When it comes to romance, the beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offers all the ingredients for a romantic getaway on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. With spectacular sunsets, ideal weather, white-sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, sparkling waters and unspoiled natural beauty, the area is as romantic as it gets!
Go island hopping. Kick back. Relax. Fall asleep in a hammock to the rhythm of island breezes. Indulge in a sunset cocktail. Count the dolphins. Escape to a deserted island. Rent a kayak. Book a romantic dinner cruise. Browse charming boutiques and galleries. Walk on shell covered beaches. Sleep late. Do nothing.
Many area properties, spas and restaurants offer romance packages. To celebrate with a visit to the area, visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/discover/around-town/romantic-escapes/ for details.
A few ways to escape for a romantic vacation:
A paddle on the Calusa Blueway
Set out in an easy-to-use tandem kayak with a picnic to a coastal island to celebrate! The 190-mile Calusa Blueway provides the perfect idea for paddlers looking for a getaway. The trail is not crowded and the area’s sugar-sand beaches on barrier islands, such as Sanibel and Captiva, harbor back bays loaded with isolated sandy spots and picturesque mangrove mazes. Two dozen outfitters are available in the area, so it is easy to find a boat that suits your needs and/or hire a guide. Visit www.calusablueway.com.
Leave all your cares behind
Start a shell collection. Relax away the hours. Watch exotic wildlife. Learn why Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, was inspired to write her best-selling book, Gift from the Sea, while visiting Captiva Island.
Sleep on an uninhabited island
Book a really rustic cabin or pitch a tent at Cayo Costa State Park. Sleep under the stars and walk on unspoiled shell-lined beaches along this deserted island.
Another romantic beach
Many are enthralled by the charms of this area each year and it is no wonder. Captiva Island has been ranked as one of the most romantic beaches in the country. Relax in the sun. Watch dolphins frolic. Enjoy award-winning sunsets!
Dine beachfront on Sanibel Island
Enjoy dinner with that someone special surrounded by the historic elegance of the award-winning Thistle Lodge Restaurant on Sanibel Island.
Escape all ties to the mainland!
Let Captiva Cruises whisk you away to an outer island for lunch on Cabbage Key or Useppa Island. Sunset serenade cruises are also available to capture the beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunsets!
For a really romantic evening…
Take a starlight dinner cruise on the 100-foot luxury yacht, the Sanibel Harbour Princess at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa.
Watch the best sunset view
The Mucky Duck at the north end of Captiva Island is a favorite with visitors and locals who claim it has the best sunset views in the area. Aside from British dishes like fish ‘n’ chips, the menu boasts Florida favorites of grouper sandwiches and Key lime pie.
Paddle on the wild side
Meander through a lush mangrove forest. See white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, manatees, wood storks, bald eagles, ospreys, herons…all in their natural habitat. Many endangered species call this area home.
It’s just silly!
But great fun! Don’t miss a dinner at the Bubble Room on Captiva Island. Electric trains run amok, there are miles of Christmas bubble lights, 2,000 movie star photos, Superman in a phone booth. Waiters and waitresses are dressed as “bubble scouts.” It has to be seen to be believed. Super-sized portions and huge desserts are legendary.
Give yourselves a treat and book a spa package at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. For some real romance, try the Caloosa Experience, a couple’s favorite.
Mingle with the Vanderbilts
Visit picture perfect Boca Grande. Pedal down Banyan Street and visit the old Gasparilla Inn, a favorite from the Vanderbilts to the Bush family! Have a waterside lunch at Harpers. Be sure to visit the historic lighthouse.
Peek inside two of the area’s famous estate homes
Visit the beautiful homes (Edison & Ford Winter Estates) of famous next-door neighbors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, tour botanical gardens, Edison’s laboratory and a museum with the world’s largest collection of his inventions and memorabilia. The Estates are also a popular site for memorable weddings.
Mail a coconut (yes…mail!) painted with a message to send back home from the Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens on Pine Island. Pick out your favorite message: “We are never coming home!”
Push some pedals!
Rent bikes and explore 23 miles of paved bike paths on Sanibel Island. There are even bikes for two! Meander through shopping areas, past beautiful gulf homes, tour through diverse parts of the island. Quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants provide fun rest stops. Wheelchair bikes are available.
What is a romantic getaway without some shopping?
Stroll along Captiva’s picture-perfect Andy Rosse Lane and its eclectic galleries. Nearby is Jungle Drums, “The Ultimate Wildlife Gallery,” which showcases works in bronze, glass, clay, mixed media, resin, wood and others. Be sure to check out the hand-painted Adirondack chairs – they’d make a great reminder of Captiva’s laid-back lifestyle. Visit the colorful galleries of Matlacha and Pine Island.
Share a Cheeseburger in Paradise
Head for this beautiful tropical island and leave a dollar at Cabbage Key’s historic restaurant and inn, where the walls are covered with 70,000 signed dollar bills (a tradition that began when a thirsty fisherman left a bill taped to the wall to make sure he would have a cold drink during his next visit). Built atop a Calusa Indian shell mound, the island has cottages for rent but don’t look for telephones or TVs!
For more information on planning a romantic vacation to Florida’s unspoiled island sanctuary, visit www.FortMyers-Sanibel.com.