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(2014 - Fall/Winter Issue)

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Unwind in the culture and serenity of Florida’s unspoiled island sanctuary.

Sparkling waters calmly lapping the shoreline beckon swimmers, shell enthusiasts, boaters, fishermen and those who wish to simply relax and take in the serenity. Nothing defines Southwest Florida more than its surrounding warm Gulf waters.

The famed white, sandy beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers mix with mangrove estuaries, pine forests and park preserves to create a getaway unlike any other. Historic Fort Myers offers up culture, outstanding restaurants and shops galore.

Soak it all in

Do the “Sanibel Stoop” on the island’s world-famous shelling beaches or try stand-up paddleboarding on its unspoiled waters. Swim in the tranquil sea surrounding Captiva Island or rent a Wave Runner at Fort Myers Beach.

Board a charter cruise to discover the area’s 100-plus barrier and coastal islands boasting tropical monikers.History comes alive at Cabbage Key Inn, built in the 1930s on a Calusa Indian shell mound. Enjoy a “cheeseburger in paradise” made famous by Jimmy Buffett. Relax on a deserted beach at Cayo Costa and wave to manatees and pods of dolphins. Swim, snorkel and fish around the circa-1890 Boca Grande Lighthouse.

Indulge at first-class restaurants on Fort Myers Beach overlooking Estero Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. Dine at the iconic Bubble Room on Captiva or cheer the sunset at the Mucky Duck. Treat your sweet tooth to famous maple-bacon donuts at Bennett’s Fresh Roast on Sanibel or Fort Myers. Stop by Norman Love Confections’ original Chocolate Salon in Fort Myers for melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.

Shop the outlet malls of Tanger and Miromar, or stroll the avenues of Fort Myers for great finds. Discover unique gifts and a little something for yourself at quaint shops dotting Sanibel and Captiva islands.        

Explore Florida’s natural side at Sanibel’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Walk or drive to spy alligators, night herons and white ibis. In mainland Fort Myers, photograph wildlife at the Six Mile Cypress Slough, a wetland ecosystem home to otters, alligators and turtles. Watch manatees glide through the water at Manatee Park. Take a dolphin-watch cruise to observe these friendly creatures frolic for your enjoyment. 

Soak in some culture at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Walk the city’s Historic River District, originally established as a Seminole War Post in 1841. Kayakthe Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, charted 2,000 years ago by the area’s earliest residents, the Calusa Indians.

Travel Planner

Visit FortMyers-Sanibel.com to order your free Lonely Planet guidebook and to sign up for their exclusive eNewsletters.

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