Sparks Will Fly by the Shore with this Romantic Long Weekend Getaway
Strolling hand-in-hand along white-sand beaches. Listening to the gulf’s waves gently crash on the shore. Watching the sky brilliantly transform as the sun sets on another perfect day. Throughout the islands, beaches and neighborhoods of Fort Myers, there’s a certain magic in the air and romance around every corner. So, where better to escape and recharge with your other half? Now pack your bags, because from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, we’ve crafted the perfect itinerary for a romantic weekend getaway on our sundrenched shores.
On Thursday afternoon, your plane touches down in Southwest Florida International Airport. With weekend bags in hand, you step out into the sunshine, eager to get closer to feeling the sand between your toes and the sea breeze in your hair. After dropping your bags off at the hotel, you head straight for Fort Myers Beach, a 7-mile stretch of coastline and tepid blue water. Here, beachgoers have boating, fishing and sailing at their disposal. Or, if you’ve got a taste for exploration, rent a kayak and traverse the shallow waters of the island’s mangrove forests. So whether you’re looking for leisure or adventure, Fort Myers Beach never disappoints.
As the sun begins to set, it’s time to dig into some of the area’s delicious cuisine. Minutes from the beach, you’ll find Flippers on the Bay. A Fort Myers classic, accessible by land and sea, Flipper’s selection of locally sourced seafood dishes and sandwiches will put you in a coastal mood in no time.
Start your day with a walk in the footsteps of our nation’s greatest innovators at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. A slice of history entirely unique to the area, this property boasts over 20 acres of botanical gardens. Here, you’ll bask in the scent of the abundant floras as you wander among the banyan trees and historic buildings on the property. The estate’s antiquated, tranquil beauty can make these historic grounds an unexpected romantic destination.
In the late afternoon, take to the sea on the Fort Myers Princess’s Sunset Party Cruise. Once aboard, you’ll sip signature cocktails and dance to live music as the sunset reflects on the Gulf. Plus, keep an eye peeled for some of the playful porpoises that are known to swim in the ship’s wake. Then, enjoy a champagne toast as the last light of day slips into the sea.
After coming ashore and changing into your best threads, head on over to Blue Water Bistro, one of the premier seafood restaurants in the area. Featuring a raw bar, amazing proteins off the grill and many other options – this dinner spot’s beautifully plated dishes, top-quality ingredients and upscale ambience make it impossible not to fall in love.
Saturday morning, early birds take flight to Fort Myers Beach for a sunrise stroll. Welcoming the dawn with the wind in your hair and the soft sounds of the Gulf sets the tone for a perfect Saturday by the shore.
With the sun up and the day started, it’s time to drop by Heavenly Biscuit, a locally famous brunch and lunch haunt by the beach. Revered for its simple but scrumptious menu – this tiny converted old home will have you amazed that so much flavor could be packed into such a small building. Split one of their mouthwatering cinnamon rolls or order a signature biscuit just the way you like it.
No romantic weekend in the Fort Myers area would be complete without a trip to the aptly named Lovers Key State Park. A 2 ½ mile estuary, it’s home to manatees, dolphins, alligators, osprey and bald eagles. Take a guided tour of the park for an in-depth experience at one of Florida’s most beautifully preserved waterways.
After your hike, grab a light lunch at Bistro 41. This upscale yet casual food and wine bar has been an area favorite for the past 20 years. Grab a seat inside or on the patio to enjoy fresh, healthy dishes in a stylish setting.
In the late afternoon, take a break from the beach to gallery-hop in downtown Fort Myers or the River District. Let inspiration strike at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, known as the “gem of the River District.” Or, enjoy art for a good cause at the Arts for ACT Gallery, an award-winning non-profit gallery owned and operated by Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc. Fort Myers is well-known for its art scene and also has the Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk every first Friday of the month.
With the evening coming to a close, dress to impress and head to The Veranda in the heart of downtown Fort Myers for an intimate dinner and a glass or two of their delicious wine with your significant other. End your night with a night cap at the famous Cigar Bar and reminisce on a day well spent.
For your final day, get the full Southwest Florida coastal experience on Sanibel Island.
Sleep through the sunrise and enjoy brunch aboard the Sanibel Harbour Princess. Take your pick from the exquisite, expertly crafted brunch menu while surrounded by panoramic views aboard this 100-foot luxury yacht. Reservations are necessary, so plan ahead to make sure your final day here starts off right.
Once back on dry land, take a trip over to Finnimore’s Bike and Beach Rental, where you can get matching rides to explore the local shops and more than 22 miles of paved pathways on Sanibel Island. Feel the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair as you take in all the island has to offer – with your partner cruising along by your side.
Before it’s time to pack up and go, you absolutely can’t miss a romantic dinner at the Thistle Lodge – a whitewashed beachside manor serving a unique blend of Floridian, European and Asian flavors. Locally-grown herbs, fruits and vegetables will decorate your plate and tease your palate and the award-winning main course will make boarding the plane back home a more than difficult decision.
But hey, it’s never too early to plan your next romantic weekend getaway in Fort Myers!