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30 Best & Fun Things to do in Fort Myers FL

30 Best & Fun Things to do in Fort Myers FL

Looking for the best things to do in Fort Myers Florida? Great you have come to the right place.

Conveniently located near the Gulf of Mexico, almost 90,000 people call Fort Myers, Florida home. Famous for its beaches, fishing opportunities, and shopping, we think Fort Myers is one of the top destinations in Florida for 2022.

Here are our favorite 30 activities to do in the City of Palms.

30 Things to do in Fort Myers Florida You Can’t Miss

We know you love adventure, so we had to include two exciting attractions located in Fort Myers.

1.   Defy Fort Myers

The indoor amusement center has fun for all ages seven and up. Between aerial skills, battle beams, angled trampolines, foam pits, extreme dodgeball, ninja obstacle courses, and warped walls, you could easily spend an entire day here and not get bored.

If you have little ones in your group, there’s also a Kid Jump, which allows one guardian to jump with a child 6 and under. We love this experience for whole family fun and birthday parties. If you’ve ever wanted to defy gravity, this place is for you.

Defy Fort Myers

Defy Fort Myers/ Facebook

2.   Murder Mystery Dinner Train

Do you love murder mystery TV shows and board games? If so, this is a unique and memorable experience for you. Board the Murder Mystery Dinner Train and immerse yourself into a show that happens in the aisles of each train car between dinner courses.

One person per car will win a special prize at the end of the show. The acts change throughout the year, so you can even do it more than once and have a unique experience each time. Dinner is included in the ticket price and includes appetizers, soup and salad, bread, an entree, and dessert. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on board.

Murder Mystery Dinner Train

Murder Mystery Dinner Train/ Flickr

Culture

Fort Myers has plenty of cultures to go around. From an amazing flea market to a beautiful downtown, we think these experiences will provide fun for the whole family.

3.   Fort Myers River District

The historical downtown Fort Myers river district should not be missed. There is always something to see in this vibrant and charming area.

There are monthly music and art walks, as well as places to eat, drink, shop, and pamper yourself. We think the River District is a great place to start your trip in Fort Myers. Acclimate yourself to the culture and people before doing your tours or beach days.

Fort Myers River District

Fort Myers River District / Shutterstock

4.   Fleamasters Fleamarket

With over 900 stores, you might just find your next great treasure at the Fleamasters Fleamarket. There are 20 different delicious food stands to get some snacks to eat while you are browsing through hundreds of small businesses selling amazing things.

You can find everything from fresh produce, antiques, clothing, luggage, and collectibles. There is now a music hall at the Flea Market that seats 300 people. Open since 1986, we highly recommend seeing this Fort Myers staple on your next trip.

5.   Times Square

We know you thought Times Square was only in New York, but you’re wrong. Located in downtown Fort Myers Beach, Times Square is home to a variety of retail shops, restaurants, pier, and public beach access.

Although it’s not quite as large or famous as the one on 42nd street, there are plenty of opportunities to see live music and have a great time. It is undergoing some major improvements in 2022, which only makes our love for it grow stronger.

6.   Fort Myers Brewing Company

If you get in the mood for a beer, we strongly suggest that you check out Fort Myers Brewing Company. They host a variety of events, with a weekly trivia night every Tuesday, live music, and some of the best food trucks around.

The owners wanted to create a space where strangers can become friends. There are 25 beers on tap daily, as well as a homemade spiked seltzer, cider, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages. They are pet and family friendly, so there’s no reason not to add this to your itinerary.

7.   Florida Repertory Theatre

This 1917 venue is a must for anyone who wants to see a play or musical. Currently on show is Driving Miss Daisy, Into the Breeches, Buddy, A Doll’s House Part 2, and Maytag Virgin. The Wall Street Journal named the Florida Repertory Theatre as one of America’s Top Repertory Companies.

8.   McGregor Blvd

Originally used to run cattle between Fort Myers and Punta Rassa, McGregor Blvd is now a gorgeous 14 mile long palm tree lined street. We love driving up and down McGregor Boulevard and looking at the palm trees. There is something serene about it, and when you drive down, you’ll know what we are talking about.

9.   List Distillery

If you like spirits more than beer, head over to List Distillery. List is the first small-batch craft distillery in Fort Myers. They produce vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, whiskey, and cream liqueurs, so there is really something for everyone.

You can schedule a tour for just $10 per person to see how these wide varieties of spirits are made. If you are of legal drinking age and want to try out the first 100% gluten-free and sugar-free vodka and gin, we highly recommend visiting the folks at List.

Museums

Take an opportunity to learn something while you’re visiting Fort Myers. There are some great museums for science and nature.

10. Edison and Ford Winter Estates

This historical museum and 21-acre botanical garden is located right next to Henry Ford’s and Thomas Edison’s winter homes. You can visit the homes, gardens, laboratory, and museum. The estates were ranked the number one activity to do in Fort Myers on TripAdvisor, so you won’t want to miss out.

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are two of the most influential men in our history, so it is fascinating seeing where they had homes and how they worked. Admission for a self guided tour is $25 for adults, $20 for teens, and $15 for children. We think the experience is well worth the price.

You can pay a little bit more and get a tour guide to fully explain the wonderful history here. Once a week, there is a special automotive tour focusing on antique vehicles. Finally, there is a special tour that takes you to the normally restricted areas of the homes on the property for major history enthusiasts.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Edison and Ford Winter Estates/ Flickr

11. Burroughs Home and Gardens

This historic home is a great place to experience a living history tour in Fort Myers. Located in the downtown River District, this 1918 house was home to the Burroughs family, who became very popular throughout Florida.

Known for their extravagance, the home was willed to the city of Fort Myers in 1978 following the death of the last member of the Burroughs family. It was then added to the National Register of HIstoric Places in 1984.

12. Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is actually the only museum in the entire United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks.

This museum provides a unique experience to learn about some fascinating creatures and has many beautiful exhibits. It opened back in 1995 and includes shells from all over the world. There are 34 exhibits, public programs, and in-house resources.

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum/ Flickr

13.Mound House

This museum is located on top of a 2000 year old Calusa Indian Shell mound. The house serves as an archeological site and museum dedicated to the Calusa tribe.

The house itself is the oldest standing structure on Estero Island and was built in 1921. The Mound House hosts kayak eco-tours, beach walks, and other interactive programs to teach you about the rich history in this area. This is one of our favorite excursions to do while in Fort Myers, and we hope you enjoy it too.

14. IMAG History & Science Center

This hands-on museum and aquarium are great for families and provide a fantastic educational opportunity for children and adults alike.

There are exhibits on fossils, the Calusa tribe, aquariums and touch tanks, and much more. We think learning can be really fun, and these interactive exhibits are fun for all ages.

15. Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium

The Calusa Nature Center wants to teach people about the unique ecosystem in Fort Myers by bringing them into it. The 105-acre center has nature trails, butterflies, aviaries, rescue animals, and theaters.

They have special events and exhibits regularly, so make sure to add this to your itinerary when you’re in Southwest Florida. Coming up are family yoga lessons, guided nature walks, lessons on space and constellations, and talks on the various animals and butterflies that call the Nature Center home.

16. Railroad Museum of South Florida

If you like trains, this is the museum for you. Home to model trains, a locomotive simulator, and railroad artifacts, you will get the opportunity to learn a lot about America’s great railroad system.

We love the one mile long miniature train ride that takes you through recreations of South Florida cities circa 1950. You will also get to see #143 that the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia built for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad all the way back in 1905.

Railroad Museum of South Florida

Railroad Museum of South Florida/ Flickr

17. Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center

This arts center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibitions, galas, and lectures. We think art is so important to maintaining the culture of a community, so be sure to check out what events are being held during your next trip. There are a wide variety of events coming up.

You can find pretty much anything from a rooftop sculpture garden, women’s group art shows, cocktail hours followed by film screenings or concerts, author lecture lunches, and much more. This is a great opportunity to learn and socialize with other art enthusiasts.

Outdoors and nature

Fort Myers is home to some incredible parks, beaches, and conservatories. Whether you want to learn about nature or soak it all in, we have lots of spots to hit on your next trip.

18. Lovers Key State Park

If you’re traveling to Fort Myers with a partner, you’ll want to spend a romantic day lounging on the beach at the Lovers Key State Park. A popular wedding and honeymoon destination, there are two miles of white sandy beaches ready for relaxation.

The original plan for this area was to build luxury condos but was made into a state park to keep the area untarnished. We love the serenity and highly recommend stopping in and spending the day soaking in the sun.

Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key State Park/ Flickr

19. Captiva Island

Captiva Island is home to two and a half miles of gorgeous beaches, as well as many kid friendly activities. You can find almost any outdoor activity here from biking to watersports.

You can also find giant frogs and tiny starfish, as well as a restaurant where it’s Christmas all year long. You can even learn how to sail or fish. There are over 250 different kinds of shells on Captiva Island, so we love spending the day relaxing on the beach and looking for unique shells. Captiva Island is said to have some of the most diverse shells in the entire world and is considered one of Florida’s best shelling beaches.

sanibel-beaches

20. Manatee Park

This warm water refuge for the Florida Manatee is a must visit destination. They recommend visiting from December to February to see the most manatees, as they are a non-capture facility.

We also love kayaking here. The man made refuge was created so the manatees have warm water to escape to during winter or cold fronts, which is why they are more commonly seen here when the water temperature in the Gulf drops below 68 degrees.

where-to-see-manatees

21. Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

This refuge was designed to protect the endangered Florida Panther, which is the only cougar located east of the Mississippi River. You can also find squirrels, bobcats, armadillos, raccoons, black bears, coyotes, and alligators here.

There are anywhere from 12 to 16 panthers that roam throughout the refuge every month. You can only visit part of the 26,000-acre refuge, as the main priority is protecting the diverse ecosystem.

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge/ Flickr

22. Koreshan State Park

Just outside of Fort Myers in Estero, Florida is the Koreshan State Park. The park has 11 historic buildings that were built by the Koreshans in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

You can even find an adorable gopher tortoise at the park, so we think it is worth a visit. The Koreshans were a religious sect that settled on this land that is now the park. They believed in communal living and established a farm, nursery, and botanical gardens. It is fascinating learning about how this group of people lived and how they developed this land.

23. Florida Native Butterfly Society Conservatory

This educational facility is a nonprofit that is dedicated to teaching everyone about the lifecycle of butterflies that are native to Florida. Staff at the conservatory hand raise all of the butterflies, so you are sure to learn a lot when you visit.

You can tell that everyone here really values the mission of protecting the wildlife of Southwest Florida and emphasizes the importance of building butterfly habitats. We love an excuse to get to interact with the gorgeous butterflies, and you will come away with a new appreciation for all these little creatures do for our ecosystem.

24. Lakes Park

We love Fort Myers because of the abundance of state and local parks. Lakes Park is a 279-acre public park with 158 acres of man made freshwater lakes.

You can kayak, canoe, hike, watch birds, or simply bring a picnic and enjoy the incredible views and weather on display. We love going to Lakes Park on a warm day to get closer to nature and have fun with the whole family. Do note that dogs are not allowed in the park.

25. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

This 3,500-acre wetland should not be missed when you are visiting Fort Myers. It was ranked as the second best thing to do in all of Fort Myers by TripAdvisor.

There is a boardwalk trail, interpretive center, and amphitheater. The Cypress Slough catches and filters rainwater that goes to Estero Bay. You can find otters, alligators, and turtles throughout the wetlands. While many animals call the Slough home, it also functions as a safe route of travel for animals migrating.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve/ Flickr

26. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

This wildlife refuge located just outside of Fort Myers on Sanibel Island is well worth the drive. There are trails, hiking opportunities, bird watching, water sports, fishing, and more available to you at this refuge. The refuge was even featured in National Geographic.

It is important to note the difference between a refuge and a park. A refuge was created to protect and preserve the wildlife in an area, while a park was created to encourage citizens and visitors to visit. While you are certainly encouraged to visit the refuge, the main priority is protecting the wildlife here, so be sure to be respectful of your surroundings.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge/ Flickr

27. Sanibel Lighthouse

While you’re in Sanibel visiting the Wildlife Refuge, you should also stopover at the Sanibel Lighthouse. Not only can you see the lighthouse, but you can go fishing, search for shells, and maybe even see a dolphin.

The beach here is great too. The 98 foot lighthouse was one of the first on Florida’s gulf coast and was built in 1884. Although you cannot go up to the top of the lighthouse, it is certainly a wonder to behold. It is an iron skeleton tower, so it looks a bit different than other lighthouses you might have seen.

Sanibel Lighthouse

Sanibel Lighthouse/ Flickr

28. Beaches

There are quite a few beaches surrounding Fort Myers and you really cannot go wrong. We know that the beaches are what likely draws you to Fort Myers in the first place, so we encourage you to spend quite a bit of time sunbathing and engaging in water sports.

Some of our favorite beaches are Crescent Beach, Lani Kai, and the stretch of beach in front of Times Square. We love meeting new people and feeling the vibrancy that these beaches have at all times.

Sports

If you like to get active or watch sports, there are a few experiences for you in Fort Myers.

29. Baseball & Spring Training

If you are a baseball enthusiast, you will be very happy to know that the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins come to Fort Myers every spring for MLB spring training.

Ticket sales typically begin in December or January, so be on the lookout for tickets before they get sold out. College teams also practice at facilities in Fort Myers which are just as fun to watch.

30. Verandah Club

There are two golf courses and dining at the country club in Fort Myers, and we love playing a round of golf here. The courses are gorgeous and well maintained, and the food is excellent. The club is an excellent wedding venue and hosts many year round events. Also on site is a pool, spa, and tennis court.

At the end of the day…

We think Fort Myers is one of the best cities to visit in Florida. From amazing nature and wildlife to golf clubs and breweries, you really cannot go wrong. We absolutely love the Gulf Coast and Fort Myers is no exception. You will never run out of activities here, as there is something catered to each individual personality.

For the best trip, we recommend choosing at least one thing from each category that we have reviewed to enhance your experience. We know it can be tempting to spend all day every day of your vacation taking in the sweet Gulf rays, but you would be amiss to leave out some of the great parks and refuges, museums, breweries, shopping, and adventures that Fort Myers has on offer. The whole family can learn, relax, explore, and experience the City of Palms.

Do you love to go to Fort Myers? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your favorite excursion in the Fort Myers area below.

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  • Florida Vacationers

    Florida Vacationers is the #1 place to find everything exciting to do in the Sunshine State from the incredible beaches to the beautiful springs, campgrounds and road trips - we are constantly on the lookout for hidden gems and secret spots! Bookmark this blog as your go to place for all things Florida related. We are so happy to have you as part of our Florida Vacationers community!

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Kurt Reichert

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Though I enjoy Harrison Ford, I hardly think that he is one of the most influential men in America. Certainly not on the level with Thomas Edison. HENRY Ford, on the other hand, now HE was influential. 🤣🤣 Please change the name in the Edison / Ford Estate description.

Florida Vacationers

Saturday 5th of February 2022

That made me laugh 🤣🤣 - thanks for the pick up - have updated the article. Thanks again.