Take a Day Trip to Fort Myers During Your Sanibel Island Vacation

Sanibel Island is a truly picturesque place, so it’s no wonder so many people travel here on vacation. The island has a little bit of everything, from beautiful beaches to world-class dining to opportunities for nature walks, golfing, shopping, and more. But when you’re staying in one of our Sanibel Island rentals, you’re not simply limited to the possibilities here on the island. Consider taking a day trip while you’re in town! 

When you’re on Sanibel Island, you can quickly get to other notable destinations. But if you only have time for a one-day trip, we suggest visiting Fort Myers. It’s a quick drive away from our Sanibel Island condo rentals, and it offers a little something for the entire family to enjoy!

colorful buildings in Fort Myers Florida
Photo from Shutterstock

Where is Fort Myers?

So, where is Fort Myers in the first place? Fort Myers is located just a few miles inland, and you typically will spend only 30 minutes or so in the car. 

To get to Fort Myers from Sanibel Island, start by getting onto Periwinkle Way. Follow this road north until you can turn left onto Causeway Boulevard, then continue to follow the Causeway as it takes you to the mainland. Once you’re over the bridge and on land again, continue onto County Road 867.

After 1.9 miles, turn left onto McGregor Boulevard, which you’ll follow for 2.7 miles. Then, take another left turn onto FL-867 N/McGregor Boulevard and follow for almost 10 miles. You’ll turn right onto Victoria Avenue, then get in the middle lane to turn left onto Cleveland Avenue. Finally, continue on US-41 BUS N to get into Fort Myers! 

What is Fort Myers Known For?

Now that you’re in Fort Myers, what should you know about this destination? First, you might be interested in the history.

The Calusa Native American people first inhabited the area, and it got its name from Colonel Abraham C. Myers; a fort named for him was constructed here in 1841. Although the fort was abandoned in 1858, it still lent its name to the town beginning in 1876.

One of the most impressive things about Fort Myers is the historical estates. This destination is home to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates (but we’ll get back to them in a minute!), the Burroughs Home and Gardens, and plenty of other historical homes and buildings. You might even feel like you’ve stepped back in time once you’re in the city!

Finally, it’s important to note that Fort Myers is considered a significant gateway to Sanibel and Captiva Islands. While you might be going from Sanibel to Fort Myers, many people take this journey the other way around! No Sanibel Island vacation is truly complete without taking the time to discover Fort Myers.

Things to Do in Fort Myers

If you’re searching for things to do in Fort Myers, there is no shortage of activities for you to choose from. As we mentioned, Fort Myers is the location of the Ford and Edison Estates, which are a “can’t miss” destination for anyone visiting the area. These beautiful estates were once home to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and today, guests can take a look into the personal lives of these esteemed inventors. Explore the gardens, check out the exhibits, and consider what life might have been like when Henry and Thomas themselves walked the halls.

Of course, you’ll also want to take a stroll through the downtown area. It’s a great way to soak up the sun, check out some shops, and enjoy the town at your own pace. Locals and visitors enjoy grabbing a morning coffee from Green Cup Café, looking at the incredible artworks on display along First Street, or attending an event at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Don’t forget to finish the evening with a sweet treat from Gulf Coast Fudge!

Are you looking for things to do in Fort Myers with kids? Plan a trip to the Sun Splash Waterpark! Here, you can enjoy all the fun of the water without the messy sand of the beach. Get your thrills on the Drop Slide, relax along the Main Stream River Tube Ride, or let your younger kids explore Pirate’s Cove or try beating their friends on the Pro Racers slides. If you feel particularly adventurous, take a trip down Cape Fear or the Fun-L-Tunnel, entirely in the dark!

Restaurants in Fort Myers

You’re bound to work up an appetite during your time in Fort Myers. Thankfully, there are tons of Fort Myers restaurants for you to consider. No matter what you’re in the mood for, or if you have a picky eater in your group, you’ll find something to satisfy everyone in your party.  

First up on our list is the Oxbow Bar and Grill, which has quickly become a local staple since opening in March 2021. This new casual dining retreat, as it bills itself, features both indoor and outdoor seating and has an extensive menu featuring unique eats with fresh, sumptuous ingredients. Start with the Blue Point Oysters or the smoked chicken wing before moving on to entrée selections like the Oxbow Prime Burger, Low Country Shrimp, or Pasta Primavera. Just don’t forget to order some chocolate caramel molten cake for dessert!

Another local staple that’s been around for a bit longer is Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille. Doc Ford isn’t the owner here; that would be Randy Wayne White. Randy is a passionate author who created the character Doc Ford, the star of his novels! Doc Ford has traveled around the world in his adventures, and it’s certainly reflected in the food here at the restaurant. Sample unique dishes like the macadamia nut crusted grouper, Island Style shrimp and grits, banana leaf snapper, and more.

Plan Your Trip

These rentals are always fully equipped with the best amenities and are conveniently located near fun things to do in Sanibel Island (and Fort Myers, too!). Contact our staff today to start booking your trip! 

Our last recommendation for Fort Myers restaurants is none other than Ford’s Garage. You read that right; Ford’s Garage is a mouthwatering eatery, not somewhere to get your car fixed! Step inside and be transported to a 1920’s service station, where you can dine on no-fuss classics like juicy burgers and refreshing beer. You’ll also find other comfort foods like meatloaf, mac and cheese, and BBQ pork ribs. One thing’s for sure: you won’t leave hungry!

After your fun day spent in Fort Myers, head back over the bridge to relax in your Sanibel Island rental. Sandalfoot Condo is proud to offer a massive selection of 2-bedroom condo rentals on Sanibel Island, perfect for any family or group of friends looking to take a trip to the island.



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