Fort Myers, Florida, has attracted natives and settlers ever since it was a Seminole War outpost, and its location on the Caloosahatchee River makes it a lively, scenic metropolitan center today. Tourists visit Fort Myers not only for the city itself but for all that the area has to offer, from Cape Coral and North Fort Myers to Bonita Springs.
The barrier islands of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva attract hordes of tourists who flock there to stay in hotels overlooking the shore, loll on white-sand beaches and swim in the surf. Visitors also enjoy exploring the mangrove-clogged waterways, fishing, boating, golfing, playing tennis and other outdoor pursuits available in the area.
Fort Myers Beach is a popular tourist destination. It bustles with watersports, fishing and nightlife, and its southernmost area contains a state park teeming with birds. Sanibel Island is well known for its magnificent, intact seashells and its diligent wildlife conservation. Captiva Island serves as a gateway to a string of upper islands accessible only by boat.
Fort Myers itself supports a burgeoning arts scene buoyed by galleries, theaters and festivals that attract tourists. Historic McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers never fails to impress with its rows of majestic royal palms that were planted by Thomas Edison. Cape Coral remains largely residential and family-oriented. South of Fort Myers, Florida Gulf Coast University ushered in a boom of development and shopping opportunities that appeal to tourists.
Note: Florida sustained widespread damage during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Travelers should investigate current conditions prior to planning a visit.
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