17 Best Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach, FL

Fort Myers Beach, FL

Welcome to my paradise, Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  

This enchanting coastal town has been my home for years and continues to captivate me with its radiant sunsets, beautiful sandy beaches, and warm, inviting community.

With every sunrise, a new adventure beckons in this tropical haven.

Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself marveling at the myriad of experiences that Fort Myers Beach offers.

From the sunkissed glow of the early morning to the vibrant nightlife when the stars come out, there's always something to do in this charming corner of the world.

So, sit back, put on your sunnies, and embark on a journey through the best things to do in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Bask in the Beauty of Lover's Key State Park

Sunny day at Lovers Key State Park
Billy McDonald / Shutterstock.com

When the day gets too monotonous, I often find myself seeking solace in the beauty of Lover's Key State Park.

Imagine a beach that stretches as far as the eye can see, untouched by the chaos of tourist traffic.

The park, with its two-mile-long beach, is my favorite sanctuary.

Sunbathing and picnics are popular activities here.

The boardwalk is an inviting path to the beach, but the tram service is a unique experience worth trying.

It's a fun way to get to the beach, especially if you carry a lot of gear.

Moreover, the sunsets at the Lover's Key are breathtakingly beautiful.

Boardwalk at Lovers Key State Park
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The sky, painted in hues of orange and pink, reflecting on the tranquil water, makes for a spectacular view.

It would be an understatement to say that it's one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.

Something that I appreciate about this park is its cleanliness.

The restrooms are always clean, a detail that often goes unnoticed but is essential to making any outdoor experience comfortable.

Their vending machines are reasonably priced and offer various options, making grabbing a quick snack or refreshment during a visit easy.

Lover's Key State Park is a hidden gem on the Florida coast, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The park is a perfect symphony of sun, sand, and serenity, an idyllic location to connect with nature or enjoy a peaceful day out.

Coastal birds at Lovers Key State Park
Rosalyn Ugarte / Shutterstock.com

Unwind at the Ancient Pier Fort Myers Beach

It's hard to describe the sheer tranquility that seizes you at the Ancient Pier at Fort Myers Beach.

You know, that famed spot for fishing, tanning, and embracing the gifts of nature - always filled with beautiful shells and a mesmerizing display of local wildlife.

It's where you can find me most weekends, soaking in the serenity and just feeling one with nature.

The south end of Fort Myers Beach, where the pier is located, is a haven of peace.

Its old pier is a spectacle, always bustling with pelicans and cormorants perched on the pilings like they're just as drawn to the place as we are.

I love how it's situated at the start of the Critical Wildlife Area; you can see hundreds of shorebirds there, like royal terns, least terns, sanderlings, and black skimmers.

As you travel further down, two lagoons are a joy to explore.

Between October and March, I have spotted the majestic American White Pelicans there, and the Roseate Spoonbills are always a sight for sore eyes.

And let's not forget the countless other wading bird species that make up this vibrant, living diorama.

But that's not all. The surprises at the Ancient Pier keep coming.

On more than one occasion, I've seen dolphins frolicking in the water and even spotted rabbits hopping nearby.

It's a place that never ceases to amaze, where nature unfurls its beauty in ever-changing ways.

Relax at Newton Park

Now and then, I need a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

That's when I head to my oasis of tranquility - Newton Park.

On any given day, you'll see me at this beachfront park, basking under the shade of a tiki hut.

The beauty of Newton Park lies in its simplicity.

With picnic tables nestled under a tiki hut, it offers the perfect setting for a peaceful outing.

I love watching the waves gently lap against the shore while enjoying my homemade sandwiches.

But what sets this place apart is its ample space.

Despite being a small park, there's plenty of room for everyone.

You can always find a quiet corner to set up your canopy, away from the crowd.

For those who enjoy basking in the sun, there's nothing better than the warm sands of Newton Park.

Another convenience that I appreciate is the changing rooms.

They are clean, air-conditioned, and a blessing for those who don't want to carry the beach back home with them!

And oh, before I forget, parking isn't a hassle either. There's plenty of metered parking available.

Remember to pay via a kiosk or mobile app to avoid getting a ticket.

One of my favorite pastimes at the park is watching the beach patrols.

They're always there, ensuring the beach remains as pristine as ever.

Of course, no lifeguard stations exist, but the calm, warm waters are safe for a quick dip.

And yes, family-friendly as it is, it's not just for families.

Whether you are a beach bum, solitude seeker, kid, or retiree, Newton Park is a haven for all.

Once, I even spotted a dolphin near the shore.

I didn't have my camera, but the sight was etched in my memory.

Explore History at the Mound House

People approaching the Mound House
Warren Eisenberg / Shutterstock.com

Walking through the verdant grounds of the Mound House is like stepping back in time.

The house museum, standing majestically atop an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound, serves as a captivating reminder of the region's rich history.

As I navigate the exhibits, each artifact whispers a tale from a culture that once thrived here - the Calusa Indians.

The experience begins with a short video introduction, effectively setting the tour's tone.

I am then free to explore the house, where the past comes to life in every corner.

One of my favorite parts is the underground exhibit; it's like unearthing the secrets of the early people who lived there.

The museum is not just an exhibition of ancient artifacts. It's an educational center.

Exterior of the Mound House
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every visit is a learning experience, and the programs are culturally enriching.

I've also ventured on the beginners' kayak tour, an absolute treat for nature lovers like me.

The estuary is stunning, and the guides are adept at spotting various wildlife.

Seeing the dolphins, manatees, and stingrays up close was truly magical.

And let's not forget about the Mound Key boat tour - though the trail is rough and there aren't any structures, the scenic ride and informative guides make up for it.

Mound House is a cultural heritage site that offers an immersive experience of the history of Fort Myers Beach.

Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a unique experience, Mound House is a must-visit.

Make a Getaway to Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve

Do you know that feeling when you stumble onto a hidden gem in your backyard?

This is how I feel about the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.

It's where I run to daily to recharge and soak in the natural beauty around me.

My typical weekday usually starts with an early morning jog along the trails.

The dew still clings to the grass, the sun peeks over the horizon, and the bay waters are so calm and serene you could mistake them for glass.

I've been lucky enough to witness dolphins at play, leaping in and out of the water, their joy contagious and setting the tone for the rest of my day.

On weekends, I prefer to swap my running shoes for a kayak and paddle.

There is something incredibly tranquil about gliding across the bay, with only the sound of my paddle gently breaking the water's surface.

The preserve is home to a myriad of bird species. I often find myself lost in their melody. It's nature's choir at its finest.

And let's not forget the mangrove tunnels.

They're a marvel to steer through, a silent testament to nature's resilience and beauty.

The tunnels provide a unique spectacle of intertwining roots and foliage from above and a world of bustling marine life below.

In the evenings, I often go fishing with my buddies.

The preserve is abundant with sea trout and redfish.

I love the camaraderie that comes with casting lines, sharing laughs, and sometimes reeling in our dinner if we're lucky.

The Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is where I can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

Spend the Day at Bowditch Point Park

Boardwalk trail at Bowditch Point Park
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

A hidden gem right at the north tip of Estero Island, Bowditch Point Park is the perfect spot to disconnect and enjoy a day of relaxation.

Imagine a generous stretch of shoreline kissed by gentle waves and hugged by lush greenery.

At $2 an hour, the parking is an absolute steal considering the beach's allure.

However, I recommend you get there early as parking lots tend to fill quickly.

One of the park's key features is its limited metered parking, which offers close proximity to the beach.

As a nature lover, the trails through the woods are a bonus for me.

You're walking beneath a canopy of trees one moment, and the next, you're greeted by the panoramic views of the bay.

The transition is seamless and one of my favorite parts about visiting Bowditch Point Park.

Now, the beach itself is a slice of paradise. But remember to bring your grill, as the park boasts several grill stations.

Often, I'd grill some hot dogs and buns right there, with the beach serving as the perfect backdrop.

I can't think of a better way to enjoy a meal!

A bird perched on a tree at Bowditch Point Park
Jim Schwabel / Shutterstock.com

The water here is perfect for young kids or those uncomfortable with deep water.

You can walk far from the shore and find the water only reaching your knees.

A sense of safety and comfort here is hard to find on other beaches.

There's a jet ski rental nearby.

However, I've noticed that it does affect the waves a bit. But personally, it doesn't bother me much.

Who can complain when you have the sun, the sand, and the surf for company?

However, be prepared for a slight Sulfur smell coming from the wet sand by the water.

Initially, I found it overpowering, but I've grown used to it over time.

So if you're looking for a serene beach with beautiful views and excellent facilities, I'd highly recommend Bowditch Point Park.

Whether a local or a tourist, the park offers an experience that keeps you returning for more.

Sunset view from Bowditch Point Park
Billy McDonald / Shutterstock.com

Spend the Day at Lynn Hall Beach Park

You know what they say about life in paradise: every day is a beach day.

And it rings true for me, as I often find myself at Lynn Hall Beach Park.

Something about this small beach park holds a charm that can't be put into words.

The turquoise water, radiating warmth, is enticing.

You can spot me taking a refreshing dip or casting my fishing line off the pier.

Walking barefoot on the sand with my trusty metal detector is a delight, hoping to discover lost treasures.

The place is also a seashell enthusiast's dream, with many beautiful shells dotting the shoreline.

Moreover, the beach is immaculately clean and well-maintained, and the local community takes pride in keeping it that way.

You can often find me with a bag, doing my bit for the environment by picking up the occasional litter.

And parking? It's a breeze!

Remember to come early, though, as it can fill up pretty quickly.

And to add a little quirkiness to the place, a guy walks along the beach playing his tuba. It's these little things that make the park feel alive and vibrant.

Lynn Hall Beach Park is my preferred beach spot.

Go Fishing at the Fort Myers Pier

Walkway of Fort Myers Pier
Nadezda Murmakova / Shutterstock.com

Not many folks know about the Fort Myers Fishing Pier, but it's been my favorite corner of the world for years.

It's a little gem tucked away in Florida, where you can haul in catches like cobia and bluefish.

The water's warm, the views are stunning, especially at sunset, and there's even a fishing supplies store on the pier, so you never run out of bait.

Plus, the shady benches are perfect for taking a break from reeling in those fish.

Between catches, I usually head to Wahoo Willie's.

Side view of Fort Myers Pier
Nadezda Murmakova / Shutterstock.com

It's a great restaurant near the pier, serving the freshest seafood in town.

There are also several food trucks around if you fancy a quick bite.

On weekends, the beach can get pretty busy, with people rushing to soak up the sun and surf.

Parking might be a bit of a hassle, but don't let that deter you.

The Fort Myers Fishing Pier has a charm that keeps drawing you back.

Enjoy an Adventure at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

It's not just a golf course. It's an adventure!

I always tell my friends this when we head to Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf.

My favorite part is their unique feature.

You see, they don't just offer mini-golf. Nope, there's something a bit more wild.

They've got live alligators! And the best part? You can feed them.

My little niece was over the moon when she got to feed a baby alligator.

She talked about it for days afterward, showing everyone the photos and telling them about her brave adventure.

It was a fantastic way to bond and create cherished memories.

And while she was having fun, I enjoyed the music playing in the background.

It took me back to my younger days, with a perfect mix of 80's and 90s tunes.

The golf course itself is quite a challenge, and I must admit, I've yet to conquer it completely.

Each hole has its unique twist and is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

And, if you're worried about the Florida heat, there's plenty of shade around, and they even bring drinks right to you on the course!

Though, I must give a word of caution.

The terrain might be tricky for those with trouble with stairs. But don't let that deter you. It's still a great place to visit.

And, if you're feeling peckish after your game, there's a little shop selling snacks and drinks.

You can also check out some exciting souvenirs to remember your day.

So, if you're ever in the area, or looking for something fun, check out Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf.

Just remember, it's not just a game. It's an adventure!

Explore the Tranquility at Matanzas Pass Preserve

Welcome sign of Matanzas Pass Preserve
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wanted to escape the noise and hustle of city life?

If yes, let me take you on a journey through the tranquil Matanzas Pass Preserve, my favorite hideout in the Fort Myers Beach area.

Matanzas Pass Preserve, a 60-acre wildlife sanctuary, is a nature lover’s paradise.

Nestled right behind the Fort Myers Beach Library, it offers free entry and ample parking space.

You can spend hours exploring the preserve’s 1-mile trail through mangroves and an oak hammock on the bay.

The Preserve also has a kayak dock and bike rack, ensuring a complete outdoor experience.

Moreover, the journey along the trail is adorned with signs and points of interest, making it an educational expedition as much as a stroll.

The view from the observation deck overlooking Estero Bay is incomparable, and if you're lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or two!

As one of the few protected areas left on the island, it's a haven for lizards, little fiddler crabs, and other wildlife.

Remember, although the Preserve allows you to enjoy nature intimately, it demands respect.

No dogs are allowed, and biking on the trails is strictly prohibited, a rule unfortunately disregarded by some.

Venture off the raised wooden path, and dirt trails will lead you further into the Preserve.

However, be wary as these trails can get muddy, especially after rainfall.

I would advise sticking to the boardwalk trails for a more pleasant experience unless you're in the mood for a muddy adventure!

Explore the Underwater World at Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center

I've always been fascinated by the underwater world, so when I first discovered the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center, I knew I had stumbled upon a gem.

Tucked away on the waterfront, this museum is a treasure trove of marine curiosities, complete with interactive exhibits, aquariums, and even a touch tank.

The museum might not be huge, but it's bursting with info.

I was surprised by the variety of exhibits - something here that interests every age group.

The first time I visited, the friendly person at the desk gave me a warm welcome, making me feel right at home.

It's not your typical museum where you simply wander and observe.

The Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center is all about interaction.

My kids, as young as 3.5, could touch and interact with most of the exhibits.

The touch tank and the scavenger hunt were a massive hit with them.

And one day, we even watched them feed a moray eel, a memory that still makes my kids' eyes light up.

They bring the exhibits to life, sharing fascinating facts and stories about marine life and its role in the ecosystem of Fort Myers Beach and Florida.

I've learned so much from these tours - they're an experience I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in understanding a side of Florida that often goes unnoticed.

It may be a 'one and done' type of museum, but it's a place that leaves a lasting impression.

Every time I pass by, I can't help but smile as I remember the fun times spent exploring the fascinating world of marine life at the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center.

Discover the Tranquility of Bunche Beach

Sunset at Bunche Beach
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Every morning, I set out to the peaceful sanctity of Bunche Beach, which is nestled in the heart of a nature preserve.

It's the perfect spot to take in the sheer beauty of the sunrise, illuminating the shallow waters and sand, making it a remarkable sight to behold.

It's a quiet, serene place that offers a calm ambiance, perfect for a quiet walk or a relaxing day under the sun.

The sunsets over the Sanibel Bridge are breathtaking, painting the sky with gold, pink and purple hues.

However, checking for a red tide before planning a visit is always a good idea.

Bunche Beach remains a gem in our community.

With its clear shallow waters and tranquil ambiance, it continues to be a perfect spot for sunbathing.

The ample free parking along the road adds to the convenience.

Although the water may not always be swim-friendly due to natural occurrences, it doesn't take away this beach's beauty and charm for us locals.

Bunche Beach stands as a testament to nature's resilience and captivating beauty.

Discover the Tranquility of San Carlos Bay - Bunche Beach Preserve

When life gets too busy, I often find myself drawn to the San Carlos Bay - Bunche Beach Preserve.

It's a place seemingly outside the busy rush of everyday life, a natural tidal wetland reserve that's nothing short of heaven for nature enthusiasts.

As much as the white sandy shores and swaying mangroves make it a place of ethereal beauty, this beach's solitude genuinely captivates me.

This isn't your typical tourist-filled beach.

It's a quiet haven where the only sounds are the gentle lapping of the waves and the distant calls of the resident birds.

It's not a beach designed for swimming, but it's perfect for those who simply want to sit and embrace serenity.

The sand is covered with shells, and the intricate patterns and colors often mesmerize me.

It's nature's art at its best.

One of my favorite things to do here is to rent a kayak.

Paddling through the calm waters, you can explore the mangroves and admire the unique wildlife that calls this place home.

It’s a birdwatcher's paradise, with several different species making their home here.

And if you're lucky, you might even spot dolphins or stingrays passing by.

Another thing that I love about this place is the opportunity to capture its beauty through my lens.

The protruding tree stumps and the army of fiddler crabs against the backdrop of the setting sun make for some fantastic shots.

It has minimal amenities, so it's always best to come prepared, but the views and the tranquility are more than worth the effort.

Spend a Leisurely Afternoon at Big Carlos Pass Bridge

Far view of the Big Carlos Pass Bridge
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

I've lost count of how many times I've visited the Big Carlos Pass Bridge.

It's one of those places that never loses its charm, no matter how many times you visit.

The bridge is often my silent companion as I take my evening strolls.

It's been the backdrop to many a sunset I've watched, painting the sky with orange, pink, and purple hues.

Even when the beach was closed, the bridge provided a serene atmosphere that could wash any stress away.

Fishing by the bridge is another activity that I thoroughly enjoy.

The calm waters and the gentle breezes offer a peaceful environment.

You'll often find me there on a lazy weekend afternoon, fishing rod in hand, lost in the tranquility of the surroundings.

The views from the bridge are stunning.

They've been etched into my mind, reminding us of the natural beauty we often take for granted.

Even on the gloomiest days, something about the sight of the calm waters underneath and the vast skies overhead lifts my spirits.

Enjoy an Unforgettable Experience at The Salty Crab Bar & Grill

I've often dined at The Salty Crab Bar & Grill, a casual eatery on the beach.

It's where you can sink your teeth into juicy burgers, tender steaks, and fresh seafood while serenaded by live music.

One sunny afternoon, I enjoyed lunch here, my feet buried in the sand while I basked in the sun.

But let's talk about the food - it's incredible! They also serve breakfast, but their lunch menu keeps me coming back.

I still remember the delight of sipping on their Dads Chocolate Milk. It was love at first sip.

The location of The Salty Crab is unbeatable.

It's a joy to sit on the beach and watch the sunset, the colors of the sky reflecting beautifully on the water.

The beach area was closed due to rain on a less fortunate visit, but that didn't dampen my spirits.

I tucked into the coconut shrimp - large, juicy, and coated with a spot-on breading.

It's undeniably the best coconut shrimp I've had.

My companion that day chose the blackened mahi mahi with fries and grits.

While the fish was good, the grits stole the show with their smokey flavor.

There was a slight hiccup with the live music being a tad too loud for such a cozy space.

But these small things don't overshadow the overall fantastic experience at The Salty Crab.

Regarding the quality, freshness, and selection, The Salty Crab tops the list of beachside eateries.

The chef here is cooking with pride, each bite bursting with flavor, each dish a testament to their culinary prowess.

It's the only place I'd recommend to anyone seeking great seafood in Florida.

So drop by, feel the sand between your toes, and enjoy an unforgettable meal at The Salty Crab Bar & Grill.

Cross the Matanzas Pass Bridge

Structure of the Matanzas Pass Bridge
TasfotoNL / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest person on earth. Why, you ask?

Well, that's because I get to call the area around the Matanzas Pass Bridge my home.

This impressive structure is a source of constant joy in my life.

I rise with the sun every morning and head out for my daily jog.

The Matanzas Pass Bridge is where I like to start and end my day; the combination of the Florida sun and the salty sea air makes for a stimulating experience that's hard to beat.

And the view looks like something straight out of a postcard, with the sparkling blue water on one side and the bustling beach on the other.

The area around the bridge is lively, catering to various tastes.

From foodies to shopaholics, it has something for everyone.

Cars on the Matanzas Pass Bridge
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

I often find myself grabbing a bite at one of the nearby food joints or browsing the quirky little shops that line the streets.

It's hard to resist the allure of the local cuisine and the unique finds at the shops.

Walking across the Matanzas Pass Bridge in the evenings is not just exercise but a treat for the senses.

The setting sun paints the sky in hues of pink and orange, creating a breathtaking backdrop that never fails to amaze me.

To say I love living here would be an understatement.

The Matanzas Pass Bridge and its surroundings are a part of my routine, and they add a sprinkle of magic to even the most mundane days.

I think there's no better place in sunny Florida to call home!

Far view of the Matanzas Pass Bridge
Michael Rosebrock / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

The allure of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, is simply undeniable.

Each beach, park, and preserve has a unique story and has played a pivotal role in shaping my understanding of this beautiful coastal town.

Fort Myers Beach's natural beauty and charm have truly captured my heart.

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