Things to do in Fort Myers, FL

Get Your Bearings in Fort Myers

By Gina Birch
Fort Myers Expert

See & Do
Stay
Eat
Party
Shop

Things to See

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is one of the most visited attractions in Fort Myers. Southwest Florida Museum of History hosts walking tours, a good way to the see the sights of downtown Fort Myers. The Imaginarium, an interactive museum, has a number of displays demonstrating scientific concepts and is perfect for children. The Seminole Gulf Railway offers visitors a picturesque trip through the surrounding countryside. But don't forget the main attraction: the beach.

Caution:

Reservations are required at the Southwest Florida Museum of History.

Hot Tips:

Not all beach parking meters take credit cards, so keep some change handy.

Where to Stay

Lodgings in Fort Myers include your typical chain hotels and lots of them. The Indigo Hotel is a favorite for travelers with business in the downtown area or party goers attending weddings and events at nearby historic venues. The Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast, located just outside of downtown proper offers excellent food and comfy lodging in a 100-year old wooden house. Families looking for accommodations on the beach should check out The Pink Shell.

Caution:

Costs of hotels are often 50% more expensive during the high season.

What to Eat

Most of the common fast food restaurants, as well as some trendy local eateries, are located along Cleveland Avenue, the city's main commercial street. Fort Myers has a number of international food choices including German, Italian, Southern and French cuisine; many of which are off the beaten path. But seafood is the area’s main claim to fame, a reflection of the city's maritime location.

Hot Tips:

The city has a number of excellent restaurants hidden away in unassuming locations.

Be Sure to Sample:

The local Grouper.

Places to Party

The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall hosts performances of world-class plays and musicals. The Arcade Theater and The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre also host a range of performances, and the latter offers a buffet dinner with the show. Drinking establishments like the World Famous Cigar Bar and World of Beer are places to grab a cold beverage or two after the sun goes down. Nightlife offerings also include numerous bars with live music such as The Roadhouse Café and The Buddha Bar.

Hot Tips:

Several hotels and tourist centers offer up an entertainment guide detailing nightlife venues in Fort Myers.

Where to Shop

Fort Myers is home to some of the best outlet shopping in the region with Miromar and Tanger, hosting dozens of name brand stores, selling items at deeply discounted prices. Shopping areas like Coconut Point and Gulf Coast Town Center are laid out like neighborhoods. And at the Shell Factory you’ll find one of the largest collections of shells in the world and lots of Florida kitsch; as well as a nature park and rides. It’s a perfect place to intersperse shopping with kid-friendly fun. 

Hot Tips:

Check out the huge alligator in the Nature Park and take a camel ride.

Best Local Souvenir:

The Shell Factory and Nature Park sells a plethora of shells and items made from them.

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Fort Myers Neighborhoods

Things to do in Fort Myers


Fort Myers is known for...

Five of Fort Myers's most unique features and characteristics.

1. Spring Training:

Both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins conduct their annual spring training in Fort Myers, each in their own ballfield.  Late February sees legions of baseball fans flocking to southwest Florida for spring training games - which run through the end of March - against MLB rivals like the New York Yankees or Chicago White Sox.   It's a lot of fun and the best weather of the year.   Fans get tan and baseball bliss all at the same time. 

2. Great Weather:

Winter is a sport watched on the Weather Channel, in Fort Myers.   Winter is a little unpredictable in December and January but "plunging temperatures" often means into the 60s, with sunshine.   Winter temps can be as high as 80.   Come to play.   Spring is lovely as well, with 70s and 80s for the highs until - typically - May, when summer comes calling.  Summer is hot (high 90s) and humid, but what will you care?  You'll be in the pool, on the beach, and never fighting any crowds;  summer is off-season here.   "Fall" offers the lowest prices of year in hotels and the heat of summer, until about the third week of October, when it cools down to 70s for a high. 

3. Nearby Islands & Beaches:

Southwest Florida has legendary beaches.   Sanibel Island is world-renowned for shelling;  its seashell-laden beaches are filled with treasures year-round.   Tiny Captiva Island faces west, so its beach is a bastion of happiness at happy hour, nightly.   Fort Myers Beach, on Estero Island, is a laid-back beach with tourist bars serving drinks right in the sand.   Pristine Lovers' Key is for paddling and sunning in seclusion.   A few other beaches are reached by charter boat or water taxi only.   All have white sand and most have lots of wildlife. 

4. Sunsets:

Vacations are often built around sunsets in southwest Florida.   Whether you watch sunset from the beach with a cocktail, or from the deck of a tour boat, to the sounds of a tropical guitar player . . . your sunset memories from Fort Myers are sure to be remarkable.   Watch for the "green flash," a seaside phenomenon that ony happens in certain weather conditions and shoots a 1-2 second bright green flash across the watery horizon. 

5. Outdoor Lifestyles:

Fishing, tennis, golf, walking, paddling, shelling . . . Fort Myers is all about these activities.  A full calendar of sunny days and temps which are rarely cold (or never cold, depending upon your home latitude) give Fort Myers visitors their choice of outdoor activities.   Fishing is great offshore or on;  golf and tennis clubs pepper the area.   Lakes Park is a particularly popular area to get outside, with its long hiking trails and canoe rentals.  The Calusa Bluewway - a water-based trail for paddlers - brings kayakers galore to the Fort Myers area.