Best known for its tropical locale and nearby beaches. Ft. Myers is an excellent vacation destination for families who want an affordable escape with plenty of sun, sand, and entertainment. With everything from the quintessential oceanside seafood restaurants to boutique shopping and local theater, Ft. Myers truly offers a little bit of everything. What you can't find in town is just a day trip away at another popular Floridian destination.
One of Ft. Myers's most popular attractions, Ft. Myers Beach offers everything vacation-goers look for in a tropical vacation destination. Sugar-sand beaches and shallow sparkling waters combine to create a peaceful retreat that's perfect for families. This 7-mile coastline is located on Estero Island, a small barrier island south of the city of Ft. Myers.
Downtown Ft. Myers offers its own delights. The Imaginarium Science Center is a hands-on museum with exciting exhibits that will get children engaged in learning. They can excavate fossils in the Dino Dig, take on challenging puzzles in the Mind Magic exhibit, experiment with The Science of Motion, and dip a hand into the Touch Tanks. With both indoor and outdoor exhibits, there's always something to explore.
If you enjoy taking a peek back in history, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will rank high on your list of things to do. This attraction spans 20 acres and includes the Edison Botanic Research Lab, Edison Ford Museum, Edison Main House, Ford House, and more. Stroll the gardens to witness trees that were planted in Thomas Edison's time. Seeds from these very trees are collected, propagated, and sold as seedlings in the Estates Garden Shoppe.
Everything on the estate has historic charm, from the Main House, which the Edison family renovated in 1906, to Henry Ford's winter estate, originally purchased in 1916. This destination takes you back in time to a bygone era of elegance and simplicity with the intriguing celebrity factor that comes from taking a peek into these famous men's lives.
For dining and shopping, don't miss the Fort Myers River District. This area hosts several specialty shops like Ivy Cottage Antiques & Treasures, Enjewel Boutique, and Savvy! On First. The extensive range of dining options includes something for any craving, from the custom infused crepes at Zcrepes Café to the hearty corned beef sandwiches at Larry's Lunch Box.
If you want to expand your vacation beyond the bounds of Ft. Myers, you'll find several exciting Floridian cities within a few hours' drive. Orlando is just three hours away, offering up all the delights of the "Theme Park Capital of the World." You can visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando all in one city, though you'll need to pick just one park if you're only visiting for the day.
If you prefer sticking to coastal delights, head across the state to Miami. Just two and a half hours away, Miami offers up several family-friendly attractions. Get wild with animals like tigers, leopards, gibbons, and lemurs at Jungle Island. Check out the sharks, manatees, sea lions, dolphins, and killer whales at the Miami Seaquarium. Zoo Miami has over 2,000 animals including zebras, elephants, camels, and rhinos. If you want a break from the animal-themed highlights, head to the Miami Children's Museum for interactive exhibits like the Construction Zone, Music Makers Studio, and Castle of Dreams.
Just under two hours north of Ft. Myers, you'll find Tampa. Head to the Glazer Children's Museum for engaging exhibits that foster pretend play. Don pint-size safety gear and pretend to take on an emergency in the Firehouse exhibit, head to the Pizza Place to run your own pretend café, care for your stuffed animals at the Vet Clinic, or grab a mini shopping cart to stroll the aisles of a pretend Publix grocery store. The Florida Aquarium and Lowry Park Zoo offer plenty of wildlife encounters in Tampa, while Busch Gardens Tampa Bay provides a thrilling theme-park experience.
If you're looking for a wild day trip from the city, head to the Everglades National Park, about an hour and 20 minutes south. The best time for a visit is between December and April, when the park is relatively dry. Water birds, alligators, river otters, gray foxes, and bobcats all dwell inside. Fishing, hiking, and camping are permitted in the park. Though airboats are not permitted in the National Park, nearby Everglades City offers several tour options of the areas surrounding it.
Ft. Myers is best experienced by car. Ft. Myers Beach is about a half-hour from downtown, and even the attractions within the city are quite spread out from one another. Public transportation is notoriously unreliable, so you're better off opting for a rental vehicle. Watch for rush-hour traffic around Interstates 41 and 75.
If you have some flexibility with your schedule, the best time to visit Ft. Myers is in March, April, or May. The temperatures are comfortable, with highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 50s to upper 60s. Crowds are typically low during this time, as are travel prices. Between June and August, temperatures are swelteringly hot, and summer crowds surge. Prices peak during this time as well, and rainfall is high.
From September through November, you'll find diminished crowds and temperatures that steadily decrease from highs in the low 90s to low 80s. However, this is still hurricane season, with the potential for inclement weather. From December to February, you'll enjoy comfortable temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s, which are ideal for many visitors. You're well out of hurricane season, but the holidays bring high prices with them. If you plan your visit to coincide with the weather and prices that best fit your travel needs, you can find a season in Ft. Myers to suit almost any agenda.
Ft. Myers is a prime pick for families who want to enjoy Florida at a reasonable pricepoint with ample diversity. Include an attraction for every member of the family with this versatile vacation spot.