Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida South Florida Fort Myers

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Introduction

Fort Myers beach

Fort Myers beach

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Fort Myers is a city in the southwest of Florida with around 70,000 inhabitants. Together with Cape Coral it forms the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has over 600,000 inhabitants.

A county entitled Lee County, named so in honor of the southern commanding General, Robert E. Lee was established in 1887. By about 1908, the population of Fort Myers was approximately five to six thousand (Captain F.A. Hendry Reunion Committee, 2002). In 1912 the first local Black population only public school was established in Lee County (Williams Academy). Henry Ford bought the home and land next door to Thomas Edison in 1916. In 1920 the Jones-Walker Hospital was opened for the Black population only. Bunche Beach was dedicated as the first local beach intended for the Black population only, in 1949. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled to end segregation in public schools. However, this decision was not implemented by integrating local Lee County schools until 1969. The Williams Academy was relocated to Clemente Park located in the Dunbar section of Fort Myers in 1995 and, is the primary center for African-American history in Lee County. The museum and administrative offices are established at 1936 Henderson Avenue (Lee County Black History Society, 2011).

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Sights and Activities

  • Butterfly Estates, 1815 Fowler Street, ☎ +1 239 690-2359. 9AM - 5PM. This butterfly conservatory, set in the Fort Myers river district, is home to all the species of butterfly native to Florida. The enclosure features a cascading waterfall and many exotic species of plants. Every Friday at 1:30PM new butterflies are released into the exhibit, which makes this the best time to visit. $15.
  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd, ☎ +1 239 334-7419. Every day 9AM-5:30PM (during Dec until 9PM). Guided tours through 15,000 sq. ft. museum with hundreds of Edison and Ford inventions and objects, video theatres, and changing special exhibits. Beautiful and interesting plantings on the grounds.
  • Minnesota Twins Spring Training, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, ☎ +1 612 338-9467. Hammond Stadium. If you are in Fort Myers during the spring, you may be able to see the Major Baseball League's Minnesota Twins' during their preseason training period. (2007 prices) Dugout Box, $35; Box Seats, $21; Reserved Seats, $19; Deck Rail, $15; Lawn Seating, $10; Standing Room, $10. Hammond Stadium on Wikipedia Hammond Stadium (Q5645862) on Wikidata edit
  • Boston Red Sox Spring Training, Fenway South Dr (JetBlue Park at Fenway South), ☎ +1 239 334-4700. The Boston Red Sox also have their spring training in Fort Myers.
  • Florida Everblades. Local hockey.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.
  • Sanibel Lighthouse.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.

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Weather

Fort Myers has a humid (sub)tropical climate with warm conditions year-round though with some distinct seasons. Summers are from May to October when temperatures are mostly between 30 °C and 33 °C during the day and around 20-24 °C at night. This is also the wet season with 70% of the annual precipitation (1,300 mm) falling from June to September (around 200-250 mm a month). Also, the occasional hurrican can strike the area with massive destructions possible. November to April is by far a better time to visit, with days of 24-29 °C and nights in the 13-17 °C range. There is still a shower or two but with around 50 mm a month most of your days will be quiet, sunny and dry.

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Getting There

By Plane

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), also known as Fort Myers International Airport, is the main gateway for Fort Myers and the surrounding area, including Cape Coral and Naples. It mainly has connections to other cities in the USA, but there are quite a few flights to Toronto and less so to Montreal and even Düsseldorf.

By Train

Fort Myers has not had an railway service since 1971, but Amtrak provides an thruway bus from Tampa, connecting with its Silver Service between Miami and New York City.

By Bus

There are several daily departures from Miami with Greyhound, with journeys taking just over four hours.

By Boat

Key West Express has daily high-speed passenger ferries between nearby Fort Myers Beach and Key West, taking about 3.5 hours.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Lee trans is the local bus service and has numerous bus lines criss-crossing the city.

By Bike

The tropical climate is perfect for bicycling, and Fort Myers is a very bicycle friendly city. But watch out for those occasional pop up showers, especially during the wet season. When cycling, be sure to bring plenty of water, wear light weight, light colored clothing, and wear sunscreen.

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Eat

  • Plakka Greek Restaurant, Fort Myers Beach.
  • Iguana Mia Mexican Restaurant. Fort Myers Beach.
  • Hooters of Fort Myers, Fort Myers.
  • Siam Hut, Cape Coral Pkwy and Del Prado. Thai.
  • Bert's Bar, Matlacha.
  • Matanzas's Inn, Fort Myers Beach.
  • Parrot Key, Fort Myers Beach.
  • Blu Sushi, Fort Myers and Gulf Coast Town Center.
  • Capt'n Fishbones, North Fort Myers, across the main parking lot at The Shell Factory.
  • The Fish House, 320 Old San Carlos Blvd, Fort Myers Beach.
  • Ford's Garage, 2207 First St. 11:00 - 11:00.

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Drink

  • Spirits of Bacchus, Downtown Fort Myers.
  • The Cigar Bar, Downtown Fort Myers and Gulf Coast Town Mall.
  • Rivals Sports Kitchen, Miromar Factory Outlet Mall, Estero.
  • Blu Sushi, Fort Myers and Gulf Coast Town Center (Estero).
  • Anthonys Junkanoo, 3040 Estero Blvd. Nice beachclub with full bar.

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Sleep

  • Best Western Springs Resort, 18051 South Tamiami Trail. Marketed as a "tropical hideaway with a unique natural warm mineral water springs." Onsite family restaurant and a poolside Tiki Bar.
  • Best Western Waterfront, 13021 N. Cleveland Avenue, ☎ +1 239 997-5511, toll-free: +1-800-274-5511. Right on the river. Private pier, high-speed internet and heated outdoor pool.
  • Cypress Trail RV Resort, 5468 Tice Street, Fort Myers, FL 33905, ☎ +1 239 333-3246. Luxury RV resort with aquatic center and recreation that includes two private lakes and paddleboats.
  • DiamondHead Beach Resort, 2000 Estero Boulevard, toll-free: +1-888-627-1595. Fort Myers Beach. All suite luxury resort with conference facilities. Right on the beach.
  • GullWing Beach Resort, 6620 Estero Boulevard, ☎ +1 239 765-4300, toll-free: +1-888-627-1595. Suites and condos on Fort Myers beach as well as meeting and banquet space.
  • Howard Johnson Inn, 4811 s Cleveland Avenue. Old motel located in the center.
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, 5001 Coconut Road (Bonita Springs), ☎ +1 239 444-1234, fax: +1 239 390-4344.
  • Lover's Key Resort, 8771 Estero Boulevard, ☎ +1 239 765-1040, toll-free: +1-877-798-4879. All-suite resort adjacent to the Lover's Key State Park with views of Estero Bay, lagoon-style pool, and on-site dining.
  • Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa, 275 Estero Boulevard. On Estero Island.
  • Pointe Estero Beach Resort, 6640 Estero Boulevard, toll-free: +1-888-627-1595. A beachfront suite hotel located on the peaceful southern end of Estero Island.
  • Santa Maria Harbour Resort, 7317 Estero Boulevard, toll-free: +1-888-627-1595. A resort on Estero Bay, a fishing harbour on Estero Island.
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotel of Fort Myers, 10150 Metro Parkway, ☎ +1 239 938-0100. Rooms have refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, utensils, irons, ironing boards, computer hook-ups, voice mail and satellite television. King suites are also available.
  • Fort Myers Airport Hotel, 9401 Marketplace Road, ☎ +1 239 454-0040. Located near the Southwest Florida International Airport and features complimentary wireless internet and breakfast buffet.
  • Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa (Sanibel Harbour Marriott), 17260 Harbour Pointe Drive. Fort Myers, Florida 33908, ☎ +1 239-466-4000, toll-free: +1-800-767-7777. Check-in: 4:00 PM, check-out: 11:00 AM. Oceanfront resort on private 85 acres of land and offers free WiFi, full service spa, and guest rooms with water views.

View our map of accommodation in Fort Myers or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Accommodation in Fort Myers

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Fort Myers searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Fort Myers and areas nearby.

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This is version 16. Last edited at 8:06 on Mar 13, 19 by Utrecht. 15 articles link to this page.

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