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Welcome to the City of Palms – Fort Myers Sanibel, Florida! I spent 5 days eating and exploring my way through Fort Myers to create this ultimate guide to things to do in Fort Myers sorted by neighborhoods below.
fort myers things to do: MATLACHA
STAY IN A TINY HOME
I was so excited to stay in a tiny home and we stayed in the Matlacha area of Fort Myers! There are three tiny homes at Matlacha Tiny Village and they all come with a kitchenette, pull-out couch, Wi-Fi, kayaks, and grilling area. Such a unique lodging experience!
Matlacha Tiny Village, 4661 Pine Island Road NW Matlacha, FL, matlachatinyvillage.com
Visit Art Galleries In Matlacha
Until 20 years ago, Matlacha was an “old Florida” fishing community, and now this tiny island is filled with bright colored house art galleries. Even the telephone poles have murals! I loved walking up and down the street and popping into each of the art galleries.
- Leoma Lovegrove Gallery (pictured above) –
- Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery –
- Island Visions – colorful Floridian paintings and prints
- Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens – wide array of eccentric pieces, from paintings to painted furniture)
- Trader’s Hitching Post – American Indian art and jewelry
- WildChild Art Gallery
- Frills Gallery – bead and other craft jewelry
Ice Cream At Great Licks Ice Cream Shop
Hop over to Great Licks Ice Cream Shop, a local ice cream shop that makes homemade ice cream and sorbets made with the freshest local fruit like mangoes, limes, and coconut.
4643 Pine Island Rd, Matlacha, FL
Sunset dinner at Yucatan Waterfront
For dinner and sunset, head to Yucatan Waterfront on Matlacha for an island-inspired menu. We ordered the grilled red drum fish that’s caught locally and coconut shrimp.
4875 Pine Island Rd, Matlacha, FL, yucatanwaterfront.com
fort myers things to do: CAPE CORAL
EXPLORE BREWERIES AND DISTILLERIES
Cape Coral has several local breweries and distilleries that brew their own craft beers and liquors. Hide from the heat and grab a cold brew!
- Big Blue Brewing – local brewery and gastropub with handcrafted cocktails, brews, and a scratch kitchen. Try their seasonal fruit beer like the strawberry, mango, or watermelon sour (pictured above). Happy hour is every day from 11am to 6pm.
- Big Storm Brewing – one of the fastest growing independent craft breweries in Florida and uses local ingredients like citrus and wildflower honey to brew more than 20 different beers.
- Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery – family owned and operated distillery that uses only locally sourced ingredients. Free tours and tastings
- Eight Foot Brewing – small, independently owned brewery that serves tacos, sandwiches, flatbreads, and cheese plates.
Four Mile Cove Preserve
Four Mile Cove Eco Preserve is a wetland preserve with a forest of mangroves along the Caloosahatchee River. It’s a shaded path but make sure to put on bug spray!
2500 SE 24th St, Cape Coral, FL 33990
DRINKS AT Cork Soakers
If you’re thirsty, go to Cork Soakers for their B*tchslap Bloody Mary’s (available only on Sunday’s) or their mimosa flight. Try the deviled eggs and the chef’s daily risotto, a slow-cooked Arborio rice, while you’re there.
837 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL, corksoakers.net
wearing Shop Koko avocado boobie tee
BUY LOCAL FRUIT AT Tropicaya Fresh Produce
Tropicaya Fresh Produce was this fruit stand that I would pass in and out every day so I had to stop in and check it out. They sell local fruit like oranges, tomatoes, Florida avocados (look how big they are!), coconuts, watermelons and more. You can also buy local honey here.
3220 SW Pine Island Rd, Cape Coral, FL
EAT FUDGE AT Gulf Coast Fudge
Gulf Coast Fudge Co is handmade the old-fashioned way in small batches – slow cooked in a copper kettle using a recipe that dates back to 1837. The fudge is hand-poured and cooled on a marble slab table before being whipped into a loaf and individually sliced. No preservatives, butter, eggs, or waxes. Gulf Coast Fudge has two locations in the Fort Myers area. I did eat some fudge but I also wanted some ice cream!
5971 Silver King Blvd #110, Cape Coral, FL, gulfcoastfudge.com
FORT MYERS THINGS TO DO
COFFEE & DONUTS AT Bennett’s Fresh Roast
This local coffee shop roasts its own beans and makes fresh donuts every day!
2011 Bayside Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL
VISIT THE Edison Ford Winter Estates
Hide from the heat and visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates that has a historical museum and a 21-acre botanical garden. In 1886, inventor Thomas Edison purchased land along the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers and built his winter home. Best friend, Henry Ford and his wife Clare purchased the adjacent property in 1915 and built a bungalow-style house.
Today, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates features over 20 acres of lush botanical gardens boasting over 1,700 plants and one of the largest Banyan trees in the U.S.
2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL, edisonfordwinterestates.org
BRUNCH AT McGregor Cafe
This cute little cafe with a sunny patio is known for their famous quiche, scratch-made biscuits, scrambled eggs, and fresh salads. I had to order the Old Bay fries with malt vinegar aioli for brunch!
4305 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL, mcgregorcafe.com
LUNCH AT THE VERANDA
The Veranda restaurant is located in the historic district of downtown Fort Myers and I was blown away by how stunning this restaurant was. There’s a botanical garden in the backyard so be sure to ask for a seat outside. We had the salmon salad for lunch and it was delicious.
2122 Second St, Fort Myers, FL, verandarestaurant.com
CLOUD ICE CREAM AT BEST ICE CREAM
One of my readers actually recommended me to check on this Instagrammable ice cream shop and I was not disappointed! Ask for the cloud ice cream that comes with a giant cotton candy wrapped around ice cream that’s made right in front of you with liquid nitrogen!
2215 Winkler Ave K, Fort Myers, FL
LOOK FOR MANATEES AT THE Manatee park
Fun fact: manatees like to hang out by the energy plant in Fort Myers because the waters are warm so it’s a warm refugee for them during the winter (mid to late December to February). Unfortunately, Florida was pretty warm during my visit in April so we didn’t spot any manatees.
10901 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL, leegov.com/parks/parks/manateepark
Breakfast at Buckingham Farm
Our last meal in Fort Myers was at the farm-to-table restaurant Buckingham Farms since it’s on the way to the airport. You can see the hydroponics farm as you walk onto the property and I was in awe of all the produce being grown. We had two of the fresh salads for lunch and it was so good! There’s also a market inside if you want to purchase fresh produce, local honey, and more.
12931 Orange River Blvd, Fort Myers, FL, buckinghamfarmsonline.com
fort myers things to do: PINE ISLAND
VISIT Palm tree nurseries in Bokeelia
On the way to Capt’n Con’s Fish House, we saw all these stunning palm tree nurseries along the way in Bokeelia so we had to pull over and take a picture.
DESSERT AT Capt’n Con’s Fish House
Watch the sun go down with a big slice of homemade pie at Capt’n Con’s Fish House. We ended up staying for dinner and had the fried flounder with fried clam strips.
8421 Main St, Bokeelia, FL, captnconsfishhouse.com