Things to do in Fort Myers

Things to do in  Fort Myers

Beach hair, don’t care

The gateway to southwest Florida, Fort Myers is quintessential Sunshine State: think seashell-filled beaches, colorful sunsets, and lots of opportunities to go fishing. Many of the things to do in Fort Myers involve the water, including sailing, dolphin-spotting cruises, parasailing adventures, and eco tours, though there’s fun to be found on land, too, from dune buggy adventures to ample bike paths. In addition to nature preserves, Fort Myers also has a number of educational attractions including the Edison and Ford Winter Estates and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.

Top 15 attractions in Fort Myers

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a protected mangrove estuary and research center in Naples, Florida. The land was purchased in the 1960s to prevent further destruction to Collier County’s ecological area. Today, these untouched mangroves offer on-water exploration while the research facility provides interactive and educational events.More

Fort Myers Beach

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A far cry from the busy beaches of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, this 7-mile (11-kilometer) expanse of pristine Florida coastline has managed to preserve its sleepy charm. Beachgoers can enjoy the sprawling sky and white sand dunes of the Gulf Coast, all while staying in a nearby resort town that offers a relaxed vibe and upscale amenities.More

Manatee Park

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A noncaptive, natural refuge for the endangered Florida manatee, Fort Myers’ Manatee Park is one of the top places in the area to spot the aquatic mammal. You’ll also find walking paths, kayak and canoe rentals, playgrounds, and more.More

Big Cypress National Preserve

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Big Cypress National Preserve is the northern neighbor of Everglades National Park, but with fewer crowds and more wildlife. Among the first national preserves to be established in the US, Big Cypress still permits many of the activities that are forbidden in national parks, inviting visitors to go off-roading, hunt, take an airboat ride through the swamp, and more.More

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

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Step back into old Florida, and explore the estates of two of the United States’ most prominent men. Registered as National Historic sites, the buildings and beautifully landscaped lawns of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates tell stories of early Florida as well as the lives and times of the inventors.More

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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Spend the day surrounded by wildlife one of the best spots for bird-watching in Florida. This 6,300-acre (2,550-hectare) refuge, which occupies a third of Sanibel Island, includes a wildlife drive, tram tour, picnic spots, and a scavenger hunt. The wetland swamp is also part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States.More

Loop Road

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The Loop Road is known for alligator viewing and being the Wild West of the Florida swamp. The 24-mile (38-kilometer) unpaved road offers an opportunity to get off the main road and explore Big Cypress National Preserve at a slower pace. The vegetation and swamps lining both sides of the road make it ideal for spotting alligators, birds, and otters.More
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Lakes Park

Lakes Park

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Lakes Park, also known asLakes Regional Park, is an ideal spot for getting a healthy dose of exercise and fresh air in Fort Myers, Florida. Located on the bay with more than 150 acres (61 hectares) of man-made lakes, this park offers birdwatching, a miniature railroad, playgrounds, gardens, and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of trails for hiking and biking.More
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Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

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Few places show off the biodiversity of Florida’s waterways better than Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Here, 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) of prime Florida wetland and upland ecosystems—created as rainwater drains into Estero Bay—provide a habitat for alligators, wading birds, wild pigs, otters, butterflies, and other native fauna.More
#10
Zoomers Amusement Park

Zoomers Amusement Park

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From roller coasters and bumper boats to miniature golf, Zoomers amusement park in Fort Myers is a prime destination for family-friendly fun. Enjoy a variety of outdoor rides and indoor games, including air hockey and video games. Guests can pay as they go or opt for an all-access pass.More
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Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

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Sanibel Island is a tropical retreat known for its quiet shores and its warm, shallow water. Beach goers can enjoy local seafood restaurants, swaying palm trees, and an abundance of sea shells, while nature lovers flock to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see alligators, herons, and other wildlife.More
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Burroughs Home & Gardens

Burroughs Home & Gardens

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Walk back in time at the Burroughs Home & Gardens, a 1901 Georgian Colonial Revival mansion and one of the oldest homes in Fort Myers, Florida. Sprawling 6,000 square feet along the riverfront, the historic property features bay and stained glass windows, grand winding staircase, a widow’s walk, water features, and a spacious veranda.More
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Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

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At the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, visitors stroll along trails and boarded walkways to spot native Florida wildlife, or enter an aviary where bald eagles, owls, wild skunks, pythons, and other rescue animals live. The planetarium tells the story of the skies during daily presentations.More
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IMAG History and Science Center

IMAG History and Science Center

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IMAG History and Science Center teems with interactive fun and gives both youngsters and their parents a chance to participate in hands-on demonstrations about the wonders of nature. Feel the power of a hurricane, run through a rainstorm, observe rays and sharks, or be a weather forecaster for the day in this family-friendly museum.More
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Southwest Florida Museum of History

Southwest Florida Museum of History

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The Southwest Florida Museum of History tells the story of southwest Florida, from the area’s first Paleolithic fauna (think towering giant sloth) to the arrival of settlers and modern railroads. Highlights of the collection, housed in a former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot, include a replica “cracker” house, and a 1929 Pullman rail car.More

Top activities in Fort Myers

Dolphin Tours - Fort Myers Beach / Naples
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Dolphin Tours - Fort Myers Beach / Naples

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55
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$350.00
per group
Southwest Florida Sunset Sail

Southwest Florida Sunset Sail

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366
From
$70.00
Copacetic Day Sail

Copacetic Day Sail

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206
From
$70.00
Shelling Tours - Fort Myers Beach / Naples
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Shelling Tours - Fort Myers Beach / Naples

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36
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$350.00
per group
Historic Walking Tour of Fort Myers
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Fishing Charters - Fort Myers Beach / Naples
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Vacation Photography Mini Package

Vacation Photography Mini Package

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2
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$285.00
per group
Lake Okeechobee Fishing Trip Near Fort Myers

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Trip Near Fort Myers

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9
From
$357.99
per group
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All about Fort Myers

When to visit

March through May is the ideal time to visit Fort Myers. Though spring breakers abound, visitors won’t have to contend with the snowbirds, summer tourists, or hurricanes, leaving the best seashells for the picking. These months are especially mouthwatering thanks to the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival and Taste of the Beach annual events. Early January is also a special time in town as they simultaneously celebrate the New Year and the town’s birthday.

Getting around

Before you lather on the sunscreen, it’s important to note that Fort Myers the city and Fort Myers Beach are roughly a half-hour drive apart. This automatically means budgeting for multiple rideshare trips or renting a car. There is a trolley at the beach that’ll transport you around Estero Island, and LeeTran county buses throughout the city, but the convenience and comfort of a private car are worth the cost.

Traveler tips

If you’re looking for a bright idea for indoor fun, a lightbulb might appear over your head when you consider the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Thomas Edison was a part-time resident of Fort Myers, and these historic buildings showcase his time in the area, along with Henry Ford’s. Locals may encourage you to visit nearby Sanibel and Captiva islands, as well, but keep in mind that these spots may still be recovering from hurricane damage—be sure to check on their status as you plan your trip.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
15
Tours
126
Reviews
4,322
EN
65c3be05-32f4-49d0-b6fa-606be72e4e92
geo_hub

People Also Ask

What is Fort Myers known for?

Fort Myers is known for its beautiful beaches covered in seashells. It’s considered a gateway city to Southwest Florida and hosts spring training games for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Fort Myers is also known for its River District and historic architecture in the Dean Park Historic District.

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What is there to do in Fort Myers besides the beach?

If you’re not a fan of the beach, you’re in luck. Fort Myers offers a number of other sand-free attractions. Visit the IMAG History & Science Center, Edison and Ford Winter Estates, and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre for indoor fun. Golfing, fishing, and boating are also popular outdoor activities.

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How do I spend a day in Fort Myers?

Spend a day in Fort Myers starting with suntanning on Fort Myers Beach. Then get your fill of history at the Mound House and the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, or engage with nature at the Shell Factory and Nature Park and Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium. Finally, dine in the River District.

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Is Fort Myers a party town?

Fort Myers knows how to have a good time. Instead of the wild partying you’d find in Daytona or Key West, this compact southwest city caters more to bar hopping. There are pubs and clubs throughout the downtown, while intoxicating beachy fun can be found on the barrier islands.

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What is there to do in downtown Fort Myers?

A visit to downtown Fort Myers will have you falling in love with the historic buildings along the riverside. Stroll through the riverfront Centennial Park then enjoy waterside dining at Oxbow Bar & Grill. Explore the galleries and theaters of the River District or view the historic architecture lining First Street.

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Is Fort Myers expensive?

Fort Myers may be surrounded by ritzy cities like Marco Island and dreamy islands like Captiva and Sanibel, but it’s not as pricey as its neighbors. Though there is wealth in the area, Fort Myers is an affordable city for visitors, especially those who enjoy the beach and the riverside.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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