Must Do Fort Myers Visitor Guide Summer/Fall 2019

MustDoVisitorGuides

At Must Do Visitor Guides we believe the best experiences in life are better when shared, and so we do. Inside this Fort Myers Summer/Fall 2018 issue, you will find over one hundred well-researched and carefully curated standout things to do so you can make the most of your visit to Fort Myers, Florida. Everything from major attractions to awe-inspiring tours or family activities conveniently arranged in our Must Do directories. Our dining and nightlife recommendations take the guesswork out of where to find a great meal or drink while on vacation. You can make your experience here even more spectacular with our valuable deals and coupon savings.

SUMMER | FALL 2019

FORT MYERS BEACH • SANIBEL • CAPTIVA

BEACH BOUND

Unplug, unwind, and play

on brag-worthy beaches

AMP UP THE FUN

Awe-inspiring tours and

activities for the entire family

SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP

Sensational souvenirs

and one-of-a-kind gifts

SAVE

BIG

WITH OUR

COUPONS

INSIDE

Visit MustDo.com


Sanibel Island

SHOPPING DESTINATION

Open Daily with 26 Shops in a Tropical Setting

2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL

2 Miles West of Causeway Road on the Left

www.PeriwinklePlace.com

280


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MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OLD TO PLAY SLOTS AND TABLE GAMES OR TO RECEIVE

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FROM MORE


CONTENTS

SUMMER | FALL 2019

WELCOME 6

MAPS

FORT MYERS, SANIBEL

& CAPTIVA 8

FORT MYERS BEACH 9

EXPLORE MUST DO

BEACHES 10

ACTIVITIES 14

FAMILY FUN 18

TOURS 21

MUST DO COUPON SAVINGS 26

ATTRACTIONS 28

SHOPPING 30

GOLF 34

FESTIVALS & EVENTS 37

DAY TRIPS 39

DINING 44

NIGHTLIFE 48

PHOTOS (THIS PAGE): DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY, MARY CAROL FITZGERALD, NITA ETTINGER

CHECK IT OUT

Florida beaches are home to 80%

of the Loggerhead turtles in the

U.S. From May through October,

there are an estimated 50,000

sea turtles in Florida making it the

most important nesting area in the

United States!

Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is home to

the largest population of Atlantic Bottlenose

dolphins in the world.

An adult West Indian manatee can consume

over 100 pounds of vegetation per day!

The pirate Black Caesar was said to have made

his base on Sanibel Island in the 1700s and is

believed to have buried 26 tons of silver on the

island that has never been recovered.

Fort Myers Beach shrimping fleet is the largest

commercial fishing fleet in the

Gulf of Mexico. Airport security

allows you to carry packed shrimp

and Fort Myers Beach seafood

markets will flash-freeze shrimp

for travel!

4 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Welcome to Fort Myers!

As an avid traveler, I know the great effort that goes

into planning a fulfilling holiday. There are endless

experiences to be had, but narrowing down the

worthwhile activities can be a challenge. Let Must Do

Visitor Guides help you create a fun-filled agenda!

At Must Do Visitor Guides we believe the best

experiences in life are better when shared, and so we

do. Inside this Fort Myers Summer/Fall 2019 issue, you

will find over one hundred well-researched and carefully

curated standout things to do so you can make the most

of your visit. Everything from major attractions to aweinspiring

tours or family activities conveniently arranged

in our Must Do directories. Our dining and nightlife

recommendations take the guesswork out of where to

find a great meal or drink. You can make your experience

here even more spectacular with our valuable deals and

savings.

Our website MustDo.com is loaded with interesting

photos and videos, discount offers from area businesses,

and expanded local information including feature blog

articles. There is always something going on, and our

Events Calendar provides information about recurring

and special community events, exhibits, festivals, and

more. Be sure to follow us or share your experiences

through our social media outlets. I am convinced you

will find this Fort Myers area Must Do visitor guide and

our website invaluable and inspirational resources to fill

your days with fun in the sun.

I hope you have a memorable visit!

Editor in Chief

NITA ETTINGER

CONNECT WITH US

@MustDoVisitorGuides @MustDoVisitorGuides @MustDoFlorida @MustDoVisitorGuides

6 | Must Do Visitor Guides


PUBLISHER

Dave Ettinger

www.MustDo.com

941.400.5377 • dave@mustdo.com

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Nita Ettinger

941.266.0054 • nita@mustdo.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Lauren Ettinger • lauren@mustdo.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Gillian Birch • gillianbirch.com

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Jennifer Brinkman • jenniferbrinkman.smugmug.com

Nita Ettinger

Mary Carol Fitzgerald • marycarolfitzgerald.com

Debi Pittman Wilkey

March: The Olive Shell, Aquamarine,

The Olive shell is a spiral shell characterized

by intense energy; those born to this

shell are courageous, healthy and

perceptive with a bright awareness

and spiritual energy. As imaginative

as they are compassionate, those

born to the Olive are known

as intuitive and kind.

COVER PHOTO

Captured on Sanibel

by Jennifer Brinkman

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Robin McDowall

813.679.8867 • mcdowalldesign@gmail.com

MARKETING DESIGNER

Lisa Grasso

941.545.8096 • lisa@mustdo.com

ADVERTISING INFORMATION

Fort Myers/Fort Myers Beach

Dave Ettinger

941.400.5377 • dave@mustdo.com

Sanibel/Captiva

Veruska Koerner

239.233.4462 • veruska@mustdo.com

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR

Kathryn Kelley

571.239.5526 • kat@mustdo.com

CIRCULATION INFORMATION

circulation@mustdo.com

Pendants and rings available in

Sterling Silver and 14k Gold. Specific to

each month with matching genuine birth gemstones.

Fashion and designer jewelry

Brilliant gemstones and radiant diamonds

Authentic Atocha treasure coins • Estate Jewelery

Our ever popular Sealife by Congress Collections

For publishing and licensing information

contact info@mustdo.com

Siesta Publications Inc. has carefully compiled

the information presented in this guide and

has made every effort to ensure accuracy but

assumes no responsibility for errors, changes,

or omissions.

©2019 SIESTA PUBLICATIONS, INC.

All rights reserved.

PO Box 2673, Sarasota, FL 34230

SEALIFE FASHION DIAMONDS ESTATE

Periwinkle Place Shops • Sanibel Island

239-472-4177 • CongressJewelers.com


MustDo.com | 7


FORT MYERS

S. Cleveland Ave

To N. Fort Myers

i

First St

Palm Beach Blvd

75

i

Visitor

Information

Route to Beaches

Toll Roads

Downtown/

Entertainment District

Park

Beach

To Cape Coral

To Cape Coral

Caloosahatchee

River

McGregor Blvd

College Pkwy

Colonial Blvd

Summerlin Rd

McGregor Blvd

41

41

Fowler St

Fowler St

Hanson St

Metro Pkwy

Veronica S. Shoemaker Blvd

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Winkler Ave

Ben C. Pratt / 6Mile Cypress Pkwy

Ortiz Ave

Six Mile

Cypress Slough

Preserve

Exit 136

Colonial Blvd

75

Treeline Ave

Cypress Lake Dr

Daniels Pkwy

To SW FL INT Airport

S. Tamiami Tr. S. Cleveland Ave

Exit 131

Daniels Pkwy

Gladiolus Dr

Lakes

Regional

Park

6 Mile Cypress Pkwy

75

To Sanibel

& Captiva

Shell Point Blvd

Davis Rd

John Morris Rd

Iona Rd

McGregor Blvd

Summerlin Rd

San Carlos Blvd

Pine Ridge Rd

Summerlin Rd

41

To SW FL INT Airport

Terminal Access Rd

Exit 128

Alico Rd

Ben Griffiths Pkwy

To Fort Myers’ Beaches

Sanibel Causeway

Alison Hagerup

Beach Park

Andy Rosse Ln

Pine Island

Sound

CAPTIVA

Captiva Drive

Turner

Beach

Wulfert Rd

Sanibel Captiva Rd

Bowman’s Beach Rd.

Bowman’s

Beach

SANIBEL

Wildlife Dr

Wildlife Trail

J.N. “Ding” Darling

National Wildlife Refuge

W Gulf Dr

Rabbit Rd

Tarpon

Bay

Sanibel Captiva Rd

Island Inn Rd

To Fort Myers

Tarpon Bay Rd

W Gulf Dr

Dixie Beach Blvd

Algiers

Lane

Casa Ybel Rd

Sand

Castle Rd

i

Periwinkle Way

Middle Gulf Dr

Gulfside

City Park

Tarpon Bay Road

Beach

Sanibel

Causeway

Beaches

Periwinkle Way

E Gulf Dr

Lighthouse

Beach &

Fishing Pier

8 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Bowditch

Beach

Lynn Hall

Memorial Park

Fort Myers

Beach Pier

Times Square

Old San Carlos Blvd

Estero Blvd

i

Bowditch Point

Regional Park

To

Fort Myers

San Carlos Blvd

Captiva Cruises

“The best vacation experience in Southwest Florida.”

Come out to beautiful Captiva Island and join us for an

unforgettable dolphin or sunset cruise.

Main St

Fort Myers

Beach

FORT

MYERS

BEACH

Gulf Beach Rd

Bay Rd

Donora Blvd

Estero Blvd

Estero Blvd

Matanzas

Pass

Preserve

Daily Dolphin Cruises

with naturalist on board

Sunset Cruises

wildlife, sailing, or live music.

Come aboard one of our daily cruises to the “out island”

destinations of Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, Useppa and Boca Grande.

Bayland Rd

Madera Rd

Estero Blvd

Estero

Bay

Cayo Costa State Park

#1 shelling destination

Cabbage Key

“cheeseburger in paradise”

Lenell Rd

Bay Beach Ln

Useppa Island

picturesque island retreat

Boca Grande

quaint shops and restaurants

Dog

Beach

Park

Lover’s Key

State Park

To Barefoot &

Bonita Beaches

Estero Blvd

Captiva Cruises has a fleet of comfortable and well-appointed

Coast Guard-certified vessels available for private island hopping,

catered receptions, family gatherings and cocktail cruises.

CAPTIVA CRUISES

239-472-5300

Book Online

www.captivacruises.com

MustDo.com | 9


Beach Bound

SHUTTERSTOCK

Area beaches are consistently on

national, state, and local “best of” and “top”

lists. The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva offer

some of the best shelling in the world. Grab

some sunscreen, a towel, bucket, bag, or scoop,

and head to the beach!

Visit MustDo.com for additional information

on area beaches.

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

NITA ETTINGER

10 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO BEACHES

Alison Hagerup Beach Park

14790 Captiva Drive, Captiva

Also known as Captiva Beach, this

romantic, wide, and sandy north Captiva

public beach access offers wonderful sunset

views. Recognized as one of the most

romantic beaches in Florida and one of

the top beaches in the United States. Very

limited parking is available at a rate of $4

per hour. Located adjacent to South Seas

Island Resort.

Bowditch Point Park

50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

Beachfront preserve and

restorative area offering panoramic

views with shoreline on the Gulf of

Mexico and Matanzas Pass. Features

benches for taking in the beauty and

serenity of the area, walking trails,

a butterfly garden, BBQ grills, and

shaded picnic areas. Free guided-walks

are offered Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to

11 a.m., and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2:30

p.m., seasonally. Parking is available

at a rate of $2 per hour.

Bowman’s Beach Park

1700 Bowman’s Beach Rd., Sanibel

This popular award-winning

beach offers miles of white sandy beach

to play, relax, or gather shells. It’s a

ten-minute hike from the parking lot

to the beach so bring a beach cart or

wagon if you have a lot of gear or little

ones. No concessions available other

than a vending machine with water

and soda. Follow the marked trail through

the wooded area over the footbridge

and dunes. Parking is available at a rate

of $4 per hour.

Cayo Costa State Park

880 Belcher Road, Boca Grande

The park is one of Florida’s most

underdeveloped islands where visitors

are rewarded with acres of pine forests,

oak-palm hammocks, mangrove swamps,

nature trails, and shady picnic areas.

The island and its nine-miles of beautiful

beaches are ideal for swimming, shelling,

and snorkeling. Bring snacks or a picnic

lunch and something to drink, as there are

no concessions available. Accessible by

private boat or ferry only.

Dog Beach Park

8800 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

Give your dog an off-the-leash

run on the only county-owned beach

where pets are allowed. Doggie shower

and disposal stations are available.

Owners are required to clean up after

their pets. Maximum of two dogs per

person is allowed. A coastal tideland,

therefore the size of the beach varies

on the water level and tide. Parking

is free.

Concessions Dog-Friendly Fishing Parking Restrooms

Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier

112 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

Located on the eastern tip

of Sanibel and wrapping around to the

bay side offering both Gulf of Mexico

and San Carlos Bay views. Historic working

lighthouse, boardwalk, nature trails,

t-dock fishing pier, and an abundance

of small shells makes it a favorite among

visitors and residents alike. Parking is

available at a rate of $4 per hour.

Lovers Key State Park & Beaches

8700 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

Four barrier islands offering

biking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and

shelling in a pristine setting. Manatees,

dolphins, coastal birds, and even bald

eagles are often seen. The two-mile

long beach is accessible by boardwalk

or tram. Kayak, canoe, pedal boat,

stand-up paddleboards, beach

chairs, and umbrella rentals available.

Park entrance admission fee varies

between $2 and $8 depending on

the mode of transport and number

of occupants.

Lynn Hall Memorial Park

950 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

Beachfront park located on

Fort Myers Beach, just north of the foot

of the Matanzas Pass Bridge, next to

Times Square. This 17-acre park

features picnic shelters with grills,

a large playground, vending, and

changing and restroom facilities.

Adjacent pier is great for fishing

complete with bait shop and rod

& reel rentals. Parking is available

at a rate of $2 per hour.

Sanibel Causeway Beaches

19931 Sanibel Causeway Rd., Sanibel

Located just after the

tollbooth on the spoil islands that links

Sanibel Island to the mainland. The

first of the two islands is referred to as

Causeway A; the second Causeway B.

Causeway bisects San Carlos Bay near

the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River

allowing Bay and Gulf access. Grills,

drinking fountains, and picnic tables

are available. Pull your vehicle right up

to the edge of the water. Parking is free.

Turner Beach

17200 Captiva Drive, Captiva

Located on the southern tip

of Captiva right at the “Welcome to

Captiva” sign at Blind Pass Bridge. A

popular spot for shelling and fishing

from the beach or the rock jetty. Use

caution when swimming near the bridge

due to swift currents. Limited parking is

available at a rate of $4 per hour. Blind

Pass Beach is on the Sanibel side of the

Blind Pass Channel.

CHECK IT OUT

PET FRIENDLY BEACHES

Leashed pets are welcome on

Sanibel Island’s beaches providing

you pick up after them. Captiva

Island does not allow pets on

the beach. Dog Beach Park, on

Fort Myers Beach, allows off

leash pets. Please don’t bury

pet waste–children like to dig

in the sand as much as pets!

CHECK IT OUT

SEA TURTLE

NESTING SEASON

From May through August

hundreds of sea turtles lay their

eggs on Fort Myers area beaches.

Hatchlings emerge through

October to make their way to

the water. Please do not approach

or disturb nesting females or

hatchlings. Remember to fill in any

holes dug on the beach, ensuring

they have a clear path to make it

safely to the Gulf waters.

MustDo.com | 11


Beach Scavenger Hunt

ISTOCK IMAGE

NITA ETTINGER

Challenge your kids to find starfish, egg casings, sea glass, sand dollars, coral, and

more while exploring Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva’s white sandy beaches.

They will enjoy exploring the coastal environment and delight in having found

a natural treasure to take home. And, who doesn’t love beach combing? One

important caution: Make sure the shells your kids collect are not live (inhabited).

Aside from the surprise you’ll get back home, it’s illegal to remove living shells

from the beaches. This includes sand dollars, starfish, and sea urchins.

Scavenger Hunt List Suggestions:

Three different kinds of shells.

A feather.

A unique piece of driftwood.

A creature’s home

(crab holes are a good one).

Something swimming

in the water. What is it?

A whole sand dollar.

A starfish.

A piece of seaweed.

A piece of coral.

Three pieces of trash.

A piece of sea glass.

An egg casing.

An animal track in the sand.

What type of animal made

the track?

Count how many waves crash

into shore in one minute.

How many paces wide

is the beach?

Wade into the water. Time

how long it takes for your

feet to dry.

Find something red.

CHECK IT OUT

SUNSET PICNIC

ON THE BEACH

The setting sun, sound of softly

crashing waves, and gently blowing

breezes create a memorable

atmosphere for a fun and romantic

outing. Visit a local grocery to

pick up finger foods or snacks

and something to drink. Pack a

cooler, a blanket or chairs, your

camera, some beach toys for

the kids, and head to the beach

with family or friends. Be sure

to include a flashlight if you

plan to stay after dark.

12 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Sanibel Island –

Top Shelling Destination in the USA

By: Gillian Birch

Visitors to Sanibel Island are constantly

surprised by the exceptional quantity

and variety of seashells that wash up

daily on Sanibel’s sandy coastline.

This is due to the island jutting out

into the Gulf of Mexico on a shallow

underwater plateau. Lying in an

east-west orientation, the island

traps a large number of shells that

are stirred up by tides and waves and

deposited in abundance on Sanibel’s

white sand beaches.

Sanibel’s seashells attract thousands

of shell collectors who can be seen

performing the “Sanibel stoop” as

they comb the waterline in search

of that special seashell. Altogether

more than 400 different varieties of

shells can be found along with sand

dollars, tiny pieces of coral, and starfish.

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

You need to invest in a shell identification chart or book to identify your treasures. Look for periwinkles, whelks,

baby’s ears, slipper shells, spiny jewel boxes, spiky murex, conchs, coquinas, cockles, clams, and the very collectible

alphabet cones where the patterns form certain letters.

Tips for Shelling on Sanibel

Generally the outer islands have the best shells as fewer people visit them. On Sanibel Island the lighthouse

(eastern) end has mainly smaller shells while Captiva Island generally attracts larger ones. Low tide is the best time

to wade out and search for new shells, or search the tideline after stormy weather.

It’s a good idea to wear sandals to avoid treading on sharp shells or stingrays buried in the sand. Take a bucket to

collect your finds and check each

shell is empty before adding it to

your collection.

Seashells can smell if not properly

cleaned. Soak all your shells in

a bucket of 50-50 bleach and

water. Once the flaky covering

(periostracum) has gone, remove

the shells, rinse and let them dry.

File any rough edges if you wish

and give the shells a shine by

wiping them with baby oil.

A stop at the Chamber’s visitor center

for free vacation information is the ideal

way to begin your visit to the Islands.

The friendly and helpful staff is happy to

answer questions and are full of vacation

ideas so you can make your stay a

memorable one.

1159 CAUSEWAY ROAD, SANIBEL ISLAND • 239.472.1080 • SANIBEL-CAPTIVA.ORG

MustDo.com | 13


Recreational Paradise

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

Gulf waters, bays, and estuaries

create a plethora of recreational water

activities and adventures. The action isn’t

all on the water though, Sanibel offers

endless birding opportunities and miles of

bike paths. Whether you choose a leisurely

approach or an adventure packed one, there

are a multitude of activities to enjoy.

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

14 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Expires 12/31/19 Expires 12/31/19

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MustDo.com 15


MUST DO ACTIVITIES

Coupon

Offering Family Fun Since 1991

Dolphin Adventure Tours • Parasailing

Kayak Rentals & Tours

Waverunner Rentals • Boat Rentals

Sailboats • Sunset Cruise

Stand-Up Paddle Board Rentals & Tours

Beach Chairs & Umbrellas

Private Tours• Fishing Charters

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#holidaywatersports

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3 Fort Myers Beach & 1 Sanibel location ...

Best Western Plus Beach Resort • 684 Estero Blvd. 239-463-6778

Diamond Head Beach Resort • 2000 Estero Blvd. 239-765-2252

Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina • 275 Estero Blvd. 239-765-4386

Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa • 17260 Harbour Pointe Dr. 239-220-2106

SEE OUR COUPONS INSIDE THIS ISSUE

USCG Licensed Captains

Shuttle Boat Service

Photo Packages

Fly Single, Double or Triple

844-359-7272 • EsteroIslandParasail.com

16 | Must Do Visitor Guides

FLY WITH

US TODAY!

5 Pick-Up Locations on Fort Myers Beach

Pink Shell • Best Western • Diamond Head

Sandpiper • Wyndham

Follow Us

@esteroislandparasail

Estero Island Cottage Museum &

Matanzas Pass Preserve

161 Bay Road, Fort Myers Beach

239.463.0435 • EsteroIslandHistoricSociety.org

The Cottage Museum houses a great

collection of photographs, memorabilia, and

artifacts of life on Fort Myers Beach. Matanzas

Pass Preserve features 1.25 miles of trails

and extended boardwalks, and a paddlecraft

landing that’s part of the Great Calusa

Blueway Paddling Trail. Museum hours vary,

see website for details. Preserve open daily

7 a.m. to dusk.

Estero Island Parasail

5 Fort Myers Beach Locations

844.359.7272 • EsteroIslandParasail.com

Soar above the Gulf on an exhilarating

parasailing adventure giving you an incredible

panoramic view of Fort Myers Beach and

Sanibel. From gentle lift-off to soft touch

down, their experienced U.S.C.G. captains

ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. Up

to three passengers can ride in the parasail

together. No experience required. Photo

packages are available for lasting memories.

Reservations are recommended.

Finnimore’s Bike & Beach Rentals

2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.5577 • Finnimores.com

A variety of bikes and accessories for all ages

including kid’s trail-a-bike, jogger strollers,

surreys, and tandem bicycles.

Rent by the hour, day, or month. Rental

includes free helmet, lock, child seat,

bottle of water, and island trail map.

Also offers beach gear including paddle

boards, kayaks, boogie and skim boards,

beach chairs, umbrellas, and carts.

Fort Myers Beach rentals also available.

Holiday Water Sports

3 Fort Myers Beach & 1 Sanibel Location

HolidayWaterSportsFMB.com

Spectacular WaveRunner guided

dolphin adventure tours. Also offers

hourly and half-hour rentals on WaveRunners,

kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, aqua cycles,

and Hobie Cat sailboats. WaveRunners

accommodate single, double, and triple

riders. Instructions and life vests included in all

rentals. Parasailing, beach chair, and umbrella

service available. See ad at the bottom of this

page for locations and phone.

Lagerhead Cycleboats

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.312.3137 • LagerheadCycleboats.com

Pedal at your own pace while your captain

navigates the boat on this fun 90-minute

pedal power cruise that includes a stop at

a bar/restaurant. Families and children are

welcome. Bring your own snacks and beverages

for the onboard cooler. Features a canopy

cover for sun protection and back-up engine

power. Custom private parties are also

available. Departs from Salty Sam’s Marina.


Pure Florida Sunset Cruises

2360 W. 1st Street, Fort Myers

239.919.2965 • PureFL.com

Watch a spectacular sunset over the

Caloosahatchee River on a 90-minute

eco and history river cruise. Coast Guard

certified captains provide interesting

narration while passengers enjoy views of

Edison & Ford Winter Estates, downtown

Fort Myers, river islands, bird rookeries,

and mangroves. Reservations are

recommended. Online booking and private

charters are available. Departs from The

Marina at Edison Ford.

Salty Sam’s Boat Rentals

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.463.7333 • SaltySamsMarina.com

Rent your own pontoon boat, center

console or bow rider powerboat, or kayak

and experience the area by water. Go

sightseeing, fishing, or exploring. Boats can

accommodate up to 20 passengers and are

equipped with everything you need to enjoy

a great day on the water. Half day, full day,

or weekly boat rentals and half or full day

single and double kayak rentals available.

Reservations are required.

Sanibel Carts

239.500.2278 • Sanibel-Carts.com

Door-to-door delivery of 4-seater and

6-seater street legal electric carts equipped

with seat belts, turn signals, mirrors, and

other safety features. A golf cart rental

can be a fun and easy way to travel around

Sanibel Island. Head to the beach, go

shopping, out to dinner, and explore the

Islands’ many hideaways. It’s a surefire way

to add a lot of fun and freedom to your visit.

Sunset, Shelling & Sailing Cruises

11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva

239.472.5300 • CaptivaCruises.com

Explore and collect shells on a half or

full day beach and shelling cruise to

pristine Cayo Costa State Park. Enjoy a

serene sailing Catamaran cruise or watch a

spectacular Gulf of Mexico sunset aboard a

relaxing sunset cruise to view dolphins and

other Florida wildlife. Full-bar and live music

on select cruises. Additional cruise options

available. See website for departure times

and reservations.

YOLO Watersports

11534 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva

239.472.9656 • YOLOWatersports.com

Offers exhilarating WaveRunner excursions,

flyboarding, and parasailing above Gulf

waters, or banana boat rides. Rentals

include everything you need for a day

of fun in the sun: bikes, beach chairs and

umbrellas, golf carts, SUPs, motor scooters,

sailboats, and WaveRunners. The retail

store carries GoPro cameras, sandals,

skateboards, hats, sunglasses, watches,

and more.

Tours Leaving Daily

Salty Sam’s Marina, 2500 Main St., Fort Myers Beach

239-312-3137 | www.LagerheadCycleboats.com

$5.00

OFF

Per Person

Use Promo Code MUSTDO

The Most Fun Way to Travel Around Sanibel Island • sanibel-carts.com • 239.500.CART

MustDo.com | 17

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD


Unforgettable Family Fun

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

Happy kids make for great vacations.

Families can enjoy spending time together

exploring and learning about the area’s oneof-a-kind

wildlife, sea life, rich history, and

numerous educational and entertainment

activities. When you need a break from the

sun and sand, an afternoon at a museum

or science center can provide a welcome

indoor break.

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

NITA ETTINGER

18 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO FAMILY FUN

Coupon

Dolphin Watch & Wildlife Adventure Cruise

11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva

239.472.5300 • CaptivaCruises.com

This very family-friendly 90-minute

Dolphin and Wildlife Adventure Cruise

is perfect for kids begging to see some

dolphins (dolphins are spotted on 95%

of cruises). Knowledgeable docents

from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation

Foundation narrate this fascinating

cruise offering excellent wildlife sighting

opportunities. Boat offers covered and

open deck viewing. Tours are offered

most afternoons.

GameTime

10037 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers

239.204.5964 • GameTimePlayers.com

A 22,000 square-foot entertainment

center, restaurant, and sports bar offering

fun entertainment for the entire family.

Enjoy 120 games, simulators, and mini

bowling in the state-of-the art arcade.

Features a full-liquor bar, 65+ HDTVs, kid’s

menu, burgers, wings, and other snacks.

Great spot for private parties and events.

Located in Gulf Coast Town Center. Open

daily, see website for hours.

Good Time Charters

4765 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.218.8014 • GoodTimeCharters.com

Offers a wide variety of fishing, shelling,

sunset, and wildlife eco-tours. Encounter

and learn about native marine and wildlife on

a dolphin, shelling or sunset cruise, kayak in

tranquil Estero Bay, or head out with Captain

Mike to reel in some fresh Florida snapper,

redfish, and trout. Custom private charters

are also available. Departs from Snook Bight

Marina. Reservations are recommended.

Holiday Water Sports

3 Fort Myers Beach & 1 Sanibel Location

HolidayWaterSportsFMB.com

The entire family will enjoy the 90-minute

guided Dolphin Adventure Tour on

WaveRunners. Also offers memorable

and exciting guided kayak or SUP tours

through the mangrove canopy near Sanibel.

Beginners and children are welcome.

Fully-equipped rental boats are available

for self-guided tours of the area. See ad on

page 16 for locations and phone.

IMAG History and Science Center

2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers

239.243.0043 • TheIMAG.org

Explore over 60 interactive science

and history exhibits. Discover Fort

Myers history through a virtual reality

tour and learn how Fort Myers got its

name. Mini-scientists of all ages can

engineer an invention in the Idea Lab,

dig up a dinosaur, safely run through a

thunderstorm, star in your own weather

forecast, touch a stingray, watch a 3D

movie, and more. Closed Monday.

FORT MYERS BEACH RENTALS CALL 239-728-7564. FREE DELIVERY!

12/31/19. Limit 6.

MustDo.com | 19


MUST DO FAMILY FUN

Coupon

20 | Must Do Visitor Guides

28

Island Cinema

535 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel

239.472.1701 • IslandCinema.com

When you need a break from the sun

or uncooperative weather, Island

Cinema’s two-screen movie theater

offers high-quality family entertainment.

Enjoy first-run movies with state of the

art digital projection and audio in a

comfortable atmosphere. Avoid the line

with advanced VIP reserved seating. Box

office opens 30 minutes prior to first show

time. See website for movie information

and show times.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples

239.262.5409 • NaplesZoo.org

Discover a wildly fun day from apes

to zebras in the tropical jungle of this

historic botanical garden. Hand-feed

giraffes and see the endangered Florida

panther. Get close to tigers, bears, and

more at glass walls. Enjoy feature shows,

alligator feedings, and cruise past

islands of monkeys. Voted “Best Place

to Take Kids.” Open daily from 9 a.m.

to 5 p.m.

Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.765.7272 • FloridaPirateCruise.com

Set sail aboard a 65’ replica Spanish galleon

for entertaining, interactive, and friendly

pirate fun that the entire family will enjoy.

Ninety-minute pirate show includes pirate

games, face painting, buried treasure, and

more. Snacks and beverages available for

purchase. Private parties and special events

welcome. Boat is handicap accessible.

Reservations are recommended. Located at

Salty Sam’s Marina.

Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf

17450 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.466.5855 • SmugglersGolf.com

Play 18 holes of fun, adventurous, and

challenging mini-golf in a lush tropical

setting amid waterfalls, caves, pirate ships,

and live alligators. For an extra bit of fun,

kids can feed alligators using a fishing

pole. Enjoy a snack, soda, water, beer, or

wine before or after you play. Group and

birthday party packages are available.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sun-N-Fun Lagoon

15000 Livingston Road, Naples

239.252.4021 • NaplesWaterPark.com

Enjoy 1 million gallons of water fun located

inside the North Collier Regional Park. The

variety of water features will keep the kids

busy for hours. Amenities include water

slides, water pistons, Sunny’s River, four

pools, plus a tadpole pool for the little

ones. Concessions and lockers available.

Operating hours vary; check website or

call for details.


Adventure Awaits

SHUTTERSTOCK

You’ll want to take advantage

of the multitude of tour options in the area.

Top tours include guided trips to secluded

beaches, swampy areas to see alligators,

spectacular sunset cruises, educational

birding tours, and historian led tours of

significant buildings. Whether you choose

a private or group setting an exciting tour

of the area should be on every visitor’s Fort

Myers vacation agenda.

NITA ETTINGER

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

MustDo.com | 21


MUST DO TOURS

Coupon

Botanical Garden Tours

SANIBEL’S ONLY BOTANICAL GARDENS ∙ BUTTERFLY GARDEN

Please Join Us Wednesdays at 9AM for Guided Tours!

$5.00 PLUS TAX ∙ RSVP REQUIRED ∙ 239-472-4119

We welcome you to take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy six acres

of magical native and non-invasive tropical species, as well as resident

wildlife, all woven around a beautiful beach-side resort.

239-472-4119 | 800-237-5144 | sanibelmoorings.com

845 East Gulf Drive | Sanibel Island, Florida 33957

Experience

SeaRaceR

Explore the coastline in search of dolphins

while you experience the thrill of being

aboard the newest and largest Speed Boat

on the beach. Book your tickets online today!

www.searacerfortmyers.com • 239.314.5304

2500 Main Street • Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

22 | Must Do Visitor Guides

Backwater Adventure

19001 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.877.4531 • BackwaterAdventure.com

Explore the waters of Estero Bay and Lovers

Key on a 2-person power catamaran. Boats are

safe, smooth riding, fun, and easy to operate.

This 2 ½ -hour guided eco-tour adventure is

a one of a kind experience. See native birds,

dolphins, and other wildlife. Tour includes a

stop for swimming and shelling. Reservations

are required. Departs from Lovers Key and

Fort Myers Beach.

Captiva Cruises

11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva

239.472.5300 • CaptivaCruises.com

Offering scenic narrated cruises to the

islands of Cabbage Key, Useppa, Boca Grande,

and Cayo Costa State Park for over 30 years.

Captiva Cruises’ crew share their in-depth

knowledge and passion for the area as you

cruise through Pine Island Sound taking in the

fresh sea air and abundant wildlife. Cruises

depart from McCarthy’s Marina and South

Seas Island Resort. Reservations are required.

Manatee & Eco River Tours

16991 State Road 31, Fort Myers

239.693.1434 • ManateeAndEcoRiverTours.com

Experience the Caloosahatchee River on

a Master Naturalist narrated sunset, eco-river,

or seasonal manatee tour aboard the M/V

River Queen, a 42 passenger 40’ covered

pontoon boat. See a magnificent sunset, a

manatee in the wild, tropical plants, birds,

alligators, fish, and other wildlife. Visit

website for tour schedule and availability.

Reservations are required. Departs from

Sweetwater Landing Marina.

Orange Jeep Tours

5076 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria

239.434.5337 • OrangeJeepTours.com

Offers a variety of distinctly different

90-minute narrated off-road tours through

wetlands and uplands. Learn local history

with an opportunity to see native Southwest

Florida wildlife including alligator, deer, bear,

and birds on a wildlife, sunrise, or sunset

eco-adventure tour. Each custom-outfitted,

open-air Jeep accommodates up to six

passengers. Engaging, intimate, and fun for

the entire family. No tours June - September.

Reservations are recommended.

Pure Florida Eco Sightseeing Cruises

2360 W. 1st Street, Fort Myers

239.919.2965 • PureFL.com

Explore Fort Myers with a 90-minute cruise

along the Caloosahatchee River. Enjoy views

of Edison & Ford Winter Estates, downtown

Fort Myers, river islands, bird rookeries, and

mangroves. Coast Guard certified captains

provide interesting narration on each eco and

history sightseeing river cruise. Reservations

are recommended. Online booking and

private charters are available. Departs from

The Marina at Edison Ford.


Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens

845 East Gulf Drive, Sanibel

239.472.4119 • SanibelMoorings.com

Explore Sanibel Moorings Resort’s six lush

tropical acres brimming with collections of

bamboo, hibiscus, orchids, palms, citrus,

and other native Florida plants. Informative

horticulturist led 90-minute tours are offered

each Wednesday at 9 a.m. for non-resort

guests, and at 11 a.m. for resort guests

excluding holidays and holiday weekends.

No tours September - October. Reservations

are required. Private tours are also available.

Sanibel Thriller

634 N. Yachtsman Drive, Sanibel

239.472.2328 • SanibelThriller.com

Billed as the area’s “most exciting boat

tour,” the Sanibel Thriller is part sightseeing

tour, part historical tour, and a lot of dolphin

watching. The captain circumnavigates

Sanibel and Captiva Islands, spotting dolphin

and other wildlife along the way. You’ll learn

about Sanibel and Captiva Island history as

well as information about Florida’s dolphins.

Arrive early to score seats in the back for

best viewing.

Sea Racer Tours

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.314.5304 • SeaRacerFortMyers.com

Explore the coastline of Fort Myers

Beach and Sanibel Island in search of

dolphins and more aboard Sea Racer:

a 128-passenger, USCG certified, speedboat

that reaches speeds up to 35 miles per

hour. This one-hour thrill ride is fun for all

ages. Private charters are also available.

Reservations are recommended. Tours

depart from Salty Sam’s Marina, see website

for schedule.

Sight Sea-R Cruises

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.765.7272 • SightSeaFlorida.com

Offers memorable cruises and tours aboard

a spacious and comfortable 51’ catamaran. A

variety of trips to choose from including island

excursions to secluded beaches accessible

only by boat, sightseeing, shelling, and dolphin

and wildlife eco-tours. Boat accommodates

up to 50 passengers and features a full bar and

restrooms. Reservations are recommended.

Private charters are also available. Tours depart

from Salty Sam’s Marina.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery

131 SW 3rd Place, Cape Coral

239.242.5244 • WickedDolphinRum.com

Free distillery tours and tastings of awardwinning

Wicked Dolphin Rum where you’ll learn

how they cook, ferment, and distill their reserve

and signature rums. All Wicked Dolphin rums are

made from natural, locally sourced ingredients.

Family owned and operated, tours are offered

seasonally and fill up fast–see website for details

and reservations. Private and group tours are

also offered.

cruise along The River

Eco River Tours

Join us as we cruise along the Caloosahatchee

river of southwest Florida on the M/V River

Queen. Learn from Florida Master Naturalists

about the history of the area, as well as the

diverse flora and fauna. From March to

December we offer river tours, sunset tours,

escape room on the water, eco bingo tours

and will even host private events.

Book online at: manateeandecorivertours.com

Sanibel And Captiva Island's Most Exciting Boat Tour

You will cruise the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound,

circumnavigating the shores of both Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

During the narrated tour and dolphin watch you will be amazed to see

that even the dolphins are thrilled with the Sanibel Thriller.

The Sanibel Thriller also offers the boat as a private charter....

It will be a THRILL!

Call for departure times

(239) 472-2328

www.sanibelthriller.com

Reservations are Required.

Departs from Sanibel Marina, home of Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon.

239-693-1434

Sweetwater Landing Marina

16991 State Rd. 31, Ft. Myers

MustDo.com | 23


NOW – JUN 15

JUN 20 – AUG 10

THE MUSICAL

AUG 22 – SEP 28 OCT 3 – NOV 16 NOV 21 – DEC 25

DEC 29 – FEB 8

1380 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers

239.278.4422 • BroadwayPalm.com

24 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Florida

Sunshine Survival Tips

There’s a reason why Florida is known as the “Sunshine

State”. This subtropical state has year-round sunshine making

it gorgeous for a vacation, but it can catch visitors unawares

if they are not taking some precautions. Dehydration, heat

exhaustion, sunburn, and sunstroke can spoil your vacation,

yet they are very easy to avoid by following our Florida

Sunshine Survival Tips.

Wear Cool Loose Clothing The best way

to stay cool is by wearing clothing that is loose fitting

and preferably made of cotton or natural fabrics. Loose

dresses, shirts, tops, and shorts are preferable to jeans and

tight-fitting clothing if you are to stay looking and feeling

cool and comfortable. Swap shoes and sneakers for open

sandals. If you still feel hot and sweaty, use a handheld

fan. When the body sweats it loses fluid, salt, and minerals.

Water depletion can cause a dry mouth, headaches, and fainting while symptoms of salt depletion include muscle spasms,

cramps, and vomiting.

Don’t Overdo the Sunshine Heat stroke technically occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches

105°F or above. It can cause nausea, confusion, disorientation, seizures, fainting, cramps, and shallow breathing as the

body struggles to cool itself. Anyone showing these symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency. Remove

any unnecessary clothing, cool the body by bathing with a cool wash cloth or put them in a cool air-conditioned room

and seek medical advice. Give the sufferer plenty of cool drinks of water and monitor their symptoms carefully.

Lather up with SPF Sunscreen Frequently Most Florida visitors diligently apply sunscreen

first thing in the morning when they hit the beach. However, sunscreen does not last all day. The Sun Protection Factor

(SPF) indicates how much longer you can stay in the sun so SPF 15 means that a person who burns in 5 minutes is

theoretically protected for 75 minutes. However, it is recommended that you reapply sun lotion every two hours and

after you have been in the pool or sea. Sunscreen does not just prevent your skin from burning; it also screens out harmful

ultra violet rays that can cause skin cancer. UVA rays cause wrinkles and premature aging, while UVB rays burn the skin, so

choose a good quality sunscreen that keeps them both at bay.

Drink Plenty of Water Keeping your fluid intake high to counter the heat is important, however, drinking

beer or alcoholic drinks can actually leave you more dehydrated than ever. If you drink a glass of beer your body will actually

expel three times that amount leaving you dangerously dehydrated. The more alcohol you drink, the more dehydrated

you will become as alcohol affects the body’s fluid levels. Eating salty snacks is another way to cause the body to lose fluid

from its cells, and sugar-high sodas and sports drinks create a similar problem. You need to drink pure water throughout

the day to counter dehydration, and avoid sweet or alcoholic drinks until the cooler evening. A tip for measuring whether

you are drinking enough is to check you are visiting the bathroom as frequently as usual.

SHUTTERSTOCK

We want you to enjoy every minute of your vacation in southwest Florida, so make sure you pay attention to these sunshine

survival tips and stay cool and healthy!

MustDo.com | 25


COUPON

SAVINGS

VISIT US ONLINE FOR ADDITIONAL COUPONS

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$1.00 or $2.50 Off

Present this coupon to receive $1.00 off

Dolphin or Sunset Cruise or $2.50 off

Cabbage Key, Useppa, Boca Grande or

Cayo Costa. Valid for adult passengers only.

Not valid with any other offer, excludes holidays.

Must mention at time of reservation.

Code MD1-MD2 Expires 7/31/20

239.472.5300 • 11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Ice Cream

Present this coupon to receive buy one,

get one free ice cream.

Limit one coupon per visit. Code MD

Expires 11/30/19

800.743.1480 • 14601 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$10.00 Off Parasailing

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Water Sport Activity

Present this coupon to receive $10.00 off a

tandem magnum parasailing flight for two

people.

Not valid with any other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive $5.00 off

any water sport activity.

Not valid on parasailing. Not valid with any other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

844.359.7272 • Five Pick-Up Locations on Fort Myers Beach

Best Western Plus • DiamondHead • Pink Shell • Sanibel Harbour

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Admission

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Fare

Present this coupon to receive $5.00 off

regular admission for party of 3 or more.

Limit one coupon per party. Not valid with any other

offer. Code MD19

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive $5.00 off

each full fare round trip adult ticket.

Must present coupon at ticketing. Not valid with any

other offer. Code MDF

Expires 7/31/20

239.243.0043 • 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers

888.887.9359 • Fort Myers Beach • Key West • Marco Island

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Boat Tour

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Up to $1.50 Off Admission

Receive $5.00 off boat tour per person

when booking online with discount code.

Not valid with any other offer.

Online discount code MUSTDO

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive $1.50 off

adult admission and $1.00 off child

admission.

Valid for up to 6 persons. Not valid with any other offer

or online tickets. Code MSTDO-19FM

Expires 12/31/19

239.312.3137 • 2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.262.5409 • 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Tour

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$20.00 Off Group Fare

Present this coupon to receive $5.00 off per

person on a narrated Orange Jeep Tour.

Not valid with any other offer. Closed June-September.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive $20.00 off a

90 minute Eco-Boat Tour or 3 hour Sunset

Tour group fare.

Reservations required. Not valid with any other offer.

Code MDFM

Expires 7/31/20

239.434.5337 • 5076 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria

239.642.8818 • 525 Newport Drive, Naples


COUPON

SAVINGS

VISIT US ONLINE FOR ADDITIONAL COUPONS

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Boater’s Key Chain

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Boater’s Key Chain

Present this coupon to receive a free

boater’s key chain.

Limit one key chain per customer, per coupon.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive a free

boater’s key chain.

Limit one key chain per customer, per coupon.

Expires 7/31/20

239.463.5505 • 1249 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.233.8837 • 714 Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort Myers Beach

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Boater’s Key Chain

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

10% Off Breakfast

Present this coupon to receive a free

boater’s key chain.

Limit one key chain per customer, per coupon.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive 10% off

breakfast between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

18% gratuity added prior to discount. Not valid with

any other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

5400 Plantation Rd., Captiva • 708 Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort Myers Beach • 2500 Island Inn Rd., Sanibel

239.472.0606 • 2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$10.00 Off

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Ice Cream Topping

Present this coupon to receive $10.00 off

purchase of $50.00 or more.

Limit one coupon per table. Not valid with any

other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive one free

topping.

Offer valid with purchase of medium or large bowl,

regular or deluxe waffle cone.

Expires 7/31/20

239.463.8077 • 1131 1st Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.472.6566 • 362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Beverage

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

$5.00 Off Dinner

Present this coupon to receive a free

beverage with any purchase.

Limit one coupon per person, per day. Valid for a cup

of Sanibel Select coffee or any soda, water, juice,

or lemonade.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive $5.00 off

dinner with purchase of $30.00 or more.

Not valid with any other offer or Early Bird Specials.

Expires 7/31/20

239.472.2201 • 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.463.7770 • 7205 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

10% Off Purchase

MUST DO VISITOR GUIDES

Free Aloe Lotion

Present this coupon to receive 10% off

entire purchase. Free gift wrap with

purchase.

Not valid with any other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

Present this coupon to receive free aloe

lotion with minimum purchase of $50.00.

Not valid with any other offer.

Expires 7/31/20

239.472.7860 • 630 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel

239.466.1580 • 20350 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers


Awesome Attractions

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

Once you’ve scoured the beaches and

collected enough shells to fill a suitcase, it’s

time to experience the area’s other attractions.

Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers, and Fort Myers

Beach offer a combination of natural paradise,

unique history, and a diverse array of culture and

arts providing hours of fun and entertainment

for the entire family.

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

NITA ETTINGER

28 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO ATTRACTIONS

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel

888.679.6450 • ShellMuseum.org

More than 30 exhibits devoted to shell

habitat, history, common Southwest Florida

shells, rare specimens, fossil shells, and

more. Offers in-depth information on local

shelling and identification, a hands-on play

area for kids, displays, games, a tank with

indigenous mollusks, and educational

and fun daily programs. Open daily from

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving.

Open Noon to 4 p.m. other major holidays.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers

239.278.4422 • BroadwayPalm.com

Experience dazzling Broadway musicals and

an award-winning buffet. The 27th Season

includes Once, Finding Neverland, Sounds

of Christmas, Grumpy Old Men, Kinky Boots,

Something Rotten, Swing, and The Sound

of Music. They also feature four children’s

theater productions each year,an annual

concert series, and a smaller venue: The Off

Broadway Palm, which presents comedies

year-round. See website for full schedule.

C.R.O.W.

3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel

239.472.3644 • CROWClinic.org

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

is a unique visitor education center and one

of the nation’s leading wildlife hospitals.

Features interactive exhibits, videos,

“critter cams”, daily presentations with

animal ambassadors, and weekly wildlife

walks including behind-the-scenes tours

of the hospital and campus. Special events

throughout the year. Closed Sunday.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers

239.334.7419 • EdisonFordWinterEstates.org

Visitors can enjoy 20 acres of historical

buildings and gardens including Edison’s

Botanic Lab and the Museum. The 1929

historic landscape is evident throughout

the property, and the Museum has an

impressive collection of inventions,

artifacts, archive and special exhibits.

Also features a gift shop and cafe. Offers

a wide range of tour options. Open daily

from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel

239.472.1100 • DingDarlingSociety.org

Part of the largest undeveloped

ecosystem in the U.S., this 6,400-acre

wildlife refuge is home to more than 220

species of birds. The five-mile Wildlife

Drive, tours, trails, fishing, kayaking, and

bicycling provide excellent opportunities

for visitors and residents to experience

and enjoy the area. Education Center

features interactive exhibits and a

hands-on area for children.

Coupon

The Mound House

451 Connecticut Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.765.0865 • MoundHouse.org

Built in 1921, Mound House is the oldest

standing structure on Estero Island and

sits atop an ancient Calusa Indian Shell

Mound directly on Estero Bay. Learn about

Florida prehistory, Calusa Indians, and early

pioneer settlements through educational

programs, botanical, and archeological

tours. See website for special events. Open

from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday,

and Saturday.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples

239.262.5409 • NaplesZoo.org

Experience a wildly fun day at this

historic tropical oasis where you’re

only steps away from many exotic and

endangered animals. Hand-feed giraffes,

observe alligator feedings, and take a

narrated cruise past islands of monkeys,

lemurs, and apes. Meet the zookeepers

and enjoy numerous wildlife shows,

presentations, and exhibits including the

new endangered Florida panther exhibit.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sanibel Historical Museum & Village

950 Dunlop Road, Sanibel

239.472.4648 • SanibelMuseum.org

Follow the footsteps of Sanibel Island

pioneers, from Calusa and Spanish eras

to early islanders. Docents bring to life

Sanibel’s early families who homesteaded

the island with tales of warriors, fishermen,

farmers, and proprietors. The Historical

Village is handicap accessible. Operating

hours vary, see website for details.

Seminole Casino Hotel

South 1st Street, Immokalee

800.218.0007 • MoreInParadise.com

With over 1,300 slot machines and tons

of high paying table games, there’s

plenty to do and lots to win. Try your

luck at Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker,

Mini-Baccarat, or catch a game in the

award-winning poker room. Several

dining options, live entertainment,

concerts, and special events throughout

the year. Just like Vegas, Seminole

Casino is open 24/7.

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

2301 First Street, Fort Myers

239.333.1933 • SBDAC.com

Immerse yourself in the arts with concerts

by internationally renowned musicians

and theater performances by exciting

young companies, from unique special

events to eclectic education classes,

to monthly art shows. See website for

complete schedule of performances and

events. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday through Friday except special

events at the Art Center.

CHECK IT OUT

TAG US IN YOUR PHOTOS

Be sure to post and share

photos of your vacation using

#MustDoFlorida and #MustDoFL.

We encourage you to search those

hashtags to see all of the fun

vacation memories happening

in Southwest Florida!

Connect With Us

MustDo.com | 29

NITA ETTINGER


Shopping Destinations

NITA ETTINGER

You may have come for the sun and sand,

but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little shopping

while you’re here. Why not treat yourself, then pick-up

something for your friends or relatives at home? The

perfect souvenir is out there waiting for you.

NITA ETTINGER

NITA ETTINGER

30 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO SHOPPING

Coupon

Congress Jewelers

2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.4177 • CongressJewelers.com

This third generation, family-owned jewelry

store features a beautiful selection of

exquisite fine jewelry including diamonds,

gemstones, watches, and Sealife by

Congress, an island inspired designer

collection handcrafted on Sanibel and

available in sterling silver and 14k gold. Offers

jewelry repair, estate jewelry, and appraisals.

Located in Periwinkle Place shopping plaza.

Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through

Saturday, Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.

The Goodz

1741 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.765.8900 • GoodzFMB.com

Combination hardware/general store and ice

cream shop features everything you need for a

day at the beach. A vast selection of souvenir

and gift items, fun floating water toys, hats,

T-shirts, sunglasses, jewelry, fishing equipment

and bait, snacks, candy, and 34 flavors of Love

Boat homemade ice cream. Open Monday

through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.,

Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Islander Gift Gallery & Boutique

7205 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.765.8808

This gift gallery and clothing boutique offers

a fantastic selection of tropical treasures,

home décor, artwork, candles, gift items,

and affordably priced fashionable women’s

jewelry and apparel. Their knowledgeable

and courteous staff will assist you in selecting

items tailored to your personal taste. Located

in Santini Marina Plaza. Open daily from

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Miromar Outlets

10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero

239.948.3766 • MiromarOutlets.com

More than 140 top designer and brand

name outlet shops offering up to 70%

off retail prices including Michael Kors,

Nike, Banana Republic, J.Crew, Coach,

Columbia, and many others. Features

covered walkways. Open Monday through

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. See website for holiday

hours, events, and sales.

Nanny’s Children’s Shoppe

1700 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.395.1730 • NannysChildrensShoppe.com

This fashionable children’s boutique

will delight little fashion lovers and their

parents alike. Offers a large selection

of unique, classic, and trendy brand name

boys and girls apparel and accessories

sizes infants to 14. Swimwear, books,

and cuddly toys are also available. Open

Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m.

to 7 p.m., Sunday Noon to 6 p.m.

NITA ETTINGER

Fresh Citrus • Freshly Squeezed Juice • Unique Gifts

FREE

Samples

Located

Inside!

#SunHarvestCitrus

Unique

Gifts

Citrus

To Go

Six Mile Cypress and Metro Pkwy

14601 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Ft Myers

Monday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

800-743-1480 • SunHarvestCitrus.com

Buy One, Get One

FREE

Ice

Cream

with this coupon

Take this coupon to

Sun Harvest Citrus and

try one of our soft serve

cones (Orange, Vanilla,

Chocolate or Key lime)

Valid through November 30, 2019.

Promo Code “MD”

MustDo.com | 31


MUST DO SHOPPING

Coupon

NITA ETTINGER

Our Swimsuit Specialists Will Find

The Perfect Suit For Your Body

Swimwear

Beach House, Body Glove, Kenneth Cole,

Hobie, Maaji, Michael Kors, Seafolly

Sun Protective Clothing

Coolibar, Cabana Life

Surf Wear

Billabong, Hurley, O’Neill, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Roxy

Menswear

Patagonia, Tommy Bahama, Nike, Hook & Tackle, 7 Diamonds

Sandals

Ipanema, Reef, Sanuk, Speedo

Accessories

Corkcicle, Pura Vida, Sun Bum, 4Ocean

Sanibel Outlets

20350 Summerlin Road | Ft Myers, FL 33908

239.466.1580

280

SwimMart.com

32 | Must Do Visitor Guides

Palmetto’s Apparel

7205 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.463.1515 • PalmettosApparel.com

Shop a variety of men’s and women’s

apparel, shoes, jewelry, and accessories

at this boutique with an emphasis on

quality, selection, and service. Notable

brands include Brighton, Joseph Ribkoff,

Tommy Bahama, Tori Richards, and Hook

& Tackle. Their knowledgeable and

courteous staff will assist you in selecting

items tailored to your personal taste.

Located in Santini Marina Plaza. Open daily.

Periwinkle Place

2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

PeriwinklePlace.com

Sanibel’s largest shopping center set amidst

a lush tropical setting of shady Banyan trees,

covered walkways, and soothing water

features. A unique array of shops offering

souvenirs, toys, jewelry, gifts, and apparel

including beach and swimwear. Take a break

from shopping to enjoy a meal at Blue Giraffe

restaurant or pamper yourself with a spa

treatment. Also features a children’s play

area and butterfly garden. Open daily, see

website for individual store hours.

Suncatcher’s Dream

630 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel

239.472.7860 • SuncatchersDream.com

Offers a beautiful and unique selection

of affordable gifts handcrafted by artists

from Sanibel and across the country. You’ll

find a wide variety of home décor, exclusive

jewelry and gift items, kitchen accessories,

tiles, candles, spinners, suncatchers, cards,

and more. Gift-wrap included with purchase.

Located in the Olde Sanibel Shoppes. Open

daily at 8:30 a.m.

Sun Harvest Citrus

14601 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Fort Myers

800.743.1480 • SunHarvestCitrus.com

Offering the finest Florida Indian River

citrus, fresh squeezed juice, gourmet

foods, baked goods, ice cream, gifts,

and premium fruit wines. Enjoy sweet,

juicy in-season oranges, grapefruit,

tangerines, and tangelos. Free samples

in store. Available for takeout or shipping

throughout the U.S. and Canada. United

States Postal Service located inside.

Swim Mart

20350 Summerlin Rd. #3165, Fort Myers

239.466.1580 • SwimMart.com

Offers the region’s largest selection

of designer swimwear and resort wear for

the entire family. The perfect suit for every

body including special needs: maternity,

mastectomy, long torso, and plus sizes. Name

brands including Gottex, Miraclesuit, and

Sunsets. Men’s, women’s, and children’s Reef,

Sanuk, and Cobian footwear and sandals.

Located at Sanibel Outlets. Open daily; see

website for hours.


NITA ETTINGER

Sanibel’s

Best

Gift Shop!

Suncatchers’ Dream

Suncatchers’ Dream is Sanibel Island’s

most colorful and unique emporium for gifts,

jewelry, cards and home décor. Chocked full

of the most amazing glass, ceramics, cards,

jewelry, chimes, books, souvenirs, ornaments,

suncatchers and so much more.

®

®

630 Tarpon Bay Road, Suite 2 · Sanibel, FL

www.suncatchersdream.com · 239.472.7860 Best Gift Shop 2018

®

MustDo.com | 33


Top-Notch Courses

Whether you’re a duffer, a PGA professional, or somewhere in between

you’ll find enjoyable golf with the greater Fort Myers area offering everything from nine-hole

executive courses to championship-caliber links. With the sheer number of courses–over 175

in Southwest Florida, many ranked top in the state by Golf Digest, golf academies, and pro

shops, you’re sure to find an opportunity to improve your game while enjoying Florida’s warm

sunshine.

For additional information on Southwest Florida golf visit MustDo.com.

SHUTTERSTOCK

SHUTTERSTOCK

SHUTTERSTOCK

34 | Must Do Visitor Guides


280

280

MUST DO GOLF

Copperhead Golf Club

20910 Copperhead Drive, Lehigh Acres

239.369.8200 • CopperheadGC.com

An 18-hole, par 72 course designed

by Gordon G. Lewis that features tightly

cut fairways bordered by towering pines,

demanding accuracy as well as distance.

Fully stocked pro shop, PGA professional

staff, practice facility, and rental clubs

available. Enjoy a pre-round snack or

lunch afterwards at the Bar & Grill.

Coral Oaks Golf Course

1800 NW 28th Avenue, Cape Coral

239.573.3100 • CoralOaksGolf.com

Arthur Hills designed, par 72

championship course featuring new

TifEagle greens, contoured fairways,

GPS golf carts, and one of the largest

practice facilities in the area. With 37

bunkers and eight lakes, the course is

both challenging and picturesque. Tee

off beneath a canopy of antique oak

trees. PGA professional staff can help you

perfect your swing with private lessons,

golf schools, or clinics.

Eagle Ridge Golf Club

14589 Eagle Ridge Drive, Fort Myers

239.768.1888 • PlayEagleRidge.com

Voted “No. 1 Public Course” by Fort

Myers residents. A picturesque 18-hole

championship course framed by native

pines and cypress trees. The course

features large greens, wide fairways,

and strategic placement of water hazards.

Water comes into play on 17 of 18 holes.

Features a snackbar, fully stocked pro

shop, and practice facility.

Eastwood Golf Course

4600 Bruce Herd Lane, Fort Myers

239.321.7487 • CityFtMyers.com/Eastwood

Affordable, award-winning 18-hole,

par 72 course features 87 strategically

placed bunkers with water coming into

play on ten holes. Walking available

after 3 p.m. Amenities include driving

range, practice green, PGA professional

golf instruction, club rental, and fully

stocked pro shop. Enjoy food and

beverages at The 19th Hole before or

after your round. Recognized by Golf

Digest as one of the top 100 public

facilities in the USA.

Herons Glen Golf & Country Club

2250 Avenida Del Vera, North Fort Myers

239.731.4520 • HGGCC.com

Semi-private championship course

features 5 sets of tees. For those looking

to improve their game, the practice

facility includes PGA professional staff,

27 Turf-Hound hitting stations, Bermuda

grass stations, putting green, and

chipping areas as well as a full service pro

shop. Golf clinics, lessons, rental clubs,

and private instruction are also offered.

Every Day’s a Great Day at Coral Oaks!

• New Tif-Eagle Greens

• New GPS Golf Carts

• Large Driving Range & Practice Area

• Renovated Knickers Pub Open Daily

• PGA Golf Instruction & Pro Shop

BOOK TEE TIMES

UP TO 7 DAYS IN ADVANCE:

239-573-3100

www.CoralOaksGolf.com

1800 NW 28th Ave, Cape Coral

Enjoy a Great Round of Golf Set in a Tropical Paradise

• Picturesque 18-hole championship layout

• Well placed water features and bunkers offer rewarding play

• 4 sets of tee boxes offer play suitable for all skill levels

• Home to many species of indigenous wildlife

• Family owned and operated

239.472.2626 | Sanibelislandgc.com

1100 Par View Drive | Sanibel Island, FL 33957

MustDo.com 35

SHUTTERSTOCK


SHUTTERSTOCK

MUST DO GOLF

Old Corkscrew Golf Club

17320 Old Corkscrew Road, Estero

239.949.4700 • OldCorkscrew.com

Jack Nicklaus Signature Designed course

was awarded “Best Course You Can Play”

and “Best Florida Golf Course” by Golf

Magazine. The course’s certification as an

Audubon International Silver Signature

Sanctuary, and no residential development

on the course means unrivaled views and

stunning natural surroundings. Full service

pro shop, restaurant, and professional

instruction offered.

Pelican Preserve Golf Club

9802 Pelican Preserve Blvd., Fort Myers

239.985.1707 • WCIGolf.com

Challenging semi-private 27-hole

championship Chip Powell designed

course. The water, sand, and grass hollow

hazards mean seasoned and amateur

golfers will enjoy a challenge. Practice

facilities offer an aquatic driving range

and practice greens including bunkers

for work on chipping and putting.

Pro shop features golf equipment

and apparel.

Raptor Bay Golf Club

23001 Coconut Point Resort Dr., Bonita Springs

239.390.4600 • RaptorBayGolfClub.com

Challenging course set in a stunning

wildlife preserve. Recipient of the

Audubon International Gold Signature

Sanctuary certificate, the first in the world

to be bestowed with such an honor.

The Golf Shop features high quality

men’s and women’s golf apparel and

equipment. Enjoy the West Indies-inspired

clubhouse and a post par bite at Braxton’s

Bar & Grill.

Sanibel Island Golf Club

1100 Par View Drive, Sanibel

239.472.2626 • SanibelIslandGC.com

Semi-private 18-hole, par 70 championship

course with well-protected greens and

strategically placed bunkers set amidst

the scenic beauty of the Sanibel River.

Fully stocked pro shop, rental clubs,

PGA professional staff, and advanced

tee times are available. Enjoy a cold

beverage or meal at the Blue Coyote

Supper Club after your round. Also

home to a variety of wildlife.

Stoneybrook Golf Club

21251 Stoneybrook Golf Blvd., Estero

239.948.3933 • StoneybrookGolfEstero.com

Championship course features wide

fairways, large greens, and is “Beginner

Friendly” certified by the National Golf

Course Owners Association. Golfers will

enjoy playing through preserve areas and

lakes leading to large greens protected by

impressive bunkers and rolling mounds.

Offers seven sets of tees. At 7,353 yards

from the Champions Tees, it is one of the

longest courses in SW Florida.

Must Do Visitor Guides takes you inside

and behind the scenes with featured

blog articles.

Discover the best tours, restaurants,

and things to do on your Southwest

Florida vacation.

Explore Southwest Florida at MustDo.com

36 | Must Do Visitor Guides


JENNIFER BRINKMAN

Festivals & Events

Not To Be Missed

There is plenty to see and do whether you are

here for a couple of days, a week, or more than

a month!

Monthly Recurring Events

Sunset Celebration at Times Square

Fort Myers Art Walk

Fort Myers Music Walk

July

Independence Day Celebration on Sanibel

Fort Myers Beach July 4 Parade and Fireworks

Fort Myers July 4 Freedom Fest

September

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

MustDo.com | 37


October

Roar Offshore Fort Myers Beach Powerboat Races

Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival

“Ding” Darling Days

Cape Coral Oktoberfest

November

Annual American Sandsculpting Championship

March of Dimes Annual Bikers for Babies Motorcycle Ride

Taste of the Islands

Holiday Nights at Edison & Ford Winter Estates

December

Holiday Nights at Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Sanibel and Captiva Islands’ Luminary Festival

Captiva Holiday Village

Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Fort Myers New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown

Fort Myers Beach Birthday and New Year’s Eve Celebration

SHUTTERSTOCK

Visit our Events Calendar at MustDo.com for additional things to do while you visit the area. You’ll find information about

Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva events, exhibits, concerts, holiday festivities, art shows, and more.

BackWater

BackWater

Adventure

Adventure

YOU CAN’T GET CLOSER TO WILDLIFE THAN THIS!

Explore

Drive your own 2 seat catamaran

with speeds up to 30 MPH.

Our knowledgeable guides

insure that your trip will be

a memorable adventure!

Ft. Myers Beach

& Lovers Key

2 ½ HOUR SIGHTSEEING TOUR

Go deep into the backwaters of Ft. Myers and Lovers Key

to explore all of the wildlife that Southwest Florida has

to offer. View Roseate Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons,

Ibis, Osprey and many other shore birds.

Experience marine life such as

Dolphins, Manatees, Turtles and

Rays. Everyday is a different

adventure... you never know

what you may encounter.

CALL US AT

239-877-4531.

Top

Rated

Tour

Visit as at Backwateradventure.com for info & online booking!

38 | Must Do Visitor Guides


Explore Beyond Fort Myers

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

Day trips can make worthwhile

detours even if you planned your visit

to the area because of the warm sunshine

and beautiful beaches. Experience the

Everglades and Everglades National Park,

learn about Old Florida, the history and

culture of the Seminole people, or early

settlers of Southwest Florida, you can even

be in Key West by noon to explore the

southernmost point in the United States

and return the same day!

NITA ETTINGER

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

MustDo.com | 39


MUST DO DAY TRIPS

Coupon

FLORIDA’S FINEST ECOTOUR

Max. 6 Passengers Per Boat • Reservations Only • No Waves

Brilliant Nature Tour. We have toured

10 times with our friends.

–Charles-Jersey, UK

We enjoyed the manatee

encounter each time.

–Graham and Sue, London, UK

Alles gesehen, was versprochen

wurde. Manatees in Gruppen, mit

Kalb, Aligator, Fischadler.

–Wolfgang , D-Berlin, Germany

Get

$20 off

group

fare!

Mention code

MDFM

Since 1999

40 | Must Do Visitor Guides

TOUR INCLUDES

Naturalist Guided Transportation

Airboat Tour • Wildlife Drive

Southern Lunch • Nature Walk • Boat Cruise

Full Day & Half Day Tours Available

Make Your Reservation Now

Call 239-472-1559

Or Book Online At Ecosafari.com

Mention code “MUSTDO” for

$10 OFF per person on a full day tour.

SEE MANATEES 2 WAYS

90 minute EcoTour or 3 Hour Sunset Cruise

Reserve on Website or

Call Captains Barry & Carol

239.642.8818

www.see-manatees.com

525 Newport Drive • Naples, Fl, 34114

Call for

Gift

Certificates

MD-FM

Ave Maria

5076 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria

239.352.3903 • AveMaria.com

Start your visit by stopping by Ave

Maria’s New Home & Welcome Center for

a town map. Explore the award-winning

Oratory architecture and the first U.S.

Catholic university built in 40 years; Ave Maria

University. Shop, dine, and experience

“Old Florida”, nature, and wildlife on a

90-minute narrated eco-adventure with

Orange Jeep Tours. Special events

throughout the year, see website.

Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary

7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota

941.371.6377 • BigCatHabitat.org

See and learn about exotic and endangered

Siberian tigers, African lions, and rare white

tigers at this nonprofit safe haven. Also

encounter bears, primates, birds, and

other animals. Families will enjoy the

petting zoo and being entertained by

the animals during educational training

demonstrations. Reservations are not

required. Special events throughout

the year; call for schedule.

Everglades Day Safari

Various pick-up locations

800.472.3069 • EcoSafari.com

Join one of the world’s premier eco-tours

and travel through the magnificent Everglades.

See alligators, birds, and much more from

airboats, conventional boats, and on foot.

Explore all four ecosystems that make up

the Everglades: the sawgrass prairie,

mangrove estuary, cypress swamps, and

pine savannah. Tours include lunch and

depart daily. Also offers tours suitable

for younger kids.

Fishermen’s Village

1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda

800.639.0020 • Fishville.com

Its location on pristine Charlotte Harbor

makes this a top stay and play waterfront

destination. Enjoy boutiques and shops,

fine dining, spacious villa vacation rentals,

marina, Military Heritage Museum, live

entertainment, and special events. Offers

an array of water recreational activities

including harbor cruises, fishing charters,

and boat and kayak rentals. Open daily.

Historic Matlacha

Pine Island Road NW, Matlacha Island

MatlachaChamber.org

Pronounced “mat-la-shay” this once was

a tiny “Old Florida” fishing community.

Today this highly regarded artist’s

community showcases Southwest Florida’s

artists, many of whom live here. Art lovers

and collectors will find brightly colored

galleries filled with bead and other craft

jewelry, colorful Floridian paintings and

prints, painted furniture, Native American

art, and jewelry.


ADVENTURE IS CALLING!

Key West Express

Fort Myers • Marco Island • Key West

888.887.9359 • KeyWestExpress.net

The fast and fun way to visit the

southernmost point in the USA. Leave in the

morning and be in Key West by lunch when

you travel aboard the jet-powered vessels

of Key West Express. Sundeck, flat-screen

TVs, full bar, and food service available.

See website for ferry schedule, rates, and

reservation information.

Manatee Eco-Tours

525 Newport Drive, Naples

239.642.8818 • See-Manatees.com

Join Captains Barry and Carol for a

family-friendly and fascinating 1½ hour

private eco-boat tour into a remote

Everglades manatee hideout for an

up-close and personal visit with these

amazing, gentle creatures. Tour boat

is smooth riding, fully covered for sun

protection, and can accommodate a

maximum of six passengers. Reservations

are required.

Muscle Car City

10175 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

941.575.5959 • MuscleCarCity.net

A plethora of pure automotive-viewing

pleasure for Classic Car and Hot Rod

lovers. Over 200 antique and GM muscle

cars from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s including

Caminos, Camaros, and Corvettes fill

99,000 sq. feet of museum space. Stock

up on memorabilia and collectibles at

the store, then enjoy all-American fare

at the ‘60s style restaurant. Closed

Monday, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday through Sunday.

Peace River Charters

4192 SW Adventure Way, Arcadia

863.444.0693 • PeaceRiverCharters.com

Experience the nature and beauty of Old

Florida on a scenic and exciting Peace

River airboat, canoe paddle, swamp buggy,

or horseback trail ride tour with native

Floridian, U.S.C.G. Capt. Zac and his crew.

Learn about the history of the Peace River

and observe native wildlife such as alligator,

deer, wild boar, turkey, and more. Safe,

enjoyable, and fun for the entire family.

Reservations are required.

The Ringling

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

941.359.5700 • Ringling.org

Admission is free on Mondays to the

Ringling Museum of Art, which is home

to one of the finest collections of art in

Florida. Offers self-guided or docent-led

tours of Ca d’Zan, the Ringling’s waterfront

mansion. The beautiful grounds, gardens,

and Circus Museum that showcases

circus’ history and includes the world’s

largest miniature circus are enjoyable

for all ages.

Horseback | Airboat | SwampBuggy

ENJOY THE MAJESTIC PEACE RIVER!

VISIT OUR COUNTRY STORE & HOLD A BABY GATOR!

1.863.444.0693

4192 SW Adventure Way Arcadia, FL

www.UPRIVERADVENTURES.com

ONLY A SHORT DRIVE OFF I75

MustDo.com | 41


Florida’s Unique Wildlife

Many endangered and protected animal species reside in Southwest Florida’s unique landscape including the American

alligator, Florida panther, black bear, West Indian manatee, bottlenose dolphin, burrowing Owl, gopher tortoise, and

countless more rare birds. Some of the best places to see these creatures in their native habitats are right here in Fort Myers,

Sanibel & Captiva Islands, and the Everglades.

Everglades National Park

Southwest Florida Marine Life

With over 2,500 square miles of swamp and sawgrass marsh, The Gulf waters around Southwest Florida are teaming

Everglades National Park’s unique ecosystem provides a one-ofa-kind

habitat for snakes, alligator, crocodile, wading birds, and residents are bottlenose dolphins and the West

with amazing marine life. Two of the most popular

more. An airboat tour through this magnificent area to view its Indian manatee. A cruise or kayak trip is a great way

abundant wildlife is not to be missed.

to view dolphins or manatees. Dolphins love to leap

and play in the bow waves or chase the wake of boats.

Florida’s state animal is the Florida panther, a subspecies of

You can often see manatees grazing on sea grasses in

cougar. This large, long-tailed, pale brown cat grows to six feet

shallow waters of the areas mangrove-laden estuaries.

or more and with an estimated population of 100-180 remaining

Sometimes when manatees see kayaks on the surface,

in Florida; it is one of the most endangered mammals in the

they will come in close to get a good look. Local guides

world. Its habitat is usually the same as the mainstay of its diet,

will give you the best chance of catching a glimpse of a

the white-tailed deer and wild boar. When deer and hog are not

manatee in the wild.

available, panthers will eat other small animals such as raccoons

or armadillos. Many of Florida’s remaining panthers live in or near Stingrays frequently can be found in the warm shallow

Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. No waters of the Gulf of Mexico during the months of

need to be nervous about encountering these elusive cats, the May through October. They come close to shore in

closest you’re most likely to get during your visit is spotting a search of food and bury themselves in the sand. You

panther crossing sign – and if you do, slow down and keep a don’t want to step on a stingray–the result could be a

watchful eye. Since 2014, Florida has had a record number of painful sting. In order to prevent this, it is important

Florida panther deaths, the majority due to road collisions. to do the “Stingray Shuffle” when entering the water

of Southwest Florida’s beaches. By shuffling your feet

across the sandy bottom you can alert the stingray

of your presence, they will uncover themselves and

swim away. Stingrays don’t want to be stepped on

anymore than you want to be stung! What should

you do if you happen to step on a stingray and get

stung? Head to the lifeguard stand when possible.

If there isn’t one available try a nearby home, hotel,

or restaurant. First aid for stingray stings involves

flushing the wound with fresh water if possible and

soaking the affected area in hot water (as hot as can

be tolerated without causing burns). Most lifeguard

stands have buckets and hot water on hand for

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

42 | Must Do Visitor Guides

stingray accidents. If the victim shows any signs of

an allergic reaction–DIAL 911.

Take advantage of the many knowledgeable guides

and eco-tour options the area has to offer to experience

Florida’s wild side.


fishville.com

1.800.639.0020

1200 W Retta Esplanade, I-75, Exit 164 | Punta Gorda, FL

Best Waterfront

Dining, Shopping and Entertainment

7/31/20.

Closed June - September

MustDo.com | 43


Mouth-Watering Fare

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

When it comes to dining in the Fort

Myers area you can be sure of two things: you

will get the freshest seafood possible and

scenic outdoor seating year-round. Spectacular

meals are easy to find whether you choose

white-linen fine dining, a casual bistro setting,

or affordable and family-friendly. Restaurants

across the region feature mouth-watering meals

showcasing the diversity in cuisine.

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

NITA ETTINGER

44 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO DINING Coupon Alcohol Dog-Friendly Entertainment Outdoor Dining Waterfront Dining

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

Dixie Fish Co.

714 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach

239.233.8837 • DixieFishFMB.com

Covered open-air

waterfront restaurant overlooking Matanzas

Pass with fantastic views of the Bay and

shrimp fleet. Offers a simple menu focused

on fresh, local seafood in a casual Old Florida

fish house atmosphere. Smoke-free, full bar,

Happy Hour, and live entertainment nightly.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva

See Back Cover for Address Details

DocFords.com

This local favorite offers

Caribbean inspired cuisine with a fun,

family-friendly island atmosphere inspired

by bestselling author Randy Wayne White’s

character, Marion “Doc” Ford. Enjoy fresh

local seafood, sandwiches, salads, and raw

bar. Specialties include Yucatan shrimp,

banana leaf snapper, lime panko-crusted

fish sandwich, and Martinique-jerked pork

chop. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Geppetto’s Beach Foodies

362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.0547 • BeachFoodies.com

Authentic European croissant bakery

serving artisan breads, pastries, coffee,

lattés, and espresso drinks, sandwiches,

and NYC bakery style pizza. Try their

signature Sanibel Blossom Croissant or

Crodoles. Take out and limited outdoor

seating. Also offers catering and serves

Pinocchio’s Ice Cream, which is located

next door.

The Island Cow

2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.0606 • SanibelIslandCow.com

Extensive menu features

traditional breakfast items, burgers,

sandwiches, wraps, seafood, and more

including a large kids menu, full liquor

bar, and a great selection of beer and

wine. Dine indoor or al fresco on the

porch. Features live entertainment.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and

dinner from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call-ahead

seating and take-out are also available at

this award-winning restaurant.

Nervous Nellie’s

1131 1st Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.463.8077 • NervousNellies.net

Award-winning waterfront

restaurant offers an extensive menu

with something for everyone. Enjoy

home-baked artisan breads, fresh cut

meats, and a large selection of fresh

seafood in a relaxing and family-friendly

atmosphere. Live music daily. Call-ahead

seating, take-out, and marina dockage

available. Open daily from 11 a.m. to

10 p.m. including holidays.

MustDo.com | 45


Sweeping Gulf Views

ring your love of fine-dining to the historic and awardwinning

Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant on Sanibel

B

Island. Offering dazzling Gulf views and an Old Florida charm once

enjoyed by notable guests like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

$5.00 Off Dinner

46 | Must Do Visitor Guides

...and Rave Reviews

2255 West Gulf Drive | Sanibel, Florida 33957 | 239.472.9200 | ThistleLodge.com

NOW DELIVERING

TO MIDDLE & EAST

SANIBEL!

Join us for Happy Hour and Early Dining Specials

7205 Estero Blvd., Santini Plaza • Fort Myers Beach

SouthBeachGrillefmb.com • 239.463.7770

Open Daily 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Enjoy a taste of South Beach right here on beautiful Fort Myers Beach!

with purchase of $30.00 or more. Not valid with any

other offers or Early Bird Specials. Exp 7/31/20

MUST DO DINING

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill

2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.463.3257 • MyParrotKey.com

Enjoy award-winning

Caribbean-inspired cuisine in a casual

open-air setting. Menu features a variety

of seafood entrees, steaks, ribs, frozen

cocktails, and more. Happy Hour daily

from 3 to 6 p.m. Located at Salty Sam’s

Marina. Arrive by land or water.

Open daily.

Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream

362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.6566 • PinocchiosIceCream.com

All of their handcrafted,

award-winning ice cream, gelato, sorbet,

and frozen yogurt are prepared on site

daily in small batches from the finest

and freshest ingredients. Their unique

flavors like Sanibel Krunch, Dirty Sand

Dollar, Gator Stew, and Berrywinkle

on Periwinkle have been offered to

visitorsand residents exclusively at

Pinocchio’s for over three decades.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

South Beach Grille

7205 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.463.7770 • SouthBeachGrilleFMB.com

Serving traditional cuisine with a

creative flair in a fine-dining setting.

Warm art deco décor combined with

top-notch, fresh chef-prepared entrees,

an extensive wine list, and attentive

service guarantees an impressive dining

experience. Stop in early for Happy Hour

at the bar or to take advantage of early

dining specials. Open daily from 4:30

to 10 p.m.

Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant

2255 W. Gulf Drive, Sanibel

239.472.9200 • ThistleLodge.com

Enjoy fresh, flavorful, and

elegant cuisine in an intimate, Old

Florida style setting overlooking the

Gulf of Mexico. Entrees including

dry-aged steaks, high-quality seafood

hand-cut in the kitchen, and chef

selected fruits, vegetables, and

herbs. Also features an expansive

wine list and decadent desserts. Open

for lunch and dinner daily, featuring

Sunday brunch.

Traders

1551 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.7242 • TradersSanibel.com

A fun place to dine and shop all

under one roof. Traders’ menu offers

fresh seafood, poultry, ribs, pasta, pizza,

salads, and small plates. Also features

a full bar with Happy Hour from 3 to 6

p.m., dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Live music

from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday,

and Thursday night. Closed Sunday.


Fresh Florida Seafood

Cobia – Firm, smooth-bodied, richly flavored fish with large flake and texture similar

to coho salmon. Great grilled, poached, sautéed, baked, or blackened.

Grouper – Thick, white, lean fish with a mild, subtle sweet flavor and firm texture

and taste similar to halibut. Tasty fried, baked, sautéed, or grilled.

Hogfish – White, firm fish with a sweet, nutty flavor similar to red snapper. Delicious baked or fried.

Pompano – Firm, thick and rich fish but mild and sweet in flavor with high oil

content. Scrumptious broiled, sautéed or baked in parchment.

Snapper – Red and yellowtail are most commonly offered in restaurants and markets. Mild, slightly sweet

tasting fish with a lean, firm texture. Tasty when fried, grilled, sautéed, poached, baked, or broiled.

Stone Crab Claws – Sweet flavor with firm, flaky texture often compared to lobster. Typically served cold with drawn

butter and lemon, or cocktail sauces, mayonnaises or vinaigrettes. Available from October 15 to May 15 only.

SHUTTERSTOCK

Florida’s commercial fishermen are continually harvesting seafood from coastal waters and providing their fresh catch to

local seafood restaurants. You may not be familiar with some of the choices on the menu. This should eliminate some of

the guesswork next time you’re dining out.

Voted best waterfront restaurant

Taste of the Beach People’s Choice Award Winner for 3 years

Live entertainment Huge menu featuring

Happy Hour

Fresh Seafood, Steaks, Signature Sandwiches,

Monday-Friday 3-5

Pasta, Salads, Artisan Breads and More

1131 1st St., Ft. Myers Beach • www.nervousnellies.net • 239-463-8077

MustDo.com | 47


When the Sun Sets

JENNIFER BRINKMAN

After a day of sun and activity, relax and

cool down with a refreshing tropical drink, cocktail, or

ice-cold beer while watching the sun sink into the Gulf

horizon. Once you’ve re-charged your batteries, head

out for some fun after dark. The fun doesn’t end when

the sun goes down in Southwest Florida!

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

DEBI PITTMAN WILKEY

48 | Must Do Visitor Guides


MUST DO NIGHTLIFE

Coupon

Happy Hour

Entertainment

Waterfront

Cip’s Place

2055 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.0223 • CipsPlace.com

Offers Happy Hour daily from 4 to 6 p.m.

featuring $1 off draft and bottled beer, all

wine, specialty drinks, and martinis. Cip’s

Six by Six $12 appetizers and $5 Afternoon

Snacks offers a variety of delicious choices

at a great value. Located in the Forever

Green Shops between Periwinkle Place and

the Tahitian Gardens shopping plazas.

City Tavern

2206 Bay Street, Fort Myers

239.226.1133 • MyCityTavern.com

Enjoy great Happy Hour drink

specials daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at this

downtown Fort Myers River District bar.

Live local music and dancing every Thursday,

Friday, and Saturday night until 2 a.m.

Pool tables, darts, and free WiFi available.

Awards include “Best Happy Hour,” “Best

Ladies Night,” and “Friendliest Staff.”

No cover charge, and pub fare until 10 p.m.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva

See Back Cover for Address Details

DocFords.com

Sports bar inspired by the

best-selling Doc Ford crime novels written

by author Randy Wayne White. Relax and

enjoy live, family-friendly entertainment

and fantastic island mojitos and signature

cocktails. Offers an extensive premium

rum selection, full menu, and both indoor

and outdoor seating. Arrive by car or boat

to Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach location.

Open daily.

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

Downtown Fort Myers River District

FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com

RiverDistrictEvents.com

Listen to an array of live music,

dance, meet artists, view classic cars and

special exhibits, enjoy live demonstrations,

and more during the monthly Art Walk

(1st Friday of the month), Music Walk (3rd

Friday of the month) and the Downtown

Car Cruise-in (4th Saturday of the month).

Family-friendly special events throughout

the year. See website for details.

Downtown Social House

1406 Hendry Street, Fort Myers

239.337.7646 • DowntownSoHo.com

Enjoy ice-cold domestic, import,

and SWFL craft beer, wine, and handmade

craft cocktails at this Downtown Fort

Myers River District bar and restaurant.

Offers Happy Hour drink, small plate, and

appetizer specials from 4 to 8 p.m. daily.

Features live entertainment and a fantastic

outdoor garden patio with a variety of

seating options.

MustDo.com | 49


MUST DO NIGHTLIFE

MARY CAROL FITZGERALD

50 | Must Do Visitor Guides

GameTime

10037 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers

239.204.5964 • GameTimePlayers.com

Sports bar, restaurant, and arcade

featuring 120 games, simulators, and mini

bowling. Game day/night food and drink

specials with 65 TVs to cheer on your

favorite sports team. Happy Hour features

half-price drinks Monday through Friday

from 4 to 8 p.m. No cover charge. Indoor

and outdoor seating available. Open

Sunday through Wednesday from

11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday through

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Sanibel Fish House

1523 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.7770 • TheFishHouseRestaurants.com

Signature cocktails, craft beer, and

award-winning Happy Hour in the lounge

daily from 3 to 6 p.m. featuring appetizer,

house wine, and domestic beer specials.

Great spot to catch the game, plus you

can enjoy all day Happy Hour weekends

during football season. Also features 2-for-1

margaritas all day, every day. Open daily

from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Traders

1551 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel

239.472.7242 • TradersSanibel.com

A fun place to dine and shop all

under one roof. Traders’ menu offers fresh

seafood, poultry, ribs, pasta, pizza, salads,

and small plates. Also features a full bar

with Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m., dinner

from 5 to 9 p.m. Live music from 7 to 10 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night.

Closed Sunday.

Ugly’s Waterside Bar

1131 1st Street, Fort Myers Beach

239.463.8077 • NervousNellies.net

A casual-island themed

waterfront bar located upstairs at Nervous

Nellie’s restaurant overlooking Matanzas

Pass and the marina. Features a full menu

and Happy Hour all day, every day. Offers

both indoor and outdoor seating. Enjoy

live island, rock, or reggae music 7 days

a week. See website for entertainment

schedule. Arrive by car or boat; free

parking and marina dockage are available.

Open daily.

The Whale

1249 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

239.463.5505 • TheBeachedWhale.com

The Look Out Lounge rooftop bar

and patio is the perfect spot for sunset.

Offers nightly Happy Hour drink and

appetizer specials. Watch your favorite

team with sports on 20 TVs. Winner of 36

“Best of the Beach” awards including Best

Bar, Best Wings, and Best BBQ in Fort

Myers Beach. Serving lunch, dinner, and

late-night snacks seven days a week.


Explore Southwest Florida

Whether journeying from afar or finding

local haunts in your own backyard,

discover your perfect vacation with hundreds

of well-researched & carefully curated experiences

The possibilities are endless...

Experience it all at www.MustDo.com

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