Florida has a lot of beaches and after visiting many of them, I’ve decided that Fort Myers Beach is one of the best. I keep coming back here for the beach but also for the laid-back vibe, the restaurants, and the activities. With something for everyone here are ten reasons why Fort Myers Beach is the best beach in Florida.
1) The Beach at Ft Myers Beach
The beach is the main attraction here and it’s beautiful! Fort Myers Beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico and has soft, white sand beaches and clear, calm water. The ocean here is shallow so you can easily wade for a nice distance. I usually visit Fort Myers Beach in September or October and the water is warm enough that you can jump right in. Depending on the time of year you visit you may even see stingrays or turtles!
With beaches wide enough that people aren’t piled on top of one another, I find it to be a perfect beach to take a leisurely stroll or a quick run.
2) Great Food
Fort Myers Beach restaurants feature a diverse mix of options from higher-end to quirky local spots. Here are some of my favorite places to eat in the Fort Myers Beach area.
The biscuits at the Heavenly Biscuit are indeed heavenly! Located just across the street from the Neptune Resort (more about that below), you’ll find yourself eating here more than once. Colorful and tiny, the line will stretch outside the door but the wait will be quick. In addition to heavenly biscuits, they also feature homemade cinnamon and pecan sticky rolls that are out of this world. Watching them pour the sweet icing from a pitcher over a warm cinnamon roll is a thing of beauty.
Nervous Nellie’s is located waterfront and features a huge menu in a fun atmosphere. A great spot is to enjoy a fruity adult beverage and take in the views of the bay.
Gotta have ice cream when at the beach, right? Another little gem right across the street from the Neptune Resort is Royal Scoop. With their large selection of homemade ice creams, you’ll have a hard time deciding on which flavor(s) to try. Turtle and Coconut are my favorites.
Salty Papa’s Shrimp House
New to us on our most recent trip was Salty Papa’s Shrimp House. Located in a nondescript strip mall close to Sanibel Outlets, it is a little removed from a lot of the tourist activities. That alone is reason enough to visit, but they also offer great seafood at reasonable prices. Definitely worth a quick drive off the beaten path.
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3) Sunset Cruises (and dolphins)
The most beautiful sunsets are found on the water and there is no shortage of them in Fort Myers Beach. I recently took a sunset dolphin cruise with Adventures in Paradise and not only saw lots of dolphins but also enjoyed watching a stunning sunset. Definitely a highlight of my most recent visit!
4) Fantastic Shopping
There are not one, but two outlet malls in the Fort Myers area. Basically, a discount shoppers dream! The first is Sanibel Outlets and is a quick 15 minutes away from Fort Myers Beach and is a nice diversion when you need a break from the sun.
Miromar Outlets offers even more shopping in Fort Myers beach. This outlet mall is only a 30-minute drive away and is one of my favorite outlet malls with over 140 shops and restaurants.
5) Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island is only 20 minutes away from Fort Myers Beach and is well worth the $6 toll to cross the Sanibel Causeway. The views along the causeway are stunning and once you’ve reached the island you’ll find a different vibe than on Fort Myers Beach.
Our group always makes a trip to Sanibel to eat at The Island Cow. With a laid-back feel and a massive menu, it’s a must-do. The fried clams (or any of the fried seafood) are amazing!
6) Activities on the Beach
As lovely as it is to spend a day on the beach just listening to the lapping of the waves, sometimes you want to do something a little more active. And there is no shortage of water activities to do in Fort Myers Beach.
One of my favorites was parasailing and there are several operators providing tours along the beach. Renting jet skis and speeding across the Gulf was another favorite activity that my girlfriends and I enjoyed. Paddleboarding is also available. Just take a stroll down the beach and you’ll find plenty of options.
7) Times Square
Not as famous as THE Times Square, but a central area for shops, restaurants, and other activities in Fort Myers Beach. This is the place to grab some souvenirs, grab an ice cream cone, walk down the pier or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in Times Square.
8) One of My Favorite Hotels
I’ve stayed at the Neptune Resort four times and love it. There are many hotels in Fort Myers Beach to choose from, but I just love the Neptune. It combines just enough old-school vibe with modern conveniences. Sitting on an incredible beachfront in Fort Myers Beach, the rooms are literally steps from the beach.
The rooms at the Neptune Resort are roomy and feature a small kitchen which is great for stocking a few snacks. They also provide beach towels and lounge chairs on the beach (my favorite)!
There are two pools on the property and a recently added lounging area with a pergola and comfy couches perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee and the sunrise or sunset.
9) Ft Myers Beach is Easy to Get To
Fort Myers Beach is easy to get to. If driving, it’s just a few minutes off of I-75. By plane, you can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport located in Fort Myers or Punta Gorda Airport which is about an hour away.
10) And Lots of Activities I Haven’t Done Yet!
You would think after five visits to Fort Myers Beach, I would have seen and done just about everything there is. But I haven’t even scratched the surface! Additional activities in Fort Myers Beach include deep-sea fishing, mini-golf, and several state parks nearby. You can even catch a high-speed ferry to Key West.
I keep coming back to this beach because it just feels right. It’s the perfect spring break destination, girlfriend getaways, romantic weekends, or family vacations. After visiting, I’m confident you’ll find your own reasons why Fort Myers Beach is the best beach in Florida.