Skip to main content
Island with a bird

Where to see nature’s greatest shows

Fort Myers Nature & Wildlife

In Southwest Florida, nature thrives in its diverse ecosystems, and your views of it shift throughout the seasons. Manatees are drawn to inland rivers and canals in cooler months and move toward the Gulf of Mexico when the water is warm. Cruise around on the water to spot dolphins and other marine animals playing in the wild. Sea turtle nesting season is a critical period on our beaches between May and October. Every year, migratory birds arrive here in droves, and you’ll be able to spot reptiles lurking in nature refuges. Welcome to the untamed beauty of Fort Myers’ islands, beaches and neighborhoods — where wildlife thrives in its purest form.

One of the friendliest animals you’ll encounter, the Florida manatee is also one of the Gulf’s most iconic creatures. Most people never forget their first experience with these gentle giants. Drawn to our coastline by the warm waters, keep an eye out when you’re in a kayak in case one surfaces next to — or accidently under — your boat.

Sharing the manatee’s love of warmth, the dolphin has also made a positive name for itself in our waters. You can often see them playing in the wake of a boat or casually swimming off the coast and in backbay waters.

Between May 31 and October 31, female sea turtles return to the sand to lay their eggs on our beaches, marking the beginning of sea turtle nesting season. This natural phenomenon is a highly delicate process, and many local organizations help to monitor and keep each nest safe. There are ways visitors and residents can help too.

The most sought-after wildlife to photograph is our abundance of migratory birds. If you’re interested in serious bird-watching, pack your camera and head to areas like J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. You might even see bobcats and river otters patrolling the mangroves and other habitats, like nature intended.

Discover more about Fort Myers

Sea cows. Herbivores of the ocean. There are lots of ways to describe Florida manatees, but we’re just happy to have them around

Fort Myers is the birthplace of National Seashell Day, which coincides with the first day of summer, and locals love to “shell

Follow The Flocks With more than 300 different species of migratory and native birds in Southwest Florida, spring is perfect time

Imagine cruising down the river and spotting a massive silvery fish leaping from the shallows. Peak tarpon fishing season is upon

Happy Father’s Day! When you arrive in Fort Myers for a dedicated dad-cation, why not take a moment to look at the father figures

Cape Coral Cape Coral

If you haven’t ever seen a burrowing owl out in nature, you’ll go wild in the Fort Myers area! They’re the smallest owl species —

You’ve chosen the ring. The words from your heart are ready to be spoken. The only details left are picking the right place to pop

Frigid temperatures at home are a clear signal that it’s time to book your flight to the Fort Myers area. Throughout Fort Myers’

You’ll find plenty of points of entry into the water around Fort Myers and its nearby islands through coastal beaches and launch

Create a different kind of getaway with a journey over to North Captiva Island. Divided by a pass from neighboring Captiva Island

Even if you want to spend every moment on the shores of Fort Myers, it's worth it to spend some time on land exploring the area's

Related Listings


Show us your good days and we'll show you more! Share your favorite memories with hashtag #MyFortMyers.