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Fort Myers

Chosen as a winter refuge by Thomas Edison at the turn of the last century, Fort Myers sits away from busier and more opulent Florida centers, maintaining the carefree, low-key atmosphere of a sea town. Assuming beach life is Fort Myers's only attraction would be a mistake: the town center boasts a vibrant street life, with a plethora of indie art galleries and interesting spots for history and science lovers. The area's natural beauty continues inland, where protected animal species take shelter among mangroves and narrow bayou bends.


911 - Ambulance, Fire and National Police
+1 239 321 7700 - Fort Myers Police Department
Since many shops in Fort Myers are locally owned, opening hours vary significantly from place to place. Many shops open at 10am and close at around 5-6pm; larger shops close around 8-9pm.
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 Second Street, Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL
+1 239 338 3500 -

The City of Fort Myers

At first glance, Fort Myers obeys the clichés of Florida, with its palm-lined boulevards, colorful house fronts and white shores, but it's worth exploring further - there is much to discover.
Founded as a military base during the American Indian Wars and then abandoned, the town was revived in the 19th century by a ship captain who might also have been a pirate. Around 1880 it started attracting notable ‘snowbirds’, seasonal visitors who came here to escape the colder winters of the north and built elegant period villas. Among them, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were probably the most famous, and left winter estates that are now open to the public.
Today, despite its natural beauty, the Fort Myers area is still a lesser known holiday destination, but it's gaining more and more popularity thanks to its lively atmosphere and a recent restyling of the town center.

When planning a stay in Fort Myers, it can be practical to think of the city as subdivided into two parts.
The Fort Myers town center, in the northern zone, is home to different museums and historical houses. It is also a good starting point for trips to the many natural parks and reserves along the Caloosahatchee river.
For the most charming beaches, however, you’ll have to head south, to the barrier islands. The smaller town of Fort Myers Beach offers plenty of beautiful shores and every kind of facilities: separated from mainland Fort Myers, it sits on Estero Island and can easily be reached by a causeway. A trip to some other islands also comes recommended: many of them, like Sanibel, hold a more natural, fascinating atmosphere.
Cultural and social hubs are very present in the center of mainland Fort Myers, but you'll find some unexpected hot spots on the islands as well.

Do & See in Fort Myers

A beach holiday can feel monotonous after a while, but Fort Myers provides many different pastime alternatives, from inland nature trips to sights, art galleries and social events.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The former winter residences of these two important Americans are today a cultural site that is worth a visit, whether you're interested in history, technology or nature: Thomas Edison set up a laboratory and a botanical garden which you'll be able to explore, together with the historical house interiors and a museum dedicated to the inventor.
Centennial Park
Stretching across 10 acres on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Centennial Park is a good location for a walk or a picnic in town, offering a playground and a fishing pier. Here you will also find the Uncommon Friends, a sculpture commemorating the town's most famous visitors.
Farmer's Market
Held every Thursday in Centennial Park, the Farmer's Market offers many kinds of local produce, including fruit, bakery, seafood and flowers. Since it is a popular meetup location for the people of Fort Myers, it can be a good occasion to mingle with locals.
Nature Parks
The area around Fort Myers offers beautiful, diverse landscapes, which you can admire in the many nature reserves. It's not only about the ocean - inland, you'll find river banks lined by woods, and coastal wetlands.

Bird-watching lovers should head to J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge: established in 1945 on Sanibel Island, it hosts 245 different bird species, along with mammals and other sea creatures. It also offers activities for guests, such as kayaking, tram tours and fishing.
1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, FL
+1 239 472 1100

The 3500-acre-wide Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve also makes for good hiking grounds. On its 1.2 mile boardwalk, between dense trees and bayous, you'll admire herons, egrets, alligators, turtles, and other typical fauna.
7791 Penzance Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL
+1 239 533 7557
Boat Tours
Another popular way of getting to know Fort Myers's landscapes and nature is choosing a boat trip.

Eco River Tours provides trips along the Caloosahatchee and Orange rivers, with a naturalist on board to provide explanation on the local flora and fauna. Different options are available, such as manatee tours (only December to March), which allow visitors to get close to these uncommon sea creatures, and sunset tours. Book your trip on their website.
Sweetwater Landing Marina, 16991 State Rd. 31, Fort Myers, FL
+1 239 693 1434

Magic Wind Adventure Sailing is run by an enthusiastic couple and offers sailing trips on the gulf for up to 6 passengers. It is possible to book on their website or by phone.
Salty Sams Marina, 2500 Main Street, Fort Myers, FL
+1 800 975-5824
IMAG History & Science Centre
An eclectic venue for curious children and science lovers, Fort Myers's Imaginarium is an aquarium and hands-on museum with more than 60 interactive exhibits about sea life, fossils, Florida's history, nanotechnology and much more.
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Located on Sanibel Island, famous for the myriad sea shells washed out on its beaches, this peculiar museum hosts a collection of shells from around the world, and organizes fascinating beach walks with naturalists.
Art Walk and Music Walk
For some cultural entertainment, add Fort Myers's Art Walks and Music Walks to your agenda: these free happenings animate the social scene of the downtown River District at fixed times every month, while shops, art galleries and restaurants stay open until late at night, providing drinks on the sidewalk.

The Art Walk takes place every first Friday of the month, 6pm-10pm, and features 13 art galleries which offer self-guided tours and meet-ups with the artists.

The Music Walk starts every third Friday of the month at 7pm, with bands and singers taking over the streets, performing in a wide range of music genres.

Beaches & Islands in Fort Myers

The Fort Myers area attracts American "snowbirds" for a reason - you'll find a myriad beaches surrounded by spectacular nature, especially on the islands. As the shores can be very diverse and offer different attractions, it's a good idea to plan trips to different beaches throughout your stay. Also, don't forget to bring a camera to document the best sunsets.
One piece of advice: parking spots might be limited, so arrive there on time to find a place. Also, expect them to be a bit expensive in the most popular areas.
Bunche Beach
A good introduction to Fort Myers's beach panorama, and an easy-to-reach spot if you're based on the mainland, Bunche Beach is part of a green natural preserve south of the Fort Myers town center. The natural scenery is wonderful, and the beach offers different amenities such as kayaking and canoeing equipment.
Fort Myers Beach and Lover's Key
This town on Estero Island has a relaxed summer party atmosphere, with its colorful Times Square and a more residential southern area.
One of its best beaches is Lover's Key State Park: a bit away from the city center, it offers two miles of white sand lined by vegetation. It's great for swimming, and its shallow water is safe for children.
Lynn Hall Memorial Park
Right in the center of Fort Myers Beach, this beach park offers facilities for all tastes, from water sports, kayaking and sailing to fishing. Visitors with a more contemplative approach can just indulge in people-watching and sunbathe on the clean white sand.
Sanibel Island
Three miles away from the mainland, the island of Sanibel is known worldwide by conchologists for being covered in an extraordinary amount of seashells washed up by the tides: that's because of its peculiar position, stretching east to west in the middle of sea streams. While the island's beaches are some of the best in the area, the urban scene is also charmingly underdeveloped, and looks frozen in time at the start of the 20th century. Inland lie the Six Cypress Slough Reserve and the Bailey-Matthews shell museum.
Lighthouse Beach
With its gaunt, rusty presence, Sanibel's lighthouse adds to the offbeat atmosphere of this beach, tucked away in a natural park on the eastern part of the island. With its clean and shallow water, and seashells everywhere, the beach is a good spot for children. Since there are no bars or restaurants nearby, make sure you bring your own food for lunch.
Blind Pass Beach
Particularly romantic at sunset, this less-crowded beach on Sanibel island is completely enveloped in nature, with no buildings in sight. It is not the best place for swimming - sea currents can be quite strong - but it's great for collecting shells and fishing, and it has a memorable atmosphere.
Captiva Island and Turner Beach
Pirate José Gaspar's coven and, in more recent times, winter home of artists Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, this narrow island north of Sanibel is also covered in shells, and its beaches give the same impression of detachment from modern life.
You might start your exploration with Turner Beach, wider, lesser known and undeveloped. Sea currents are often strong here, so swimming is not recommended.
Cayo Costa Island State Preserve
One of the main attractions of Cayo Costa Island is the possibility to mix regular beach life with different activities: the shore is lined by a forest of pine and mangrove trees, ideal for hiking and cycling, and the area teems with fauna, such as dolphins, manatees and a wide range of birds. Snorkeling and surfing are also very popular here. The island is only accessible by private boat or ferry, but it's worth the trip.

Dining in Fort Myers

Southern Florida cuisine (also known as "Floribbean") is, naturally, well-represented in Fort Myers, where regular seafood dishes such as shrimps and oysters mix with more peculiar specialties like gator tail bites. Dining here can also be a good opportunity to discover some ethnic food, listen to live music, or just relax while enjoying the sunset.
The Veranda
Set in a beautiful location inside a turn-of-the-century mansion, The Veranda is a good option for an elegant dinner: it pairs typical Southern cuisine with an extensive wine selection, and it's quite popular in Fort Myers and beyond.
A classy restaurant in mainland Fort Myers, Blanc offers a creative approach to French cuisine, with thoughtful and elegantly presented dishes. When it comes to wine choice, consider asking for the staff's recommendations - they're very knowledgeable.
Fresh Catch Bistro
This elegant seaside spot in Fort Myers Beach is set right on the shore, and offers great views of the sunsets, along with refined seafood dishes. Cocktails are also highly appreciated - their classic margarita is among the favorites.
Blue Pointe Oyster Bar
The main focus of this elegant bar & grill are fish and seafood specialties - crab legs and dinner rolls are recommended. With an elegant interior and an outdoor patio seating area, Blue Pointe is a neat, characteristic spot for a nice dinner.
University Grill
University Grill's motto: "Seafood. Steaks. Martinis." sums up the typical experience at this cozily decorated restaurant very well. Come for a friendly atmosphere, and when in doubt, choose ribs, the chef's most popular specialty.
Artisan Eatery
The owners of this well-loved sandwich shop keep it casual, but are friendly and attentive to everyone's needs - they provide toys and fully equipped changing rooms for kids, and have earned good reviews by vegetarian guests. Eggs Benedict and the Impossible Burger are recommended.
Roadhouse Cafe
Live jazz music in a perfected retro ambience is the most notable attraction at Roadhouse, and their cuisine lives up to their style. With a dancefloor and a well-reviewed bar, this restaurant provides good food and quality entertainment.
El Gaucho Inca
A good choice for exotic cuisine, El Gaucho Inca offers Argentinian and Peruvian dishes cooked by a skilled chef from South America, and it's particularly appreciated for steaks and scallops, as well as for its typical dulce de leche.

Cafes in Fort Myers

Whether you're looking for a quicker and more casual lunch, some breakfast under Florida's palm lines, or a stylish tea time, Fort Myers will surprise you with some interesting spots. Take your time to try out different things - perhaps, starting off with our suggestions.
Wisteria Tea Room & Cafe
Set in a re-decorated old bungalow, Wisteria has the charming atmosphere of a classic English tea room. Their pastries come wonderfully presented - it's worth ordering some along with your tea.
McGregor Cafe
As its name suggests, this cafe is located on the palm-lined McGregor Boulevard, in the center of Fort Myers. Locally owned, it's particularly appreciated for its rich breakfast offers.
Green Cup Cafe
This relaxed coffee shop in downtown Fort Myers focuses on organic products: their offer includes local brews of tea and coffee, smoothies, fresh salads and wraps. Coming here can also be a good opportunity to try out some lesser-known tea flavors, such as their lychee green tea.
Daddy Dee's Ice Cream Parlor
A vintage player piano and a travel-themed decor add to the quirky atmosphere of this ice cream shop, which has been in business for more than 40 years. Their servings are big, and they often host live music events.
Sweet Bean Coffee Cafe
With a well-thought out decor and local artworks showcased on the walls, Sweet Bean is located on McGregor's Boulevard and serves lunch and breakfast, providing freshly baked pastries and seven different types of coffee. Omelettes are a favorite among many guests.
Bennet's Fresh Roast
Located centrally and close to the seaside, Bennet's serves freshly roasted coffee and home-made sweets, and is especially appreciated for its huge donut selection - the maple syrup ones are recommended.
Vino's Picasso
Offering a fun and creative experience, Vino's Picasso embodies the artsy and friendly atmosphere of Fort Myers, and is one of the most popular hangouts in the area. This art bar is operated by local artists, who will guide you through painting your own work while sipping on drinks and mingling with locals and fellow tourists.

Bars & Nightlife in Fort Myers

Fort Myers might be quieter than bigger cities of Florida at night, but it offers something for everyone - from mainstream clubs to live music diners, cozy classic pubs, and beach bars.
The most vibrant nightlife happens at weekends, when locals and tourists gather in the quirky Times Square to admire the sunset while grabbing some cocktails. Monthly art walks and music walks also animate the social scene, and many art galleries offer drinks along the way.
Space 39 Art Bar & Martini Lounge
Adorned with works by local artists - which you can also buy from the bar's Art Gallery - Space Bar has an elegant atmosphere and a sophisticated choice of drinks. Here you'll be able to dance to live music in a range of different styles, such as funk, reggae and blues.
Point Ybel Brewing Company
Run by a local craft beer company, Point Ybel is a good spot to try some new brews - their selection is thoughtful. They don't serve food, but they organize live music events and contests.
The 86 Room
This Prohibition era-themed bar has on point decor and music selection, and a relaxed atmosphere. Drinks can be a bit pricey, but it's worth checking out the ambiance regardless. The bartender's friendly attitude is especially appreciated by guests.
The Firestone
Firestone's Martini Bar and Skybar offer a good sunset-cocktails-dancing experience on a waterfront rooftop. Located in downtown Fort Myers, it also provides some dining options.
Roadhouse Cafe
Live jazz music in a perfected retro ambiance is the most notable attraction of Roadhouse, and their cuisine lives up to their style. With a dancefloor and a well-reviewed bar, this restaurant provides good food and quality entertainment.
Celsius Night Club
For a mainstream disco night in downtown Fort Myers, Celsius offers a neat light system and decor, and affordable prices. Cocktails and DJs are well selected, as you'd expect from a good quality club.
City Tavern
A classic pub near the Fort Myers seafront, City Tavern has live music, a billiard and friendly service. The typical pub food they serve includes unmissable beer cheese pretzels.
Upper Deck Pool Bar
Upper Deck has a charming view over the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, which particularly comes alive around sunset, and a good choice of cocktails - their Cuban is especially appreciated. It is part of the West Wind Inn resort.

Shopping in Fort Myers

The Fort Myers shopping scene is pleasantly diverse. There are, naturally, some classic shopping malls such as the Perwinkle Place, which offer designer brands and outlet deals in a pleasantly air-conditioned setting. Many independent shops provide an alternative showcase of products, from local artwork and jewelry to vintage clothes and knick-knack souvenirs.
Farmer's Market
Held every Thursday in Centennial Park, the Farmer's Market offers many kinds of local produce, including fruit, bakery, seafood and flowers. It is also a popular meetup for the people of Fort Myers - seize the occasion to mingle with locals.
The Curiosity Shop
The Fort Myers area has some interesting spots for those into retro culture, and The Curiosity Shop might be one of the best, with its wide collection of vintage garments. Trusting the owner's recommendations can lead to good discoveries.
Daas Co-op Art Gallery
An exploration of Fort Myers's art scene can start with this art gallery on Colonial Boulevard: it displays and sells the work of more than 30 local artists and also features other craft products. Here you may also find some unique souvenirs to bring home.
Perwinkle Place
One of the best shopping malls in the Fort Myers area, this complex on Sanibel Island offers a relaxed atmosphere and pleasant setting, with designer clothing items and accessories for men, women and children, as well as perfumery products and a wide range of souvenirs. Beachwear is, of course, omnipresent.
Remedies Parlor
Remedies Parlor is worth a visit for its very sophisticated atmosphere, along with its collection of curious decor. Specializing in perfumery products and creative home furniture, it also has a polished inside garden, complete with a wine and beer bar.
Shipwreck Treasure Store
Small-scale plastic boat reproductions, whimsical gift ideas, unlikely message plaques, bold shirts which might require some bravery to be worn back in the motherland - this souvenir shop in Fort Myers Beach will provide shoppers of every taste with a perpetual memory of their trip to Florida.
The Franklin Shops
An impressively eclectic collection of items - clothing, souvenirs, boxes of teas, scented candles, local artwork, and more are on offer at this locally owned store. Some of them are unique, and all are reasonably priced.
Spirit of the Earth
A less common shopping experience might happen in downtown Fort Myers, at this fascinating gem gallery specializing in crystals. Their collection is put together by gemologists, which guarantees some good ideas for home decor or souvenir gifts.

Tourist Information for Fort Myers

Warning: Health Advisory on Algal Presence
At the end of June 2018, Florida Healthy Beaches Program has released a health advisory regarding the presence of two types of algae which can make it unsafe to sea bathe in some areas of Fort Myers and the Lee county.

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) has been found in some inland parts of the Caloosahatchee River (namely, Alva Boat Ramp, Davis Boat Ramp, and Franklin Locks). When this algae is visible it's better not to touch water at all.

There have also been cases of 'red tide' in Lee County. Caused by a microscopic algae which discolors the water into red or brown, this phenomenon can cause skin and eye irritation and it's dangerous for people with chronic respiratory problems.

Please stay safe and full informed during your visit, and reach for further information at the following links: - dedicated page on the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau website - dedicated page on the Florida Department of Enviromental Protection - website of South Florida Water Management District
Passport / Visa
Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.
Soutwest Florida International Airport
The Southwest Florida International Airport is located less than 17 miles from the Fort Myers town center.

Taxi service at the airport is provided by MBA Airport Transportation, LLC. The fares vary depending on zones, not meters.
+1 239 482 2777 -

Alternatively, you can rent a car at the airport's Rental Car Service Center, which is found on the ground level of the parking garage.
Avis: +1 239 225 2700 - - open Mon-Sun 5am-12:30am
Hertz: +1 239 768 3100 - - open Mon-Sun 4am-1am

To reach the town by public transport, you can use the Route 50 bus service provided by the Lee Tran Company.
The service is available seven days a week, but it usually does not work at night. The working hours change seasonally.
+1 239 533 8726 -
Best Time to Visit
The most pleasant months to visit Fort Myers are probably January to April, when days are usually dry and sunny. The hurricane season is between June and November, and it can get very rainy.
If your priority is having a quiet, relaxing holiday, keep an eye on academic calendars: Fort Myers Beach becomes a popular destination for college students during their Spring breaks (usually the first days of Spring), which can get very loud.
Public Transport
Public Transport in Fort Myers and the rest of Lee County is operated by the LeeTran company.
Different pass solutions are available if you're planning to use public transport for one or more days. There are discounts for students, people over 65 and passengers with disability.
You can purchase your ticket online at their website, or at one of LeeTran's Pass Outlets across town. For more info, visit
Find a selection of taxi companies in the Fort Myers area below:

Night Owl Taxi
+1 239 449 8118 -

Car Concierge Service of Fort Myers
+1 239 313 9005 -

A Better Taxi
+1 239 288 5587 -
Post Office
If you don't want to search for a post office, you can buy stamps at supermarkets, pharmacies, some ATMs, or online on the website link below.
To send a letter or a package under 16 oz., look for the blue post boxes around town. Make sure the mailbox has pickup times posted on top.

Find a post office here:
Find a pharmacy at:
Fort Myers Prescription Shop
3594 Broadway, Fort Myers, FL
+1 239 939 0249 -
Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm

Or, alternatively:
Walgreens Pharmacy
12749 South Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL
+1 239 939 2142 -
Open daily - check hours on website
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