When you want to escape the big crowds and big traffic jams of Florida’s big cities, a relaxing 2 days in Fort Myers is just what the travel agent ordered. This little getaway has all the quintessential Florida adventures, beaches, delicious seafood, and sexy sunsets as the rest of the state, but in a much more manageable capacity. We’ll call it “fun size!”
Where to stay for 2 days in Fort Myers
Instead of choosing hotels based on budgets like I do in my other Florida guides, this time I’ve chosen my favorites in three of Fort Myers’s most popular areas. Check out these great options for where to stay in Fort Myers.
Where to stay in Fort Myers Beach: Pointe Estero Beach Resort
The Pointe Estero Beach Resort scores well from reviewers and everyone’s favorite part is, no shock here, the beach! This resort is right on the white sands of Fort Myers Beach making it the perfect location.
Choose from one or two-bedroom condos that come with a kitchen, access to the large outdoor pool and barbecue grills, and personal patios. Check out Pointe Estero Beach Resort here.
Where to stay on Sanibel Island: Island Inn
Sanibel Island’s Island Inn is another reviewer favorite. Unlike many of the other options in Fort Myers, the Island Inn comes with free WiFi, free parking, self-serve laundry, and daily housekeeping. These rooms are nice and the property is located on its own private beach.
How to get to Fort Myers
Fort Myers, like most of the popular vacation destinations in Florida, is pretty damn easy to get to. You can access it by major highways and airports and it’s easy to get around in as well.
2 days in Fort Myers: Arriving by air
So what airport do you fly into if you’re visiting Fort Myers? You’ll want to look out for Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)—the closest major airport to Fort Myers.
RSW is served by the following airlines:
- Air Canada
- American Airlines
- Spirit < Do yourself a favor and never fly Spirit Airlines
- Sun Country
However, since Fort Myers is just one hour away from Sarasota, you could always fly into SRQ as well if you find a great deal. That being said, Tampa International Airport (TPA) is just another hour past Sarasota. So if you’ve got more than one Florida destination on your itinerary your airport options just opened WIDE up! Check out all your flight options here.
Exploring Fort Myers by land
Getting to and from Fort Myers from other Florida destinations is a super easy and smooth (though visually boring) ride. As mentioned, Fort Myers is just a two-hour drive south of Tampa and an hour south of Sarasota. Besides those two, a weekend in Fort Myers also makes a great trip from:
If you’ve got more time to spend on the Gulf Coast, check out my guide to spending 3 days in Sarasota, just an hour north with tons to do!
Getting around within Fort Myers, you’ll definitely want a vehicle of your own. The things to do in Fort Myers that I’ve listed in this post are pretty spread out, as is much of the area in general. This isn’t the best place to rely on public transportation and/or ride shares.
The Fort Myers airport is served by all the major rental car brands so you shouldn’t have a problem snagging a car for the weekend.
- And Thrifty
What is there to do in Fort Myers?
Fort Myers, though seemingly isolated while you’re driving there, is actually a popular Florida travel destination. There’s a lot to do here in terms of historical sites, natural areas and wildlife sightings, adventure activities, and especially beach life.
Discover how to spend a few days in Fort Myers with this 2-day Fort Myers itinerary.
Weekend in Fort Myers: day 1
Your first day in Fort Myers will cover diverse ground: wildlife, history, nature, beer, citrus, and delicious food. That about sums up Florida in a day, I’d say.
For your first day in Fort Myers, start off at the Manatee Park for some awesome wildlife sightseeing. Like the Manatee Viewing Center in Tampa, the Manatee Park in Fort Myers is a natural(ish) phenomenon.
Here, local manatees flock to the warm discharge waters from the nearby power plants during the “winter” months. “Winter” in Florida being November to April.
Visiting the Manatee Park is totally free and you can see manatees in their natural environment, free of human interaction. There’s a gift shop on site, a learning center, free activities for kids (and geeky, animal-loving adults), and free parking.
Edison & Ford Winter Estate
Next up is the most popular of all the Fort Myers attractions: the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Being pretty much what you must think it is, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates are indeed the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Turns out, the two were best buds back in the day—so much so that they set up two awesome winter estates right next to each other on some of the most gorgeous Florida property.
Here, you can tour their estates, yes, but the real gems are the museum detailing the lives and work of both men, the car collection, rooms upon rooms of their inventions, and, my personal favorite, Thomas Edison’s labs.
The property itself is beautiful and situated right on the water. It serves as an unofficial botanical garden of sorts and touring the grounds on a sunny day is a Fort Myers must.
The street you’ll cross between the museum/lab and the estates is historic McGregor Boulevard. Look down the street as you cross at the estimated 1800 palm trees lining the street. This impressive display was made possible by Thomas Edison’s own donations in the late 1800s. She’s a looker!
Lunch at Shrimp Shack
After manatee viewing and history overload at the Edison and Ford Estates, you should be ready for lunch. Head over to the Shrimp Shack for a seriously simple, seriously good seafood lunch.
Everything our group ate was delicious and the prices are great. If you don’t have gray hair, then you’re sure to be the only one of your kind in there. Don’t let the average age of the clientele do all the talking—this place is fantastic.
Sun Harvest Citrus
Next up is a quintessentially Florida experience: fresh citrus. Florida is known as the home of oranges, but citrus fruits of all types are grown here. All around Florida you can find citrus factories and here in Fort Myers is Sun Harvest.
At Sun Harvest you can purchase fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, ice cream, all kinds of gifts and souvenirs, and much more. You can even squeeze in a look inside the production facility. But my favorite part is all the free samples.
Stop by Sun Harvest and taste some of their delicious fresh citrus fruits and amazing fresh juices. Pro tip: the strawberry orange juice is the hands-down winner.
Six Mile Slough Preserve
After Sun Harvest, it’s time to walk off your shrimp burgers and orange soft serve at the Six Mile Slough Preserve. The Six Mile Slough Preserve is a protected 3,500-acre park that’s great for wildlife viewing (yes, even alligators!). There are boardwalk trails through the wetlands, a butterfly garden, and even a colony of feral pigs I kept hearing about but did not see.
The park is endlessly interesting and you’re bound to see a ton of cool flora and fauna. The area also offers restrooms, an interpretive center, and guided nature walks. (Or you could just spend the entire time searching for ‘gators like I did.) The Six Mile Slough Preserve is a great place to see and learn about local, native wildlife during your 2 days in Fort Myers.
Apparently ‘slough’ is pronounced sloo. Who knew?
Fort Myers Brewing Company
Grab some dinner then end your first of 2 days in Fort Myers at the Fort Myers Brewing Company. You’ll find great local beers here at a fun indoor/outdoor brewery with games and activities and all the usual craft brewery things.
Fort Myers Brewing Company has a wide range of flagship beers from golden lagers to IPAs to Porters and more, as well as some rotating seasonals.
2 days in Fort Myers: day 2
Your second day in Fort Myers is gonna be all about that #beachlife. As you may know, the Gulf Coast of Florida is world famous for its amazing beaches and the Fort Myers area is no exception.
The beaches of Sanibel Island and Fort Myers are considered to have the best shelling in the country. Fort Myers is neighbors to more than 100 barrier and coastal islands that help provide the area with over 400 species of seashells from the everyday to the exotic.
Take a Captiva Cruise
The beaches around Fort Myers are great… by why not take a boat out to:
- A state park on a barrier island only accessible by boat that boasts the best shelling in the world?
- The island and restaurant believed to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s song “Cheeseburger in Paradise?” (You can eat a cheeseburger there! In paradise!)
- An exclusive private island with white cottages and lush vegetation?
You can see any of these on a Captiva Cruise. Captiva Cruises offers half or full day excursions to these gorgeous islands. Spend the day relaxing on a secluded beach or checking out Old Florida on a picturesque island. And all for way less than you’d expect.
Captiva Cruises also offers eco-friendly dolphin and wildlife cruises, sunset cruises, sailing adventures, and more. Plus, you could totally fit one of these into a day and still have time for more activities–their tours end at 3 and 4 PM.
When you visit Fort Myers, you gotta check out Sanibel Island too—they’re kind of a package deal. Sanibel Island is just 45 minutes from downtown Fort Myers but offers a completely different environment. Here, the focus is on sea, sand, shells, and sexy sunsets. A visit here is a must when spending a weekend in Fort Myers.
Sanibel Island Lighthouse
While on Sanibel Island you can check out the Sanibel Island Lighthouse. There’s parking and beach areas around it though you can’t climb to the top like you can the one in St. Augustine. However, you can read about its history and check it out up close.
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Here in the country’s shelling capital, you can visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum—the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to seashells and mollusks.
The Shell Museum is the leading authority on shells from Sanibel and the surrounding islands and it’s run by marine biologists, volunteers, and a world-renowned malacologist (mollusk scientist). You’ll see shells from the area, different shells from around the world, record-breaking shells including some of the world’s largest, and how shells have been used in art and architecture throughout history.
The museum also offers:
- Guided beach walks with shell experts
- Touch pools
- Shell arts and crafts projects
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Just down the street from the Shell Museum is the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, a teaching hospital and visitor education center dedicated to wildlife rescue and conservation.
Each year, CROW cares for around 3,500 sick and injured wildlife patients from the area. On a visit you’ll get to explore the Visitor Education Center, attend a “Wonders of Wildlife” presentation and get to meet some adorable animal ambassadors, and take part in a guided “wildlife walk” through the hospital.
Dinner at Island Cow
For dinner on Sanibel Island, head over to Island Cow—a piece of Old Florida atmosphere and the most-awarded restaurant in Fort Myers.
Having a meal at Island Cow is considered a must-do when visiting Sanibel Island. Here you’ll find delicious seafood in a fun, casual environment. Maybe they take the cow theme a little too far? Well, at least they sell booze.
Island Cow has live music, dining specials, games, outside dining, and is pet friendly.
Sunset on Sanibel Island
After dinner (or maybe before, depending on the time of year), head back over to the beach for an epic sunset viewing. The Florida Gulf Coast nails its sunsets and Fort Myers definitely plays its part in that.
However, a big however, you may encounter the notorious “no-see-ums”—a kind of almost invisible biting fly that loves beach skin. If you plan on visiting the beaches at night, make sure to pack some good insect repellent.
Seasonal things to do in Fort Myers
Depending on what time of year you’ll be visiting Fort Myers, you may be able to sub one of the above activities for some good ol’ American baseball.
Between late February and late March Major League Baseball’s spring training takes place in Fort Myers. Games typically take place at either 1:05 or 6:05 in the afternoon, depending on the day. Both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins have spring training facilities in the area.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox spring training takes place at JetBlue Park over in the area of the Fort Myers airport and Fort Myers Brewing Company.
The Minnesota Twins play their spring training games at the CenturyLink Sports Complex (Hammond Stadium) and have since 1991. You’ll find their park halfway between the Shrimp Shack and Sun Harvest Citrus.
Is Fort Myers worth visiting?
So with only a weekend to spend, is Fort Myers worth visiting? I would say absolutely! With equal parts history, beach, major league sports, and natural riches, 2 days in Fort Myers is a great way to check off some quintessential Florida experiences.
Fort Myers and the surrounding beaches are beautiful, friendly, and simply delicious.
What will you do with your 2 days in Fort Myers?
Let me know below!
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