10 Best Beaches In (And Near) Fort Myers, Florida (2023)

The best beaches in Fort Myers—and in nearby Fort Myers Beach—are some of Florida’s most beautiful. The sand is fine, soft, and white, and littered with shells, sand dollars, and driftwood. The public beaches in and near Fort Myers don’t open until 7 a.m., close at dusk, and don’t allow pets unless otherwise specified

The 10 Best Beaches in and Near Fort Myers

Here are the best beaches near Fort Myers to suit all your swimming, kite-surfing, fishing, and boating needs.

Bowditch Point Beach Park, Fort Myers, Florida

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Stretching along the northernmost point of Florida’s Estero Island, Bowditch Point Park is one of the best beaches in Fort Myers, if only for its perfect location. Stand at the tip and stare at the boats heading into the Gulf of Mexico—there’s nothing in your line of vision, except perhaps some driftwood or a bird.

In fact, this beach in Fort Myers is part of a 10-acre preserve that’s on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available here, as are restrooms and a concession stand. In addition, this Fort Myers beach is accessible from the parking lot for people with disabilities.

Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida

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(Video) 10 Best Beaches in Fort Myers, FL

If you’re looking for an ungroomed, completely natural beach, look no further than Bunche Beach in Fort Myers. Part of tidal wetlands on San Carlos Bay, this highlight among Fort Myers beaches is a sandy stretch that pairs tidal flats with mangrove forest. It’s ideal for those who long to sit quietly and scan the area for birds and wildlife, commune with nature, read, or sketch.

That said, there are plenty of amenities here, helping to make it one of the best beaches in Fort Myers: parking, restrooms, picnic areas, food concessions, even a canoe and kayak launch.

Causeway Islands Park, Sanibel, Florida

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Along the causeway to Sanibel Island, Causeway Islands Park is one of the best beaches near Fort Myers. A 10-acre stretch of sand that’s known for being extremely windy, it comprises two islands: “A,” which has parking, and “B,” which has restrooms. These beaches near Fort Myers also accessible by water, so if you’re already out boating or fishing, pull up for a picnic.

Narrow beaches line both the gulf and bay sides of the causeway. Enthusiasts who take advantage of these sands are kitesurfers, paddleboarders, kayakers, those in search of convenient places to launch and ride the waves, and those simply looking for some of the best beaches near Fort Myers.

Crescent Beach Family Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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(Video) Best Beaches in Fort Myers [Southwest Florida]

Crescent Beach Family Park is a 2.25-acre waterfront park in Fort Myers Beach. It’s fronted by 400 feet of pure, white sand Gulf beach. Its family-friendliness is just part of what makes one of the best beaches in Fort Myers; there’s also picnic tables, a pair of beach volleyball courts, restrooms, and a parking area with four access points to the sand. Groomed and landscaped, this beach park in Fort Myers is located at the bottom of Matanzas Bridge, making it easy to find. While there are no concessions at Crescent Beach Family Park, it’s a short drive from here to Times Square.

Dog Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Who said that humans should have all the fun? Dog Beach is where canines can run, splash, and play off leash. Even if you don’t have a pup, watching dogs frolic in the waves is so joyful that it makes this stretch of sand deserve to be on any list of the best beaches near Fort Myers. Dog Beach has shower stations to rinse canines off before leaving, as well as a portable toilet for humans, but not much more in the way of facilities.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Fort Myers Beach, on Estero Island, is easily one of the region’s best beaches, sharing a name with the city itself. This beautiful stretch of sand and water has many public access points, while others are private, belonging only to hotels. The city of Fort Myers Beach is responsible for maintaining the public paths from Estero Boulevard to the Gulf beaches. To get here, head north of Matanzas Bridge on Estero Boulevard; between Lynn Hall and Bowditch Point, you’ll start to see banners flying from poles with the access numbers. These mark the entrances from the road and are replicated by signs on the Gulf side. Many of these access points have parking nearby. Street names correspond to the numbers. For instance, Mango Street is No. 27, while Avenue C is No. 34.

Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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(Video) FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - The TOP 10 Places you NEED to see in this BEACH city!

Possibly the most isolated beach in the region—and certainly one of the most intriguing beaches near Fort Myers—Lovers Key State Park has a lovely mythology. Because it was difficult to get to (you used to need a boat to get there), only those who craved extreme privacy made the effort—thus the name. Today, this barrier island, one of four that make up the state park, is a two-mile stretch of sand that you can access by boardwalk or tram. Its ample opportunities for shelling, swimming, birding, and boating make it one of the very best beaches near Fort Myers.

The park also has a concession stand where you can rent everything from bicycles to beach chairs, as well as a boat ramp for launching kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and more. Call ahead if you’re interested in arranging a kayak tour.

Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Probably the most popular beach in Fort Myers, Lynn Hall Memorial Park is right next to Times Square, north of the Matanzas Pass Bridge. In addition to its natural attractions of sun and sand, this Fort Myers beach features Estero Island’s most comprehensive amenities, including Fort Myers Beach Pier, which is a licensed fishing pier with a bait and gift shop; picnic shelters and grills; outdoor showers; food concession stands; canoe and kayaking launch points; volleyball courts; and restrooms with changing facilities. There’s also plenty of beach access from the parking lots.

During high season, this Fort Myers beach is packed. On the other hand, there’s a trolley stop here, so you don’t have to drive. And you can easily walk to nearby shops and restaurants for more entertainment after a day on one of the best beaches in Fort Myers.

Matanzas Pass Preserve, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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(Video) Fort Myers FL Official - Best Beaches and Attractions

Enjoyable Matanzas Pass Preserve is a 60-acre sanctuary that earns its spot on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. It’s also part of the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail. Whether you intend to hike the trails through the mangrove and oak hammocks or launch from the landing, take time to explore the Gulf beach that provides picture-perfect views of Estero Bay.

In fact, the beach and park do more than just provide a beautiful backdrop—they offer a ton of amenities, including a fishing pier, food concessions, picnic and grill areas, restrooms, a bike rack and a decently sized parking lot. The preserve is located one mile south of Matanzas Pass Bridge.

Newton Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Newton Park is a historical beach run by the city of Fort Myers Beach. It features parking, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and water fountains. Stop off for sandwiches at the nearby grocery store on your way in, then spend the whole day enjoying the sun on one of the best beaches near Fort Myers.

Formerly the home of Jim and Ellie Newton, who were associates of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh, and other high-society industrialists of the era, the property’s Seven Seas cottage is available for special events.

More from SmarterTravel:

  • Fort Myers Travel Guide
  • 10 Best Hotels in Fort Myers
  • 10 Cheap Hotels in Fort Myers
  • 10 Best Fort Myers Beach Resorts
  • 10 Fun Things to Do in Fort Myers
  • 10 Must-See Fort Myers Attractions
  • 10 Best Restaurants in Fort Myers
  • 10 Best Cheap Places to Eat in Fort Myers
  • 10 Best Fort Myers Beach Restaurants
  • What to Pack for Florida
  • What to Wear in Florida

[viator_tour destination=”5196″ type=”3-mod” tours=”5698ADWEST,36657P1,5698HALFWEST”]

(Video) Looking to visit the best beaches here in the Fort Myers area? | in 2022

–Original reporting by Jen Karetnick

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

FAQs

Are there good beaches in Fort Myers Florida? ›

The best beaches are found in Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Fort Myers. You can also find beautiful stretches of sand on several other barrier islands nearby. Each beach area has its own personality and characteristics.

What beach is the closest to Fort Myers Florida? ›

Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel

If you're staying in downtown Fort Myers and want to check out a beach on Sanibel Island, Lighthouse Beach is one of the best beaches near Fort Myers and the closest beach to the mainland. Located at the easternmost tip of Sanibel Island, Lighthouse beach is unique for a few reasons.

Which Florida beach is the prettiest? ›

Andrews Beach is undoubtedly the most impressive one. As it is located in a state park, the beach is as pristine as they come. The thin strip of land upon which it rests is bordered by the tranquil waters of scenic Saint Andrews Bay on one side and the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

Where is the clearest water near Fort Myers Florida? ›

Tarpon Bay Beach

Calm, clear water that's ideal for swimming, wide expanses of soft white sand, and great opportunities for shelling help make this beach a true diamond in the rough. It's not uncommon to see dolphins in the surf as well. There are no concessions so be sure to pack your own.

Does Fort Myers have white beaches? ›

Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island is a favorite destination of many locals, snowbirds and vacationers. The Island boasts seven miles of white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico where the ocean floor slopes gently towards the horizon with no sudden drop-offs or big waves.

Can you swim at Fort Myers Beach? ›

Yes, for most people. However, for some people red tide can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you are particularly susceptible to irritation from plant products, avoid red tide waters. If you experience irritation, get out and thoroughly wash off.

Is the water calm at Fort Myers Beach? ›

Fort Myers Beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico and has soft, white sand beaches and clear, calm water. The ocean here is shallow so you can easily wade for a nice distance.

Does Sanibel Island have white sand beaches? ›

Many of our beach vacation homes and condos have easy access to Sanibel's white sand beaches, too.

Can you walk on Fort Myers Beach at night? ›

Fort Myers Beach Rules

Fort Myers Beach access in Estero Island, Florida is open year-round from sunrise until 30-minutes past sunset.

Does Bonita Springs have nice beaches? ›

Bonita Springs, a welcoming beach community in Southwest Florida between Fort Myers and Naples, is home to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center. Fishing and outdoor activities are popular in Bonita Springs, as are the sparkling beaches.

What is the #1 beach in Florida? ›

South Beach, Miami

Beautiful people, flashy cars, skimpy bathing suits, Art Deco architecture: It's all here on the 2.2-mile white sand stretch that makes up Florida's most famous beach.

What is the number 1 beach in Florida 2022? ›

1. Destin. Up on the northwest coast of Florida, Destin is a city that fronts the scenic Gulf of Mexico.

What's the number one rated beach in Florida? ›

The sugary, white quartz sand and the Gulf Coast waters that stretch all along Siesta Key are reason enough to visit the Siesta Key public beach when vacationing in Sarasota County, Florida. These sands were chosen no. 1 overall on Trip Advisor's USA Traveler's Choice for Best Beach in 2015, and were Dr.

Can you swim in the ocean on Sanibel Island? ›

Whether you're looking to do some shelling, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or just work on your tan, Sanibel and Captiva Island offer some of the best beaches in the world, and with over 15 miles of unspoiled beaches, there's a beach for everyone!

Does Sanibel beach have clear water? ›

Sanibel Island

If you're looking for the best beaches on the Gulf Coast, you'll want to check out Sanibel Island. The island is known for its beautiful shells and stunning Florida sunsets, but the clear water is definitely a highlight. You can find plenty of secluded spots to relax on the beach or go for a swim.

What is the number 1 safest city in Florida? ›

Safest Cities Overall
  • COOPER CITY, FL. Safety Score:96.7. + Population:36,896. Property Crimes (per 100,000):1,174. ...
  • WESTON, FL. Safety Score:96.6. + Population:71,744. ...
  • SEBASTIAN, FL. Safety Score:95.3. + Population:25,672. ...
  • PORT ST. LUCIE, FL. Safety Score:94.8. + ...
  • PORT ORANGE, FL. Safety Score:94.1. + Population:64,208.
26 Sept 2022

Why is Fort Myers so popular? ›

Known for its rich history, beautiful natural scenery, and shell-covered beaches, Fort Myers is a safe and family-friendly area alongside the Gulf Coast. If you have been thinking about moving to this growing Florida city, Fort Myers has many pros and cons to consider.

Is Fort Myers or Naples better? ›

Naples is an enclave for the wealthy with significantly more-expensive real estate prices and an overall upscale area. On the other hand, Fort Myers is a more affordable location that still has a variety of amenities worth visiting.

Is Fort Myers Beach free? ›

There are more than 30 beach access points marked with colorful beach access signs offering entry onto developed, as well as secluded, pristine stretches of shoreline. Many are near restaurants and cafes. Parking is $2 per hour.

Does Fort Myers Beach have seashells? ›

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel yields some 400 species of multi-colored seashells, from the commonplace scallop and clam to the exotic tulips, olives, fragile paper fig shells and the rarest of them all, the brown speckled junonia.

How far is Fort Myers Florida from the ocean? ›

scorecard. Fort Myers Beach is big draw for travelers visiting the area. Located on Estero Island, it is the closest – and most popular – beach spot to downtown Fort Myers, though it is a roughly 20-mile drive south. In peak traffic, it can take as long as an hour to get there.

What is Ft Myers Beach known for? ›

Fort Myers Beach is known throughout the United States for its gorgeous seven-mile beachfront, which showcases sugar-white sands and gradually sloping waterfront terrain. The Estero Island beachfront is located within the town of the same name and serves as a popular outdoor recreation site year-round.

Are there jellyfish at Fort Myers Beach? ›

It is a rare event, but yes it is possible to get stung by jellyfish in this area.

Is there red tide on Sanibel Island? ›

Once you get south of Manasota and Englewood Beach on Florida's gulf coast, current water samples are showing no occurrence of the toxins that indicate red tide. That means popular destinations like Sanibel and Captiva, Naples, Fort Myers and Marco Island are all in the clear.

What beaches in Florida have bacteria? ›

Enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources.
...
Harmful bacteria prompt officials to issue 'no swim' advisory for multiple Florida beaches
  • Bird Key Park/ Ringling Causeway.
  • Siesta Key Beach.
  • Service Club Beach.
  • Venice Fishing Pier.
  • Brohard Beach.
  • Casperson Beach.
  • Manasota Key.
29 Jul 2022

Are beaches open in Florida 2022? ›

The beaches remain open, but wading, swimming and water recreation is not recommended when no swim advisories advisory in place. Some bacteria are naturally present in the environment. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found a link between health and water quality.

Does it cost money to go to Sanibel Island? ›

It is $6 per vehicle, plus a $3 service fee. This cost is roundtrip, so you won't pay when leaving the island. The Sanibel Causeway Bridge is 3 miles long. The tolls are managed by the LeeWay service center, so it will take a photo of your license plate and send you a bill when you return home.

What is the best time of year to visit Sanibel Island in Florida? ›

From December-April, Sanibel has the best weather the entire year with cooler days and less rain, when compared to the summer months. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive time of year to visit. But with a little pre-planning, you can save on flights and accommodation.

Are Sanibel beaches crowded? ›

Compared to other popular tourist locations in Florida, Sanibel doesn't get extremely crowded, even during the busy season. However, if you're still concerned about vacationing during peak season, you can choose to come during the off-season.

Can you have alcohol on the beach in Fort Myers? ›

Alcohol is not allowed on the beach, other than in restaurant property located on the beach. Driving on the beach is not allowed. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but must be kept on leash and picked up after.

Is Fort Myers Beach a party beach? ›

Fort Myers Beach has a seven-mile-long strip of shallow water and sand, perfect for a beach party. Because the beach is the main attraction in Fort Myers, expect that most of the party spots are nearby. You can find a ton of bars, restaurants, and hotels that line the beach. Each has a different party atmosphere.

Can you bring coolers to Fort Myers Beach? ›

There is beach security riding around so don't get caught if you choose to drink. Coolers are allowed on the beach but not beer/alcohol.

Does Bonita Beach still have bacteria? ›

Tests completed July 14, 2022, indicate that the water quality at Bonita Beach Park does not meet the recreational water quality criteria for Enterococcus bacteria recommended by the Florida Department of Health. Water contact may pose an increased risk of disease, particularly for susceptible individuals.

Does Bonita Springs have clear water? ›

Bonita Beach is a beautiful, clean, pristine, safe and family-friendly sandy beach in Bonita Springs. It has an easy access, clear water, friendly locals, and good 3G+ coverage. The water there is clear.

Is Bonita Beach free? ›

There is no fee for Florida residents. If you are planning to host an event at Bonita Beach Park, please fill out the form Beach Park User Information and email to CWilliams@leegov.com.

Can you swim at Fort Myers Beach? ›

Yes, for most people. However, for some people red tide can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you are particularly susceptible to irritation from plant products, avoid red tide waters. If you experience irritation, get out and thoroughly wash off.

Does Fort Myers have white beaches? ›

Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island is a favorite destination of many locals, snowbirds and vacationers. The Island boasts seven miles of white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico where the ocean floor slopes gently towards the horizon with no sudden drop-offs or big waves.

Is Fort Myers Beach good for swimming? ›

Typically very calm waters as well. Great for water sports as well! over a year ago. It's not as clear as some of the beaches on the Atlantic coast, and the water is a bit warmer, but it is ok for swimming.

What is the beach like in Fort Myers Florida? ›

The seven-mile stretch of beach has a wide shoreline that eases into the Gulf. Gentle undertow and no steep drop-offs, the palm-shaded sand and family-friendly reputation nabbed it the title “World's Safest Beach.” Fort Myers Beach, Florida maintains 26 public beach accesses on Estero Island.

What is Ft Myers Beach known for? ›

Fort Myers Beach is known throughout the United States for its gorgeous seven-mile beachfront, which showcases sugar-white sands and gradually sloping waterfront terrain. The Estero Island beachfront is located within the town of the same name and serves as a popular outdoor recreation site year-round.

Are there jellyfish at Fort Myers Beach? ›

It is a rare event, but yes it is possible to get stung by jellyfish in this area.

Are Fort Myers beaches free? ›

Fort Myers Beach is free to visit, but there is a fee to park. Visitors can find short-term, metered parking and long-term parking for about $2 to $3 per hour.

Can you walk on Fort Myers Beach at night? ›

Fort Myers Beach Rules

Fort Myers Beach access in Estero Island, Florida is open year-round from sunrise until 30-minutes past sunset.

Is the water calm at Fort Myers Beach? ›

Fort Myers Beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico and has soft, white sand beaches and clear, calm water. The ocean here is shallow so you can easily wade for a nice distance.

Does Fort Myers Beach have seashells? ›

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel yields some 400 species of multi-colored seashells, from the commonplace scallop and clam to the exotic tulips, olives, fragile paper fig shells and the rarest of them all, the brown speckled junonia.

Does Sanibel have red tide? ›

Red Tide is more common in summer months but can occur anytime. It can affect anywhere along the gulf coast of Florida. Sanibel is therefore not more nor less likely to suffer from it than anywhere from Tampa to Marco Island.

Is Fort Myers close to Sanibel Island? ›

For information on Hurricane Ian's impacts and local recovery efforts, please check here. The city of Sanibel Island, located along the Gulf of Mexico just a short drive from Fort Myers, is justly famed for its sunsets, lighthouse, and luxurious resorts.

What beaches have red tide in Florida? ›

Beaches along Florida's central and southwest coast are most affected by red tide, including the beautiful beaches near Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Sanibel and Captiva Island.

Is Fort Myers Beach walkable? ›

Downtown Fort Myers Beach is compact and walkable, and it is an entertaining stroll in the evenings. Sunset attracts crowds around the free pier. Nearby, the Time Square area is busy with street performers, music and strolling families.

Is Fort Myers Beach Blue? ›

The beach city of Fort Myers has plenty of fun attractions and unique adventures. You can relax on the sandy beach while admiring the clear blue ocean. Fort Myers has miles and miles of pristine beaches with white sand and a relaxing ambiance.

Does Sanibel Island have white sand beaches? ›

Many of our beach vacation homes and condos have easy access to Sanibel's white sand beaches, too.

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