A huge bonus for Fort Myers real estate are the stunning beaches in the area. Beaches, beaches and more beaches.
There are plenty of other draws to the area, of course. From world class golf courses to fine dining, art & culture and more. When someone’s in the market for a southwest Florida home at Lucaya, they’re probably persuaded by its excellent location – including being close to beaches.
Which is good. Because there’s a whole lot of them and they’re all just a little bit different.
Hoping to piece together the ultimate Fort Myers Beach Guide, Taylor Morrison went straight to the horse’s mouth. We interviewed a few lifelong Fort Myers natives to get the nitty gritty on the best beaches in town.
Here’s what we found out!
Take a Staycation
It turns out that Floridians love staycations. Why hop on an airplane when you live near many of the finest beaches in the world?
Along with day trips to sun drenched shores, the popular Calusa Blueway popped up again and again in conversation. With 190 miles of waterways to explore in your kayak, you’ll never run out of something new during a weekend.
Duck into estuaries and distinct ecosystems to see wildlife in their natural habitat, such as Estero Bay, Pine Island and The Caloosahatchee River.
The possibilities are endless.
Capture Romance & Grace: Captiva Island is #1 for Sunsets
Pack up the cooler with snacks & cold drinks and make the drive to Captiva Island. It’s not the closest beach to Lucaya but Captiva is the top destination along the gulf for watching the sun disappear into the warm Gulf waters.
The island faces directly west, guaranteeing a perfect view every single night of the year. Head to Alison Hagerup Beach Park for the best spot to set up your lawn chairs.
Pro Tip: The best time to visit is in the summer when the island is the least crowded. It’s easier to find parking in July than January.
Collect Shells at Sanibel
If you’re into shelling, Sanibel offers an endless supply of treasures from the sea. In fact, it’s one of the most renowned beaches for collecting seashells in the world.
Here’s what a local had to say:
Sanibel Island is absolutely gorgeous. The streets are beautifully landscaped, and it is the best place in the area to ride bikes. There are miles of bike paths for cyclists to explore the area on two wheels. Ding Darling wildlife preserve is a wonderful place to investigate mangrove life by kayak and offers great fishing opportunities.
Bear in mind that residents take the ecology of the island very seriously. There are quite a few rules you’ll need to adhere to:
- No collecting live shells.
- No driving on beach.
- No open fires.
- No alcoholic beverages.
Also, very few beaches on Sanibel Island allow pets so this might be a day trip where it’s best to leave your pup with the dog sitter.
One exception is Bowman’s Beach. Dogs are allowed on leashes as long as you promise to clean up after. To get to Bowman’s Beach turn off Sanibel-Captiva Road onto Bowman’s Beach Road, park and walk across the wooded bridge to get to the beach.
Known for wildlife and seclusion, Bowman’s Beach is a fantastic area for shelling and spotting birds & turtles. Paid parking is available at $2/hour and facilities include restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor shower, picnic tables & barbecue grills, nature trails and a kayak/canoe launch.
Get Down & Boogie: Fort Myers Beach for the Best Nightlife
When the nightlife calls, Fort Myers Beach answers.
Fort Myers Beach is also a great choice when you’re looking for a more touristy adventure. There are wave runner rentals and tours, parasailing excursions, and it’s got a laid-back appeal with vacation-style bars serving tropical drinks in the sand.
The local insider’s pick is unanimous: Lynn Hall Memorial Park.
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Myers Beach, there are tons of restaurants and shops. It’s a great place to people watch and the paid parking lot is open from 6am-11pm for two bucks an hour. If you plan on getting in the water, facilities include outside showers and bathrooms and there’s a first-come first-served picnic area, too.
While Fort Myers Beach is rated #1 for partying, Lynn Hall Memorial Park is a great family destination, too. The water is shallow for kids to splash in the sea and there’s also a playground.
Pro Tip: There’s a sunset party every weekend at Times Square. You’ll find plenty of hopping nightclubs within walking distance once the sun goes down.
Soak up the Allure at Lover’s Key State Park
The number one pick for pristine beauty.
Not everyone knows about it – which is why we asked those in the know:
Lover’s Key is a small island between Bonita Beach and Fort Myers. It’s part of a collection of islands that make up the protected Lover’s Key State Park. There’s a boat ramp on the bay side, and it is a great dolphin and manatee watching location. The most secluded areas are fairly far from the parking lot so pack light. A tram provides access to some parts of the beach but the best exploring is done on foot, bike or kayak. It’s also a great place to fish.
Pro Tip: Check out Lover’s Key Mid Beach. It’s open from 8am to sunset and the entrance fee is $8 per vehicle (2-8 persons), $4 for single vehicle and $3 per bicyclist or walker.
Bring Fido Along! Bonita Beach is Tops for Dog Lovers
Offering the only off-leash beach for dogs in the area, the Bonita Beach Dog Park is your go-to destination when carting along four-legged friends.
The dog beach is a small island which is great because your pets can’t go too far. Puppies that love to play in the water will be in heaven. The waves are shallow and the Gulf of Mexico is calm and safe for dogs to splash around offshore.
The park is open from dawn to dusk and there are no services on the island so be sure to pack in your own water. Remember that it’s mandatory to clean up after your pet so don’t forget plastic baggies!
Take the Boat: Cayo Costa is the Best Beach Accessible by Water Only
Talk about a local secret! Sometimes you’ve got to work a little harder to get to the good stuff.
If we’re talking beaches, I’ve got to mention Cayo Costa. It’s one of my favorite shorelines and a real Florida paradise. There are extremely rustic cabins and camping sites for the adventurous but a day trip by boat will be an unforgettable experience.
Nine miles of beaches. Oak-palm hammocks. Mangrove swamps and pine forests. The perfect place to get away from it all.
And don’t worry. If you don’t own a boat you can take a ferry to get to the island.
Unlock Your Dream Location at Lucaya
Taking advantage of all these outstanding Florida beaches starts with finding the ideal new home community in Fort Myers. Gated and private, Lucaya provides SW Florida home buyers a tranquil escape from the hustle & bustle that’s conveniently located near all of the area’s top attractions.
Featuring resort-style amenities, residents can enjoy a large pool & spa, clubhouse with catering kitchen, state-of-the-art fitness center, socializing spaces, computer room, Wi-Fi equipped library and a children’s playground.
Villa style plans are exceptionally affordable. Well-equipped 2 bed & 2 bath homes start in the mid $200s.
The Ibis plan is now selling and a model is available to tour:
- Indoor/outdoor living with open-concept great room and spacious covered lanai.
- Bonus room for den, study or home office.
- Bright master suite with dual vanities and large walk-in closet.
Welcoming Sandpiper to the Party
Stay tuned for the release of this highly anticipated floor plan.
Stay Up to Date with Insider Information
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Seeking Single Family Homes?
Interested in Single-Family homes? Check out some of the other Taylor Morrison Communities in the area.
- Estero Pointe | New homes from the high $200s | 19613 Estero Pointe Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33908 | 866-495-6006 | Models Open Daily | Get Driving Directions
- Pebble Pointe at the Brooks | New Homes from the high $300s | 10159 Coconut Road, Estero, FL 34135 | 239-471-3979 | Models Open Daily | Get Driving Directions