Thanks to the overwhelming amount of options that are available, choosing an exciting and beautiful destination is the easiest part of planning a family reunion. Yet unfortunately, no matter how exotic or intriguing a location might be, the reunion won’t run smoothly unless the spot you’ve selected can offer the perfect mixture of lodging, dining and activities to satisfy your family’s needs. While trying to find a destination that ticks all the boxes on your checklist might sound hard, a simple solution exists: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.
Why choose Fort Myers & Sanibel?
Fort Myers & Sanibel come together to form what is perhaps the most beautiful of all these quieter sandy sanctuaries, serving up a reunion location that’s just as breathtaking as other famous Florida gems. What gives The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel an edge? This region delivers a dose of much-welcome privacy that allows your family to enjoy both natural and metropolitan Florida without the hassle of overcrowded shores and congested streets.
What can my family do on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel?
Whether you’re basking in the sun or hitting the town, Fort Myers & Sanibel offer countless activities that will delight your entire family. In addition to beach classics like sailing, kayaking and fishing, the following attractions and activities can’t be missed:
- The Mound House: Perched atop a 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian shell mound, this historical attraction features the area’s oldest standing structure. Today, the house is used as an educational and cultural center for visitors from all over the globe.
- Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Get up close and personal with the haunting shipwrecks and peaceful reefs that surround both Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see barracuda, nurse sharks and moray eels, all in their natural habitats. Locals suggest starting your underwater adventure at Edison Reef or Bowmans Beach.
- Spring Training: Visiting in March and a fan of the Boston Red Sox or Minnesota Twins? Both of these MLB powerhouses hold spring training camp down in Fort Myers, and your family can easily swing by to watch your favorite players get in shape for the upcoming season.
- Sanibel Sea School: Discover the marine world through educational, hands-on programs that are perfect for the whole family but especially cater to the little ones. Learn about pirate legends, go crabbing and explore the strange world of plankton. The Sea School offers both half-day and full-day programs.
- Pure Florida: Take a river or sunset cruise and discover some of Florida’s most prized wildlife and waters. Renting a boat can be the perfect way for your group to explore Florida, whether that means recreational fishing or just cruising on the river. Fishing charters are the perfect opportunity for fishing enthusiasts.
Dining on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
Food can make or break a reunion but luckily for you, the restaurants and bars of Fort Myers & Sanibel will only work in your family’s favor. Listed below are A few eateries worth considering:
- Pinchers: The only thing that rivals Pinchers’ world-famous crab legs are its breathtaking views of the Caloosahatchee River. Here, your family can enjoy local, fresh-caught seafood while drinking in the exciting buzz of downtown Fort Myers.
- Chloës Steak & Seafood Restaurant: Eat Mongolian shrimp and sip on a mai tai or two while lounging right on Fort Myers Beach. Listen to local musicians, hang out on the Tiki patio and soak in the best sunset in all of Florida.
- Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro: Indulge in five-star steaks prepared by award-winning Chef Tim Duque as you and your family watch sailboats bob in the Tarpon Point Marina. Be sure to grab a few seasonal cocktails during the daily happy hour.
Insider Tip: For just 75 cents, hitch a ride on the Fort Myers Beach Trolley, a playful yet efficient alternative to driving that gets you to the majority of the beachside bars and restaurants while helping you avoid parking fees.
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Where should we stay?
Regardless of your budget, the wide array of lodging options that both Fort Myers & Sanibel have to offer will guarantee your family stays comfortable, cozy and content during the entire duration of your stay. Standouts include:
- The Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina: Located at the end of Fort Myers Beach, this gorgeous hotel offers 12 acres of white sand beaches, a full onsite spa and an event venue that can accommodate up to 140 people. The Pink Shell also offers activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing and a children’s sea school, as well as sailing lessons.
- South Seas Island Resort: This iconic island escape sits just off the beaches of Fort Myers on Captiva Island and combines the area’s natural wonders with chic, modern amenities. Here, your family can enjoy parasailing, three lagoon-style pools and some of the world’s best shelling.
- Sea Oats Luxury Estate: Want a little more privacy? Rent a gorgeous, luxury home on Captiva Island through Sea Oats. Enjoy complimentary fishing poles, life vests, and an assortment of beach sports. Embark on fishing and sailing tours, spot dolphins, go boutique shopping and then retire in the comfort of your own personal space.
- Casa Ybel Beach Resort: Lauded by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the “500 Greatest Hotels in the World,” this Sanibel Island gem delivers the beach like never before. Whether you’re touring the island on rented bikes, lounging beneath a private cabana, tackling the waves on a boogie board or hitting around on the tennis courts, Casa Ybel is sure to give your family the perfect stay.
- Sundial Beach Resort & Spa: Combine the perks of a resort with the privacy of a rental when you stay in a one-, two- or three-bedroom suite at this relaxing Sanibel Island resort. With gorgeous beach views and delicious onsite restaurants, your family might never leave the resort.
So, how do we get there?
At just two hours away from both Tampa and Miami, Fort Myers hugs the Gulf Coast of Mexico and serves as a tropical midpoint between these two Floridian cities. For families interested in driving, I-75 and I-275 both pass near Fort Myers. In addition to Tampa and Miami, major cities within 10 hours of Fort Myers include Atlanta, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Savannah. If your family would rather fly, Southwest Florida International Airport is only 20 minutes from the heart of Fort Myers and offers flights through American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United airlines.