10 Activities Every Family Member Can Enjoy Around Fort Myers

by ShermansTravel Editorial Staff
Sponsored by

10 Activities Every Family Member Can Enjoy Around Fort Myers

by ShermansTravel Editorial Staff
Sponsored by

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of quality time with family. For your next vacation, look no further than Fort Myers’ islands, beaches, and neighborhoods. This pocket of Southwest Florida is known for one-of-a-kind seashells, rich wildlife, and nature preserves, to name a few. Here are 10 of our favorite memory-making activities for the whole family.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of quality time with family. For your next vacation, look no further than Fort Myers’ islands, beaches, and neighborhoods. This pocket of Southwest Florida is known for one-of-a-kind seashells, rich wildlife, and nature preserves, to name a few. Here are 10 of our favorite memory-making activities for the whole family.

10
Kids running towards the beach / Courtesy of Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods
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Hunt for seashells

Sanibel Island has been named the best place in the U.S. for shelling (collecting seashells). In fact, it's known as the "Seashell Capital of the World." Here, mellow surf washes up thousands of picture-perfect seashells each day. Collect the Lightning Whelk, Lace Murex, or Alphabet Cone — all make great souvenirs. Explore more shells and aquariums at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

Sanibel Island has been named the best place in the U.S. for shelling (collecting seashells). In fact, it's known as the "Seashell Capital of the World." Here, mellow surf washes up thousands of picture-perfect seashells each day. Collect the Lightning Whelk, Lace Murex, or Alphabet Cone — all make great souvenirs. Explore more shells and aquariums at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

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Hop between islands

Island hopping isn’t exclusive to the Caribbean. In fact, it's incredible in Southwest Florida. Many white-sand beaches are accessible only by boat. Make a day trip to North Captiva or Cayo Costa State Park to lounge on secluded shores and feel waves of relaxation.

Island hopping isn’t exclusive to the Caribbean. In fact, it's incredible in Southwest Florida. Many white-sand beaches are accessible only by boat. Make a day trip to North Captiva or Cayo Costa State Park to lounge on secluded shores and feel waves of relaxation.

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Eat at The Bubble Room

”It’s always Christmas” is the motto at The Bubble Room, Captiva Island’s most beloved restaurant. Open since 1979, the once-modest establishment is now a maze of wonder with kitschy-themed rooms, moving trains, and thousands of vintage toys. The food is equally unique with items like bubble bread, Carolina moons, Socra cheese, and massive desserts.

”It’s always Christmas” is the motto at The Bubble Room, Captiva Island’s most beloved restaurant. Open since 1979, the once-modest establishment is now a maze of wonder with kitschy-themed rooms, moving trains, and thousands of vintage toys. The food is equally unique with items like bubble bread, Carolina moons, Socra cheese, and massive desserts.

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Visit J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

The 7,600-acre J.N."Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is home to 51 reptiles and amphibians, 32 mammals, and 245 species of birds. Your family can explore by guided boat, paddle, or tram tour. Don't miss the Wildlife Drive, where visitors can bike, walk, or drive to stop anywhere along the four-mile path. Pro tip: Bring your own binoculars and play a game of wildlife bingo. 

The 7,600-acre J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is home to 51 reptiles and amphibians, 32 mammals, and 245 species of birds. Your family can explore by guided boat, paddle, or tram tour. Don't miss the Wildlife Drive, where visitors can bike, walk, or drive to stop anywhere along the four-mile path. Pro tip: Bring your own binoculars and play a game of wildlife bingo. 

Paddleboarding
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Try watersports

There are so many ways to have a good day on the water in Fort Myers. Enjoy a canoe or kayaking trip, or test your balance on a paddleboard. (Don’t worry, it’s a breeze on the calm waters.) Adventurers can zip around by jet ski, go parasailing, and take sailing courses.

There are so many ways to have a good day on the water in Fort Myers. Enjoy a canoe or kayaking trip, or test your balance on a paddleboard. (Don’t worry, it’s a breeze on the calm waters.) Adventurers can zip around by jet ski, go parasailing, and take sailing courses.

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Hit the beach

These Southwest Florida beaches boast picturesque white sand and warm Gulf water. Gather the entire family for a day at Lovers Key State Park or any of several dozen public beaches. Those traveling with four-legged family members can head to Dog Beach. Snap a family photo at sunset for your album.

These Southwest Florida beaches boast picturesque white sand and warm Gulf water. Gather the entire family for a day at Lovers Key State Park or any of several dozen public beaches. Those traveling with four-legged family members can head to Dog Beach. Snap a family photo at sunset for your album.

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Visit wetlands

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers encompasses more than 3,500 acres of natural wetland habitat, protecting a diverse population of wildlife and plants. Stroll the boardwalk trail (take along a free explorer’s guide) and look for alligators, wading birds, and butterflies. Don’t miss the preserve’s interpretive center with interactive displays for children.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers encompasses more than 3,500 acres of natural wetland habitat, protecting a diverse population of wildlife and plants. Stroll the boardwalk trail (take along a free explorer’s guide) and look for alligators, wading birds, and butterflies. Don’t miss the preserve’s interpretive center with interactive displays for children.

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Learn something new

Choosing an educational activity that the entire family will love is no small feat. Luckily, there are plenty in Southwest Florida. The Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is a great place to learn about the plants, animals, and environment of Southwest Florida. The IMAG History & Science Center offers hands-on science exhibits and an aquarium museum. The splendid gardens at Edison and Ford Winter Estates offer space to roam, explore and take a step back in time. 

Choosing an educational activity that the entire family will love is no small feat. Luckily, there are plenty in Southwest Florida. The Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is a great place to learn about the plants, animals, and environment of Southwest Florida. The IMAG History & Science Center offers hands-on science exhibits and an aquarium museum. The splendid gardens at Edison and Ford Winter Estates offer space to roam, explore and take a step back in time. 

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Ride a bike

With pleasant weather year-round, the islands, beaches, and neighborhoods of Fort Myers are perfect for exploring by bicycle. From the paved trails on Sanibel, to lush and lovely parks, to the waterfront on Fort Myers Beach, getting around on two wheels not only offers exercise, but also lots of fun.

With pleasant weather year-round, the islands, beaches, and neighborhoods of Fort Myers are perfect for exploring by bicycle. From the paved trails on Sanibel, to lush and lovely parks, to the waterfront on Fort Myers Beach, getting around on two wheels not only offers exercise, but also lots of fun.

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Watch for birds

Fort Myers and surrounding areas have several hotspots for birdwatching, an activity the entire family can enjoy. Some of the area’s famous feathered friends include the Osprey (watch these birds dive head-first into water to capture fish); the American white pelican, a massive water bird with the second-largest wingspan in all of North America; and the roseate spoonbill (you’ll think you’re looking at a wild flamingo until you notice its spatula-shaped bill).

Fort Myers and surrounding areas have several hotspots for birdwatching, an activity the entire family can enjoy. Some of the area’s famous feathered friends include the Osprey (watch these birds dive head-first into water to capture fish); the American white pelican, a massive water bird with the second-largest wingspan in all of North America; and the roseate spoonbill (you’ll think you’re looking at a wild flamingo until you notice its spatula-shaped bill).

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