Fort Myers Beach enjoys a reputation for friendly folks, a wide, palm-shaded beach, and great family vacations. The city gets very busy in February and March as snowbirds, college students, and locals all congregate and the full-time population of 7,000 swells to nearly 50,000.
At the north end of the beach, a casual beach village with shops and restaurants is clustered along a tree-lined pedestrian walkway. The south end of the beach provides a wide selection of beachfront resorts in addition to Lovers Key State Park. In between, there are parks, recreation areas and marinas that feature fishing and boating charters that include daytime sightseeing, evening dining and dancing, as well as offshore gambling. There is also every imaginable water sport available including jet skiing, parasailing, wind surfing, sailing, and water skiing.
The beach hosts an annual sand sculpting contest in November and the Shrimp Festival in March draws thousands to the Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet. A 5K run precedes the event. A July 4th fireworks display and old-fashioned family day kicks off the annual Independence Day Festival. In addition, there are golf tournaments, the Taste of the Beach, New Year's Eve Celebrations, Offshore Powerboat Races and other sporting events. Even Santa rides his boat along the shoreline in the Christmas Holiday Boat Parade.
However, activities aren't confined to just the gulf side of the island. The Matanzas Pass Wilderness Preserve overlooking Estero Bay features more than 40 acres of live oak hammock and 4,000 feet of mangrove shoreline with an abundance of wildlife to enjoy from an elevated boardwalk.
Lynn Hall Memorial Park provides bathhouses and parking for beachgoers and people fishing from the 600-foot fishing pier. Balls bounce around the basketball, tennis and volleyball courts at Bay Oaks Recreation Center. Shelling at Lover's Key State Recreation Area rivals that of the neighboring island of Sanibel. Trams ferry visitors over Oyster Bay to Lover's Key Barrier Island. Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes and take boat tours of the area, and picnic areas and barbecue grills are conveniently located along the Lover's Key beaches.
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