The Best-Kept Secret in Florida for Holidaymakers Who Want to Avoid Theme Parks

Forget overcrowded tourist traps, weve got the lowdown on Floridas dreamiest destination
Forget overcrowded tourist traps, we've got the lowdown on Florida's dreamiest destination | © Visit Fort Myers

Year-round sun, cheap flights and world-class food – it’s not difficult to see why Americans love vacationing in Fort Myers.

Believe it or not, there’s so much more to Florida than Disneyland. Fort Myers in Lee County is so loved by Americans that it’s one of the most visited areas for domestic holidaymakers – particularly in the winter, owing to the year-round hot weather. Yet, the highest number of people who come from outside of the States are Germans – and they only make up two percent of total visitors every year. It’s fair to say Americans have managed to keep this secret well-hidden.

After visiting myself, it’s not hard to see why they’re so fond. There’s the weather, incredible dining options (it’s an area particularly famed for fresh seafood) and tons of stuff to do – from fishing and beach days to cycling and snorkeling. So, if you want a new destination to visit and want to holiday like the Americans do, look no further than Fort Myers. Here are the best reasons to go.


Flying to America tends not to be the cheapest option, which is why most Europeans look closer to home for some much-needed sunshine. However, it is possible to book a round-trip flight from London to Tampa for less than £500, which seems like particularly good value when it’s dark grey and miserable at home, and 30-degree heat on the other side of the Altantic.


Under an hour’s drive from Fort Myers is Captiva Island, a quiet beachside paradise of hotels, resorts and excellent restaurants. Untouched stretches of white sand and warm blue sea expand along the horizon beyond sight. For animal lovers, there’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to exotic birds and alligators. There are networks of cycling lanes that are almost entirely flat, so you don’t need to be experienced, as well as opportunities to go kayaking with dolphins or fishing on the beach. Some of the best restaurants in the whole state can be found here too. A perfect holiday destination for those looking to unwind in the Floridian sunshine.

Cabbage Key

One of the must-do activities in Fort Myers is a boat tour to Cabbage Key. Not only do you get to see pods of dolphins and osprey along the way, but the scenery is spectacular, with views of weathered shacks on stilts and remote sandy peninsulas. The guide provides a fascinating history of the area with interludes of melodic music to help unwind in the sunshine. At the other end of the tour, a world-famous cheeseburger awaits, with the chance to walk around the uniquely beautiful island of Cabbage Key.

One of the best cheeseburgers of your life awaits in Cabbage Key Restaurant

Downtown Fort Myers

It’s all happening in Downtown Fort Myers. Street performers provide a soothing soundtrack while strolling around and checking out the gorgeous old art deco-style buildings such as the cinema and Ford’s Garage burger joint. You’re spoilt for choice with all the restaurants in the area – from Capone’s pizza place to the classy waterfront Oxbow to Rosie-Leas breakfast diner, and the cigar shop provides a space to smoke a Cuban cigar while enjoying a cold beer. Time slows down and holiday-mode begins in the Hollywood-esque Downtown.

The picturesque, sun-drenched streets of Fort Myers make for perfect alfresco dining


Did you know that Fort Myers was the winter holiday destinations for the two of the greatest American innovators of all time? Thomas Edison – the man who created the lightbulb and the phonogram – and Henry Ford (creator of Ford cars and the inventor of the assembly line) spent three months of the year in Fort Myers, where they vacationed and continued their work. You can visit the houses in which they stayed, both situated on gorgeous gardens, while learning all about two of Americas greatest minds.

Places to Stay

There’s somewhere to stay for everyone in Fort Myers, whether it’s for families, couples or solo travelers. Tweens’ Waters is a resort perfect for a lazy beach vacation, while the more stylish Luminary hotel in Downtown is ideal for romantic getaways in the heart of the city. More resorts are on their way, so if you want to stay somewhere brand-new, there’s Margaritaville on Fort Myers Beach and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island. The Fort Myers area also boasts some of the grandest mansions in the whole country, some are worth in excess of $16m, so be sure to check out rentals if you’re traveling with a larger group.

Eager to learn more about Fort Myers? Visit for all the information you need.

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