The best beaches in Fort Myers—and in neighboring Fort Myers Beach—are some of the most beautiful in Florida. The sand is fine, soft and white, and littered with shells, sand dollars and, if they’re kept natural, seaweed and driftwood. Public beaches open at 7 a.m. and close at dusk, and don’t allow pets unless they specifically say so.
10 Best Beaches in Fort Myers
Here are the best beaches in Fort Myers to suit all your swimming, kite-surfing, fishing, or boating needs.
Bowditch Point Beach Park
Stretching along the northernmost point of Estero Island, this Fort Myers Beach Park is one of the best beaches in the region, 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, which has landed it on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available, as is a restroom and concession stand. In addition, the beach is handicap accessible from the parking lot.
Bunche Beach Preserve
If you’re looking for an ungroomed, completely natural beach, go no further than Bunche. Part of a tidal wetlands sited on San Carlos Bay, this highlight among beaches in Fort Myers is a sandy stretch that partners tidal flats and 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, including parking, restrooms, picnic areas, food concessions, and even a canoe/kayak launch.
While technically along the causeway to Sanibel Island—note that you don’t have to pay the bridge toll if you’re heading to this park—this beach is still considered one of the best beaches in 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. They’re also accessible by water, so if you’re already out boating or fishing, you can pull up for a picnic.
Narrow beaches line both the gulf and bay sides of the causeway. Generally, the enthusiasts who take advantage of these sands are kite surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, and others who are looking for convenient places to launch and ride the waves.
Crescent Beach Family Park
This 2.25-acre beachfront park is fronted by 400 feet of pure, white-sand Gulf beach. This family-friendly standout among beaches in Fort Myers features restrooms, picnic tables, a pair of beach volleyball courts, and a parking area with four access points to the sand. Groomed and landscaped, the beach park 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 Park
Who said 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 with you, watching dogs frolic in the waves can still be a big draw. Dog Beach has shower stations to rinse canines off before leaving. But other than a portable toilet for humans, that’s about it for facilities.
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island has numerous public access points. (Others are private, belonging only to hotels.) The Town 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 #27, while Avenue C is #34.
Lovers Key State Park
Possibly the most isolated beach in the region—and certainly one of the most intriguing beaches in Fort Myers—Lovers Key has a lovely mythology. Because it was difficult to get to (it used to require 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. Go for shelling, swimming, birding, and boating.
The park has a concession where you can rent everything from bicycles to beach chairs, and there’s a boat ramp for launching kayaks, canoe, paddleboards and more. Call ahead if you want to arrange a kayak tour.
Lynn Hall Memorial Park
Probably the most popular beach in the area, Lynn Hall is situated 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 the most comprehensive amenities on Estero Island: the Fort Myers Beach Pier, which is a licensed fishing pier with a bait/gift shop; picnic shelters and grills; outdoor showers for rinsing off; food concession stands; canoe/kayaking launch; volleyball; and restrooms with changing facilities. There’s also plenty of access from the parking lots.
In high season, this 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 the sand.
Matanzas Pass Preserve
This 60-acre sanctuary is another site on the Great Florida Birding 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 enjoy 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, bike rack and parking lot. The preserve is located one mile south of Matanzas Pass Bridge.
Newton Park & Seven Seas
This historical beach park is run by the Town 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 and you can spend the whole day enjoying the sun.
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 Seven Seas cottage on the property is available for special events rentals.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Fort Myers Travel Guide
- 10 Best Hotels in Fort Myers
- 10 Cheap Hotels in Fort Myers
- 10 Best Fort Myers Beach Resorts
- 10 Fun Things to Do in Fort Myers
- 10 Must-See Fort Myers Attractions
- 10 Best Restaurants in Fort Myers
- 10 Best Cheap Places to Eat in Fort Myers
- 10 Best Fort Myers Beach Restaurants
- What to Pack for Florida
- What to Wear in Florida
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– Original reporting by Jen Karetnick