By VISIT FLORIDA staff
Your Guide to Fort Myers Beaches
Editor's note: Beaches and parks are listed geographically from north to south.
Fort Myers beaches with this symbol have beach wheelchairs available, either provided as a courtesy, or available for (prearranged) rent and delivery from private companies.
The Fort Myers area—from Cape Coral to Bonita Beach—is perfect for island hopping and shell collecting. You'll enjoy every moment you spend walking the beaches, swimming in the sparkling waters and wandering the rustic beach towns. The area is teeming with wildlife in the air, on the beaches in Fort Myers and in the water.
Cayo Costa Island State Preserve
This is one of Florida' largest barrier islands at 2,426 acres. For those of you trying to escape from everyday life, it's a delightfully secluded island that is a perfect spot for camping, swimming, shelling and fishing. If you feel like roughing it, primitive cabins are available for overnight stays. But keep in mind that the island is accessible only by boat. A ferry runs from Pine Island.
Yacht Club Community Park
This park's scenic, 634-foot beach runs along the Caloosahatchee River and has pavilions, grills, restrooms, a fishing pier and playground. The main Yacht Club building was built in 1960 and is one of the original landmarks of Cape Coral. Join locals for the monthly sunset celebration or just enjoy the beach.
This 97-acre park's main treat is the Glover Bight trail. The trail includes a 1,500-foot boardwalk that allows you to meander through saltwater wetlands and exposed mudflats. When you need a rest, climb the boardwalk's observation tower for a stunning view of the surrounding area.
Before you even get to these islands, you may be tempted to stop at one of the beaches in Fort Myers that line the three-mile causeway leading to the islands. This is a nice spot to fish, windsurf, or just park your car at the water's edge and enjoy the view.
Captiva Beach and Turner Beach
This barrier island, along with its larger, southern neighbor, Sanibel, is world-renowned for shelling and beautiful Fort Myers beaches. Recently, biologist and beach expert, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, recognized Captiva's beaches as among the "most romantic" in the U.S. Spend an evening at Captiva Beach to watch a colorful Florida sunset or at Turner Beach (Blind Pass) for some prime shelling.
Untouched, secluded and quiet, you'll truly feel away from it all on this beach on Sanibel Island. Park and walk over a bridge to an isolated white beach. There is an outdoor shower located at this beach, and it's the only beach with grills, so spend an evening grilling out and watching the sunset.
Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier
Located on Sanibel's southern tip, this is the site of the historic Sanibel Island Lighthouse. This family beach also features a fishing pier and a boardwalk nature trail (closed Fridays) winding through native wetlands. Enjoy a dip in the Gulf, bring a picnic and take in some local flavor.
Fort Myers Beach
Located on Estero Island, Fort Myers beaches are known for their safety. This wide shoreline gently slopes into the Gulf of Mexico. You can Jet ski, parasail, windsurf, sail and water ski along this stretch of beach. Or simply just relax and let the waves lull you to sleep. At the north end of the beach, stroll along the shady walkway through the laid-back beach village that features quaint shops and restaurants.
Bowditch Point Regional Park
Unspoiled and uncrowded, this 17-acre park is located on the northern tip of Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach. This park has three distinct habitats - an estuarine, an upland pine forest and the beautiful beach. The boardwalk allows you to meander over a mangrove lined beach along the bay. This is nice spot for you to swim, hike or relax.
Lynn Hall Memorial Park
Located at the foot of the Matanzas Pass Bridge, this county-operated park is perfect for family activities. It features a 560-foot fishing pier, showers, playground and a nature kiosk that will teach you more about the area.
Matanzas Pass Preserve
Overlooking Estero Bay, this preserve features more than 56 acres of unspoiled sabal palm and live oak hammock, as well as, 4,000 feet of mangrove shoreline. Explore the park on the more than one mile of trail that includes a boardwalk and information kiosks.
Mound Key Archaeological State Park
This 125-acre island constructed from shells deposited by the Calusa Indians more than 2,000 years ago. You can explore the canals and ancient watering system left behind. Only accessible via water, there is a boat launch at Lover's Key State Park. There are no facilities on the island.
Lovers Key State Park
Located between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach, this park offers two miles of white sand beaches. This is another spot for world-class shelling, swimming, bridge top and back bay fishing and bird watching. There are miles of waterways where you can spot manatees and bottlenose dolphins or explore via canoe or kayak.
Little Hickory Island Beach Park
Located near Bonita Beach, this wide, shelly, white-sand beach park provides the perfect spot for swimming and sunning. This is also a great spot for surf fishing. The park features picnic areas, showers and facilities.