Fort Myers holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first vacation to Florida, the place my husband proposed, and it was the spot where B first experienced the ocean. This year we took a family vacation to the beach to celebrate our marriage, family, and hard work we have put forth!
Fort Myers is truly a jewel with clear waters, perfect weather, tons of great food, and endless family activities. It is also a bonus that it is a very affordable getaway. We went early June both times and the season does not disappoint.
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For both of our visits, we stayed at The Neptune Resort. My Mother-in-law discovered this gem quite a few years ago and we have created beautiful memories because of that. The Neptune is located on the main strip in Fort Myers, providing easy access to food, shopping, and travel. We also had a private beach – it was amazing being able to wake up and walk out straight to the beach. The resort also had two pools, a grilling area, sitting area, beach chairs…they had everything we could have wanted.
Our first morning there, I was up at the crack of dawn and headed to the Heavenly Biscuit. I waited four years for this breakfast. Handmade biscuits with eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and honey…it is literally a ‘heavenly biscuit’. Don’t forget the potatoes, sticky buns, and coffee. B went crazy over the food. That girl ate like we never fed her.
I will admit, I have tried to recreate this at home, but there is something about eating this delicacy on the porch of a quaint pink house RIGHT ACROSS FROM OUR RESORT ON THE BEACH. All-caps is necessary – this is one of the big bonuses to where we stay.
Next place to go is the Boardwalk. You can walk the beach to get there, walk Esteros Blvd (10-15 minute walk) or you can drive – there is paid parking and it is a zoo. If the weather is nice, treat yourself to the walk. It’ll give you ideas for food, cute shops, and more ice cream than you can imagine. There are also bike rentals all along the strip.
There are shells galore on the beach, so at the Boardwalk, be sure to get a bucket! They have great swimsuits, sunglasses, floaties, and lots and lots of Sun Bum Sunscreen.
The beaches and shells are so unique. Each beach has different shells in abundance. Fort Myers Beach had Conch Shells (and lots of live Conches and Hermit Crabs), Lover’s Key Beach had Horned Scallops, Augers, Glassy Bubbles. Sanibel and Captiva held beautiful shells as well – though Captiva’s beaches had much rougher waters and we didn’t shell very long there.
Our favorite beaches were, of course, Fort Myers Beach, right outside of the Neptune, Lover’s Key Beach, and Sanibel Island (the beach by the Light House). If you want to drive a little further out, take the time and go to Siesta Key! I learned from our first trip that all I needed was a big innertube for the beach and I was set.
Having B with us this time, we made sure to stay in calm waters. We spent a lot of time shelling, playing in the sand, walking through the waves, and floating. Seeing as B was still breastfeeding, I got to feed her out in the ocean on an innertube. It was absolutely exhilarating. She was super relaxed too! We also got really good at finding shady secluded spots on the beach for easy feeding without distractions.
B loved exploring! She chased birds, collected Parchment Worm Skins, found coconuts and mangos, and located practically every rock on the beach. The seaweed scared her a bit but she really enjoyed the live Conchs and Hermit Crabs. We also learned how good her eyesight was when she could spot lizards that were barely visible to the human eye. Our walks took a little longer as she wanted to stop, see, and smell the tropical flowers and observe the new environment.
We had a couple days where we went over the Causeway to Sanibel and Captiva Island. It is a slower walk of life there – true island life. We met wonderful people there and enjoyed some of the BEST food. The Island Cow got to see us twice as their menu and atmosphere was outstanding (and SUPER kid friendly). The kid breakfast menu comes with big portions, potatoes, and fresh fruit. The adult menu – well, I recommend their morning drink menu (cajun Bloody Mary) with a side of coffee. And then the Seafood Omlete and Oscar Omlete…those were my favorites! The Island Cow also has Geckos galore for the kids (and adults) to hunt, tropical birds, and a couple open games of Corn Hole!
When you head to Sanibel and Captiva, don’t stress too much if you forget to pack something. They have a wonderful shopping area called Jerry’s Shopping Center. They have exotic Parrots and Macaws that talk to you and do tricks. The bathrooms are super clean, there is a grocery store with a coffee shop, shopping, ice cream, and beautiful sitting commons. We picked up a heavy duty styrofoam cooler and it kept ice the whole day for us (and at the end of our trip, we found guests at our resort that needed it).
Sanibel has some great areas of history to check out. Our favorite is the Lighthouse. There are beautiful walkways to the Lighthouse and the beach. It is a nice break from driving from place to place. B enjoyed the exploring and we soaked up the beach life.
Up the road on Captiva, make sure to stop at the Mucky Duck and get their clam strips (the fish and chips are fantastic as well as the Agave Margarita). The kid menu is a good classic American Style Cuisine. They have a private beach as well, so make them a dinner stop. You can watch the sunset over the water and it will melt you. The waters are also very calm and great for the kiddos.
The Bubble Room is another go to. It is Christmas every day, vintage Hollywood themed, and a collector’s heaven. It is cramped but their food is great and the kids will love it – though keep in mind there is SO much stimulation. Don’t pass up their dessert either – the Orange Cake is worth taking a whole one home. (If you can’t tell by now, I REALLY like food).
There is a ton of Wildlife for the littles to see too. On the beach, the kids will have flocks of birds, crabs, shells, and even stingrays! By the Lover’s Key Dog Park there are dolphins (and dogs). At Lover’s Key, on our first trip, we saw Manatees too! Alligators, Gopher Tortoises, and millions of lizards (feels a bit Jurassic) are everywhere. The Gators don’t like the saltwater much, so by staying beachbound, you are safe!
I was so excited for this trip and when I checked the weather forecast (for two weeks) it was nothing but rain. I really was getting discouraged but let me tell you – I was so wrong. It DID rain every night but the weather was never hot, the humidity was not bad at all, and we slept like babies with the storms. My husband and I agreed that this trip has been by far the best vacation yet. My Mother-in-law came with us and we even got to steal a couple kids free meals and a kayak excursion!
Let me know if you have been to Fort Myers or if you are planning to. If you have been, what were your favorite places and things to do? If you are planning to go, what are you looking forward to doing?
Here is a quick recap of our trip
*Please note – this is a list of places we went and loved. There are SO many things to do, eat, and see.
Where we stayed: The Neptune Resort
Places to eat in Fort Myers:
The Heavenly Biscuit – across from the Neptune
Royal Scoop – across from the Neptune
Pinchers – GREAT KID MENU
Places to eat on Sanibel:
The Island Cow – SUPER KID FRIENDLY
Places to go on Sanibel:
Places to eat on Captiva: