Craving a sunny Florida beach vacation? Head to Fort Myers, home to some of the best beaches in Florida! No matter what time of year you visit Fort Myers, it’s a good time, and there are tons of things to do in Fort Myers!
Fort Myers has an average of 271 sunny days a year, so pack the sunscreen.
Most people go for the beaches, but there’s so much more to do in Fort Myers. Here’s our guide to the best attractions in Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva!
*This article was written before Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers in September 2022. We will update the article as tours, restaurants, and hotels decide to reopen/rebuild or if they need to close forever.
Jump on a paddleboard and navigate through the waterways in Fort Mayers, looking for manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and more.
All aboard for a fun afternoon of sailing on a luxury catamaran along Fort Myers Beach.
Paddle your way through the mangrove forest, bays, and beaches with a local guide looking for wildlife.
Things to Do in Fort Myers
1. Search for Seashells
Fort Myers & Sanibel beaches are not only the best beaches in Florida for seashells but the best in all of North America. Fort Myers takes sea shelling so seriously they started National Seashell Day! Just walking down the beach, you’ll be tripping over gorgeous seashells.
We found some of the best shells on Cayo Costa, where fewer visitors were going for shells. However, there are nice shells on just about all the beaches. The best time to find shells is during low tide, which happens daily, and the winter winds can lead to better shelling, too.
We highly suggest renting a car to make the most of your time. That way, you can visit several beaches in Fort Myers and attractions. Book in advance on Discovercars.com for the cheapest rates and free cancelation. Renting a car for under $30 a day will be worth every penny. Click here to check rates.
2. Walk Fort Myers Beach
Walk the entire Fort Myers Beach, all 7 miles of the gorgeous white sand coastline. If you need a break, go for a swim.
Fort Myers Beach has been named one of the safest beaches in the world because there is no undertow, and the water is shallow. It really is the perfect beach for a family vacation.
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3. Watch an MLB Spring Training Game
The Boston Red Sox & Minnesota Twins spring train in Fort Myers. Watch some of the best players in the MLB get ready for the season. Spring training games are great fun and much cheaper than regular-season games.
If you are traveling to Fort Myers in March, it’s one of the unique things to do in Fort Myers.
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4. Go to Captiva Island
Just a short ride away from Fort Myers is the island community of Captiva. Connected to the northern shores of Sanibel Island by a bridge, Captiva is another great place to visit while in Ft. Myers. Long white sand beaches with plenty of visitor accommodation await on Captiva.
Besides the obvious, Captiva has a lot of quirky fun activities like a restaurant where it’s Christmas all year long and mermaid play sessions. Don’t miss Captiva on your next visit!
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5. Visit Cayo Costa State Park
Jump on a boat and head to Cayo Costa State Park, which was blessed with nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forest. The only way to get to Cayo Costa is by boat. We went with Captiva Cruises from Captiva Island.
It’s a gorgeous ride out there, and once on Cayo Costa, you can spend the day walking the beaches, searching for seashells, snorkeling, and much more.
For an unforgettable night, consider camping on Cayo Costa. Reservation must be made well in advance, but it would be an epic place to rest your head.
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6. Have Lunch at Cabbage Key
Cabbage Key is a great spot to grab lunch if you’re out on the boat all day. Captiva Cruises offers Cabbage Key luncheon cruises with an hour guided cruise to Cabbage Key with 2 hours allotted on the island for lunch and exploring.
Rumor is that Jimmy Buffet was inspired to write his famous song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while visiting the island. We, too, give the cheeseburgers at Cabbage Key two thumbs up. For breakfast suggestions, check out our best breakfast in Fort Myers article.
7. Spot Dolphins
While you’re on the shore and out on a boat, keep your eyes open for marine life. We spotted several dolphins when out on the boat.
Dolphins frequent the shallow bays and protected waters around Fort Myers, so they aren’t too hard to spot and definitely one of the best things to see. We recommend this tour.
For more family-friendly activities, check out our things to do in Fort Myers with kids article. We just got back from a trip to Fort Myers with our two toddlers.
8. Have A Sunday Funday On A Lagerhead Cycle Boat
A day out on the water on a floating bar is a must when in Fort Myers Beach. The Lagerhead Cycleboat party boat is powered by you and your friends. Pedal your way through the waters. There is no shortage of drinks, music, and fun!
9. Visit the National Shell Museum – Currently Closed for Renovations
Head to Sanibel Island and visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. They have amazing shell exhibits of both live animals and shells.
Make sure to look at the daily schedule and try to go to the Live Tank Talk. We learned a ton about shells and mollusks and highly recommend it. Before leaving, visit the gift shop and pick up a laminated shell ID sheet to bring to the beach with you when shelling.
10. Eat Fresh Local Seafood
There are a ton of amazing restaurants in Fort Myers, but always ask what their daily seafood is. If you are visiting during the scallop season (the last Saturday in June till September 24), definitely order the scallops.
If you miss scallop season, you might be lucky enough to visit during the Stone crab season, October 15 – May 15.
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11. Grab Some Ice Cream at Love Boat
There is no better way to cool off than with ice cream. Love Boat has been serving up homemade ice cream since 1967 with over 50 flavors.
They have locations in Fort Myers & Sanibel. There are also local restaurants and shops that serve their ice cream.
12. Edison & Ford Winter Estate
In the first half of the last century, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford knew what a gem Fort Myers was and built an expansive winter estate here. The estate was more than just a place to escape the winters. It was also a laboratory and workshop.
One of the most interesting aspects of the estate is the trees from all over the world that are found on the estate. They brought plants and trees, trying to find a material for the filaments for light bulbs and also rubber for tires. The lush gardens and antique laboratories make the Edison & Ford Winter Estate a top thing to see while visiting Fort Myers.
13. Visit a Fort Myers Brewery
The craft beer scene in Fort Myers is on the rise. We spent one afternoon at Fort Myers Brewing Company on a brewery tour followed by several samples.
Our personal favorites were the award-winning chocolate stout and the chocolate peanut butter porter (yes, you read that right).
14. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset on Ft. Myers Beach
One of my nightly activities in Fort Myers is watching the sunset. It’s the perfect ending to the day. Every night, you could find us down on the beach in front of the Pink Shell Resort, watching the sunset with our toes in the sand. Early risers will also appreciate the soft pastel colors that come with a Fort Myers sunrise too!
Have you been to Fort Myers? What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Myers?
Thanks to Fort Myers & Sanibel for inviting us to visit. As always, all opinions are our own.