Located on Lee County’s Estero Island to the west of the city of Fort Myers is the eponymous beach. The West side of the island is on The Gulf of Mexico while the east side connects to canals and seawalls of Estero Bay.
Yesterday’s pirate ships, Spanish forts and squatters making land claims have given way to a modern tourist beach destination drawing 1.8 million visitors each year! Easily accessible to Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island and Naples, Fort Myers Beach is the center of recreation. Activities like golf, tennis, swimming, para-gliding, kayaking, boating, sunning and swimming are enjoyed year-round. While tourism is its’ predominate industry, The Beach is also the home-base of shrimpers, with their fleet of boats moving in and out of San Carlos Island between Fort Myers Beach and the mainland.
The Matanzas Pass wildlife Preserve at the southern tip of the island is made up of 42 acres of wilderness, providing sanctuary for native birds and other wildlife. There’s a historical beach cottage restored to its; original beauty along with boardwalks and bridges forming a serpentine trail for visitors to closely observe giant ospreys, pelicans and elegant herons fishing for their supper. On the North end adjacent to the public Fort Myers Beach pier, is the bustling area known as Times Square. This is the center of action; restaurants, shops, and entertainment including street performers conjuring up images of Key West.
The Beach is known for several popular annual events. The International Sand Sculpting Contest takes place each November. The shrimp festival in March draws thousands for the 5-k run and Blessing of the Fleet. Offshore powerboat races and an old-fashioned July 4th celebration are highlights of the summer months.