Top Attractions for First Timers

With its prime location on Florida’s southwest coast, Fort Myers serves as the perfect home base to explore everything from white sand beaches to historic architecture. Here are some of the top things to do on your first trip to Fort Myers:

Sun-Soaked Beaches

You simply can’t visit Fort Myers without spending a day basking on the beach! Just a short drive from downtown, you’ll find miles of pristine shoreline perfect for swimming, building sandcastles, beachcombing, and, of course, soaking up the Florida sunshine. Some favorites include the undeveloped Lovers Key State Park and the busier Fort Myers Beach with its lively restaurants and bars. Of course, nothing beats the legendary sands of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, located just offshore from Fort Myers. Time it right in the summer and you might even catch sea turtle hatchlings emerging!

Everglades Excursions

Looking to get out on the water during your Fort Myers vacation? Book an airboat tour of the Everglades! Just a 45-minute drive inland, you’ll find yourself deep in the river of grass that is the stunning Everglades ecosystem. Glide over the sawgrass prairies and dense mangrove forests as your experienced captain points out alligators, wading birds like egrets and herons, and other wildlife. Many tours even offer opportunities to hold baby alligators for that quintessential Florida photo op!

Sunset Cruises

While airboating is certainly exciting, you can’t beat a relaxing sunset cruise on the calm waters around Fort Myers. Multiple companies offer evening cruises perfect for families and couples looking to cap off the day on a peaceful note. Most sunset cruises start with great views of the waterfront mansions on the Caloosahatchee River before heading out into the Gulf of Mexico. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins swimming alongside the boat! And of course, the cotton candy sky as the sun drifts below the horizon makes for incredible photos.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Fort Myers became the winter retreat of choice for luminaries like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Today, history buffs flock to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates to explore the scientists’ homes, laboratories, gardens, and more. Walk through Edison’s winter home filled with original furnishings and inventions. Check out vehicles in the Ford Garage before strolling the lush botanical gardens. It’s easy to spend half a day or more getting lost in time on the estates.

Downtown River District

Looking to eat, drink, and be merry during your time in Fort Myers? Then you’ll want to spend an evening exploring the restaurants, bars, and boutiques of the Downtown River District. Centered around the First Street Corridor near the waterfront, you’ll find everything from wine bars and craft breweries to galleries, antique shops, and live music venues. Start with drinks and tapas at The Firestone, before catching some live jazz at The Jazz Club. Work up an appetite for dinner at a waterfront restaurant like Owl’s Nest or Horizon’s before capping off the night with a craft cocktail at Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza.

Luminary Hotel Rooftop Bar

One of the hottest spots in downtown Fort Myers is the rooftop bar at the new Luminary Hotel. Located on the seventh floor overlooking the river, the chic and lively space has quickly become the place for sunset cocktails in Fort Myers. The views from the open-air terrace simply can’t be beat. Sip creative craft cocktails or bubbly while snacking on flatbreads and small plates. Come on a Friday or Saturday night for live music from local performers as downtown lights up below you.

Shopping & Dining at Bell Tower Shops

If your travel crew loves to shop, you can’t miss the Bell Tower Shops when visiting Fort Myers. This delightful outdoor mall located just off of I-75 features over 65 upscale shops and boutiques. Browse jewelry and beachwear before picking up vacation outfits. Duck into air-conditioned stores between meals at restaurants like Cru and Tommy Bahama. Don’t forget to build in time to sip coffee on the balcony at Bennett’s Fresh Roast, one of the best local coffee shops in Fort Myers.

How to Get Around Fort Myers

Once you arrive in Fort Myers, you’ll find the city quite easy to navigate. Here are your options for transportation during your stay:

Public Transportation

While many vacationers opt for a rental car during their Fort Myers getaway, public transportation is a budget-friendly alternative. The LeeTran bus system offers routes throughout the city of Fort Myers as well as neighboring Cape Coral and Bonita Springs. You can purchase 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day passes for unlimited LeeTran rides. Just be aware that most routes only operate on weekdays, with just a few running on Saturdays. There is no bus service on Sundays in Fort Myers.

Taxis and Rideshares

For customized transportation on demand, consider grabbing a taxi or calling a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft during your Fort Myers trip. Rates vary between companies and the length of your ride. Taxis can be flagged down or scheduled ahead by calling the company. Uber and Lyft require mobile apps to hail a ride. Surge pricing applies during busy times.

Charter Buses

For group travel or events, charter buses provide a comfortable and convenient transportation solution in Fort Myers. Charter buses range from smaller 12-passenger vans perfect for airport transfers to 56-passenger motorcoaches ideal for weddings or company outings. Charter buses take the hassle out of group transportation needs. Our professional team handles navigation and parking while your group enjoys a relaxing ride together in a spacious, climate-controlled cabin complete with leather seats, free WiFi, and other amenities.

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you know where to go and how to get around, it’s time to start planning your Fort Myers getaway! With so many amazing beaches, attractions, restaurants and activities, you’re going to have an unforgettable trip. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! And when you need comfortable transportation for your group around Fort Myers or Southwest Florida, call the bus rental experts at 239-349-6038 to get a quote on a charter bus or van rental. We can’t wait to help make your Fort Myers vacation one to remember!