“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Okay, Shakespeare wasn’t actually talking about a city, but if he was, it would have been Fort Myers. If you think this small Florida city’s only attractions are sun and sand, you would be dead wrong. Sure, the beach is a big part of life on the Florida coast, but there’s much, much more to Fort Myers. Take a look at these five ways to experience the magic for yourself – even if your visit to Fort Myers is 48 hours or less.
Try to Catch the Green Flash
So, you’ve heard of Green Arrow and Green Lantern, but what about southwest Florida’s famous green flash? Nope, it’s not another Marvel character. This work of nature happens every now and then just after the sun goes down. If you’re lucky, you can catch the flash and score a new story to tell everyone back home. Not sure which beach to park yourself? Fort Myers beach is beautiful, but why not hop in the car and head to Captiva? Even if you don’t spot the green flash, at least you’ll leave with plenty of seashells.
Have Some Hands-On Fun
How about a different museum experience for a change? The city has some seriously great museums, but while everyone else heads to the Southwest Florida Museum of History downtown or the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island, get your inner kid ready, and head over to Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium. Get up close and personal with sea urchins, stingrays, sea stars, shrimp, and more at the Sea to See touch tanks, or catch a 3D flick in the museum’s theater. There are plenty of interactive and hands-on exhibits to take up an entire rainy day or just to get you out of the Florida sunshine for a few hours.
Enjoy a Little R&R
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone knows how gorgeous area beaches are, but sometimes you just want a little peace and quiet away from it all. So, while the tourists all head to the busy beaches, hop in the car and head to Pine Island, just over 30 minutes outside of Fort Myers. It doesn’t have beaches, but it’s a fab spot to have some fun on the water, including some of the best fishing in the state. You’re not really in a remote part of nature as you kayak or canoe along the Matlacha Pass or explore the island’s three aquatic preserves — but it will feel like it.
Lots of people enjoy exploring the 100 acres at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium — and it’s worth it — but if you want to feel like you’ve stepped into the shoes of a local, check out some of the other spots for seeing Fort Myers’ nature and wildlife. Head out for a swamp walk at Corkscrew Swamp near Estero, or paddle around the J.M. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Both options are rustic, wild, and perfect ways to see local wildlife like turtles, manatees, and dolphins.
Board a Pirate Ship
Get your eyepatch and your best pirate accent ready. There are lots of different tours to choose from in the Fort Myers area, but does it get any better than a pirate cruise? Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise departs from the marina at Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures. Pass the time waiting for your turn in one of the restaurants or the gift shop, and then hop on board the Pieces of Eight, a replica Spanish galleon that stretches 65 feet long. Oh, and it’s not any ordinary pirate cruise. The swashbuckling good time includes an interactive comedy show, games, and even a mutiny.
Want to get the most out of a short visit to Fort Myers, or at another destination? Head over to Facebook for some serious travel inspiration.