VIBE: Active, Busy, Family Friendly
Crescent Beach Family Park, 1100 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
Update Published Oct 4, 2022. This page will be updated once Hurricane Ian damage is assessed. Fort Myers is in the process of rebuilding but they are making progress for visitors to return in 2023. It is the place to be footloose and fancy-free and we expect it to be that way once again.
Going to the beach shouldn't be boring. If you have an active lifestyle, some Florida beaches may be too quiet. Not Fort Myers Beach. This beach is busy, and it's easy to see why: there's no shortage of activities offered for every taste. On top of that, it's gorgeous. When we visited Fort Myers Beach, it was crowded, but the vibe was carefree and eclectic. It was so interesting to be there and see what was going on. People of all ages lined the beaches and filled the restaurants. Boats and jet ski's were parked close to the shore for partying. It was an amazing, international crowd. The water was warm and we couldn't wait to explore!
Fort Myers Beach Sand
The sand on Fort Myers Beach is sugary, although not as white as Siesta Key (in our opinion). It's a flat beach so it's easy to line up the chairs and enjoy the view, or wade into the water without worrying about a big drop-off. You can also walk for miles in the shallow surf. People set up their chairs and umbrellas fairly close to the Gulf water, so it gets a bit crowded for activities like riding a bike. Overall, the sand in Fort Myers met our expectations for a Florida Gulf coast beach.
Fort Myers Beach Sand
The water here was fairly clear, but not that crystal, beautiful blue you get with other Gulf beaches. Maybe it's the geography, the time of year...or all those boats lined up at the shore with their engines running? Either way, you can enjoy swimming but if it's scenic blue water you're seeking, then you're better off at Sanibel Island, Siesta Key Beach or the Florida Panhandle beaches like Destin.
Fort Myers Beach Parking and Amenities
Parking at Fort Myers Beach was not a good experience for us and it was expensive. A parking lot close to the beach (since everything was full including Crescent Beach Family Park) cost us $20 for the day. There were long line-ups to get on and off the causeway, which is something we have experienced before on the Bradenton beaches. In fact, it took longer to get through the City of Fort Myers and onto the beach, than it did to practically drive across Florida! So beware of the traffic and parking situation before you go. Plan to get there early in the morning or stay overnight in a beachfront hotel. You'll save yourself a lot of grief and enjoy your road trip a lot more. Once you are on the beach, there are bathroom facilities by the pier where you can change and clean the sand off your feet.
Fort Myers Beach Activities
Fort Myers offers just about everything you can dream of doing! It is not a quiet beach but who cares when it is so much fun! Bike riding, Onewheel, paddleboards, wave runner rentals, parasailing, kayaks and banana boats are just a few of the activities you can enjoy. There are even dolphin tours. People-watching is never boring. This is not just a beach for retired folks: we saw all ages and people from many different countries. You can even get an RV site or rent a mobile unit right on the beach. Find out more about Red Coconut RV Park.
If boating and fishing is your true love, then Fort Myers Beach is where you want to be! What's even better, you can walk right out through the water to reach your boat. Redfish, Tarpon, Snook...heck, you might even see a shark or manatee. Then when you come back from your fishing trip, just drop anchor and enjoy the sunshine. The Gulf of Mexico is not very deep close to shore, so it's perfect for small boats and jet skis. When you're done with your beach day, just wade out, climb aboard and take off. No boat? No problem. There are lots of fishing charters available. What could be better for a Florida beach vacation?
Look Out! This Could Happen...
Fog can be an issue in Fort Myers, at least it was during the winter days we were there. It came out of nowhere in the afternoon, making it impossible to see anything or enjoy the sun. The next morning it was extremely foggy is as well. Like any Florida beach, always be aware that weather conditions can change in an instant. This is especially true with thunder storms. Be prepared to get off the beach and take shelter. The Gulf beach fog drifted in and out for several hours and then was gone by dinner time. We were able to go back to the shore and watch the sun go down, which is always a treat on a Florida Gulf beach.
Parking was such a challenge that we had trouble finding nice trucks. That's probably because it's smarter to visit this beach in a car that can be easily parked...compact car even. Apparently, metered parking is located on Old San Carlos Blvd., Estero Blvd., Center St., and Fifth St. but it's time-limited to 2 hours. There are also pay stations (map here). We were quite worried about parking our pickup truck in the tiny, private lot we chose. Were we going to get dinged? Not a nice feeling but nothing bad happened to our vehicle, thank goodness.
What We Really Think About Fort Myers Beach
The sunset in Fort Myers Beach was incredible. We are glad we visited Fort Myers Beach, but we won't be back for a while. This is because of the traffic situation. If you are going to stay for a week or a few days then we say go for it. You will never be bored and the beach is large. Like Naples and other Florida Gulf beach getaways, it can be expensive to stay, park, and eat (except for the Mexican restaurant mentioned below). The fishing is excellent so if you are an angler, Fort Myers is for you. Take a fishing charter. You can fish using the vessel license for recreational saltwater fishing in Florida.
Fort Myers Beach Hotels
Fort Myers Beach Restaurants
We ate at this little Mexican restaurant across the street from the beach, Mr. Tequila, and it was delicious! Not too many people were here and the service was quick. We had the best Mexican food and the drinks were generous. Look at those fajitas and real Mexican rice. This is a great spot, with views of the beach, that doesn't break your budget. There's a Mr. Tequila in Bradenton too. Try it!
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