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Building Sandcastles & Shelling Uncrowded Florida Beaches 


Is meandering on a beach sprinkled with white, peach and pink-tinted shells. Catching a glimpse of a manatee — one of the gentlest creatures of the sea. Island hopping through more than 100 barrier islands your idea of a perfect island vacation.

If this sound good to you, look no further than heading to the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Made up of eight communities including Pine Island, Sanibel and Captiva Islands and Cape Coral, these islands sit on Florida’s west-coast shore of the Gulf of Mexico and is truly unlike any other part of the state. There are idyllic beaches, great shopping, authentic wildlife encounters, boat-fresh seafood and, above all, an endless list of water activities and adventures.

And the perk is that it comes without the crowds and hurly burly of Florida’s “traditional” vacation destinations. Sanibel and Captiva even have local legislation prohibiting buildings higher than the tallest palm tree. Whether in, out or on top of the water, Fort Myers and Sanibel have something for every traveler to enjoy.

It’s not as commercialized, but you’re also not confined. Because there are so many islands, you can go out, visit Sanibel for the day, go kayaking or sit on the beach and do nothing. It’s very much about being relaxed, rejuvenating and connecting with the natural surroundings.”

Fort Myers is the urban anchor of the region. This is where you’ll find high-rise hotel properties, a vibrant arts scene, active sporting communities and a down-to-earth Floridian vibe.  

Known as the best shelling destination in the United States (and arguably even the world) Fort Myers has a 7-mile stretch of immaculate white sand, while neighboring Sanibel and Captiva offer up a bit more crackle and crunch to their shell-encrusted beaches. Visitors should always be on the lookout for wildlife sightings, from 1,200-pound manatees to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, along with an array of birds and fish species. It’s not uncommon to see dolphins riding the wake of a boat or gentle sea cows swimming lazily right by the shore.

The destination, bordered by the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico, is a boater’s paradise. There are 20 public access marinas and many opportunities to join a fishing expedition or rent boats, kayaks and paddleboards.

Off the water, the year-round perfect weather and picturesque surroundings make golfing a solid hit. Designed by some big names in the game, the courses in Fort Myers deliver more golf per capita than just about anywhere else in the country. 

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel on the Sunshine State’s west coast deliver a great vacation on all counts and they are not that far away.

Author: International Accents Travel taken from Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau

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