Join the Snowbirds in Fort Myers and Sanibel

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by Ruth Brindle - 28 August 2019

Join the Snowbirds in Fort Myers and Sanibel

After picking up your Hertz car at Tampa Airport, Florida you can arrive at one of the Gulf Coast’s most interesting and beautiful locations in just under two hours.

Fort Myers, in south west Florida, and Sanibel Island, across a short causeway, provide the ideal mix of history, entertainment, nature and relaxation.

Fort Myers has a lot to offer and is a favorite with both families, couples and young people looking for a vibrant atmosphere.

There are 50 miles of beaches along this stretch of the Gulf, including on its neighboring islands, and more of these later, but for the culture and entertainment-hungry visitor there is so much on offer here too.

Visit Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Two of the most famous and revered innovators of their day, who were also friends - Thomas Edison and Henry Ford - had adjacent holiday homes in Fort Myers. Visiting these beautiful ‘cottages’ and wandering in the gorgeous gardens is a delight. You can also learn about Edison’s experiments to find an alternative to rubber. Fascinating: www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

Watch the Red Sox play

The famous Boston team’s Fenway South stadium JetBlue Park in Fort Myers even has a replica of the iconic Green Monster wall from their home stadium. They come to Florida for spring training and thousands of fans flock to see them play. A fabulous, fun day out for all ages, https://www.mlb.com/redsox/spring-training



Walk the walk

The city’s historic River District with its Spanish Colonial atmosphere, along the Caloosahatchee River is a great place to have a coffee, meal or drink or try a local brew.

Artful place

Head to Pine Island and Matlacha for a plethora of art galleries and craft shops with a bohemian atmosphere. 

On the beach

Fort Myers beach has the greatest combination of sun, sea, sand and fun. There are lots of activities, bargain eateries, cracking cocktails and a chance to watch the sunset from your restaurant table. If action is what you want, this is the perfect choice.



Sanibel Island

For a change of pace, you couldn’t find a more relaxed, laid-back and not to mention downright luxurious escape than this pristine island. While undoubtedly busy in the winter months, it provides a heady mix of white, powdery sand beaches, fine dining, no high-rise buildings and a choice of very individual accommodations with great style. Visitors return year after year to drink in the atmosphere. Did you know… it was once the chosen vacation destination of President Roosevelt.

You won’t find chain food outlets here, but there are plenty of great places for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why not try the Over Easy Cafe for all-day breakfasts or the family-friendly Bubble Room.

The island’s main thoroughfare Periwinkle Way has several arcades of individual shops, ideal to wander around for resort wear and souvenirs. There is also cut-price shopping at Sanibel Outlets, just over the causeway from Fort Myers.



On Sanibel and Captiva islands one of the main leisure activities is shelling. The islands’ unique location and shapes bring thousands of tons of shells onto the beaches for keen collectors - there are 400 different types to find. As holidaymakers walk along the water’s edge looking, they are said to be doing the Sanibel Stoop!

You can learn all about them at the island’s Bailey-Matthews National Museum, www.shellmuseum.org, and marine naturalists conduct beach walks too. One such event sets off from the Island Inn for guests, www.islandinnsanibel.com


Wonderful wildlife

This island is proud of its environmental heritage and at the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge, www.fws.gov/dingdarling, there are 6,400 acres of preserved mangrove wilderness and other habitats to take a slow drive through. Stop along the way to spot many birds, 245 species in all, including Roseate Spoonbills, White Egrets, Osprey and Bald Eagles.

Island hopping

There are other islands to discover by sea on boat trips for a few hours or for a whole day. Set out from Captiva for the pristine Cayo Costa for shelling or to Cabbage Key for lunch at a restaurant that sits on top of a Calusa Indian shell mound.

Everglades

Drive south for about an hour, just beyond Naples to take an exciting airboat adventure in the Everglades to spot alligators in their natural habitat. It’s a must-do experience in Florida to see the state’s natural landscape.

 

To find out more about visiting The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, go to www.fortmyers-sanibel.com

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Article by Ruth Brindle

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