Each neighborhood throughout the greater Fort Myers area has its own personality. With old fishing villages, historical districts, tropical islands, and bustling waterfront communities, there are dozens of different ways to enjoy this part of Southwest Florida. Get to know the unique neighborhoods of Fort Myers by using the map feature to explore the area.
The heart of Lee County contains a variety of experiences and attractions well-loved by many types of travelers. Beer aficionados should take some time to sip local brews in a tasting room at Fort Myers Brewing Co. Top brews to try include the popular High Five IPA and Gateway Gold blonde ale. There’s fun for the whole family at PopStroke, a Tiger Woods–designed mini-golf course with a full-service restaurant and bar plus lawn games. If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, head to Bell Tower to shop your favorite brands, catch a movie or indulge in some ice cream.
Pine Island may be the largest island off the Gulf Coast, but one of its best qualities is its small-town feel. Get close to nature at Galt Preserve where you can hike five miles of trails through mangrove forests while keeping watch for a pair of bald eagles known to inhabit the area. While there are a wide variety of casual waterfront eateries, you’d be remiss not to visit the award-winning Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant for dinner and a stunning view of the sunset over Pine Island Sound.
If shopping is a key part of your vacation itinerary, spend a day exploring Estero. Miromar Outlets and Coconut Point are both outdoor shopping centers that boast brand-name stores and a variety of restaurants. While you’re in the area, go off the beaten path at Koreshan State Park — once the home of a 19th-century religious group, the main structures are still standing today.
Retreat to Bonita Springs for relaxation and rejuvenation. Treat yourself to a spa package or an organic farm-to-table meal at Shangri-La Springs, a historical hotel in the middle of downtown. Wander over to the Wonder Gardens to see unique wildlife like exotic birds, reptiles, pink flamingos, and more. Finally, enjoy fine wine, delicious food and high-end shopping at the picturesque Promenade at Bonita Bay.
Discover everything there is to love in one of Florida’s fastest-growing cities. With nearly 400 miles of canals, much of the fun is waterfront. Cape Harbour is your home base for everything, including chartered boat tours, boutique shopping, waterfront dining, and more. There’s fun to be had inland, as well. Head to Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve and spot wildlife, paddle the bay and visit the Veterans Memorial. Beat the heat at Sunsplash Family Waterpark when you take a dip — or slide!
Between Pine Island and Cape Coral, you’ll find this funky little fishing village. For such a small area, it boasts a large number of good eats. Stop in for breakfast at The Perfect Cup and try the Crabby Big Daddy omelet. Get a taste of locally sourced Gulf pink shrimp, conch and fish of the “moment” at Blue Dog Bar & Grill. Walk to CW Fudge Factory for dessert and indulge in hand-dipped chocolates and house-made fudge.
Unwind on white-sand beaches and in gentle Gulf waters on Captiva Island. With easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound, you can explore secluded islands and pristine beaches while spotting abundant wildlife aboard a chartered cruise with Captiva Cruises. The perfect way to end a day in this tropical paradise is at a beachfront table at The Mucky Duck, where the sunset views are unmatched.
This island has been named the “Seashell Capital of the World” because of the variety of seashells that wash on shore from the Gulf. Rise early and take your pick of whelks, conchs, alphabet cones, and more. It’s worth giving up an afternoon at the beach for J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s 7,600 acres of walking, hiking and driving trails, observation towers, boardwalks, fishing docks, and more. You can also take a guided tour with Tarpon Bay Explorers to learn more about wildlife and ecology.
North Fort Myers
Slow down and get back to nature in this area north of the Caloosahatchee River. A visit to ECHO Global Farm will open your eyes to unique, sustainable techniques in agriculture. North Fort Myers is also the perfect place to embark with your kayak or canoe on the Great Calusa Blueway, a 190-mile marked water trail that meanders through mangrove forests and lush estuaries.
Downtown Fort Myers
You’ll find a bit more hustle and bustle in this part of town, though there are still relaxing activities aplenty. Take a walk through the past at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, home to two of America’s most prominent inventors: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. You can also browse the on-site research laboratory and botanical gardens. If you have kids in tow, check out IMAG History & Science Center, where they can get hands-on at the touch tank and explore other STEM exhibits. History buffs will enjoy strolling the historic River District with its brick-paved streets and landmarks like the Arcade Theatre, which hosts the acclaimed Florida Repertory Theatre company.
Alva, Buckingham, and Lehigh Acres
This trio of communities is where life really slows down. From serene parks and preserves to rural fruit farms, you can enjoy the day as it comes. Get in on the action at Buckingham Farms, where you can pick your own produce or enjoy a full farm-to-table meal. Caloosahatchee Regional Park is known for its adventurous bike trails, but also offers relaxed hiking and walking paths.
There’s a #MyFortMyers story for everyone. Now that you’ve gotten to know our diverse neighborhoods, start planning a visit to make your own #MyFortMyers memories at VisitFortMyers.com.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors