Hidden Gems & Amazing Seashells: Best Day Trips from Fort Myers

September 30, 2019 18 Comments

If you want to take a trip to Florida, Fort Myers is an amazing place to visit! (I think it’s way better than Miami or Orlando). From historic houses to beautiful beaches and wild dolphins, Fort Myers has it all. But if you want to see more of Florida while you’re there, these are the best excursions and day trips from Fort Myers! 🙂 

Top day trips from Fort Myers

Hidden Gems & Amazing Seashells: Best Day Trips from Fort Myers

Take a ride to Cabbage Key

Cabbage Key is one of the Gulf Coast’s hidden gems! It claims to be the place where Jimmy Buffett wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and while there isn’t exactly any proof to that, it’s still a place worth visiting. You can only get there by boat, so you can rent a boat (we got one from Pine Island) or take a ferry. And you can see lots of dolphins along the way!

You can hang out on the beach, get views from the top of the water tower, say hi to some tortoises, walk on a nature trail, and eat some seafood at the only restaurant on the island. I would recommend spending at least a few hours to half a day there.

Dolphins in Cabbage Key, Florida

Cabbage Key, Florida

Cabbage Key, Florida

Tortoises in Cabbage Key, Florida

Cabbage Key, Florida

Hibiscus in Cabbage Key, Florida

Visit the beaches of Bonita Springs

I think the beaches in Bonita Springs are some of the prettiest in the US! The water is always changing colors, and on calm days, it’s a beautiful turquoise color. The sunsets there are also beautiful, and I recommend going during the day and the evening. Plus, I see dolphins and/or manatees EVERY time I go to the beach! 🙂

Bonita Springs beach

Dolphin in Bonita Springs beach

Bonita Springs beach

Sunset in Bonita Springs beach

Sunset in Bonita Springs beach

Sunset in Bonita Springs beach

Go shelling at Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is one of the best places to find seashells in the WORLD! It’s a short drive from Fort Myers, so you can easily go there for a few hours. We walked along the beautiful beaches and did find some pretty good shells, but if you’re serious about shelling, I recommend getting some goggles and looking underwater. We found the best shells that way!

Lighthouse on Sanibel Island

Lighthouse on Sanibel Island

Beach on Sanibel Island

Seashells on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

See mansions in Naples

I definitely recommend taking a boat ride in Florida (it’s the best way to see dolphins in the wild!), and taking a boat ride around Naples is amazing! You can see dolphins and manatees of course, and you can also see some beautiful mansions from the water. There are also places on the way from Marco Island to Naples where you can get out of the boat and do some swimming and shelling, like Keewaydin Island. 

Boat ride to Keewaydin Island

Dolphins in Marco Island

Mansions in Naples, Florida

Mansions in Naples, Florida

Mansions in Naples, Florida

Mansions in Naples, Florida

Mansions in Naples, Florida

Take a trip on the Key West Express

Driving to Key West is a long trip, but you can take the Key West Express from Fort Myers and be there in just a few hours. So it’s an easy day trip, or you can stay overnight and take the boat back the next day. You can see some Victorian houses, take a bike tour, eat the original Sloppy Joe, and see some amazing sunsets. My parents took the Key West Express, and my mom wrote a guest post about their trip!

Historic building in Key West, Florida

Houses in Key West, Florida

Lighthouse in Key West, Florida

Historic architecture in Key West, Florida

Harbor in Key West, Florida

Sunset in Key West, Florida

Sunset in Key West, Florida

Plumeria in Key West, Florida

You should definitely take time to explore Fort Myers while you’re there, but if you want to do some more sightseeing, I can’t recommend these day trips from Fort Myers enough! 🙂 

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18 Comments

  1. Reply

    tonya

    October 3, 2019

    Fort Myers looks amazing! You’re making me want to go.

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 3, 2019

      It’s worth a visit! And there are usually some pretty cheap flights from Philly!

  2. Reply

    Leah

    October 3, 2019

    Beautiful photos! I love reading about day trips, because we usually try to make the most of our travels. The Bonita Springs beaches really do looking stunning!

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 3, 2019

      Thank you! There are some great day trips in Florida!

  3. Reply

    Natasha L

    October 3, 2019

    I visit Florida several times a year to see family but I’ve only been to Naples, and you’re right, the houses are beautiful. I love the ideal of going shelling. I haven’t done that since I was a kid but maybe I just haven’t been to a beach that’s been worthy of it. Thanks for these ideas, I’ll keep them in mind for the next time I visit Florida.

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 3, 2019

      I highly recommend Sanibel or Bonita for shelling, they’re amazing places!

  4. Reply

    Haley

    October 3, 2019

    Oh man, I’ve never been to Florida as an adult but I’m thinking I need to remedy this soon, maybe over the winter!

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 3, 2019

      It’s a great place to visit during the winter!

  5. Reply

    Taylor Taverna

    October 2, 2019

    I’ve actually never been to Fort Myers but you’ve definitely just added it to my list! Hope to visit this winter!

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 2, 2019

      It’s an amazing place to visit during the winter!

  6. Reply

    Destiny

    October 2, 2019

    So funny! I had never heard of Cabbage Key, and I thought it sounded cool so I looked to see how far it was from me (I live in St.Pete) and it’s only a 23 minute drive! Haha, thanks for the recommendation 🙂 I’ll definitely be checking it out

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 2, 2019

      I hope you can go! It’s a cute little island!

  7. Reply

    Francesca

    October 2, 2019

    You had me at dolphins! My in laws live near Tampa and they rave about Sanibel! I’m also dying to hit the Keys. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photos!

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 2, 2019

      I see dolphins EVERYWHERE around Fort Myers! I hope you can go there soon!

  8. Reply

    Kristen

    October 2, 2019

    Dolphin watching and a sloppy joe sounds kind of amazing right now instead of being stuck behind my computer 😅

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 2, 2019

      You should go!!

  9. Reply

    Nicole Claesen

    October 2, 2019

    I am from Florida and these are FANTASTIC suggestions! Sanibel Island and Bonita Springs are two of my favorites. If anyone is looking for some great getaways or even just a long weekend these is a great list. Love your pictures too!

    • Reply

      Julia

      October 2, 2019

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I love hearing feedback from locals!

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