Editor's Note: This article was written before the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this storm. We know Southwest Florida will be back better and stronger than ever, and we can't wait to write about their next chapter.
Because of its reputation as the ultimate destination for golf, fishing, and beautiful white-sand beaches, it is easy to see why Fort Myers is such a popular choice for anyone looking to get away for a weekend excursion.
Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, Fort Myers enjoys warm weather throughout the year and is considered to be one of the premier upscale tourist destinations in Florida.
If you are thinking about visiting this Gulf Coast paradise for a short getaway, we have put together an itinerary that highlights some of the very best that Fort Myers has to offer.
Day One – Burgers, Beaches, Fried Chicken, and Cocktails
You are probably going to be pretty hungry by the time you make it down to Fort Myers, so our first stop on day one is going to be lunch at Fat Katz Sports Bistro. On the surface, this place looks like any other sports bar in town. But once the food arrives, everything changes. They are known for massive burgers and sandwiches that will blow your mind.
You might feel the need to walk off some of those calories after lunch, so our next stop is going to be Fort Myers Beach. There are seven miles of pristine beach to walk here, but we are going to focus in on the area around the Fort Myers Beach Pier.
For dinner on our first night in town, we are going to visit one of the classiest fried chicken joints you will ever find. Chicken-N-Waffles and Fried Chicken are the specialties at Fancy's Southern Cafe, but don't sleep on the Catfish or the Country Fried Steak! And don't hesitate to order some extra sides to share around the table, because you will probably have a hard time choosing between them.
If a vintage cocktail is your idea of the perfect nightcap, then our final stop on day one is going to be an old speakeasy called The 86 Room. The atmosphere here will make you feel like you stepped into a 1930's era movie, and the cocktails will never disappoint.
Day Two – Golfing, Lobster Rolls, Fishing, Peruvian Cuisine, and Bourbon
Our second day in Fort Myers is going to start on whatever golf course you choose to schedule a tee time, and there are more than a few great ones to pick from around town. Some of the most popular locations around Fort Myers include Fort Myers Country Club, Arnold Palmer's Wildcat Run, Raymond Floyd's Raptor Bay, Eastwood Golf Course, and Jack Nicklaus's Old Corkscrew Golf Club.
And if you aren't interested in hitting the links, this is a great time to visit the beautiful Sanibel Island where you can enjoy beautiful beaches, excellent shopping, and the historic Sanibel Island Lighthouse.
There are tons of New England influences up and down the Gulf Coast of Florida, so we are going to check out one of them by grabbing lobster rolls and stuffed quahogs from Cape Cod Fish Co. for lunch. This is a quick and casual stop, but the food will have you feeling like you are back up north (in a good way) for a few minutes.
Now that we have a visit to the beach and some golfing taken care of, it's time to hit the last thing on our Fort Myers bucket list: FISHING. If you have your own gear, you are welcome to head back to the Fort Myers Beach Pier to cast a line, but we recommend heading out on the Gulf for some serious fishing with one of the many local tour companies.
For our final dinner in Fort Myers, reservations at El Gaucho Inca Restaurant are a must. This five-star restaurant serves up authentic Peruvian cuisine that will blow your mind with their unique flavor combinations. They also have a fabulous wine list to complete the experience, so plan on taking an Uber to this meal.
After dinner, our last stop of the evening will be The Barrel Room, which specializes in serving over 40 different varieties of bourbon. They also have an excellent selection of wine and craft beer, so there is something for everyone here, and you can usually catch some live music as well.
Day Three – Fort Myers Estates, Brunch, Shopping
In order to work in a bit of history, we are going to kick off our third day in Fort Myers with a visit to the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. These historic homes occupy about 20 acres of waterfront property where you will find an interesting collection of tropical gardens and museums.
Whether you are looking for shrimp and grits or a Gulf Coast omelet, Crave is the place to be for brunch in Fort Myers, and that is where we are headed for our final meal of this trip. Pretty much everything on the menu is great here, and don't forget to have a bloody Mary or a mimosa too!
If you would like to do a bit of shopping before heading back home, you might want to consider stopping at Coconut Point in Estero. There are more than 100 little shops spread out around this complex, so you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for.
Where to Stay in Fort Myers
Because it is such a popular vacation spot, there are an almost endless amount of lodging options all over the Fort Myers area. For the best combination of value and amenities, we recommend starting your search with Drury Inn & Suites Fort Myers Airport, Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers, and Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport-Town Center.
If you are willing to spend up a little bit to enhance your experience, DiamondHead Beach Resort offers the kind of beachfront luxury accommodations that will make your quick trip one that you remember for years.
And for something completely outside the box, Matlacha Tiny Village is located out on the water and offer the experience of staying in your own tiny house.
No matter where you stay or what you do, every experience in Fort Myers revolves around enjoying the beautiful climate of the southern Gulf Coast. And after this 48 hours in paradise, we are sure that you will be planning to come back for a longer trip next time.
Want to Stay Forever?
Just south of Fort Myers in Naples where you will find Valencia Trails.
Valencia Trails offers the best resort lifestyle with a magnificent 42,000 sq. ft. Clubhouse where every day new events, clubs, and entertainment abound. Relax by the pool, grab a bite at the restaurant, catch a show in the social hall, or take a relaxing stroll or jog along the community’s iconic trails. The options are endless!
Designed for 55+ living, the gorgeous contemporary style single-family homes at Valencia Trails offer the ultimate in style, convenience, and luxury with spacious living areas, impressive gourmet kitchens, and screened and covered patios to make the most of Florida’s beautiful weather year-round. Come home to luxurious standard features including tile roof, brick pavers, stainless steel and gas appliances, designer tile flooring throughout main areas, rich stone exterior finishes and so much more.