It’s hard to think about moving to Florida without thinking about easy access to amazing beaches. Fort Myers, FL, has some top-notch choices in a state that is known for its sandy coastline, so if you’re considering moving there, you’ll have an abundance of options. Here is our list of the best public beaches in Fort Myers. Get your sunscreen and get started!
Lynn Hall Memorial Park
Located on Ft. Myers Beach right next to the “Times Square” of downtown, this beach has a lot to offer the public for a day at the beach. Parking is just $2 per hour, there is a fishing pier with a gift shop, picnic shelters have grills for public use, and there are freshwater rinsing showers so you can clean off and then take advantage of the shops and restaurants nearby. That way you can enjoy the best of Florida – a satisfying day at the beach, and a fantastic meal to wrap it up.
Cayo Costa State Park
Accessible only by private boat or ferry, Cayo Costa is truly a wild Florida beach. With 9 miles of beach in this 2,426-acre park, there is plenty of exploring to do — you may even catch a glimpse of manatees or dolphins playing in the surf, or have the opportunity to meet a fish up close and personal while you snorkel off the coastline. The park offers primitive cabins and camping opportunities for those seeking an overnight stay among the birds and groves of oak and pine trees, but you will need to reserve your spot well in advance.
Located on Sanibel Island, this beach has seen little of the development that has crept up on other beaches nearby. The adventurous beachcomber can walk for miles along unobstructed expanses of sand hunting for shells, making this white sand beach well worth the five-minute hike from the parking lot. It is a popular destination, but quite spacious — so as long as parking is available ($4/hour), you should be able to find your slice of beach heaven.
Lover’s Key State Park
This park got its name for its remote location, once only accessible by boat — and therefore a romantic and beautiful destination for adventurous lovers. It is now accessible by road and is home to a variety of wildlife including West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. Visitors can tour the inner waterways by kayak, rent a bicycle to cruise the multi-use trails on Black Island or camp out on the two miles of sandy beaches.
For a stop along your travels, you might take a tour of the Causeway Islands — two small “spoil islands” built to link the mainland to Sanibel Island. Island A offers only parking, but Island B offers restrooms and has a few picnic tables for those who’d like to stay a while and eat. If you do choose to swim, beware of submerged structures. Since these ‘islands’ are human-constructed, there may be remnants of the building process still present on the ocean floor.
Located on Sanibel Island, Captiva Beach is known for being a pristine beach after intensive restoration efforts made this a prime spot for watching the sunset. There are no permanent restrooms and parking is very limited, so visitors must be intentional about when they choose to come to Captiva.
Lighthouse Beach Park
Built in 1884, the lighthouse on the south end of Sanibel Island quickly became the center of activity on this small island. The beach is truly family-friendly with plenty of shade trees, seashells, a picnic area, and an amazing view of the Gulf. Go fishing from the pier or take advantage of the winds from the point to go windsurfing, or maybe just go for a swim. There are no restaurants lining this beach, so you’ll be able to enjoy the day in a natural environment.
Bowditch Point Park
If you’re looking for more active things to do in Fort Myers Beach, take a trip to Bowditch Point Park. The area serves dual-use purposes, with 7 acres of developed recreational area and 10 acres of preserved natural space. There are plenty of trails winding through the natural area, giving curious birders a landscape rich in species diversity to explore. Free day docks are available on the point with access to Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Tarpon Bay Beach
One of the things about Tarpon Bay that makes it so attractive is the connection to the Tarpon Bay bike trails. You can cruise the bike paths around the island and take a break at the beach access, where there are restrooms, water, and showers for public use. Pack a picnic, choose a sunny day, and Tarpon Bay is an excellent day-long outing for the adventurous visitor coming to Fort Myers, FL.
Barefoot Beach Preserve
342 acres of undeveloped land make this one of the few natural areas in the Florida barrier islands that families can come to see land-dwelling gopher turtles, learn about the loggerhead turtles, and tour the unique variety of habitat present in the preserve. Your visit to this beach could be both educational and recreational if you choose, taking a tour with a Ranger and then lounging on the beach or at the public picnic area. Concessions are available.
With so many things to do in Fort Myers, you might just decide to move there! Check out your options for long distance moving services and get the move started. Sunshine and endless beach days ahead!