A trip to Ft. Myers Beach, FL calls for plenty of beach time along its miles-long white sand beaches, fresh seafood from numerous waterfront restaurants that dot the oceanfront, and tropical cocktails as the sun sets over the picturesque fishing pier in the evenings. While you’re sure to enjoy all these Ft. Myers Beach experiences, there’s also a good chance you’ll be experiencing them side-by-side with at least a handful of other travelers. However, stepping a little further off the tourist trail reveals hidden attractions that make Ft. Myers Beach more than just an excellent beach destination. Whether you’re paddling a lone waterway or venturing down a boardwalk through the wilderness, unveil a new side of Ft. Myers Beach on your next getaway! Be sure to add these top 5 under the radar attractions in Fort Myers Beach to your next Florida itinerary.
Ft. Myers Beach may now be a well-known beach destination, but long before it was a land of sunbathers and beachside cocktails it was the home of the Calusa Indians. Visiting Mound House provides the opportunity to uncover some of this area’s rich history. Situated along Estero Bay with beautiful scenery, a visit to the Mound House is also great for enjoying the scenery of Ft. Myers Beach from a different vantage point. This is a location that is well worth scheduling a guided tour in order to get the most out of the experience. Tour by foot or by kayak, exploring tidal creeks and winding mangrove tunnels that reach into the hidden backwaters of Estero Bay and learning about how the Calusa Indians used natural resources to create tools and weapons that sustained their society along the way. A tour of the Shell Mound site provides a deep dive 2,000 years into the past!
Matanzas Pass Preserve
To slip away on a quiet venture through nature that takes you away from the oceanfront, head to the 60-acre Mantanzas Pass Preserve. As a Great Florida Birding Trail site, this thing to do in Fort Myers Florida is a great place to spot native birds as well as other wildlife such as raccoons, rabbits, hawks, owls, turtles, snakes, herons, fish, and songbirds. A picturesque elevated boardwalk weaves its way through four of the natural plant communities present in Ft. Myers Beach – maritime hammock, tidal swamp, black mangrove forest, and coastal grassland. The trail extends for nearly 1.5 miles, with interpretive stations along the way and a pavilion that overlooks Estero Bay. This peaceful stroll gives locals and visitors a chance to reconnect with nature and enjoy a window into the original Estero Island from another time and place before it became a popular beach community.
Otsego Bay Marine Science Center
If you’re vacationing in Ft. Myers Beach with children or you simply have an interest in local marine life, plan to spend a few hours at Otsego Bay Marine Science Center. What this humble center lacks in size is made up for in personability. Learn more about the area’s ecosystem and marine life through interactive exhibits, aquariums, touch tanks, and a variety of collections and displays. Calling ahead will guarantee you arrive just in time for feeding, when some of the otherwise hidden creatures come out for lunch. Learn how sea turtles hatch, touch a stingray or starfish, and learn the names of the many of the shells that can be found in area. A microscope with prepared slides even gives visitors the opportunity to observe like a scientist. A suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children makes this a good bang for your buck in Ft. Myers Beach.
Bowditch Point Park
Situated along the far end of Estero Island, Bowditch Point Park forms the entire northwestern tip of the island. Covering 17 acres, this park juts up against both the back bay and the gulf front, providing plenty of water views as well as a preserve area on the park’s interior. Pick a spot in the sand to watch the boats coming in and out of the bay or opt to explore the walking trails that weave their way through the preserve. Along the way, keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife. A stroll around the park on the beachfront reveals panoramic views with crystal clear waters and shells to discover in the fine white sand. Keep an eye out for dolphins just offshore, which are often spotted here!
The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail
Fort Myers Beach is a stopping point on The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile-long paddling trail marked with easy-to-identify brown-and-white signs. For canoers and kayakers, this route provides the ultimate adventure! Whether you’re a true waterman and plan to paddle the trail in its entirety or you simply want to leisurely paddle a portion, exploring The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is a great way to experience Ft. Myers Beach from another vantage point. Get all your maps and gear from Holiday Water Sports of Fort Myers Beach or Sea Dog Eco Tours.
Enjoy These Attractions in Fort Myers Today!
Discover another side of Estero Island when you visit these top 5 under-the-radar attractions in Fort Myers Beach! Contact us to learn more and to book your next stay today!