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best beaches in florida
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The 10 Best Beaches Near Fort Myers

SmarterTravel

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

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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 

best beaches in fort myers

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

best beaches in fort myers

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 

best beaches in fort myers

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 

best beaches in fort myers

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.

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–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.

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