Florida is often among our top picks for off-peak summer travel. This year, we're highlighting Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island as some of the best places to visit. The area boasts more than 590 miles of coastline, and summer temperatures are hot, with highs in the 90s and water temperatures in the 80s. Plus, there are loads of promotions in the area that make heading to the beach this summer all the more appealing.
The Summer Sanctuary promotion currently listed on the website for the Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel includes hotel specials at more than 30 area properties starting at $99 per night. Besides Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island themselves, hotels in Bonita Springs and Captiva Island are also included in the promotion. Most of the specials go beyond just cheap room rates, and include free nights; rounds of golf; spa treatments; bicycle, canoe, or wave runner rentals; gift cards for shopping and dining; and more.
Plus, low-cost carriers AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest, and Spirit serve Ft. Myers, and all the airlines have offered frequent sales for summer domestic travel. If you keep your eye on our airfare deals page, you're bound to find a good deal for Ft. Myers.
When I compared summer and winter vacation-package prices, I found savings of up to $220 for off-peak summer travel. See below for specifics.
|Package||Provider||Off-Peak Rate||Peak Rate|
|Airfare from Baltimore, two nights' hotel||Expedia||$373 (August 4 to 6)||$440 (December 8 to 10)|
|Airfare from Indianapolis, five nights' hotel||Orbitz||$393 (July 13 to 18, 2009)||$451 (February 8 to 13, 2010)|
|Airfare from New York City, four nights' hotel||Travelocity||$436 (July 27 through 31, 2009)||$656 (February 1 through 5, 2010)|
|Airfare from Seattle, four nights' hotel||CheapTickets>||$403 (August 17 to 22, 2009)||$417 (January 25 to 29, 2010)|
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include taxes and fees.
If you seek activities beyond enjoying the hot, sunny weather and pristine beaches in the Ft. Myers area, there are a few events this summer that might catch your eye. If you're bringing the kids or just enjoy live performances, you might check out Peter Pan or Disney's Mulan, Jr. at the Broadway Palm Theater in July and August, or Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco show, running from July 8 to 12. The annual 2D 3D All-Florida Juried Exhibit runs from June 5 through August 7, and artists from around Florida display their work at the Alliance for the Arts galleries.
The Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel website is a good place to start planning your visit to the area.