Florida beach parking is usually free
If you're longing for miles of beaches on your Florida vacation, I'll definitely make a detour Fort Myers Beach to the heart. Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love with the city in Lee County like me and spend the rest of your vacation here? There is definitely enough to discover here. I'll show you what you can't miss in Fort Myers.
Fort Myers on the west coast of Florida
Arrival & Hotels |Tourist Attractions
Culinary | Fort Myers Beach
Sanibel | Boat tours
Florida's Wildlife |Shopping
Arrival - this is how you get to Fort Myers
The west coast of Florida owns with the Fort Myers Airport its own international airport. After a 10-hour flight, you can take a rental car directly at the airport or simply take theLeeTran buses drive to the city. The fact that Fort Myers has a bus route makes the city particularly interesting for holidaymakers in the USA who prefer to do without a rental car (this is usually next to impossible in the USA).
You can of course also visit Fort Myers as part of a small one Florida round trip drive. From Miami you can reach the city in around 2 1/2 hours, from Orlando it takes around 3 1/2 hours.
In general, however, I recommend a rental car so that you can reach all beaches, restaurants and sights quickly and easily. The best thing to do is to get some information about the toll charges in Florida directly at the airport. It may be worthwhile for your trip to pay a “flat rate toll”, which saves you from having to pay a big bill at the end of your vacation.
There is no shortage of suitable accommodation in Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach. Only in the main season, which is between November and April, should you come up with a rough travel plan before your trip. Reading tip: You can find out more about the in my travel calendar best travel time for Florida.
For your first nights, I recommend accommodation in Fort Myers Beach, right on the beach, because then you will experience the first big highlight right on your doorstep. Not only the beaches could convince me with their white and incredibly fine sand, I was particularly impressed by them Sunsetsthat transform the sky here into a colorful sea of colors. For example, I can suggest the Outrigger Beach Resort, which has great beachfront rooms with balconies, from which you have an unobstructed view of the wide beach in front of your window. It is particularly nice to start the day with a strong coffee on your own balcony and enjoy the no less beautiful sunrise before finally going on a discovery tour through the city.
Reading tip: I have you an article with the most beautiful Accommodation in Fort Myers and compiled on Sanibel Island. Here you get even more inspiration for great hotels and resorts in the region.
Attractions in Fort Myers
Fort Myers not only invites you to relaxing days on the beach, but also to special experiences. I'll tell you now what you can experience and see around Fort Myers. The practical map shows you all the interesting places in Fort Myers in advance.
One possible destination in Fort Myers is the Mound House, where you can learn more about the history of the area.
- opening hours: January 1st-30th April: Tuesday to Saturday 9 am-4pm, May 1st-31st December: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Entrance fees: Adults $ 10, Children 6-12 years $ 5, Children 5 and under free
The museum is built on a shell hill, on which, by chance, the up to two thousand year old remains of those who used to live here in the 1920s Calusa Indians were found. They used the shells to raise their village and to be able to spot enemies earlier. The Mound House is a great excursion tip, especially for families with children, because there are many activities such as javelin throwing or making shell jewelry awaiting them. If you still want to be a little active on vacation, you can visit with a guided tour Kayak tour round off for about $ 45. You will get to know the landscapes of Estero Bay from a completely different perspective.
Edison & Ford Winter Estates
My second tip for Fort Myers is the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The inventor's former winter home Thomas Edison and the car maker revolutionary, Henry Ford, is home to thousands of exhibits.
- opening hours: all year round, except Thanksgiving & December 25th, Mon-Sun 9 am-5.30pm
- Admission including a German audio guide: Adults $ 25, teenagers 13-19 years $ 20, children 6-12 years $ 15, children <5 years free
- info: Wed 10.30 a.m. & Fri 12.30 p.m. Tours in German - adults $ 30, teenagers 13-19 years $ 25, children 6-12 years $ 18, children <5 years free
These include numerous of Edison's 1,093 patent-pending inventions, real classic cars from Ford and the houses of the men who were close friends. When strolling through the lovingly tended grounds, which are reminiscent of a park, you will feel as if you are in a different, long-forgotten time. Thanks to the many original preserved exhibits you can vividly imagine the two entrepreneurs sitting on their veranda enjoying the warmth of Florida while the rest of the site was bustling with activity.
A huge oneRubber tree, from which rubber was actually made for Ford's car tires, is still a witness to this glorious time, which brought Fort Myers the economic boom and also the growth. Even the original ones Laboratories and workshops can be visited. I can really recommend you visit this museum, which is one of the most visited museums in the USA. After all, you are visiting one of the places of activity of the man who was the first to illuminate New York!
Culinary & restaurants in Fort Myers
If you are getting hungry after so much history, you should definitely try the fresh shrimp and the famous key lime pie in Fort Myers. I can recommend the Parrot Key restaurant. The flair that welcomes you here is simple typical Florida. A colorful, slightly kitschy decoration awaits, waitresses in a casually colorful Hawaiian shirt and a card that will definitely make the decision difficult for you.
Casual, colorful Hawaiian shirts, slightly kitschy decorations and delicious shrimp - just typical Florida
The Key Lime Pie tastes refreshingly of lime - just the thing with the tropical warm temperatures. If you go out to eat in the US, you shouldn't be surprised at the tip of 18-22% that is common here. In addition, there is always an additional tax of 6% on your meals in restaurants in Florida. So you should always keep these costs in mind when you go out to eat.
Nevertheless, the prices in all of Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach are affordable, so you should definitely treat yourself to a lunch or dinner. A little hint:Many restaurants also offer a so-called "early dinner" between 4 and 6 pm, which often promises a multi-course menu at a low price. For true seafood groupies, I recommend a visit to the Fresh Catch Bistro, where you can not only get really tasty food, but with a little luck also get a seat on the covered terrace. From here you have the best view of the sunset.
You should also enjoy one at least once on your trip American breakfast come. Pancakes, bacon, donuts and lots of cheese are often part of it. You can get a good start to the day in Marko's diner, for example. If you have a guilty conscience, I recommend you simply take a long walk on the beach afterwards.
Fort Myers Beach
Fans of long walks on the beach will be just as happy in Fort Myers as any sun worshiper. The Fort Myers Beach extends over several kilometers and is considered special child friendly, as the water here is very shallow. Around Times Square and the pier, it is busiest on the beaches, but the further you move away from the town, the emptier the beach becomes. The city has its beaches cleaned regularly, so you can expect clean, fine sand here.
A shuffle dance in the sand saves the stingray fire
During my stay I noticed signs indicating the presence of stingrays in the water. In the period from May to October you can come across the not-too-large animals that like to burrow in the soft sand near the shore. But don't panic - just run shuffling through the sand or put on your bathing shoes, then you don't have to be afraid of the stingray fire. In the main season, most of the stingrays on the coast of Fort Myers Beach have disappeared anyway.
Excursion to Sanibel Island
You should definitely visit Sanibel Island, an island on the west coast of Florida, when you are on vacation in Fort Myers. With a rental car you can cover the distance of 30 kilometers over the Sanibel Causeway in just under 40 minutes.
Sanibel Island is beautiful in any weather
First you should visit one of the most famous beaches in Sanibel, the Lighthouse Beach in the east of the island, which got its name from the old lighthouse that was built here in 1884. Today a steep wind is blowing, the conditions for all kinds of water and wind sports are perfect. Several dozen colorful paragliders fly through the air here and windsurfers try to outdo each other with their stunts every time.
Shelling on Sanibel Island
Almost everything on Sanibel revolves around seashells, so it's best to swap your car for a bike and go to the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum drive near Tarpon Bay Beach and find out about the life of the more than 400 types of mussels, before going to the beach for shelling, i.e. collecting mussels.
There is something calming about collecting
You will see: When you take a walk on the wide beach you will bend over again and again for found objects. You have certainly never seen so many mussels in one place as here. There is really something calming about going for a walk and collecting and at the same time you can take some typical souvenirs with you to take home with you.
tip: Many hotels offer great for their guests Shelling tours at. If you book, for example, at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva, you can take part in such a shelling tour with a shell expert. The Island Inn on Sanibel, for example, offers a free beach walk with an employee of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.
A day on the water - Florida boat tours
In Florida, many people are out and about on the water. It almost seems like a matter of course to own a small boat and maybe even have the right jetty right on your doorstep. You too shouldn't miss the chance to get to know Southwest Florida from the waterfront. Depending on how many people you are traveling with and what your budget is, you can either charter a private speedboat with your own captain or get on the larger excursion steamers that start from Sanibel and Captiva. On such a day trip you will visit various small islands and with a bit of luck you will see them Dolphins and manatees in the wild.
If you are on Sanibel Island, you should definitely make a detour to Captiva. "Easygoing" is capitalized on the island, the sunsets are a dream!
Ask your captain if you can make a detour to Cabbage Key Island, because there is the "Cheeseburger in Paradise“, Which singer Jimmy Buffett raved about in the song of the same name. But that's not all: the walls and ceilings of the restaurant are hung with dollar bills. Celebrities like Matt Groening and Jimmy Buffett, but also tourists, sign a bill after a visit and then hang it on a free space. The Cabbage Key has more than earned its nickname “Dollar Bill Bar”.
Florida Wildlife - Where Are the Alligators?
Florida and alligators somehow belong together. Fort Myers and Sanibel are not the Everglades, but the parks have a good chance of spotting alligators and other wildlife like Manatees, sea turtles and dolphins to bump. You can find your luck, for example, in the J.N. Try Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. The great thing here is that you can cycle the entire area. Entry is only $ 1 for cyclists and hikers, and $ 5 for drivers. I didn't see any alligators during my visit, but I can still recommend a trip to the spacious refuge. Here you can learn a lot about the native animals and do something good for these unique ecosystems with a small donation.
If you're in Fort Myers or Sanibel and really want to see alligators, you can also do one Day tour in the Everglades do. Various agencies are happy to help you organize such a trip. You can find detailed information about the Everglades in my travel magazine.
Shopping in Fort Myers
For many travelers, a vacation in Florida is just as much a part of it as the expansive beaches and the easy-going lifestyle: shopping! Despite the currently rather poor exchange rate, shopping in the USA is still worthwhile for German vacationers, so hardly anyone comes back from vacationing in the USA without a new wardrobe.
I've already found a suitable shopping paradise for you: the open-air shopping centerMiromar outletsin Estero. From Fort Myers Beach, it's a 30-minute drive to the outlet center with around 140 stores from brands such as Converse, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors and 18 different restaurants and cafes such as Ford's Garage and Starbucks. Here you can make your credit card glow seven days a week.
I also think the open construction of the shopping center is positive, because who would want to do without the Florida sun, which shines 300 days a year, when shopping? You should always get this when shopping in Florida Travel allowance of € 430 from non-EU countries have in mind. If you import goods with a total value of more than € 430 on your return flight, you have to expect to pay additional taxes at the airport in Germany if you should be checked by customs. But of course that shouldn't keep you from extensive shopping!
Tip: Christmas shopping under the Florida sun
While it is getting colder and colder in Germany and we are already thinking about the contemplative time, summer temperatures still prevail in Florida. Ideal to escape the winter a little and to stock up on vitamin D for the dark season. But the weather in the autumn and winter months is not the only advantage you enjoy when traveling to Fort Myers - as I showed you in the last section, Fort Myers is a real paradise for those who like to shop properly. So how about if you the Shopping for Christmas just done in sunny Florida this year? I have the best places for you Shopping in Fort Myers summarized compactly at a glance:
- Miromar outlets in Estero
- Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers
- Edison Mall in Fort Myers
- Sanibel outlets in Fort Myers
- Fleamasters in Fort Myers
Discover Fort Myers!
Fort Myers has taken my heart by storm with its extensive beaches, diverse nature and the Caribbean flair! Do you want to convince yourself now? With me you will find offers that will bring you to the southwest coast of Florida for a round trip. There you just have to take a rental car and drive to the most beautiful places. The Sunshine State is waiting for you! You can also get more information and tips on the Fort Myers and Sanibel websites.
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