Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach, FL

  • Published 2022/07/01

People describe Fort Myers Beach in Lee County, Florida, as a town with pristine white-sand beaches and laid-back vibes, sitting on the western shores of South Florida.

It’s a small and relatively young town perched on the shores of Estero Island.

After being incorporated into a township in 1995, Fort Myers Beach became one of South Florida’s most famous beach destinations.

People go there mainly for its miles-long stretch of white sand and turquoise waters.

Despite its size, Fort Myers Beach offers plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities for travelers besides its beach.

It has a spectacular sunset, unspoiled nature preserves, charming downtown, premier resort hotels, parks, and delicious seafood.

What’s in store for you in this small South Florida town?

Here are the best things to do in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, to add more excitement whenever you visit there:

Connect with Nature at Bowditch Point Park

Boardwalk trail at Bowditch Point Park

Jillian Cain Photography /

Bowditch Point Park offers the other side of Fort Myers Beach’s natural beauty besides its pristine beaches.

Situated along Estero Boulevard, this 17-acre park offers a gorgeous nature preserve and passive recreational area to enjoy exploring.

Its serene atmosphere is a perfect place for those who yearn to find some peaceful time by themselves or with their loved ones.

At the same time, the entire park encompasses a bay with calm waters and a scenic view of Estero Island’s northern tip.

A bird perched on a tree at Bowditch Point Park

Jim Schwabel /

Like most parks, Bowditch Point Park has all the amenities of an excellent outdoor space.

It has barbeque grills, picnic areas, shaded areas, and the fresh sea breeze you can use while visiting this park.

Besides picnicking and sunbathing, you’ll enjoy doing birdwatching activities since it’s part of the Great Florida Birding Trail site.

In addition, you can also enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and hiking through its nature trails.

Sunset view from Bowditch Point Park

Billy McDonald /

Cruise through Estero Bay with Sun-N-Fun Tours & Charters

The Sun-N-Fun Tours & Charters allow you to explore Estero bay on the Gulf of Mexico for fishing and boating charters.

You can visit its office, book a charter along San Carlos Boulevard, and witness the beauty of Estero Bay and Bonita Springs to the south.

Part of its charters lets you see up close dolphins, shore birds, and Florida alligators.

At the same time, you can head to the open sea for an exciting fishing charter and visit the neighboring Captiva and Sanibel islands.

You can also book special occasions with Sun-N-Fun Tours & Charters, such as birthdays and anniversaries, and bring as many as 15 people on board.

There’s no better way to get a glimpse of Estero Island’s beauty than on a boat.

So, book your open sea charter whenever you’re in town.

Meditate at Ancient Pier

Ancient Pier offers opposite vibes than Fort Myers Beach’s main beach area.

You can find this pier along Estero Boulevard featuring a half-submerged old port that’s no longer in use.

Some people who yearn for peace usually head to this pier to spend their early morning or afternoon enjoying its quiet atmosphere.

Ancient Pier is your go-to place if you’re yearning for some alone time or perhaps want to have an entire beach for yourself.

You can meditate and do your yoga session at this secluded place or perhaps appreciate its calmness while listening to soft crashing waves.

Besides its peaceful vibes, you can also ask locals at this pier about its past.

Dig up the Past at Mound House

People approaching the Mound House

Warren Eisenberg /

The Mound House is both a famous historical and archeological attraction in town.

This museum is along Connecticut Street if you’re interested in exploring Fort Myers Beach’s fascinating history.

This museum sits atop a Calusa Indian Mound, which dates back 2,000 years ago, hence its name.

The Calusa Indians were an ancient Native American tribe who settled on Estero Island 2,000 years ago.

Exterior of the Mound House

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, their mounds served as an archeological site worth exploring and learning about its history through guided tours and interpretive signs.

Meanwhile, inside, the museum has permanent exhibits featuring Estero Island and Fort Myers Beach’s natural and cultural history.

One of the fascinating exhibits you must see inside the Mound House is the “Stories Beneath Our Feet,” which details the story of the Calusa Indians.

Satisfy Your Cravings at the Sun Deck at the Lani Kai

Fort Myers Beach is home to dozens of seafood restaurants and diners, serving fresh seafood regularly.

Since the town receives a fresh catch daily, making it a low-key seafood destination, which you shouldn’t miss.

Most of the restaurants in Fort Myers Beach serve signature calamari, oysters, shrimp, grilled fish, and classic fish and chips.

For example, try the Sun Deck at the Lani Kai along Estero Boulevard, famous for its patio dining called “sun deck” facing Fort Myers Beach’s white-sand stretch.

Other restaurants include the Sunset Beach Tropical Grill, the Playmore Tiki Bar, and Liki Tiki BBQ, serving the town’s best barbeques and seafood.

The Charros Brothers restaurant offers authentic Mexican food, beer, cocktails, and wines.

Likewise, head to Tuckaway Cafe to enjoy gourmet coffee, pancakes, and sandwiches.

Kayak through the Matanzas Pass Preserve

Welcome sign of Matanzas Pass Preserve

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Matanzas Pass Preserve is an unspoiled natural attraction famous for outdoor activities.

You can visit this area along Bay Road and enjoy over 60 acres of a natural area teeming with Estero Island’s local flora and fauna.

It also serves as the island’s last remaining maritime oak hammock habitat, where a wide variety of local wildlife thrives.

Many outdoor enthusiasts frequent this place for activities such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

If you’re looking for more outdoor adventure, Matanzas Pass Preserve is a recommended place you can visit and see the island’s natural beauty.

Enjoy the Swashbuckling Life with Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise

Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise offers a unique and fun-filled pirate-themed family attraction.

You can visit its docking area along Main Street in Fort Myers Beach,

It’s a fun place to join charters and become a pirate for a day with your loved ones.

Their ship features a replica of a Spanish galleon featuring various games and activities for the entire family.

Besides its pirate-themed attraction, they offer open-water cruises through Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the time, they offer a 90-minute open water cruise where you can see various scenic locations along Estero Island.

Overall, Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise is a refreshing open-water boat charter in town that everyone, especially kids, can enjoy.

Drop by the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center

Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center is a fun-filled, family-friendly wildlife center and museum.

You can visit this place along Fisherman’s Wharf.

Browse its dedicated showroom featuring Florida’s barrier islands’ fascinating ecosystem and ecology.

At the same time, it also highlights the area’s estuary habitats and various natural history exhibits.

Kids can join the science center’s feeding session at its aquarium, which houses sting rays.

Visit the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center and learn about the area’s natural habitat and wildlife.

Feel the Island Vibes at Fort Myers Beach

The waters of Fort Myers Beach

Jon Bilous /

Your visit to Fort Myers Beach won’t be complete without spending your day at its main attraction, the eponymous beach.

This seven-mile stretch of white sand and turquoise waters attracts millions of visitors annually.

Many people flock to this famous beach because of its gradually-sloping terrain and shallow waters, which are perfect for swimming.

The sand of Fort Myers Beach

lunamarina /

Along Fort Myers Beach are resorts, restaurants, shops, and bars, making it a lively place to explore.

Meanwhile, a portion of the beach covers Lynn Hall Beach Park, a convenient location for picnicking because of its park amenities, such as barbeque grills, picnic tables, showers, and washrooms.

People at a Fort Myers Beach restaurant

Jillian Cain Photography /

Enjoy Yourself at Bay Oaks Recreation Campus

Head to the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus along Oak Street for wholesome fun with your family.

It mainly features recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, a playground, basketball courts, outdoor pickleball courts, tennis courts, softball/baseball courts, and a disc golf course.

Moreover, it has a fitness center for grownups to sweat out while kids have a fun time at one of its facilities.

During summer, the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus offers everyone its summer youth and after-school programs, which provide a fun educational experience.

Visit this 15-acre facility in Fort Myers Beach for an unforgettable trip.

Unwind at Times Square at Fort Myers Beach

Colorful shops at Times Square at Fort Myers Beach

Jillian Cain Photography /

Times Square at Fort Myers Beach is the business district in town.

It’s along Estero Boulevard, featuring an eclectic collection of restaurants, shops, cafes, and souvenir stores in a patio-style setting.

It’s the perfect spot to spend your leisure time since it’s merely a walking distance from the beach.

Outdoor dining setup at Times Square at Fort Myers Beach

Olga V Kulakova /

Take a stroll through its pedestrian-only area and see the colorful shops and buildings surrounding this part of town.

Stop by to watch street performers adding life to its already bustling scene.

Overall, Times Square at Fort Myers Beach is the best part of town, whether grabbing your meal, shopping for souvenirs, or sipping a margarita at one of its open-air bars.

Night scene at Times Square at Fort Myers Beach

Nadezda Murmakova /

Engage in Outdoor Activities at Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve

Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is a border of the barrier island’s western portion, including Estero Island and Long Key.

It’s best known for its sheer volume of mangrove trees, which offers a natural habitat for various local wildlife.

However, there is more to this aquatic preserve.

Many outdoor enthusiasts visit this area for outdoor activities such as bicycling, boating, fishing, geo-seeking, hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.

Moreover, Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve lets you spot various rare and threatened bird species, making it a fantastic birdwatching destination.

You’ll likely come across snowy plovers, red knots, piping plovers, Marian’s marsh wrens, herons, egrets, and kestrels, including other animals.

It’s a must-visit attraction in Fort Myers Beach, offering wildlife viewing and various outdoor activities.

Ride a Cycle Boat with Lagerhead Cycleboats

Head to the Lagerhead Cycleboats – Fort Myers for a unique outdoor adventure.

You can find this place along Main Street to experience its unique cycle boat, which requires up to 16 people to cruise on the waters.

This place is ideal for big groups like families or friends who enjoy pedaling along the waters of Fort Myers Beach.

Likewise, Lagerhead Cycleboat provides music, refreshing drinks, and stunning ocean views.

Book their cycle boats for your family or friends’ birthday parties or private affairs.

See Manatees and Dolphins Up Close at Lovers Key State Park

Sunny day at Lovers Key State Park

Billy McDonald /

Lovers Key State Park encompasses over 712 acres of natural areas comprised of canals, small islets, and tidal lagoons, home to various wildlife.

You can access this state park along Estero Boulevard, hop on your preferred water vessel and explore its unspoiled natural beauty.

While paddling through its pristine lagoons, see the famous manatees and dolphins up close.

Boardwalk at Lovers Key State Park

SunflowerMomma /

Spending time at this state park is a worthwhile experience, especially if you’re a nature lover or a wildlife enthusiast.

Besides the manatees and dolphins, you’ll see the local wildlife at the Lover’s Key State Park, including bald eagles and coastal birds.

You can also explore nearby Long Key, Inner Key, and Black Island for more natural areas.

Coastal birds at Lovers Key State Park

Rosalyn Ugarte /

Pass the Time at Bayside Park

Stop by Bayside Park at the corner of First Street and Park Carlos Boulevard at Old San Bayside.

This place is also easy to find near the Matanzas Pass Bridge.

Locals and guests also love to hang out at the park to pass the time while enjoying its peaceful ambiance and view of Matanzas Harbor.

Bayside Park has a gazebo where you can sit down and relax by yourself or with loved ones.

Then, head to one of the nearby restaurants and enjoy seafood or perhaps catch a local concert or community event.

Final Thoughts

Head to Fort Myers Beach instead of going to mainstream beach destinations in Florida, such as Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Myers Beach offers a brilliant white-sand beach and crystal clear waters.

Explore the town’s neighboring islands, parks, and nature preserves, giving you a one-of-a-kind travel adventure.

Plan your trip with this list of the best things to do in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, for a memorable tropical island vibe adventure.

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