Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods, Oh My!
The beauty of Fort Myers is that among our diverse and vibrant beaches, islands and neighborhoods, every area is truly unique — meaning there is something for everyone. Among 590 miles of shoreline, there are 50 miles of pristine beaches and shores laden with gleaming shells. Islands encompass white-sand beaches, wildlife preserves, and a slower pace that makes time standstill. Each of our local neighborhoods has its own style — from walkable downtown areas to charming seaside towns — so you can find everything you need for your next getaway.
Our beaches each have a personality, so you can find just what you’re looking for, plus some surprises along the way. On Estero Island, there’s always plenty to do on Fort Myers Beach where its iconic pier is ideal for people-watching and taking photos of the beautiful 7-mile-long coastline. Browse among the many shops to find your perfect souvenir, grab a sunset cocktail at a beachfront bar, and enjoy a night out dining by the waterside.
Just south is Lovers Key State Park, 2.5 miles of protected coastline that spans four barrier islands for a more remote, secluded feel. Go hiking and kayaking, and take time to unwind on the natural, untouched beaches.
Other beaches are blanketed in whole, pristine shells, washed up daily by warm Gulf waters. Shell collectors from all over come to beaches on Sanibel Island to go “shelling” — specifically heading to places such as Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass Beach, and Lighthouse Beach Park. Just over the bridge to Captiva Island, some of the best shells can be found on Turner Beach.
Along with our beach culture, there’s a whole other side of Southwest Florida to explore across various islands. Connected to the mainland by bridge, Pine Island is Florida’s largest island with a welcoming atmosphere. Explore local waterways and spend a day fishing, and roam about abundant fruit orchards and natural outdoor spaces. Nearby Matlacha is a postage stamp–sized island that transformed from a fishing village to an artist enclave filled with unique, colorful galleries. Dine by the water where fresh, local seafood is the star of the menu and soak up the fun, relaxed ambiance.
As you venture farther out, you’ll encounter the outer islands that are only accessible by boat. Boca Grande embodies an Old World Florida vibe, occupies the southern half of Gasparilla Island; spend a dreamy day trip or secluded vacation on offshore islands like North Captiva, Useppa, and Cabbage Key. A trip out to Cayo Costa will make a big impression with its 9 miles of shell-covered beaches and over 2,400 acres of preserved land.
A neighborhood can encompass an entire island or a sliver of land — it just depends on the vibe! Cape Coral is shaped by more than 400 fresh and saltwater canals where you can shop, dine, and stay right on the water. Bonita Springs is a relaxed beach community where you (and your four-legged friends) can enjoy life in and out of the water at your own pace.
Beaches, islands, or neighborhoods, no matter how you define it, you’ll uncover boundless activities and limitless adventures in Fort Myers. Find your favorite place when you experience it all for yourself.