18 Best Things To Do In Fort Myers, Florida - Updated 2021

things to do in fort myers florida
Louise
Louise
Updated

Come to Fort Myers for its deep-sea fishing, the white-sand beaches and the islands at the Gulf Coast. You will find rows of palm trees planted 100 years ago; the rich history of the city is greatly enhanced by the two famed inventors and business leaders Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The renovated city center is where all the fun and excitement is. And if you’re wondering where to stay in Fort Myers, plenty of options are available to you - from the top pet-friendly hotels to spacious vacation rentals. So give your family and yourself a treat by vacationing at Fort Meyers, Florida. Check out these best things to do in Fort Myers, Florida.

1. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (Official) on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One of the best areas to view wildlife in the United States, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, should be at the top of your list of places to visit if you love being out in nature. With the opportunity to see over 300 species of birds, manatees, alligators, and other wildlife, this beautiful island destination will delight you and your travel companions. Connected to Ft. Myer by a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) causeway in 1964, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a short drive from Ft. Myer. If you want to make the most of your visit, take the tram along Wildlife Drive from the visitor center.

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957

Website: J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Opening hours: Sunrise - sunset (daily)

Price: 10 USD

2. Six Mile Cyprus Slough Preserve

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve on Monday, November 30, 2020

A nature preserve that has it all, Six Mile Cyprus Slough (pronounced “sloo”) Preserve in Ft. Myer, FL, offers over 3,500 acres (1,416.4 hectares) of wetland ecosystems to explore! The preserve features multiple boardwalks and many interpretive signs around the property so that you can learn more about this rich Floridian ecosystem. With an expansive nature center, the preserve is staffed by naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife that call this ecosystem home on the free guided nature walk. Make sure to be on the lookout for “otters, wading birds, turtles, and more animals that call the preserve home year-round!

Six Mile Cyprus Slough Preserve

Address: 7751 Penzance Blvd. Fort Myers, Florida

Website: Six Mile Cyprus Slough Preserve

Opening hours: Dawn - dusk (daily)

Price: 5 USD (includes parking)

3. IMAG History & Science Center (from USD 16.0)

If you are spending time in Ft. Myers, FL, with children, IMAG History & Science Center is a must-visit museum. Designed to be kid-friendly and educational, the center offers live animal and science shows as well as the opportunity to feed stingrays and visit a touch-tank that holds a variety of ocean creatures! The museum also contains several exhibits where kids can learn about watersheds, being an astronaut, earth science, and Florida history. They can also watch one of the spectacular 3D movies that the center showcases. A visit to IMAG History & Science Center is one of the best things to do in Ft. Myer with kids!

Skip the Line: IMAG History and Science Center Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 to 6 hours

4. Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

Fort Myers FL Downtown HD 1933 crths pano01
Source: Photo by user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is one of the most popular Fort Myers attractions for art and culture lovers. Visitors come to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (SBDAC) to admire its magnificent architectural structure, which was a Native American Calusa settlement hundreds of years ago. The center was restored to offer a multidisciplinary cultural experience in the historic River District in Downtown Fort Myers. There are art exhibitions, seasonal music events, and films each month at the center. Fund raising events are part of the organized events you can expect. The SBDAC is open from Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

Address: 2301 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Website: Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

5. Charlene's Classic Carriage

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re wondering what to do in Fort Myers, then how about going on a carriage ride? Ride like Cinderella on the streets of Fort Myers for the fun of it. Let Charlene’s Classic Carriage takes you through the historical Downtown River District of Punta Gorda. This is a one of its kind carriage that is built to resemble the Cinderella Carriage. It was custom made in California from the best carriage makers in the United States.

Charlene's Classic Carriage

Address: 19550 Pine Echo Rd. North Fort Myers, Fl. 33917

Website: Charlene’s Classic Carriage

6. Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Looking for kayaking trails that are suitable for every level? The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is one that is suitable for the first-time kayakers and advanced paddlers. It is a 190-mile (305 kilometer) marked canoe and kayak trail, running through the coastal waters and inland tributaries of Lee County, Florida. Pay attention to the marine life and shore birds along the way, and you might be able to see some crabs, lobsters, shrimp, or even barnacles.

Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail

Address: Lee County Parks & Recreation, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33916

Website: Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail

7. John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail

John Yarbrough Park Entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanibel sun used under CC BY-SA 3.0

There is lots to see along the 6-mile (9.6 kilometer) John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail. The paved walkway is ideal for biking, walking, hiking, jogging, rollerblading, on-leash dog walking, fishing, birding, wildlife viewing and picnicking. You can have a scenic walk as you take your time to enjoy the surroundings on this open trail.

John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail

Address: Six Mile Cypress to Crystal Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33912

Website: John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail

8. Lakes Regional Park

Lakes Park entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanibel sun used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lakes Regional Park is one of the most-visited Fort Myers, Florida tourist attractions. It welcomes over 800,000 visitors every year. Nature trails, lakes and gardens, water parks, and playgrounds are what visitors are coming for. The 300 acre (1.2 square kilometer) park offers various concession facilities with food sales, bike and watercraft rentals. You may visit the Railroad Museum or take a ride on a miniature train (for kids) to learn of and experience Florida’s railroad past.

Lakes Regional Park

Address: 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908

Website: Lakes Regional Park

9. Bealls Outlet - San Carlos

Bealls Outlet, Valdosta
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Rivera used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to indulge in a bit of shopping, you must check out some of the top shopping malls in Fort Myers. Shop at the outlet store for the best deals! Bealls Outlet offers brand name apparel and accessories for the whole family at 70% off from department stores. You can find shoes, home furnishings, gifts and toys at most outlet stores.

Bealls Outlet

Address: San Carlos Plaza, 18911 S. Tamiami Trl #10, Fort Myers, FL 33908 

Website: Bealls Outlet

10. Shell Factory & Nature Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This summer don't forget to visit The Shell Factory! All your family fun in on place! #shellfactory #shellfactorynaturepark #shells

Posted by Shell Factory Nature Park on Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Shop for shells and visit a nature park and fun park all at one compound. Take a day to explore the shell shop to discover the world’s largest collection of rare sea shells, sponges, corals, fossils and sea life specimens; take a tour inside the Nature Park, Botanical Gardens, Eco Lab; have fun in the Fun Park with Bumper Boats, Paddle Boats, Game Room and the Soaring Eagle Zipline.

Shell Factory & Nature Park

Address: 2787 N. Tamiami Trail (US 41), North Fort Myers, FL

Website: Shell Factory & Nature Park

11. Imaginarium Science Center

Fort Myers FL Imaginarium01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Take your imagination to the next level with the empowerment of science at Imaginarium Science Center. Enjoy hours of fun and entertainment for your whole family! The center features Dino Discovery Dig Area, Touch Tank, Animal Encounters, Sporty Science Arena and virtual sports. You can enjoy 3-D movies and get a chance to become a TV weather forecaster too!

Imaginarium Science Center

Address: 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33916

Website: Imaginarium Science Center

12. Everglades Adventure Day with Swamp Buggy and Airboat Rides

Mangrove Everglades
Source: Photo by user Riandi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Easy access to Everglades certainly works in favor of Fort Myers tourism. And to see the best of Everglades, embark on this 45-minute tour will take you through a mangrove swamp, sawgrass prairie and marsh habitats, followed by a sit-down lunch offering fried alligator tail, grouper, shrimp, clam strips, chicken, hamburger and other options. The subsequent 40-minute swamp buggy rides through marsh prairie and cypress hardwood swamps, and ends with a wildlife drive at the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Everglades Adventure Day with Swamp Buggy and Airboat Rides

Website:

13. Manatee Park

Manatee Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user runarut used under CC BY 2.0

Spend some fun time with your family by visiting Manatee Park in Fort Myers. The warm waters of this waterfront park attract friendly manatees predominantly in the winter months. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, strolling on the paved walks, go fishing, enjoy a picnic or visit the butterfly garden. Playgrounds for children are also available here. Manatee Park is the best place to visit for an up-close glimpse of these majestic creatures.

Manatee Park

Address: 10901 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33905, United States

Website: Manatee Park

Opening hours: 8am - sunset (daily)

14. Fleamasters Fleamarket

Flea market
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

For a bit of retail therapy that won’t break the bank, visit Fleamasters Fleamarket in Fort Myers. This market is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but offers a wide range of interesting goods. It is primarily an indoor market with vendors selling all manner of items like apparel, jewelry, footwear, souvenirs, knick-knacks, artworks, pottery, collectables, sculptures, home decor, toys, handicrafts, and more. The massive market is spread over a large area and is home to over 900 shops and about 20 food stands.

Fleamasters Fleamarket

Address: 4135 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916, United States

Website: Fleamasters Fleamarket

Opening hours: Fri: 8am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 4pm (closed on Mon, Tue, Wed & Thu)

15. Arts For Act Gallery

Art gallery
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Art lovers will surely love visiting this beautiful art gallery. Arts For Act Gallery is slightly different than regular art galleries since it is a non-profit establishment that is owned and run by an organisation that supports and rehabilitates human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual abuse victims. The gallery is housed in a beautiful building from the 1960s and showcases quality art from local as well as international artists. There are many display rooms here, some with a classic vibe while others have an eclectic and vibrant decor in keeping with the theme of artwork on display.

Arts For Act Gallery

Address: 2265 First St, Fort Myers, FL 33901, United States

Website: Arts For Act Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm

16. Go parasailing (from USD 63.0)

For a bit of family-friendly fun, go parasailing off Fort Myers Beach. This exciting activity is a great way to enjoy panoramic views of the city, its coastline and the azure ocean. With the aid of a professional and experienced crew, soar to a height of about 300 feet (91 meters) with a parachute and enjoy the cool breeze and beautiful views. Parasailing is surely one of the most fun things to do in Fort Myers!

300 Foot Parasailing Adventure in Fort Myers

Duration: 1 hour

1 review

17. Edison & Ford Winter Estates (from USD 19.0)

The over 20 acres (8,000 square meters) of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates contains Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory, Edison Ford Museum, historic gardens, and five historic buildings, restored with interior and architecture from the bygone era. You will find a wide selection of artifacts and special exhibit galleries in the museum.

Join the various tours offered at the estates to experience how Edison and Ford designed and built their winter homes. Watch out for the 1,700 plants represented at the garden with more than 400 species from six continents, that include sausage trees, tropical fruit trees like mango and citrus, orchids, bromeliads, cycads, and more than 50 species of palms. You will not miss the most prominent banyan, which was planted in around 1925, covering almost an acre (4 square kilometers).

Historic Walking Tour of Fort Myers

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

6 reviews

18. Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise in Fort Myers Beach (from USD 27.0)

If you’re interested in seeing the varied marine wildlife of Fort Myers and Estero Bay, then this dolphin and wildlife cruise will surely interest you. With commentary provided by a certified Florida Master Naturalist, embark on an eco-tour of the area and get a chance to see dolphins, manatees, seabirds, and other such interesting wildlife species. The tour also includes a visit to Lover’s Key State Park, mangroves, and rookery islands. Click pictures, learn about the conservation activities and generally have a good time out on the water on this amazing tour.

Fort Myers Beach Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise with Naturalist

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

47 reviews

Fort Myers welcomes families

Activities at Fort Myers cater for the whole family. Come for the wildlife, sea shells, beautiful sea front, beaches, fishing, sun shine, shopping and more! Let Fort Myers greet you and your family with its best!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

I am a creative writer and a copywriter. Travel writing allows my creative juice to flow freely with words and pictures. I like travelling with a purpose, be it for work, missions, teaching or for...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Fort Myers
Good things are meant to be shared!