A row of pastel houses in Fort Myers & Sanibel

4 things to do in Fort Myers & Sanibel

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is Florida’s secret paradise. Imagine warm Gulf waters, sunny skies, pristine beaches, and uninhabited islands. Spend your days on a boat spotting dolphins or exploring the islands and spend your evenings soaking up the low-key nightlife and watching beautiful sunsets. If it’s a calm oasis you’re looking for, then you’ve definitely found it. Here are 4 things to do in Fort Myers & Sanibel.

 J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a must while on Sanibel Island. The largest mangrove ecosystem in the USA which provides a home to an array of bird species such as Florida’s state bird, the Roseate Spoonbill, manatees, dolphins, alligators, sea otters, pelicans and more. Visit by car, cycle, foot or kayak, or for a nominal fee, you can take a guided trolley tour and spot the wildlife together with a master naturalist. Admission to the refuge is charged at $5 per vehicle and $1 per pedestrian or bicycle.

Paddle Boarding

Water sports are everywhere in Fort Myers & Sanibel, but we recommending trying your hand at paddle boarding. Paddle boarding relies on flat water, which Southwest Florida has in abundance, and is easy to master with little difficulty (kids as young as eight-years-old can learn to paddle). Lovers Key State Park is great for families and the Back Bay waters are ideal for paddle boarding

Tour a distillery or meet locals at the brewery

Craft beers and beach-side towns both evoke a feeling of laid-back relaxation – so Fort Myers & Sanibel have combined the two. The most notable is the Fort Myers Brewing Company, but remember to also visit Point Ybel Brewing Company, Millennial Brewing Company, Bury Me Brewing, and Old Soul Brewing. And also check out the rum distillery, Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery in Cape Coral for a free tasting!

Key West Express

Finish your Fort Myers & Sanibel voyage with a boat trip to the iconic Key West. The journey takes only 3 hours so you can enjoy the Southwest Florida coastline and watch the dolphins leap from the ocean as you glide to Key West for lunch and a leisurely afternoon. The Key West Express returns to Fort Myers Beach later in the day so you really get to explore real Florida!

Morag Lee

Morag is the resident blog writer at Barrhead Travel. Can usually be found exploring a cruise ship or on a city break.