Florida Travel Blog

Travel destinations, beaches, attractions and fun things to do in Florida. 

Documented by RESIDENTS of Florida.

Fort Myers Beach – A Barrier Island Worth the Visit

Fort Myers Beach - Almost New!

Note: In September 2022 Hurricane Ian virtually destroyed Fort Myers Beach - It will be months, if not years before they totally recover but as of January 2024 they are steps ahead of where we thought the island would be. Read more below.

Fort Myers Beach is on Estero Island in southwest Florida. This barrier island has a rich history as far back as 1513 when Ponce de Leon roamed Florida. 

After regular shipping channels started in the 1700s, bands of pirates were staged in the Ft. Myers Beach area to prey on ships coming from New Orleans along the Gulf Coast.

A visit to the island and you can see why pirates and explorers utilized the calm leeward waters for a place of shelter.

Fort Myers Beach A Playground for Vacationers

Today Fort Myers Beach is the playground for vacationers from around the world. They come for the relaxed atmosphere and active nightlife, not to mention the sandy beaches along this seven-mile island. 

We first became familiar with the island many years ago when taking our first trip to Key West on the Key West Express that docks on the bay across from the island.

Our trips became an annual tradition. We looked forward to the friendly hotels, fun restaurants and quirky beach shops up and down the small streets.

There are dozens of water sports available from fishing charters to private sailing adventures. Parasailing boats line the beaches with people underneath the colorful sails.

 Sunset is an Event!

Like many islands along the coast of Florida, sunset is a nightly celebration that lasts well after the sun disappears in the western Gulf. 

It seems locals and tourists pack the beaches and bars for this nightly event. Times Square is in the heart of the island with shops and restaurants attracting guests to stroll leisurely through the colorful atmosphere of quaint retailers.

One of our favorite back-bay restaurants is Matanzas on the Bay. Matanzas features upscale local seafood as you watch the boat traffic navigating the channel.

The Yucatan Beach Stand is a bamboo-lined beach bar with excellent beach food in a casual setting. And you cannot forget Nervous Nellie’s with a menu as big and eclectic as the island!

things you need when flying

Visit Attractions in the Area

 Fort Myers Beach is also a great place to stay to visit area attractions. These include:

 

All the major hotels are on the island along with quite a few mom & pop motels at very reasonable prices. Plan your trip soon. Fort Myers Beach is calling.

Ft. Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach
ft myers beach 4
Just North of Fort Myers Beach is Some of the Best Inshore Fishing in the Country
ft myers beach 3
Hotel Fun at the Pink Shell
ft myers 2
Times Square Has a Lot of Shops
ft myers 2 1 1
Edison-Ford Estate and Museum with Botanical Gardens Are a Great Attraction

2024 Update to Fort Myers Beach

As we write this update, we know things are changing daily on Fort Myers Beach. New construction is everywhere. Repairing the damage from Hurricane Ian is a Herculean task.
 
Restaurants are opening, hotels are being built, condominiums are being restored and people are migrating back to the island.
Just a few weeks ago a new Margaritaville Resort opened to rave reviews.
Fort Myers Beach Margaritaville Resort
The new Fort Myers Beach Margaritaville Resort.
 
The new resort is at the base of the bridge that connects the mainland to Fort Myers Beach.
 
The rebuilding of Fort Myers Beach is not done but they are ready to welcome visitors now. We will keep updating our visits over the next few months

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