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Monday,  February 26, 2024 1:55 AM 

Everything you need to know about rediscovering Fort Myers this winter

Everything you need to know about rediscovering Fort Myers this winter
(Fort Myers Islands, Beaches, and Neighborhoods)
Pax Global Media

Fort Myers, Florida is back in business, showing signs of recovery from the Category 4 storm that hit the region last year with new hotels, restaurants, air lift and experiences.

The destination, which is nestled along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, is easily accessible from Canada with daily non-stop flights from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa to the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).

With more than 100 barrier islands to explore, Fort Myers has secluded white sand beaches, lush mangrove forests, boutique shopping, waterfront dining, and vibrant art deco neighbourhoods.

Fort Myers Islands, Beaches, and Neighbourhoods are known worldwide as one of the best places to go shelling – the calm waves and geographic location make the islands a top pick for people to look for beautiful seashells.

Beautiful shells in Fort Myers. (Fort Myers Islands, Beaches, and Neighbourhoods)

In an update shared Wednesday (Nov. 22), VoX International, which represents the destination in Canada, noted how Fort Myers is still recovering from Hurricane Ian, and that some amenities may not be available at some locations.

However, most of the beaches in the Fort Myers region are open and ready to welcome Canadian visitors this fall/winter season, the company says.

New hotels

Fort Myers has announced the upcoming opening of Margaritaville Fort Myers Beach in February 2024.

This Caribbean-themed Island resort, known for its laid-back ambiance, will feature 245 signature island-inspired rooms. Each room has a private balcony, and most offer stunning views of the Gulf, promising breathtaking sunsets.

Furthermore, Pink Shell Resort and Marina and Diamond Head Beach Resort will operate at 100% occupancy with tour operators beginning January 2024.

The Neptune Resort is finalizing plans to rebuild the Fort Myers Beach hotel with twice as many rooms.

As one of the oldest family resorts on the island, the hotel dates to the 1960s.

The 71-room hotel two-building will be redeveloped into a one-building complex with four floors and 140 rooms.

Enhanced air travel

New air offerings include Porter Airlines, which will commence service to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers starting November 10, 2023.

The new daily non-stop flight from Toronto (YYZ) will be operated by the new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, featuring 132 seats.

Additionally, Lynx Air will kick off its operations to RSW with four weekly flights from Toronto, beginning on December 14, 2023.

Air Canada and WestJet offer daily non-stop flights to RSW, ensuring convenient access to Fort Myers.

Additionally, Canadian visitation to Fort Myers has doubled compared to the same period in 2022, marking an impressive 8.5% increase.

Airport updates

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is enhancing the experiences for individuals with non-visible disabilities through the Sunflower Program.

The program, implemented in nearly 200 airports worldwide, enables travellers to communicate their non-visible disabilities discreetly.

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau's Visitor Services Tourism Ambassadors and Port Authority staff have received training to support this initiative, ensuring that all travellers feel comfortable and assisted during their journey.

The Sun Saver Passport

The Sun Saver Passport offers digital savings and instant access to various deals and experiences across dining, entertainment, shopping, and more.

With a simple and free sign-up process, users can receive their passports via text and email and save them on their phone's home screen for effortless access.

Golfing in paradise

For golf enthusiasts, Fort Myers boasts over 90 golf courses set against lush, rolling greens that cater to golfers of all skill levels. 

The area's serene beaches, synonymous with white sands and gentle Gulf waters, offer the perfect reprieve after a round of golf.

While some amenities may be limited due to ongoing recovery from last year’s hurricane, most of the region's beaches are open and ready to welcome visitors, the destination says.

Downtown delights & island adventures

Fort Myers River District invites visitors to explore its vibrant streets.

The area comes alive by night with rooftop bars, waterfront restaurants, art, and live music; the newly-inaugurated Caloosa Sound Amphitheater is ideal for live entertainment.

Clients can also explore Fort Myers by boat with several charters leaving from Sanibel and Captiva islands, where you may spot a group of playful dolphins or a friendly manatee.

Visit the famous Cabbage Key Inn for lunch or stroll the botanical garden trail on Useppa.

“Each island has a distinct personality ready to be discovered,” VoX says.

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