4. Go shelling
The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are a perfect location to go shelling. This was the most relaxing activity I did, and even if you don't think its your thing, you shouldn't knock it until you've tried it. Give it a go and, like me, you'll soon find yourself performing the 'Sanibel Stoop' and the 'Captiva Crawl' - comical nicknames for the hunched posture people adopt when collecting shells.
As these names suggest, the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Island have some of the best locations for shelling, although you can do this on any of Fort Myers' beaches. Just remember to put the shells back on the sand when you've finished inspecting them.
Combine shelling with a visit to Lovers Key State Park. On your leisurely stroll along the beach, you'll come across the ‘shell tree’. You’ll know when you’ve found it as piles of glistening shells adorn the base and branches of the fallen tree. Be sure to leave your chosen contribution here. After, walk down to the water’s edge, let the waves lap at your toes, breathe, and enjoy the sunset.
5. Get your heart racing on a jet ski
As much as I enjoyed the more serene activities Fort Myers has to offer, there’s no denying that deep down, I am an adrenaline junky. As soon as I saw the jet-skis parked outside the apartment blocks of our hotel, I knew I had to make time for an action-packed afternoon.
Jet-skiing, along with parasailing, are popular water-sports amongst tourists and you should definitely try at least one. Sunny Island Adventures on Captiva offer both options. Parasailing will get you high up into the air where you can enjoy breathtaking views. Jet-skiing, on the other hand, will give you the rare chance to set your inner speed demon free.
6. Spot animals along the wetland
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is just nine-miles away from downtown Fort Myers and offers visitors what I like to think of as a little taste of the Everglades. The Slough (pronounced “sloo”), is a natural drainage system that collects runoff water from the surrounding drainage basin to create over 3,400 acres of wetland. In the wet season (June to October), the water rises up to three feet, transforming the landscape into a wide, gently flowing river.
The elevated boardwalks wind their way along the slough, meaning you can combine a trek with willife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, river otters, owls, bobcat and young alligators; walk slowly and quietly to give yourself the best chance of spotting the wildlife here.
7. Dive to discover history
If like me, you’re a water baby, then this next one is for you. Just beyond the white-sandy beaches, hidden beneath the waves, lie a network of artificial reefs which provide the perfect opportunity to go scuba-diving. With 20-reef locations to explore, from Fort Myers Beach, north to Charlotte Harbour Preserve there’s plenty to see, including the 165-foot World War II combat ship called the USS Mohawk. This memorial reef 30-miles out in the Gulf of Mexico is the first of its kind to be dedicated to veterans.