There is nothing quite like watching the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico from the beaches of Florida’s west coast. Set along some of the finest, whitest and softest sand in the world, the beaches and waterways near Fort Myers and Sanibel Island are the perfect place to experience this naturally beautiful event. Whether you’re looking for an isolated place or one that is alive with a party atmosphere, you’re sure to find the perfect setting. Here’s a list of eight great places to kiss the sun goodnight in the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

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Estero Boulevard Patio Bars

Located in Fort Myers, you will find a string of highly rated and beloved bars with patio access on Estero Boulevard. These bars and restaurants offer pristine views of the shoreline as well as some great eats and drinks. While each location has its own theme and attitude the overall feel of the strip is relaxed and laid back. Shorts and sandals are generally A-OK. Favourite haunts include Castaway’s Bar and Grill, Anthony’s on the Gulf and the Bayfront Bistro. Be sure to try the Caribbean dining options!

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Private Sunset Cruise In Fort Myer

Take a ride on the two-storey party pontoon boat that promises beautiful views and a rocking good time all in two hours or less. What makes your experience on the Fort Myer Princess special is that you can charter it for private parties. This means only your friends (or even only just you and that special someone) are on-board. This offers the most romantic sunset experience money can buy. Work with the captain to find the perfect sailing route to include dolphin sightings or outlying islands. Special pricing and packages are available to include everything from champagne to personalized catering. Prices vary based on sailing and guest count.

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Lovers Key State Park

Just over 200 hectares cover four islands to create this beautiful and unspoiled natural state park. Positioned off County Highway 865, this is a place that is frequented more by locals than by tourists, which ensures you’ll see fewer people and have a more isolated experience. This is a great place to spot wildlife before spotting the perfect sunset. Regular visitors include manatees, dolphins, eagles and crabs. There is a minimal entrance fee but since it goes towards maintaining this natural paradise you can feel good about paying it.

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The Beaches

Take your choice between the shores of Fort Myer Beach or legendary Sanibel Island to watch the sunset. The main beaches will be busy and flooded with both tourists and locals. This gives you an exhilarating and exciting atmosphere. Quite often the main beaches will be lined with vendors and street performers that add spice to your evening. You'll also find a variety of bars and restaurants with patio access where you can enjoy a beer or margarita while the sun sets. The truth is, there is no better place to experience a Gulf Coast sunset than where water meets sand.

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Sunset Cruise In Sanibel

Kick back and enjoy the sunset among the dolphins when you book a sunset sailing off of Sanibel Island. These cruises sail daily and occasionally offer food or drink included in your package. The cruises promise dolphin sightings; sometimes with dolphins swimming right up to the boat! After the rush that accompanies such close interaction with playful dolphins you’ll experience pure tranquility as the boat coasts into the sunset. The 90-minute cruise departs at 5 p.m. and circles San Carlos Bay and “Bird Island.” As of 2011 adults were charged $25, children over 3 $19, and children under 3 are free.

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Sunset Parasail

Imagine being whisked over the turquoise waters of the gulf coast as the sun sinks into the water behind you. While not all parasailing companies offer sunset or day end adventures, some will offer special packages at a premium if you ask. This experience puts you up to 30 metres over the water with one companion for a look at the shoreline that only bird’s get to experience daily. It’s up to you whether or not you want a dip in the water or to stay totally dry during your experience.

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Fort Myers Pier

The perfect mix of fun and relaxation; the Pier along Fort Myers Beach is a unique place to experience a sunset. Stroll along the pier and mingle with locals andvendors as the sun begins its descent into the sea. Quite often the clouds will be painted hues of pink, gray and blue as the sun sinks behind them. Making it all the way to the end of the Pier just as the sun sets is crucial. You will feel as though you’re out to sea without having to leave dry land.

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Sunset Helicopter Tour

O’Brien Helicopter Tours, based in Leigh Acres, offers a unique experience to the seasoned sunset viewer. While a bit pricey, this option presents a view that cannot be duplicated anywhere on land. Packages can fly you over any of the coastal hot spots you want to see. Your pilot will work with you to develop a package that is beautiful and meaningful, not to mention in your budget. Prices vary based on how long you want to fly and how many people are in your party. Call early to make sure of availability.

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