Heading to Southwest Florida and looking for the best beaches in Fort Myers? This guide has you covered!
Southwest Florida is known for its idyllic coastline that slopes gently into the Gulf of Mexico.
The water here is shallow and these gentle slopes make the shelling of these shores so perfect.
One ofTop reasons people visit Fort Myersand the Lee Island coast is for the beautiful beaches, and the beaches in Fort Myers, Florida and near Sanibel are very popular and offer a wide variety of options for all beach lovers.
After all, with 271 days of sunshine a year, any time is a great time to enjoy the sandy beaches and blue-green waters.
Between Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach there are some pristine coastlines to choose from.
You can kayak inPlaya Buncheadmire the beauty ofLovers Key State Park, and enjoy a day at the beach with the familyParque Familiar de Crescent Beach.
And depending on where in town you choose to spend most of your time, you'll find some of the best beaches near Fort Myers in nearby Cape Coral, Englewood, Bonita Springs, or North Naples.
If you're looking for the best beaches in and near Fort Myers, this guide will give you some amazing choices.
You will also find visiting tips, park information, services and more!
But first it is important to understand the terrain!
About the beaches of Fort Myers Florida
IsBeaches in Southwest FloridaThey are among the best in the Sunshine State.
However, with so many miles of coastline along the Gulf Coast and around the many barrier islands off the coast of Fort Myers, Englewood to the north, and Marco Island to the south, it's important to remember that not all beaches are created equal.
I don't want to sound like a beach snob, but seriously... not all beaches are the kind you want to laze on for days. I am right?
A great beach forLaunching a kayak in Fort MyersIt might not be the best beach to rest on.
You need soft, dry sand for this!
yes you areFirst visit to Fort Myers, You may not know that downtown Fort Myers is inland on the Caloosahatchee River, not the Gulf of Mexico.
Located where the river meets the Gulf, the city faces Sanibel Island to the west, St. James City on Pine Island to the northwest, and Cape Coral and North Fort Myers to the north.
Now that we've got the geography out of the way, think of one thing:Fort Myers BeachesYou are in Fort Myers Beach to the south!
The 7 best beaches in Fort Myers
For the best beaches in town check out these 7 beaches in Fort Myers FL:
Located on the stunning San Carlos Bay, Bunche Beach is one of the best beaches in Fort Myers.
You can enjoy all the usual beach activities there like swimming, tanning and peeling.
Quite a few starfish and crabs have settled on Bunch Beach and let's talk shelling. Some beaches, like those on Sanibel, are generally better for shelling, but if you're looking for the King's Crown shell, check out Bunche Beach.
By far one of the best things to do in Bunche Beach is kayaking!
In addition to kayaking in San Carlos Bay, you can also navigate the channels that lead inland.
The best way to experience kayaking at Bunche Beach is to start inland and paddle out into the Gulf.
You can start your adventure at the dedicated kayak launch site near Kayak Excursions (which also happens to be a great place to rent a kayak if you need one).
Then you can simply follow the winding canal to San Carlos Bay.
Along the way, see thriving mangroves, shore and migratory birds, and other wildlife native to Southwest Florida.
LOCATION:18201 John Morris Road, Fort Myers
RATE:Parking fee of $2 per hour by cash and all major credit cards. Annual Lee County parking plaques are also accepted.
PARKING SPOT:100 cars can park between the site and the beach, however there is no parking on the west side of John Morris Road
Newton Park in Fort Myers Beach is a perfect beach for history buffs and families with kids!
Operated by the City of Fort Myers Beach, this historic beach is the former oceanfront home of Jim and Ellie Newton, once friends and acquaintances of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, and others whom they called "friends rare." .
There are restrooms, outdoor showers, cabana picnic tables, and easy beach access.
the propertyCabin seven seasIt is available for special events and features a thatched cabana and bocce ball courts.
LOCATION:4650 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
PARKING SPOT:$3 per hour for metered parking (Bring Quarters), with a two-hour time limit
Lovers Key State Park
Out ofLovers Key State ParkIt's a state park whose grounds receive a little more maintenance and protection than other beaches.
Because of this and the unique amenities here, Lovers Key State Park is one of the best beaches in Fort Myers Beach.
It's open 365 days a year, making it the perfect solution for even the most spontaneous day at the beach!
The best thing to do at Lovers Key State Park is just take some time to relax, no matter what that means to you.
Take a refreshing dip in the Gulf, find a spot on the two-mile stretch of Main Beach and read a book, play soccer for a while, or just take a nap in the sun.
Away from the beach, there are more than 5 miles of greenery trails perfect for spotting wildlife, and you and those around you won't be the only ones enjoying the beauty of Lovers Key State Park.
There's always the requisite gopher tortoise picking its way through the undergrowth, herons and ospreys on the hunt and sometimes the occasional manatee in the shallows.
You should definitely keep an eye out for these cool animals!
In addition to the main beach, there is a separate onedog beach—Bonita Beach Dog Beach— is exclusively for dogs.
Dogs can run off leash and frolic in the water.
Although actually part of Lover's Key State Park, access to Dog Beach is free.
LOCATION:8700 Estero Blvd. Playa de Fort Myers
PARKING SPOT:$8 per vehicle, which includes a free beach shuttle. Plenty of space for the state park.
Parque Bowditch Point
Bowditch Point Park is on the north end of Fort Myers Beach's peninsula and is a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts.
This means you can avoid the crowds and listen to the sound of the waves instead.
Bowditch Point Park offers all the usual beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, shelling and building sandcastles.
But it also has the added bonus of hiking as there are some leafy trails that meander through the park.
One of Bowditch Point Park's best features is itslook at the sunsetConditions.
Because this Fort Myers beach is off the beaten path, you can fully immerse yourself in this nighttime natural spectacle.
Just grab a blanket, take a seat on the west side of the park, and watch the sun set behind the horizon.
LOCATION:50 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
PARKING SPOT:Parking fee of $2 per hour by cash and all major credit cards. Annual Lee County parking plaques are also accepted. The parking of vehicle trailers or trailers is not permitted.
DOCKING THE BOAT:The free day docks are open to boaters at Bowditch Point.
The docks have 10 berths for boats up to 28 feet and a paddle boat launch to the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.
There is no overnight mooring and fishing is not permitted from the docks.
Parque Familiar de Crescent Beach
Crescent Beach Family Park is actually a small portion of Fort Myers Beach, just south of the Fort Myers Fishing Pier.
But this stretch of shoreline stands out from the other seven miles because, as the park's name suggests, it's typically a family-friendly area.
It's one of the public beaches that Fort Myers has that's great for families.
Like Fort Myers Beach, Crescent Beach Family Park offers ideal conditions for swimming, sunbathing, building sandcastles and shelling.
And while these activities alone could keep you and your little ones busy for a whole day, this particular beach has a few added perks.
While at Crescent Beach Family Park, you can also take advantage of the two sand volleyball courts.
After all, what's a better bonding activity than a friendly family game?
And if you get exhausted after a few laps, you can enjoy a snack at one of the four designated picnic areas on this beautiful little beach.
It's also within walking distance of several attractions.Strandbars am Strand von Fort MyersAs thesalty craband thesteaming oyster— which are also family-friendly and suitable for families with older children and young people.
LOCATION:1100 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
PARKING SPOT:$2 per hour for metered parking with a two-hour time limit
Playa de Fort Myers
Fort Myers Beach is without a doubt the most famous beach in the Fort Myers area.
Part of the reason for its popularity is its recognizable name, but most of that comes from its perfect seven-mile coastline.
You can easily spend the whole day taking in the beauty of Fort Myers Beach.
Dive into the glistening waters of the Gulf, lounge on the golden sands, try your hand at sandcastle building and collect tons of precious seashells.
And if you want to kayak or parasail off Fort Myers Beach, you can do that too!
During your time in Fort Myers Beach you will definitely want to walk to the Fort Myers Beach Pier. It's a great place to take a leisurely stroll, admire the views of the beach, watch the friendly pelicans fly by, or do some fishing.
And while Fort Myers Beach is particularly impressive and entertaining, it's also extremely safe.
With calm and shallow water, it is the perfect spot for children or inexperienced swimmers.
After hours of enjoying Fort Myers Beach, the best way to end it is with a beautiful sunset.
In fact, Fort Myers Beach is one of the most incredible places to watch the sunset in the city.
LOCATION:Times Square parking lot (1133 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach) or beach access south of Lover's Key
PARKING SPOT:$2 per hour for metered parking with a two-hour time limit
Parque de la Isla Little Hickory
If you're looking for a hidden spot away from the crowds, you might have a lot of work to do; It's not for nothing that the beaches of Fort Myers are among the best in the world.
But if you've been to Lover's Key or plan to, head a little further south past Lover's Key State Park and spend the day inParque de la Isla Little Hickory, a beach gem tucked away from the crowds of Fort Myers Beach to the north and Bonita Beach to the south.
Its secluded location just off Little Hickory Island makes it perfect for escaping the crowds.
There are shelters and picnic tables, public restrooms, and great views of the Gulf.
LOCATION:26082 Hickory Boulevard, Bonita Springs
PARKING SPOT:Parking fee of $2 per hour by cash and all major credit cards. Annual Lee County parking plaques are also accepted.
The best beaches near Fort Myers, Florida
Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel
If you are staying in downtown Fort Myers and want to visit a beach on Sanibel Island, Lighthouse Beach is one of the best beaches near Fort Myers and is the closest beach to the mainland.
Located on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, Lighthouse Beach is unique for several reasons.
First, it has some of the best shells on Sanibel. Seriously… any time of the day or night and especially after a good storm!
Second, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach is the only beachFenceFort Myers (aside from Bowditch Point on Fort Myers Beach), which wraps around the entire tip of an island, giving you a number of unique beach areas, a fishing pier and plenty of space to explore and run.
Because of the unique design, there are even several hiking trails that wind through the trees and lead from the outside beach to the fishing pier.
It's a popular place forBoat tours and shelling tripsas it is directly across from Fort Myers and the lighthouse makes up for thatpopular spot for sunset photos.
Bring a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day watching the sunset and even shooting after dark if you love finding some of nature's tiniest creatures after dark.
A visit to El Faro Beach is one of theThe best things to do in Sanibel!
Bonus: Lee County beaches are dog friendly!
LOCATION:110 Periwinkle Road, Sanibel
PARKING SPOT:152 pitches with limited spaces for RVs. Parking fee of $5.00 per hour and parking permits accepted. Free disabled parking space.
Barefoot Beach Reserve, Neapel
South of Fort Myers Beach, directly across from Bonita Beach, is one of theThe best beaches in Naples, in case you thought Naples was too far to drive.
the entrance tobarefoot beachIt's in Lee County, but if you drive through the residential area to Barefoot Beach Preserve, you're in Collier County, home to some really beautiful beaches.
This 345 hectare natural beach is always a premier beach with plenty of space for all beach goers to feel like they have the place almost to themselves. Barefoot Beach is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands off Florida's southwest coast.
North of the reserve liesBonita-Strandpark, which has public toilets, showers and concessions.
LOCATION:505 Barefoot Beach Boulevard, Bonita Springs
PARKING SPOT:96 parking spaces. $8 beach parking fee without a beach parking permit for Collier County residents
Algiers Beach, Sanibel
Algiers, one of the most beautiful beaches on Sanibel Island, will always have a place in my heart as the place where I had my first...and alone— Junonia Shell, the rare find the envy of SWFL shell collectors!
As well as being great for shelling, Algiers is one of the beaches near Fort Myers that is perfect for sunbathing, shelling and swimming.
You can't say that about any beach.
The beach itself is right on the south side (belly side) of Sanibel, so the currents are generally gentle and the water is always clean and debris-free.
It's a good place to find sand dollars.
Plus, Lee County beaches are dog-friendly!
LOCATION:2001 Argel Lane, Sanibel
PARKING SPOT:46 pitches with limited RV parking. Parking fee of $5.00 per hour and parking permits accepted. Free disabled parking space.
Yacht Club Beach, Cape Coral
Located in a residential area of Cape Coral, across the river from Fort Myers, a visit to the Yacht Club Public Beach is one of thefun things to do in Cape Coralif you don't feel like driving to Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel.
The beach is on a narrow strip of sand on the Caloosahatchee River, and it's also a large beach.
But it's not usually crowded and the water is clean and refreshing.
There is a playground for the kids, a restaurant and tiki bar for drinks and meals, a fishing dock and a marina with a boat ramp.
A gazebo with grills as well as public restrooms are available subject to availability.
Parking is free and can be a challenge during "season".
LOCATION:5819 Driftwood Parkway, Cabo-Koralle
PARKING SPOT:Free parking
Big Mouth Beach
Boca Grande's beaches are soft white sand and rarely crowded.
Drive over the Placida causeway/bridge for $6.00 and find parking near your chosen stretch of beach, although beach parking is very limited.
Faro beach is beautiful and also has public toilets. The water along the entire beach here is clear, calm, warm and ideal for shelling.
Bonus: the beach is leashed dog-friendly.
PARKING SPOT:Free (though limited) public parking on most of the beach, with the exception of Lighthouse Beach, where parking is $3.00 honor-based.
All of Fort Myers beaches offer sunny skies, sandy shores and crystal clear waters.
You are absolutely perfect! During your time in town, you can claim one as your favorite shoreline or go beach hopping to all of the places on this list!
Whatever you choose, the best beaches in Fort Myers are sure to offer you fantastic places to spend the day at the beach.
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