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(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)


With nearly 965 kilometres of natural coastline that includes foliage-rich islands and miles of seashell-strewn beaches, this southwest Florida patch has easily become the outdoor lover’s nirvana. Even the inland areas around Fort Myers’ islands, beaches and neighbourhoods are teeming with wild flora and wildlife, catching the wide eyes of adventurers. With summer hot humid weather and endless sunny days, adventures on and off the water abound. Yes, there’s a #MyFortMyers story for everyone.

Explore parks and preserves

Fort Myers’ parks and preserves are where you can get close to nature. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve boasts a two-kilometre accessible boardwalk for exploring the native wetland ecosystem. You’ll see wildlife like parrots, flamingos and peacocks at the Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs. Visit J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island to see some of the 245 species of birds that flock to the Fort Myers area.

Paddle a marked water trail

The greater Fort Myers area is “the” spot when it comes to paddling. Home to the Great Calusa Blueway, this 305-kilometre marked water corridor gives kayakers, canoers and paddleboarders a scenic marine trail, weaving through mangrove alleys that snake past habitat as you watch wading birds, rays and flying fish flit past. You can rent watercraft from Gulf Coast Kayak, Tarpon Bay Explorers or other local outfitters. Near Cape Coral, paddlers encounter a thrilling mangrove maze tour in the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve, a protected channel in which, if lucky, you can spot dolphins and manatees. From Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island, you can head out into the Gulf of Mexico for even more incredible sightings of dolphins, manatees and the occasional sea turtle.

Discover coastal islands by boat

Visitors should spend at least one day island hopping to coastal islands such as Cabbage Key, North Captiva and Boca Grande, many of which are only accessible by boat. Book a spot on one of several charters, arrange a private island tour or rent a boat.

Natural settings and secluded beaches will have you feeling like you are worlds away.

Pedal Power

Veer off the beaten path by bike. On Sanibel and Captiva Islands, bike paths hug the shoreline. Start the adventure at a bike rental shop or bring your own. For more pedal power, hear the sounds of the surf as you cycle along eight kilometres of bike trails in nearby Lovers Key State Park. Pass estuaries, a freshwater pond and finish off with a refreshing beach dip.

MUST TRY On Gasparilla Island, the Boca Grande Bike Path spans the entire island. Take pit stops, of which there are many, and aim your smartphone for that perfect scenic shot.

Travel Planner

Start planning at VisitFortMyers.com and make your own #MyFortMyers memories

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