By Donna Carter
Sandwiched between Sarasota in the north and Naples in the south, the Fort Myers area, often described as an “unspoiled island sanctuary”, has been attracting tourists since the early 1900s. The city of Fort Myers, along with eight neighbouring communities and several idyllic islands, including Sanibel and Captiva, offer up a return to days gone by with a relaxed ambiance and some of the best shell collecting on the planet.
Eco-tourism is a huge attraction with plenty to offer including dolphin tours, awesome wildlife viewing, several nature preserves and a profusion of ecosystems to explore. There are bald cypress forests, virgin wetlands, meandering rivers, oak groves, pine woodlands and, of course, 80 kilometres of white sand beaches where there are literally millions of shells and fossils. Among a number of park preserves, Manatee Park is one of the top spots in the nation to observe manatees in their natural habitat and the JN “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island has been recognized among the best bird-watching locations in North America.
The region’s well-rounded character includes outstanding dining opportunities not just in the communities of Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel and Captiva, but throughout the entire area. Likewise, there are scores of excellent golf courses and Fort Myers is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins.
For more information:
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
2201 Second Street, Suite 600
Fort Myers, FL 33901