Fabulous Fort Myers

A Florida Fave for Canadians

There’s probably nothing better for the soul than taking a walk on a seashell filled beach and hunting for those pink hued treasures.

Canadians have been flocking to Fort Myers for years, and for good reason. Besides being the shelling capital of the world, the region gets around 300 days of sunshine a year and a cold day is still warm enough for shorts if you’re from north of the border.

Visitors will find fun family attractions, marvellous beaches, quiet nature, fine food, and hotels of every style and price range. Air Canada, WestJet, and Porter fly directly from YYZ to RWS/Southwest Florida airport and there are easy connections from across Canada.

Fort Myers and its nearby islands, including Sanibel and Captiva, are historic gems on Florida’s west coast, and have come back strong after the Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Visit Florida recently stated that last year’s fourth quarter arrivals to RSW were up 32.4% from the final three months of 2023.

“We are very excited to have Canadians come back – and we are open and ready to receive them,” says Charm Evans, Global Sales Manager for Lee County VCB.

Beaches, hotels, and most attractions are open along Fort Myers Beach, as well as on Sanibel and Captiva, including the vibrant downtown scene on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River.

Here’s a look at some great options in the Fort Myers region.

Beautiful Islands

Boca Grande

Just a short drive from Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva islands are both superb spots for collecting seashells and enjoying nature.

The Sanibel Lighthouse, built in 1884, towers over a fine stretch of beach. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot to enjoy an hour or two of tranquility, and to spot beautiful birds. It’s part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States.

Captiva is a super chill spot with a fun restaurant called the Mucky Duck, where you can dine with your feet in the sand. The popular Key Lime Bistro on Captiva is slated to reopen next month.

Reachable only by boat, Cabbage Key is a joyful, super-casual place. Check out the island’s restaurant, where visitors tack up thousands of dollar bills each year and where Jimmy Buffett is said to have been inspired to write “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” You might spy a pod of dolphins cavorting in the wake of the boat or a lone bird carrying a fish back to its nest as you cruise along the water.

Gasparilla Island is a real throwback kind of place, the sort of laid-back spot where the official time piece should be a sundial. The town of Boca Grande has fine shopping and an outstanding golf course designed by top architect Pete Dye.

More Nature

Lover’s Key State Park features a protected, two-mile beach. You can go hunting for shells, relax under a beach umbrellas, or explore canals and lagoons that are favourite grazing spots for manatee and shorebirds.

The Great Calusa Blueway offers 190-miles of kayaking and canoeing trails through the coastal and inland waters throughout the area.

With more than 40 parks, including 12 dog friendly parks, and eight pathed nature preserves such as Four Mile Cove and 6 Mile Cypress Slough there is something for everyone. During the cooler months, the gentle giant sea cows also known as manatees, can be easily viewed at Manatee Park, a non-captive refuge.

Arts and Culture

A night view of the Sidney & Davis Berne art center in downtown Fort Myers

The Center for the Arts Bonita Springs hosts wonderful live performances and festivals, as well as exhibitions and special events. The same goes for the gorgeous Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.


Downtown Fort Myers

Miromar Outlets features great shops, including Kate Spade, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Lululemon, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks off Fifth and newly opened Victoria’s Secret. Kids will love the playground and wall-climbing facility. The center also sports more than a dozen food outlets, with everything from pizza to sushi, as well as tacos, burgers and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.

Downtown Fort Myers has lovely, independent boutiques. One of the best spots for local art, clothing and jewelry is The Franklin Shops, a collection of around 100 southwest Florida artists.

Top Hotels

The Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande.
The Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande.

There’s a hotel or resort for just about every type of traveller in the Fort Myers area.

Margaritaville Resort, Fort Myers Beach opened late in 2023 and offers a lively, vibrant beachfront experience.

Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa, a modern, attractive spot on the water between downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.

The Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca Grande is one of the great hotels in Florida, with beautiful decor and a relaxed, old-time feel.

Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village fronts a pretty marina and features a water taxi to Fort Myers Beach.

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa is an upscale spot in Bonita Springs with water slides and a lazy river, as well as a Stillwater Spa.

TweenWaters Island Resort & Spa is a quiet spot on Captiva Island that is perfectly set between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pine Island Sound.

The Luminary Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection property is a stylish, urban property on the water in downtown Fort Myers.

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is a popular mainstay on a quiet stretch of Fort Myers Beach, with one and two-bedroom suites.

Spring Training

(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox) Boston Red Sox baseball spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.
A general view of a Grapefruit League game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida Sunday, March 20, 2022.
(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox) Boston Red Sox baseball spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.

The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins play their spring training games in Fort Myers from late February to March. Young players from around the country attend elite baseball camps each summer. And year-round, local leagues keep the spirit of the game in play.



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