Fort Myers travel guide

Fort Myers Tourism | Fort Myers Guide

You're Going to Love Fort Myers

A short drive south of Tampa and on the edge of the Everglades, Fort Myers has a gorgeous, long sandy beach, a thriving artistic community, historical attractions, and great places to eat.

From the chance to meet Major League Baseball stars during their spring training to the opportunity to check out local artists during the ArtFest Fort Myers, it's the kind of place that always has something going on.

History lovers can spend a day at the Edison and Ford winter estates. You can charter fishing boats from Fort Myers Beach, rent kayaks, snorkel, or just roll out a towel and forget about your cares. Whether you want a beach vacation or a cultural adventure, Fort Myers is the place to go.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers

1. Fascinating Slices of American History

In 1885, the inventor Thomas Edison built his summer residence in Fort Myers, soon to be followed by the industrialist Henry Ford. Both homes can be visited by vacationers, and they are absolutely fascinating - full of inventions and items used by the two, as well as their extensive art collections.

2. Wonderful Natural Attractions

Fort Myers is a famous stopover point for hundreds of butterfly species, and you can meet all of them at the Butterfly Estates. Visit on Friday to witness the release of new residents. If you have the time, you can also easily reach the Everglades, which are an hour's drive to the south.

3. It's an Up-and-Coming Art Hotspot

The sunny location and cheap rents have helped spur an artistic boom in bohemian Fort Myers. Follow the Art Walk to see the city's major galleries or visit in February to enjoy ArtFest, which turns the waterfront into a hive of face painting, portraiture, and crafts stalls.

4. Relax at Fort Myers Beach

A few miles from the city center, you'll cross to Estero Island, where the Fort Myers Beach hosts banana boat rides, parasailing, fishing charters, and dive shops, as well as land-based fun like casinos and golf courses.

5. Watch the Red Sox in Spring Training

Every March, Fort Myers becomes a place of pilgrimage for baseball fans as JetBlue Park hosts the Boston Red Sox and Hammond Stadium hosts the Minnesota Twins. There's no better chance to meet your sporting heroes and see them being put through their paces before the season begins.

What to do in Fort Myers

1. Edison and Ford Winter Estates: Illustrous History

Once the winter home of Thomas Edison as well as Henry Ford, this expansive Floridian estate is now host to a historical museum and botanical gardens. The grounds have remained remarkably authentic. The 1920s buildings have been lovingly restored to their original state, and the gardens continue to flourish with thousands of species from around the world planted by the Edisons themselves. The moonlight garden is a must-see, as well as the enormous banyan tree.

2. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: Peace in the Natural World

Florida is home to some unique flora and fauna, and these 3,500 acres of preserved wetlands invite visitors to bask in the tropical wonders of the peninsula. Take a stroll on the boardwalk that cuts seamlessly through nature, and keep your eyes peeled for sightings of alligators from a safe distance. This is also a birdwatchers paradise. Enter the Interpretive Center to have all your questions answered, or to participate in the preserve's regular programming.

3. Lee County Manatee Park: Up Close and Personal

During the winter months, manatees flock to this warm water inlet, to the delight of their human guests. The area has become a wildlife preserve, welcoming the creatures back each year. From a kayak, or up onto the viewing platforms, you'll discover these gentle cows of the sea at arm's length. The beautiful landscaping of the surrounding park and the playgrounds within make this a great family outing.

4. Bunche Beach: Classic Florida

One among many, this beach is said to be Lee County's most beautiful spot, and the ultimate hide-out for relaxation in Fort Myers. The serene views, gentle waves and a happy plethora of animals really put it worlds away from city life. Spend the day lounging on the sand or explore the surrounding landscape of mangrove forests and salt flats. Embrace birdwatching and bask in the delight of this state's plentiful nature.

5. Hammond Stadium: Gearing up for Baseball Season

"Spring Training" is one of the greatest spectacles in the state of Florida. Thousands of baseball fans make the pilgrimage from all over the country to see how their favorite teams are shaping up, making Hammond Stadium well worth the visit. This all-American tradition brings together the greatest sports fanatics in a rapturous state, so if you've never been to a baseball game before, this is the best place to start. Don't forget to indulge in hot dogs and beer - but how could you, really?

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1. Edison and Ford Winter Estates: Illustrous History

Once the winter home of Thomas Edison as well as Henry Ford, this expansive Floridian estate is now host to a historical museum and botanical gardens. The grounds have remained remarkably authentic. The 1920s buildings have been lovingly restored to their original state, and the gardens continue to flourish with thousands of species from around the world planted by the Edisons themselves. The moonlight garden is a must-see, as well as the enormous banyan tree.

2. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: Peace in the Natural World

Florida is home to some unique flora and fauna, and these 3,500 acres of preserved wetlands invite visitors to bask in the tropical wonders of the peninsula. Take a stroll on the boardwalk that cuts seamlessly through nature, and keep your eyes peeled for sightings of alligators from a safe distance. This is also a birdwatchers paradise. Enter the Interpretive Center to have all your questions answered, or to participate in the preserve's regular programming.

3. Lee County Manatee Park: Up Close and Personal

During the winter months, manatees flock to this warm water inlet, to the delight of their human guests. The area has become a wildlife preserve, welcoming the creatures back each year. From a kayak, or up onto the viewing platforms, you'll discover these gentle cows of the sea at arm's length. The beautiful landscaping of the surrounding park and the playgrounds within make this a great family outing.

4. Bunche Beach: Classic Florida

One among many, this beach is said to be Lee County's most beautiful spot, and the ultimate hide-out for relaxation in Fort Myers. The serene views, gentle waves and a happy plethora of animals really put it worlds away from city life. Spend the day lounging on the sand or explore the surrounding landscape of mangrove forests and salt flats. Embrace birdwatching and bask in the delight of this state's plentiful nature.

5. Hammond Stadium: Gearing up for Baseball Season

"Spring Training" is one of the greatest spectacles in the state of Florida. Thousands of baseball fans make the pilgrimage from all over the country to see how their favorite teams are shaping up, making Hammond Stadium well worth the visit. This all-American tradition brings together the greatest sports fanatics in a rapturous state, so if you've never been to a baseball game before, this is the best place to start. Don't forget to indulge in hot dogs and beer - but how could you, really?

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Where to Eat in Fort Myers

As you might expect from a tourist destination on the west coast of Florida, seafood is dominant in Fort Myers and there are some fantastic places to eat. From the Blue Pointe Oyster Bar to Three Fishermen and Pinchers, if you love fish, shrimp, or crab, you'll be in heaven. For others, the seasonal fare at Farmers Market Restaurant is ideal, while Capone's is a superb coal-fired pizza restaurant near the riverfront. Expect to pay between $17 and $25 for mains at high-end seafood places and $10 for a pizza.

When to visit Fort Myers

Fort Myers in January
Estimated hotel price
C$ 113
1 night at 3-star hotel
Fort Myers in January
Estimated hotel price
C$ 113
1 night at 3-star hotel

Art lovers will enjoy February breaks in For Myers thanks to ArtFest, while baseball fans should visit in March to coincide with spring training. But for everyday vacationers the best time to visit is probably between late March and late May, before the big summer crowds get there. Winter breaks are also a good idea, as temperatures rarely dip below 70 degrees in southwest Florida.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Fort Myers

Plane

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is the closest airport to Fort Myers (about 17 miles away) and has excellent connections to the rest of the country. Shuttle buses are available to major hotels, but LeeTran bus number 50 is the cheapest route into town for other visitors (single fares cost $1.50). Expect a taxi from the airport to cost around $30.

Train

There isn't a station in Fort Myers any longer, but Amtrak do provide a Thruway service from Tampa, the final stop on the Silver Star service from New York City. The bus takes 3 hours 30 minutes to reach Fort Myers, so it's a slow way to reach the city.

Car

For many people, driving to Fort Myers is the most convenient option. All you need to do is to hook up with I-75 and you'll be directed straight to Fort Myers. Those coming from Orlando should take I-4 and then switch to I-75 at Tampa.

Bus

Fort Myers is on the national Greyhound bus network, so long distance buses are definitely a cut-price option. The Greyhound stop is located at 2250 Widman Way, almost at the center of the city, which is handy for most of the best hotels.

Airlines serving Fort Myers

United Airlines
Good (2,860 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,159 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,411 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (402 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,425 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,075 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,332 reviews)
SWISS
Good (457 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,216 reviews)
Iberia
Good (920 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,419 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (279 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (308 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (321 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (541 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (101 reviews)
Finnair
Good (704 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (2,640 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (2,503 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers - Fort Myers is a bustling tourist city, with theaters, galleries, and shopping malls galore. It's also home to the Ford and Edison estates, as well as great bars like the City Tavern and the Fort Myers ArtFest.

Popular Neighborhoods in Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach - 15 miles south of the city, this area has its own beachfront vibe. It's a great place to sunbathe, try fishing, strap on a snorkel, or relax with cocktails at bars like the Gulfshore Grill.

Southeast Fort Myers - baseball is the main attraction in southeast Fort Myers, which is where you'll find Fenway South (or JetBlue Park), the spring home of the Red Sox. It's also packed with golf courses like Olde Hickory and is right next to the city's airport, so it's very handy for visitors.

Most popular hotel in Fort Myers by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Fort Myers

Most booked hotels in Fort Myers

Drury Inn & Suites Fort Myers Airport FGCU
Excellent (9.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 304+
Outrigger Beach Resort
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 1,751+
Sanibel Inn
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 281+
Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 404+
Sanibel Island Beach Resort
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 325+
Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 155+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Fort Myers

Public Transportation

LeeTran is the municipal public transportation provider and their buses are a handy, affordable way to get around. Single fares are $1.50, all-day passes are $4 and multi-day passes can be purchased online as well. Cycle hire is another alternative, particularly in Fort Myers Beach.

Taxi

Taxis in the Fort Myers area have a fixed rates schedule of $3.60 for the first mile, then $2 for every subsequent mile, but you can save money by riding with Uber. Their base rate is $1, then $0.95 per mile, and offer a useful way to hop between the beach and the city.

Car

Fort Myers is the perfect place to rent a car. Not only can you get to the beach whenever you want, you can transport golf clubs, head to Tampa, or even Miami if the feeling strikes you. Rental companies in town include Budget, Enterprise, and Avis and you can find vehicles for $25 per day or less, so it's a cost-effective option. Remember that crossing the Sanibel Causeway comes with a $6 toll, so if you want to visit Sanibel, take a little extra change with you.

The Cost of Living in Fort Myers

Shopping Streets

The best place in town to shop for branded apparel and other items is almost certainly Edison Mall, which features major chains like Sears, American Eagle Outfitters, and J.C. Penney. First Street is the place to head for downtown shopping, where you'll find jewelry boutiques like Enjewel and apparel stores like Charme. If you are in the market for art, don't miss the art vendors on First Street on the first Friday of every month.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in Fort Myers include Publix and Sweetbay, while Target also has a large store in the city. Food prices tend to be fairly cheap. Expect to pay about $3.50 for a gallon of milk and $1.60 for a pound of apples.

Cheap meal
C$ 16.23
A pair of jeans
C$ 40.58
Single public transport ticket
C$ 2.03
Cappuccino
C$ 4.39