Thanks for booking a fun day on the water with us! We can’t wait to meet you!
We want your entire stay in Fort Myers Beach to be just as fun as our tour, so we put together a little guide to share our favorite spots and activities in the area. (A local? You might find something new to check out too.)
Table of Contents
Where to eat
Fort Myers Beach has no shortage of dining options. In fact, the problem might be having too many choices! To help you narrow down the options, these are a few favorites that have the perfect combo of mouth-watering menus and relaxing waterfront views.
Matanzas on the Bay
Boasts the “Best View in Southwest Florida.” You can enjoy dining at the water’s edge or expand your view from Petey’s Upper Deck. Either way, you can delight in the fresh air, tropical feel while watching the boats come and go from the marina and harbor anchorage.
SAMPLINGS FROM THE MENU:
- Docksider White Pizza (Petey’s Upper Deck is said to make the best pizzas on the beach)
- Crab, lobster and artichoke dip (a sharable favorite)
- Florida Stone Crab claws (this 100% sustainable choice is available October-May)
- Red Grouper Platter with signature sides
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille
The scene is a salty, tropic-vibe with lots of live entertainment in a beach-house style building overlooking the back of Estero Bay on San Carlos Island. The bar is inspired by the star characters featured in Randy Wayne White’s novels; the food is inspired by saucy, rural Caribbean flavors. This would be the place to go for a mojito–they are kind of famous for them.
SAMPLINGS FROM THE MENU:
- Shrimp Scampi Flatbread with homemade Roma tomato sauce
- Caribbean Jerk Tostados
- Panamaniac’s Pulled Pork-slow roasted with secret spices
- Banana Leaf Snapper with lime-cilantro roasted pepper pesto
The Salty Crab Bar & Grill
Breakfast served while drawing circles in the sand with your toes. (Because breakfast deserves attention too.) This restaurant is ON the beach. Bright tables, palm trees, and a kaleidoscope of umbrellas to settle under getting your day off right. They have an extensive breakfast menu (including cocktails).
SAMPLINGS FROM THE BREAKFAST MENU:
- Crabby Benedict
- Cage-free Huevos Rancheros
- Fresh Fruit Loaded Belgian Waffle
- Fresh Florida Orange mimosas
What to do
Filling up your itinerary isn’t hard to do here in Fort Myers Beach—here are few inspirations that we think are not-to-miss:
Go to the Beach
Beaches, like humans, have personalities. While all the beaches in the area are worthy of visiting, we picked a few for you to match up how you would like to spend your day on the beach.
BEST FOR NATURE LOVERS—Lovers Key State Park
- Two miles of pristine, undeveloped beach with powdery white sand
- Located just south of Fort Myers Beach
- Enjoy the multi-use trails, canoeing, and ranger-led nature programs
- Now accessible by trolley
BEST FOR PEOPLE WATCHING—Lynn Hall Memorial Park
- Bustling beach right next to Times Square and the Fort Myers Beach Pier
- Access to all the amenities—picnic shelters, grills, showers, restaurants
- Volleyball courts and rental beach chairs and umbrellas
- Public parking and accessible by trolley
BEST FOR ALL AROUND DAY AT THE BEACH—Bowditch Point Park
- Located at the tip of Estero Island, a 10-acre Nature preserve with enticing beaches
- Trails, birding, bicycle rental, picnic areas and restaurant
- Public parking and accessible by trolley
Explore Times Square
Wander around under the shade of palm trees in Times Square. Peek into the adorable shops, check out the quaint restaurants, enjoy the street performers, stroll the beach, walk out on the fishing pier… Basically, it’s the heart of Fort Myers Beach and an excellent place to get your bearings and start to feel the breezy vibe.
Go Sea Shelling
Fort Myers Beach and neighboring Sanibel and Captiva Island are world-famous for sea shelling. It all has to do with the unique shape of the coastline, allowing shells to be brought up on the beach without being broken. Here are a few treasure-finding tips:
- Sanibel and Captiva Island are a must for shell collectors (but you need your own transportation)
- Lover’s Key State Park is a closer option with good potential for great treasures
- Consider chartering a boat to reach less traveled beaches—Good Time Charters does shell tours
- Don’t overlook the beach you’re on—all our beaches hold stellar specimens
- For the best luck, go in the morning and at low tide. US Harbors has a good tide chart for the area
Play in the Water
With access to both the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay, there are plenty of ways to get in and on the water. Adding in a day for play can level-up your vacation. Whether you want to zoom across the water or glide with the turtles and manatees by the mangroves, there are rentals available to make it happen. Maybe one of these activities piques your curiosity:
- Hobie sailing
Book a Boat Tour
Wait…you just did that! We know. But Lagerhead Cycleboats isn’t the only fun boat tour available. And we see no reason not to enjoy another on-the-water tour while in the area. (We might be biased, but we think it is one of the best ways to see Fort Myers Beach.) Here are two completely different boat tour experiences you might want to check out as well:
This 70 ft offshore-style race boat takes 128 guests on a 90-minute boat ride along the coasts of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. Besides the go-fast, fly-over-the-water experience, the trip includes a narrated tour and plenty of opportunities to watch dolphins playing in the wake of the engines.
SALTY SAM’S PIRATE CRUISE
This a one-of-a-kind interactive comedy experience aboard a 65-foot replica Spanish galleon, Pieces of Eight. The 90-minute Fort Myers Beach boat tour includes pirates, skits, shenanigans, live cannons, and grog. Everyone can partake in the fun as they provide both family-friendly and adult-only cruise options.
Where to stay
Diamond Head Resort
Diamond Head Resort offers on-the-beach amenities and spa indulgences. You can stroll from the pool to the Fort Myers Pier and back to your private balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. They offer a Beach Concierge to help arrange a day filled with watersports. There are two great on-site restaurants, Coste and Cabanas. They also have guest bicycles available so you can easily enjoy the entire island during your stay.
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
Pink Shell has won several awards, including Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards in 2019 for #4 Top Resort in Florida. Their ideal location has access to everything, and they sit on the edge of a spectacular section of Fort Myers Beach. In fact, they guarantee a beach view from all the rooms. The resort will also help you get out on the water with kayaks and paddleboard rentals. Or, for more adventure, they even have sailboat and pontoon rentals available right from the resort. To end the evening, you can book their candlelight, white-linen, dining-on-the-beach experience.
Matanzas Inn boasts that Old Florida feel with their wide porches, white-painted trim, Bahama Shutters and tropical landscaping. They offer a variety of coast-inspired rooms and suites to match a variety of parties. They are pet-friendly, too. The Inn is only a 3-minute walk to the beach, popular bars, restaurants, and shops.
Fort Myers Beach has some of the best Airbnb options—from cute beachy cottages to sprawling beach houses. Many come with bikes or kayaks for use. Laundry for the salt and sand might be handy too. If you like being in the kitchen, an Airbnb can give you the chance to toss together a fresh-catch dinner all your own.
Where to party
Sandy beach bars aren’t too hard to find around here, and we will show you a few of our favorites when you come for your tour with us. Here are a few more we can recommend:
- Shucker’s at the Gulfshore-right on the beach near the pier
- Sunset Beach Tropical Grill-lively bar featuring steak and seafood
- The Whale– inside and outside dining options whether you want to watch the game or the sunset. They host a worthy Happy Hour at their Look Out Lounge.
Nightlife heats up just over the causeway in downtown Fort Myers (an easy Uber or Lyft ride away). Here are a couple of spots we suggest checking out:
- The Firestone Skybar & Martini Bar– This industrial-vibe, 4-story bar includes a waterfront, roof-top bar. If you are in the area for a special occasion, they cater to private parties.
- 86 Room-This well-done speakeasy throwback is a must-do experience while in the area.
- Social House– a SOHO NYC inspired Garden Bar featuring street food, local brews, craft cocktails, and sharable apps. They keep it going with daily entertainment.
How to get around
We’ll be honest, driving around Fort Myers can be a nightmare. All that tropical-laze feeling of our beaches doesn’t always carry over onto the streets. You may have noticed we mentioned walking, biking, trollies, and Uber’s in our recommendations above—that’s because we suggest these options over a rental car.
When planning your visit, we suggest factoring in alternative transportation options. Fort Myers Beach is very walkable, other options include:
If your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t include bikes, Beach Bum Bike Rentals makes it easy to rent while on your vacation with pickup and drop-offs. They even offer accessories like pull-behind trailers.
Fort Myers Beach has a charming (and easy to navigate) trolley system that will get you almost anywhere you’d want. It’s super affordable too—only 75¢ a ride. Or, for a whole $2.00, get an all-day pass. You can throw your rental bikes on the rack and go anywhere without dealing with parking. We suggest downloading the transit app before you arrive to make real-time bus tracking and route planning a breeze.
When you do want to get in a car, Fort Myers is easy to get about using any of the major ride-sharing services or taxies. Some of the bars will even give you a free drink if you arrived using one.
Have fun! can’t wait to see you!