With sandy beaches and calmer waters than the Atlantic side, Florida Gulf towns like Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, and Naples radiate lazy summer vibes all year round. When you aren’t laying on the beach sipping your favorite summer drink, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.
- One of the most popular activities on Sanibel Island is collecting shells. The beaches are covered in shells of so many varieties you can fill a bucket and no two will be the same. The best place for shelling is the Lighthouse Beach and Pier.
- See pelicans and other wildlife at the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Reserve, the 6400 acre mangrove wilderness.
- Be sure to get to Turner Beach on Captiva Island before dusk to see its breathtaking sunsets.
- Visit the Mad Hatter Restaurant for its Alice in Wonderland kitsch and great food.
- Rent kayaks, Wave Runners, or go parasailing at any of the many water sports shops.
- Let the experts at Sanibel Sea School teach the kids about ocean ecology.
You will find accommodations at all price points with varying amenities.
Where to stay:
- The Ritz-Carlton in Naples includes a world-class spa with 30 treatment rooms, 8 restaurants, 2 heated outdoor pools, and access to an 18-hole golf club. Rooms rates start just shy of $400/night most dates in the summer.
- You can save a little with very similar amenities at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples where you can usually score a room under $300/night.
- If you are traveling with a larger family, Marriott’s Crystal Shores on Marco Island offers villas up to 3 bedrooms. The resort includes 3 outdoor pools, fitness facilities, and 2 restaurants. A two-bedroom villa sleeps 8 and starts near $500/night.
- Far less spendy and still right on the water is the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside. Starting at under $100/night, you still get a pool, 2 restaurants and a fitness center.
Florida has not opened up for travel yet, but indications are it will be soon and beach properties will fill fast. Lock in your reservation risk-free today. You can cancel or change your dates for any reason up to 24 hours before arrival.
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