Are you looking into a relaxing getaway to one of the best beaches in Fort Myers?
If you’re ready to explore one of the most beautiful places on the Florida coast, this is the article for you! This article is curated to include only the best of Fort Myers, so get ready to pack your bags and head to this great spot on the Florida Gulf Coast!
A trip to the best beaches in Fort Myers includes relaxing in the sunshine, thrilling hunts for some of the world’s most rare and beautiful seashells, and opportunities for encountering the elusive Florida wildlife.
The Fort Myers beaches are nestled on the Gulf Coast of Florida, only 2-3 hours from Florida hotspots such as Tampa and Orlando, respectively, making these beaches an accessible paradise, easily reached from these popular locations.
From white sandy island beaches to sparkling rivers surrounded by nature, the beaches near Fort Myers have something everyone is bound to enjoy and will talk about for years to come.
Now, here are some of the best beaches near Fort Myers, Florida!
11 Best Beaches in Fort Myers (And Nearby!)
Fort Myers Beach
Of course, when thinking of where to go to the beach in Fort Myers, we must include Fort Myers Beach itself! Fort Myers Beach, covered in soft, white sand, is about seven miles long and is known for its renowned water sports opportunities such as kayaking!
Coined as the world’s safest beach due to the shallow water and the unlikelihood of an undertow, this beach welcomes around 1.8 million visitors every year. Visitors enjoy the gorgeous beaches, delicious restaurants, and family fun.
Fort Myers Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Fort Myers area, and as such, has great opportunities for resorts, nightlife, and plenty of tours. This beach offers many eco-tours such as deep-sea fishing and dolphin sightseeing.
If you are wondering, “Where is Fort Myers beach?” keep in mind that it is not directly in the city of Fort Myers. Instead, you will drive thirty minutes south on FL-867 until you reach Estero Island just off the coast.
Bunche Beach is one of the best beaches in Fort Myers for seashell hunting. While most seashell enthusiasts flock to the shores of Sanibel Island, Bunche Beach is a great alternative that also reaps the benefits of the Gulf tide that brings so many seashells to Sanibel’s shores.
The best time to visit is low tide when the tide is out far enough to search through the seashells on the sand. Florida, horse, crown, and tulip conch shells are quite common to find on this beach, along with sand dollars and coral.
It is imperative to remember that it is illegal to take a seashell or any sea-life from a Florida beach if it is alive or has a living creature inside of it!
Unlike many of the other beaches in Fort Myers, Bunche Beach does not have white, soft sands. The beach is actually a natural tidal wetland. The area surrounding the beach has waterways surrounded by nature, perfect for canoeing, paddle-boarding, or fishing. The area also provides great opportunities for birdwatching. Even manatees are often spotted there.
The beach is accessible, with a parking area, and more parking along the street. There is a pay meter to park near the entrance of the beach. There are a few picnic tables, but no restrooms or other facilities nearby.
If you are looking for a nature-filled day, make sure to head over to Bunche Beach early to reap the benefits of the low tide seashells. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife in the nature surrounding you!
Cayo Costa Preserve
Another great beach for nature lovers and seashell hunters alike is Cayo Costa Preserve. A visit to this island makes the perfect day trip for anyone looking for a casual day on the beach. Cayo Costa is a Florida state park, reachable only by kayak or boat.
If you’re looking to escape some of the crowds that flock to the beaches in Fort Myers, Cayo Costa is the perfect retreat. Take a ferry or kayak to this island with nine miles of undeveloped beaches. Keep in mind that visitors must bring any food or drink with them as there are no restaurants in the park. There are, however, restrooms with running water.
There are many fun activities to enjoy while spending the day on Cayo Costa. The island has several walking and biking trails, great for spotting wildlife such as rare birds. Off the coast, visitors often see manatees, sea turtles, and dolphins. Paddleboarding, snorkeling, and scuba diving are also popular activities amongst visitors.
For visitors looking to get the full experience, the island offers 30 overnight camping sites and even a few one-room cabins available for rental. This is a great option for those seeking experiences with wildlife and seashell hunters as the morning is the most advantageous time to spot both.
Escape the hustle-bustle of everyday life with a visit to this unspoiled island featuring serene beaches, rare wildlife, and beautiful seashells.
Great for families and nature lovers alike, Rotary Park Environmental Center is a great excursion while spending time around the beaches in Fort Myers. Rotary Park is located in the neighboring town of Cape Coral, known as the Venice of Florida. Canals cross the town, leading to the Gulf.
The park offers a variety of activities including several nature trails. One of these trails is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and is perfect for spotting wildlife such as birds, tortoises, and alligators.
Be prepared to bring bug spray, because some of these trails go through marshland that, although beautiful, attracts mosquitos. Rotary Park offers a few wheelchair-friendly trails as well, perfect for the entire family!
In addition to great nature trails, this park offers many programs and classes such as yoga, gardening, and nature camps. Also offered, are playgrounds and dog parks, making Rotary Park a perfect excursion for the family and one of the best beaches near Cape Coral.
Lovers Key State Park
This state park lives up to its name by being one of the most romantic beaches in the Fort Myers area. Lovers Key State Park is best known for its perfect scenery for Gulf Coast weddings. It’s also a popular honeymoon and romantic getaway destination.
With its serene, turquoise blue waters, it’s not hard to understand how this beach became known for love and romance. In fact, the beach was supposed to be sold for beach-front real estate but was ultimately donated to the people of Florida to be admired and enjoyed by all.
While one of the best things to do at Lovers Key State Park is to lie back, relax, and spend time with those you love on the beautiful Gulf waters, the park also has lagoons and canals to explore, teeming with wildlife.
The park offers all the amenities needed for a relaxing experience including parking, trams to the beach, and elevated boardwalks. In addition, beach wheelchairs can be rented for free to ensure every guest is able to experience the beauty of the beach.
There are also restrooms and a picnic pavilion. Grab your loved ones and head to one of the most romantic beaches near Fort Myers for some relaxation in the sun.
Outrigger Beach Resort
For a bit of paradise, make sure to put a stay at the Outrigger Beach Resort while visiting the beaches in Fort Myers. Outrigger is located beachfront on Fort Myers Beach and is a family-friendly paradise. The resort offers two restaurants, a tiki bar, and daily performances of live music!
In addition, the resort offers plenty of on-site activities for all ages. Enjoy the heated outdoor pool that boasts a delicious cafe, with snacks and drinks brought right to you while you are lounging.
For a little more adventure, the resort hosts are readily available to reserve time on the water in any of the thrilling water sports excursions such as parasailing and jet skiing.
The Outrigger Beach Resort offers as many activities outside the resort as it does inside. Guests of the resort are welcome to beach cabanas and are encouraged to set up beach games such as volleyball.
Guests can also enjoy the Fort Myers nightlife by taking the Fort Myers Beach Trolley that makes stops all along the Estero Boulevard to great attractions.
Lani Kai Island Resort
For another slice of paradise on the beaches of Fort Myers, Lani Kai is another great beachfront resort. The same family has owned and operated this iconic resort for over 40 years.
Every room in the resort offers a great view, complete with a private balcony. Guests are sure to enjoy the heated pool, equipped with loungers.
While the Lani Kai Island Resort is on Fort Myers Beach, its slice of private sands allows guests to fully embrace the resort vibes. Beachside loungers and umbrellas are available for the ultimate day of relaxation.
To feel like royalty, the resort offers airport pickup and drop-off in their stretch limo! For even more luxury, check out the Bay Inn at Lani Kai, a secondary location that is the perfect oasis for guests.
For a truly unique experience in the Fort Myers area, head to the Causeway beaches found on the Causeway SR/CR 867 leading to Sanibel Island. There are two small islands, each with two beaches, one on either side of the road.
The first island’s beaches have no amenities, but the second island is where you will find Causeway Islands Park. The park has restrooms and picnic tables.
On both islands, you can pull your car off right onto the beach. Visitors enjoy pristine fishing conditions as well as paddle boarding and kayaking.
The Causeway beaches are also a great place to see wildlife such as dolphin pods and manatees. They are also dog-friendly. These Fort Myers beaches make a great stop on any visitor’s journey to Sanibel Island!
Some of the best-known beaches in the Fort Myers area are the beaches on Sanibel Island. The island is perfectly positioned on the Gulf Coast, and the tides wash up rare and gorgeous seashells on the beaches. Visitors flock here for this reason, and oftentimes find some incredible treasures!
In addition to seashells, Sanibel Island is famed for its lighthouses. The Sanibel Island Lighthouse, located on the east side of the island, has been standing on the island since 1884. Lighthouse Beach is great for fishing and even has a fishing pier for visitors to use.
Lighthouse Beach is great for shelling, but the currents are a bit stronger here, so weaker swimmers should be careful. There are also restrooms, showers, and water fountains available for the comfort of visitors!
There are so many wonderful shops, restaurants, and resorts on Sanibel Island, making it one of the best weekend getaways in Florida.
Just north of Sanibel Island, lies its sister, Captiva Island. Captiva boasts beautiful, serene beaches and a quaint downtown village. Similar to Sanibel, Captiva Island is settled in an east-west orientation, causing over 200 variations of seashells to wash up on the shores.
One of Captiva’s most famous beaches is Turner Beach. The beach is about five miles long and boasts soft white sands. There are restrooms and parking available! After the bridge on Turner Beach, visitors can take the scenic Captiva drive to see beautiful tropical flora and even giant cacti.
Captiva Island is the launching point for many boat tours, including fishing or eco-tourism. Diving and snorkeling are some of the favorite activities amongst visitors and locals alike.
Another very popular activity is biking. There are plenty of bike rentals available, and there is no better way to see this island!
Bonita Beach is made of gorgeous sands and is lined with tropical foliage and upscale vacation homes. You will feel as if you have arrived in paradise!
This beach is south of Fort Myers Beach and while it draws in less of a crowd, it is still popular. This is a great destination to bring the family to for a fun day in the sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
You can play a game of beach volleyball or rent a kayak or jet ski to get out on the water. Little ones will have fun building sandcastles, digging for shells, or running around on the playground.
You can pack a lunch or pick something up at one of the nearby restaurants and eat beachside at one of the picnic tables. Restrooms and showers are available. While this is one of the best public beaches in Fort Myers, there is a $2 an hour parking fee.
Bonita Beach is one of the best beaches around Fort Myers but it is also not far from Naples to the south, making it a great location to explore.
What to Pack for Beaches in Fort Myers
Wondering what to pack for your Fort Myers beach vacation? No worries! Along with the basics, here are our suggestions on what to pack for your trip.
Sun protection is the most important thing! To avoid burns and skin cancer, you’re going to want to pack a lot of waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses, and perhaps a large sun hat to keep those rays off your face. Reef-safe sunscreen is recommended because it’s biodegradable and won’t hurt the plant and animal life in the water.
Having your own cooler makes things simpler for carrying food and drinks. Make sure to bring plenty of water to rehydrate in the heat. Use reusable water bottles to help reduce single-use plastics.
Waterproof containers or pouches will save you from losing cash or damaging your phone. Bring snorkel gear as well so you do not have to spend money on rentals and to have it in more remote areas.
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