Domestic destinations are more important in 2021. Here are 5 family-friendly activities in Fort Myers, Florida.
The Fort Myers Area
Fort Myers, Florida is a broader area than solely the city of Fort Myers. Just like any other city, it’s actually an area made up of many Burroughs, smaller cities, and neighborhoods such as: Cape Coral, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Bonita Springs, Estero, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, and to a lesser extent Naples. Some activities take place outside the city fo Fort Myers, Florida like the Boston Red Sox spring training games in Lee County near the airport.
For the purpose of this post, the area of Fort Myers is anywhere within a 10-mile radius of Fort Myers Beach.
Beaches and State Parks
There are so many beautiful and diverse beaches in the Southwest Florida region. I covered Sanibel and Captiva Islands in a previous post on the area, so I won’t deep dive into those – see this post for most on that.
But Sanibel and Captiva aren’t the only shell-filled, dolphin-friendly beaches in the area. Bonita Beach is impressive and quiet, a family favorite for us. Consider Lover’s Key State Park for perfect beaches and seclusion. For those that are interested in water features away from the ocean, try Lakes Regional Park in Lee County.
Shell Factory and Nature Park
Located inland off Cleaveland Avenue is the Shell Factory and Nature Park. The science center meets amusement park model works for the facility which delivers family fun with educational opportunities. It’s rare to find an attraction that marries bumper boats and touch tanks. Alligators and parrots may be a common site across Florida, but zebras are not. About the only thing the park doesn’t offer is laser tag.
Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise
Seen in the waters surrounding Fort Myers Beach is Salty Sam’s pirate ship. My daughter eyed it and chose to spend her birthday sailing the high seas. The cruise takes about 90 minutes, departing from San Carlos Island and runs through the bay then past Bowditch Point Park on the edge of Fort Myers beach before turning around.
Staff pirates wear microphones and keep the entertainment going for kids the entire trip. Parents will enjoy the double entendres that sail above the kids heads, speaking of which, the boat offers two. There is a bar for parents who choose to imbibe and beautiful waterfront houses to look out while kids search for clues and solve mysteries at the staff’s behest. We saw dolphins swimming at the bow while our daughter practiced her “aye mateys.”
The cruise costs $30 for adults, kids packages start at $25 and run to $40 with pirate packages at price points in between.
Smuggler’s Cove Mini Golf
For my daughter’s seventh birthday, she was looking forward to a pirate theme. There are several mini-golf courses around Fort Myers, but Smuggler’s Cove was an excellent choice. The 18-hole mini-golf course is located en route to busy Fort Myers Beach on San Carlos Blvd.
In addition to waterfalls and cave features, Smuggler’s Cove offers something rare so close to the city, a small alligator farm. A pond near the entrance is cordoned off by tall chainlink fences, but still allows guests a safe way to view mostly baby alligators up close.
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort – Water Park
Readers of LiveAndLetFly.com know that we love Hyatt hotels. One of the best domestic values in the World of Hyatt loyalty program was the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point between Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. It was formerly a Category 4 property requiring 15,000 points per night, but it moved up last year to Category 5, excluding it from eligibility from certificates given to elites and credit cardholders. This is likely to change in the coming year.
The hotel grounds feature an extensive water park. There are five water slides for guests from infant to adult, including one for inflatable rings either single or tandem. It also offers a kid-friendly zero-entry pool, a lazy river, and access to the resort’s private island, available by private ferry.
There are a number of adult-only pools and hot tubs as well for parents to relax and unwind in a picture-perfect setting.
For hotel guests, all of these features (along with poolside service) are included in the resort fee paid nightly during their stay; Hyatt Globalists are exempt from the charge. For those that simply want to visit but not stay at the hotel, Day Passes are available for $65/adult, or $45/child, infants are free of charge.
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort is the perfect hotel for a family vacation.
Fort Myers, Florida is full of family-friendly activities. Whether it is a water park, nature preserve, shelling on a beach, putt-putt mini-golf or a pirate cruise, kids of all ages have something to do and their parents too.
What do you think? What’s your favorite family-friendly activity in Fort Myers?