Ft. Myers Beach - A Barrier Island Worth the Visit
Note: In September 2022 Hurricane Ian virtually destroyed Fort Myers Beach - It will be months, if not years before they recover.
Ft. 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.
Today Ft. 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.
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!
Visit Attractions in the Area
Ft. Myers Beach is also a great place to stay to visit area attractions. These include:
- The beaches at Sanibel and Captive Islands.
- The Edison and Ford Winter Estates and Botanical Gardens in Ft. Myers.
- The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium in Ft. Myers.
- The IMAG History and Science Center.
All the major hotels are on the island along with quite a few mom & pop motels at very reasonable prices. Plan your trip soon. Ft. Myers Beach is calling.