Looking for what to do in Fort Myers on your vacation? There’s so much more than just going to the beach! (But the beach is amazing and you should go). Fort Myers is packed with history, wildlife, and dolphins (dolphins are everywhere), and if you’re looking for some unique experiences in Florida, these are the top 6 things to do in Fort Myers! 🙂
What to do in Fort Myers on your vacation
Go to the beach
You’re in Florida, so you have to go to the beach! The water on the Gulf Coast is beautiful, and I don’t think I’ve been to the beach without seeing at least one dolphin or manatee swimming close to the shore. I like the beaches in Bonita Springs right outside Fort Myers, and there’s also a dog friendly beach nearby (Annika went swimming for the first time there!).
While you’re at the beach, you can rent things like paddleboards or wave runners, or you can just go for a stroll and go shelling or watch kite surfers!
Go for a wildlife walk
You don’t have to go far in Fort Myers without seeing an alligator (there used to be one in the pond in my parents’ backyard). There are also some wildlife preserves in the area to walk around and see alligators and other wildlife, and Six Mile Cypress Slough is a great place to go! The alligators were still laying low in the winter when I went so I didn’t see them at the slough, but there are tons of birds and different plants to see, too.
Walk around downtown Fort Myers
Downtown Fort Myers is so pretty and colorful! There are lots of shops and restaurants, and they have some pretty fun events. They have art walks and music walks on Fridays and lots of other events throughout the year.
If you want to do even more shopping, you can check out Miromar Outlets for some good deals!
Visit the Burroughs Home
Right in downtown Fort Myers is the Burroughs Home! The Burroughs Home was built in 1901 by a cattle rancher from Montana, and a few different families lived in it before it was owned by the city in 1978. The Burroughs family was the last to live there. It was a pretty significant home throughout the decades, and Edison, Ford, and Firestone were known for visiting there. The Uncommon Friends Foundation (named for that group of friends) manages the home now, and you can take tours and rent it out for weddings!
Tour the Edison and Ford Winter Estates
I mentioned that Edison and Ford would visit the Burroughs Home, and they had houses next to each other that you can tour at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates! Edison built his winter estate (Seminole Lodge) and lab in 1885, and Ford bought the home next door (The Mangoes) in 1914. They would stay in Fort Myers in the winter with their families, and their houses and gardens look the same from when they lived there. Even the wicker furniture is the original! Edison planted many different plants for his experiments, and you can actually buy some of the plants and flowers for your own gardens.
Go for a boat ride and see some dolphins
I’ve been on several boat rides to different areas around Fort Myers, and I’ve seen dolphins every time! They come up close to the boat and even swim underneath and would follow us around! I have also seen lots of manatees and a variety of birds. Plus, the views of the water are beautiful everywhere, and you can explore some new islands by boat.
I hope I’ve convinced you to see more of Fort Myers than the beach! It’s an awesome place to go on vacation in Florida any time of the year 🙂