Where to stay in Fort Myers Beach, FL

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  • Post last modified:February 21, 2024
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The Fort Myers area is well known for its dream-like beaches and tropical setting. But where to stay in Fort Myers Beach for the best experience?

Check in at a hotel in North Fort Myers Beach or South Fort Myers Beach. Alternatively, consider Downtown Fort Myers, Sanibel Island or Captiva Island for more options in the vicinity.

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North Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach is located on the about 7 miles (11 km) long Estero Island. The northern part of the island is the option for where to stay in Fort Myers Beach that’s closest to Downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.

In North Fort Myers Beach, you find most of the island’s activity. North Fort Myers Beach is the busier end of the island with a higher concentration of shops, restaurant and bars.

The centre of activity and heart of Estero Island is the Times Square area. Here, you more often than not find something fun going on. Checking out Times Square is one of the best things to do in Fort Myers Beach.

Another highlight in North Fort Myers Beach is to walk the iconic fishing pier. With beautiful views and salty air, Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier is a nice stroll at any time of the day.

Pick North FMB for: Liveliness.

Diamond Head Resort

At the beachfront Diamond Head Resort, you arguably get the very best ocean view in Fort Myers Beach. Add to that all the amenities you crave for, including a beachfront pool, and you never want to leave the resort.

Edison Beach House

Edison Beach House sits on the beach and just a stone’s throw from Times Square. With such an excellent location, you have all you need for a great vacation within easy walking distance.

Times Square at Fort Myers Beach getaway
Times Square in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

South Fort Myers Beach

South Fort Myers Beach is a great alternative to the busier northern Fort Myers Beach area if you like the idea of less lively beach days. It’s the quieter option for where to stay in Fort Myers Beach.

When you go from North Fort Myers Beach to South Fort Myers Beach, you notice that the crowds soon start to thin out. Much fewer visitors reach the southern shores than the busier northern Fort Myers Beach area.

So in South Fort Myers Beach you get more peace and quiet, compared to in the northern area. That’s perfect if you look for a less lively vacation and don’t mind to be further away from the things to do at Times Square.

From South Fort Myers Beach, it’s also slightly longer to Downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel Island. But on the other hand, you’re closer to popular highlights in the south, such as Lovers Key State Park and Barefoot Beach.

Pick South FMB for: Quietness.

GullWing Beach Resort

A great Fort Myers Beach resort if you want to stay away from the Times Square buzz is GullWing Beach Resort. This place to stay offers a fantastic ocean view and direct beach access in a quiet part of the island.

For the times you want more liveliness, you find that just a short drive north.

A shell on Fort Myers Beach
A shell on Fort Myers Beach, FL.

Downtown Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers, also called the River District, stretches out along Caloosahatchee River. The area is a great option for where to stay in Fort Myers if you look for something else than a pure beach vacation.

In Downtown Fort Myers, you find a home-town vibe. The district, featuring brick-lined sidewalks and majestic palm trees, offers a high density of shops, cafés, restaurants and bars.

As a bonus, Downtown Fort Myers is walking friendly, so you don’t even need a car when touring the area.

In the River District, you’re also close to the top attraction of the city, Edison & Ford Winter Estates. There you can enter the historic homes and fall in love with its beautiful gardens.

But for fun in the sand, Downtown Fort Myers is located a drive away from the beach. Under good traffic conditions, it takes 30 minutes from Downtown Fort Myers to the beach.

Pick Downtown Fort Myers for: A city stay.

House and palm trees in Florida.
The Henry Ford House in Fort Myers.

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a great choice if you’re after a quiet Florida beach vacation in a peaceful setting. On Sanibel, it’s all about connecting with nature, with biking, shelling and bird-watching popular activities.

You certainly find a good selection of restaurants and some cool bars on the island too. However, Sanibel Island is not the destination for that big night out.

But if you’re hungry for more action, you find it on the mainland. From Sanibel Island, you have about 30 minutes to Fort Myers Beach and 45 minutes to Downtown Fort Myers.

Pick Sanibel island for: Peacefulness.

Island Inn

At Island Inn, you really feel close to nature. On the beachfront property, you can enjoy the sound of crashing waves and spot exotic birds. That the hotel sits in a central island location also makes it a great base for exploring the island. The combo of peacefulness and convenience makes Island Inn one of the best places to stay near Fort Myers.

Sanibel Island beach walk
Sanibel Island, FL.

Captiva Island

Captiva Island is the most secluded option for where to stay near Fort Myers. North of Sanibel, Captiva is like its own tiny tropical bubble — refreshingly serene.

Without a direct mainland connection, you to reach Captiva Island need to go through Sanibel Island. The Blind Pass Bridge between the two sister islands indirectly connects Captiva to the Florida mainland.

On Captiva Island, you also find a small but appreciated selection of shops and restaurants. So if you don’t want to, you don’t need to move many feet during your stay.

But for day trips, it from Captiva takes about 20 minutes to reach the eastern end of Sanibel. To that, add another 30 minutes to reach Fort Myers Beach or 45 minutes to get to Downtown Fort Myers.

Pick Captiva Island for: Seclusion.

South Seas Island Resort

The whole northern tip of Captiva Island is owned by South Seas Resort. It’s a place to stay near Fort Myers that offers a truly unique location. At the resort, you can enjoy landscaped grounds, a 9-hole golf course and resort facilities. Although you’re far away from the mainland buzz, it’s unlikely that you will feel that you miss anything.

Captiva Island near Sanibel Island
Overlooking Captiva Island.

Where to stay in Fort Myers Beach FAQ

Where should I stay in Fort Myers?

There are many appealing options for where to stay in Fort Myers and vicinity. Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are all places for stunning beach vacations. In addition Downtown Fort Myers Beach offers something else than a beach stay.

Which part of Fort Myers Beach is the best?

North Fort Myers Beach is the best area for entertainment. At Times Square in North Fort Myers Beach, you find many of the island’s shops, restaurants and bars. In contrast, South Fort Myers Beach offer more seclusion.

Does Fort Myers have good beaches?

Fort Myers Beach is famous for its beautiful shoreline. On the 7 miles (11 km) long Estero Island, you find a beach for every mood along with all the restaurants, bars and shops you need for a great time.

Is Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel Island better?

Fort Myers Beach is a more lively place with shops, restaurants and bars right at the beach. In contrast, Sanibel Island is more about spending quiet time in nature.

How far is Sanibel Island from Fort Myers Beach?

From Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel Island, it’s 16 miles (26 km) and about 30 minutes by car.

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