Everglades Adventure Day Trip, Fort Myers/Naples

    Fort Myers/Naples, Florida

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    • Everglades Adventure Day Trip

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    • Small-Group Tours

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    • Stunning wildlife

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    • Airboat experience

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    • A variety of water fowl

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    Discover Florida’s wild Everglades on an exciting full-day tour from the Greater Fort Myers/Naples area. You’ll travel by airboat deep into the secluded Western Everglades, explore Big Cypress National Preserve by van and foot, and take a leisurely cruise through a mangrove forest. Enjoy commentary from your naturalist guide as you spot manatees, dolphins and native birds and lunch featuring exotic alligator appetizers!

    • Full-day Everglades adventure from the Greater Fort Myers/Naples area
    • Take a thrilling 60-minute airboat ride through the Western Everglades
    • See wildlife on a van tour through Big Cypress National Preserve and a nature walk through an ancient cypress forest
    • Relax on a 1-hour boat cruise through the mangrove forest of Everglades National Park
    • Try alligator appetizers during lunch!
    • Your expert naturalist guide will provide interesting commentary and answer any questions you have
    • Small-group tour limited to 14 people ensures a more personalized experience

    Duration: 9 hours

    Prices

    From £160 per adult or from £140 per child (age 5-12 years)

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