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Southwest Florida Info - Fort Myers Beach


Fort Myers Beach - on Estero Island is a friendly, lively little beach town that’s a favorite with families, young folks, and with the young-at-heart. It greets people coming over the “sky bridge” at the north end of the island with a spectacular view. The Gulf of Mexico shimmers beyond the islands, the horizon splashed with the reds and yellows of parasails. Traffic, however, can be daunting along Estero Boulevard, the one main route that runs the length of the island, so many choose to travel by bicycle, foot, or public trolleys.

Fort Myers Beach “Central” is Time Square, just to the right over the sky bridge, where shops and restaurants surround a village square at the base of the Fort Myers Beach Pier. The pier, which reaches about 600 feet into the gulf, is always abuzz with fishermen, loungers, and spectators.

The land’s end of the pier is one of the most popular spots on the island. Known as the “world’s safest beach” for its shallow water and lack of undertow, Fort Myers Beach’s shores and waters are usually bustling. At the pier, sun-worshippers young and old, toddlers playing in the surf or the nearby Lynn Hall Memorial Park playground, and young people strutting, sunbathing and eyeing each other create a constant flow on the sand.

At the north end of Estero Island is Bowditch Point, a peaceful, natural park where families and couples gather for quiet picnics and walks. Beach accesses can be found all along the gulf side of Estero Boulevard, although parking spaces are limited.

Several miles south of the sky bridge, off of Estero Boulevard, are several facilities that stand as testament to Fort Myers Beach’s tight-knit community. The impressive Fort Myers Beach Library is founded and supported by the community, unlike many in the county. And in the same couple of blocks are the Fort Myers Beach Elementary School and Bay Oaks Recreation Center, which often hosts community activities as well as regular programs for island children. A community swimming pool, with facilities for all ages, we recently added, thanks to the community’s efforts.

At the end of the road past the library is Estero Island’s Historic Cottage, a little museum-in a cottage that once served as the first schoolhouse on the island-that houses pictures and tales of the island’s history. Its exhibits and information include the days before World War II, when Fort Myers Beach was an isolated fishing community.

A glimpse at what the island looked like before development took hold lies just beyond the cottage in Matanza Pass Preserve, a nature preserve of mangrove forest with a path that runs out to the Back Bay.

The Fort Myers Beach Cultural and Environmental Learning Center offers another look at the island’s history. The house itself stands on an ancient Colusa Indian shell mound and is one of the first homes built on the island. The center now houses a museum, where visitors can participate in programs and learn about the site’s archaeological significance.

Fort Myers Beach is known for several renowned annual events, including its springtime Shrimp Festival celebrating the island’s historical “pink gold” industry, high-powered Offshore Powerboat Races, and sand-sculpting contests that draw in artists nationally, which create amazing sculptures on the beach. The Beach also has a fledgling film festival, which takes place in the winter and spring.

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Links of Interest (3rd party links will open in a new window):
Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Lovers Key State Park - one of four barrier islands that make up this state park, a haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. The two mile long beach is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing.
The Mound House - A Cultural & Environmental Learning Center
Town of Fort Myers Beach  - Official Website


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