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(2015 - Fall/Winter Issue)


We wanted a place to get away from it all and experience something extraordinary—and that’s just what we did on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

One highlight was our early-morning visit to Sanibel Island, famous for the wide variety of shells that reach its shores every day due to its east-west position in the Gulf of Mexico. Worm shells, nauticals, scallops and conchs were just some of the treasures we found within arm’s reach. Talk about relaxing and fun! We discovered Sanibel also has a private shelling charter led by a captain with more than 20 years of navigational experience in the area. While on beautiful Sanibel, we also visited the historic Sanibel Lighthouse, which has stood guard since 1884.

Wanting some time away from the crowds, we made our way over to Cayo Costa State Park, with its remote beaches and even more shells. Later in the trip, we spent a few lazy, sun-filled hours at Lovers Key State Park on a romantic beach with a fitting name.

There’s certainly no shortage of beach options in this area. There’s Bonita Beach, which features good shelling and a dog beach area, as well as Boca Grande Beach. We were able to admire many more beaches on board a most enjoyable island-hopping boat tour. Fishing in Boca Grande Pass area, renowned as the “Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World,” made our time on the water all the more exciting as we reeled in a few big ones.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel area is not only impressive for its serene natural surroundings, views and island-hopping excursions. We also took in some of the cultural sights in historic downtown Fort Myers. One not-to-be-missed venue is the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, where invention pioneers Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had winter homes. Twenty acres of tropical gardens, a museum filled with inventions, their homes, and a museum store enlightened us on the lives of these two extraordinary men.

We rounded out our visit with a little retail therapy at Miromar Outlets—considered the best shopping plaza in Southwest Florida—and Tanger Outlets. We scored some super deals as savings at both locations were as much as 70 per cent off regular retail prices.

Our visit to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel provided just the right mix of relaxation, culture and personal pleasures needed to recharge our batteries.

Travel Planner

Download the virtual Lonely Planet guidebook on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and plan your Gulf coast getaway at FortMyers-Sanibel.com

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