The Ultimate Summer Travel Experience Awaits in Southwest Florida

Summer is an ideal time to discover Fort Myers’ islands, beaches and neighborhoods.  Vacationers find a diversity of landscape, waterscape and wildlife that few locales in the country can match. Over 700,000 acres of islands, inlands and freshwater wetlands — along with warm Gulf waters — offer up a dazzling cache of fresh-air delights, history, activities and all-out relaxation for guests. With such a variety of neighborhoods — each with its own personality, charm and unique attractions — a first visit may be just the beginning of an annual summer tradition.

What makes Fort Myers’ islandsbeaches and neighborhoods so spectacular is that around every corner is an entirely new and absolutely extraordinary panorama. All senses will be engaged while visitors explore 120,000 acres of parks and nature preserves. Exploration possibilities can also include 100-plus coastal and barrier islands, an intracoastal waterway, mangroves, the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, cypress forests and so much more. Add in the wildlife that calls these habitats home — manatees and 245 species of birds; bottlenose dolphins and butterflies — and you’ve got one vacation spot that is a never-ending source of nature-induced awe.

There are 50 miles of white-sand beaches in the greater Fort Myers area, and visitors could easily — and enjoyably — choose to spend their entire stay with toes in the sand. The best part? A day at the beach can be exactly what every vacationer wants it to be: shell-seeking for some of the 400 varieties that wash ashore at Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island; kayaking the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a watersports lover’s dream at Fort Myers Beach; or a romantic retreat at the two-mile-long Lovers Key State Park or the remote barrier island beach of Cayo Costa, which is accessible only by boat. Guests practice yoga on paddleboards or propel off the water’s surface on a hydro-flighting fly board. Others may choose to reel in a catch on a deep-sea fishing excursion. Whatever the case, the appetite for activity is always well satisfied.

Exciting active and educational opportunities abound in and around Fort Myers. There are more than 90 golf courses in the area, including some of the country’s most coveted plays. Visitors can bike on Sanibel Island, where 25 miles of bike paths make it easy for visitors to get around. History buffs are sure to enjoy visiting iconic sites such as the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, the Williams Academy Black History Museum, or partaking in a guided historical walking tour in the River District. Shopping excursions, fairs and festivals, guided tours, concerts…there’s a full calendar of summer events and activities to keep families — and visitors of all ages — as busy or relaxed as they want during their stay.

Reproduced from Travel Weekly, Travel Age West