What to Do & Eat in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral & Sanibel Island, FL

I took the week off from blogging last week because we were in Florida for a short yet incredible four days in the sun! We went to the Cape Coral, Ft Myers, and Sanibel Island area and today I'm recapping our trip for you with our favorite places! This isn't sponsored in any way, just sharing what we did in case you're planning a trip :)
We actually flew into the Punta Gorda Airport as it had cheaper and direct flights from Michigan (our first time on Allegiant-- it was fine, but I didn't like that you had to pay for drinks on the plane, even water!) I sat next to the nicest lady who I ended up exchanging information with and we're going to meet up in town here soon. Love that!
When we landed we went to our hotel, The Westin at Cape Coral Marina. It's a gorgeous hotel right on the marina with some shops and restaurants around.

Our room happened to be ready when we arrived at 10am, so we got checked in, then went down to one of the restaurants at the marina called Gather. It was Sunday, so we indulged in my favorite food: brunch! It was delicious! After brunch we headed to the pool and sat there for a couple of hours before going to the room to rest, then getting ready for dinner. I had my first (and only) pool bar drink; a delicious guava punch.

That night we went to a restaurant called Boathouse in Cape Coral, since we didn't want to drive too far. I have to say, it wasn't my favorite. It is right on the water, so the views are amazing, but it's seat yourself, so there are people crowding tables and it was extremely loud. I know, I sound about 90 years old ;) After 15 minutes of looking around, I found a spot right in the sand so we did get to catch this pretty sunset. The food was okay, nothing special. It was definitely glorified bar food.

The next morning we woke up and caught the complimentary water taxi from our hotel to the Ft. Myers beach. It left at 9am and picked us up at 2pm from the marina in Ft. Myers, which I thought at first wouldn't be enough time, but ended up being PLENTY of time because of how hot it got on the beach!
The water taxi was SO fun! The crew was so nice, funny, and gave us lots of fun facts along our 45 minute taxi. It ended up being one of my favorite things of our trip.

The sun essentials: my favorite safe and super effective sunscreen (both spray tinted sunscreen for a nice glow and regular sunscreen lotion), my favorite floppy hat and this super soft and HUGE beach towel.

When we first arrived to Ft. Myer's Beach, there weren't many people there but as the day went on the beach got more and more crowded. I'd hate to see it on Spring Break week ;) If you get there early, you'll get a nice spot! There are lounge chairs and umbrellas to rent ($28 / day) or you can bring your own.
 Ruffle Swim Suit Top (similar) / Ruffle Swim Suit Bottoms

Seeing this turquoise water from the pier was such a treat. This is looking back at the beach from the pier.

That afternoon we laid by the pool once we got back to the hotel, then got ready and went to Cabo's Cantina for great Tex-Mex food on First Street in Ft. Myers. This whole street was adorable, full of lovely restaurants and cute places. Some other recs we got for down there but didn't have a chance to go were Capones Pizza and The Firestone. Both looked amazing!

The next morning we woke up leisurely and had a slow morning, then headed to Sanibel Island. We made it there by 12:45 and went straight to lunch at The Lighthouse Cafe. I had heard about this place from a couple people on Instagram (thank you!) and loved the charming hole-in-the-wall look of it. They offer call-ahead seating, so we called 30 minutes away and put our name in. We were seated within 2 minutes of walking in! It was really tasty (brunch and lunch offered all day) and I loved all the photos of lighthouses on every single inch of every single wall. There's a cute little ice cream place in this same shopping center, in case you wanted to get that, too.

After brunch we went to Lighthouse Beach just about 5 minutes away from the restaurant. It doesn't have much parking and it is $5 / hour to park there, but we ended up finding a spot in about 10 minutes of circling the lot.

This beach is stunning! The waves are gentle, the water was chilly but warmed up fast once you got to used to it, it's pretty shallow waters, too, which would be nice for kids. The other amazing thing is the amount of seashells everywhere! I've never seen anything like it.

You can't really tell, but the sand I'm walking on above in the ocean is actually just crushed up tiny pieces of shell. Everywhere you look...more shells! We had so much fun sifting through thousands of these to bring a couple home. We have a good 20 in our collection ;)

If you look hard below, you'll see that the water's tide is coming up on more shells.
 Bathing Suit Top / Bathing Suit Bottoms (I love having navy and black bottoms and then getting a couple different swim suit tops to mix and match!)

I loved the color of these. Now to find a cute little low dish to hold them in!

Absolutely loving the Vitamin D, but goodness, it got hot! I think it was about 86 and humid. I actually took the car back to a small shop I passed to grab a beach umbrella because I was dying ;) I know, I shouldn't be complaining of heat after coming from 24 degrees, but I was getting scorched. Once we got the umbrella, we were all set.
 Swim Suit Top

At about 4:30 we packed up, changed at the bathrooms at Lighthouse Beach and drove to Captiva Island (Sanibel and Captiva are connected) and thanks to a recommendation from another friend on Instagram, we were told to see the sunset from the beach at the restaurant called Mucky Duck. I had looked up the menu previously and realized I wouldn't want anything on it (I don't eat seafood) so I figured we'd just do drinks here.

When we arrived we realized the restaurant was right on the beach, so we could actually just sit on the beach without going to the restaurant to order anything! We ended up getting an appetizer of a fruit plate which was perfect while we watched the sunset. It was SO STUNNING and I highly recommend going to this beach for sunset. You could bring your own food (picnic dinner) or you could grab something from Mucky Duck and take it directly on the beach.

Of you look to the left of this picture below, you'll see how many people were on the beach. It got so crowded! People clapped as the sunset and it was really cool. I loved it!

After the sunset we walked down the street to Key Lime Bistro, a great restaurant with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. We got sat in 15 minutes outside on the patio which had those fun string market lights. The food was great and had a nice variety of seafood and non-seafood. Perfect for me! I got the veggie risotto and it was delicious!

On Wednesday morning we got up and went to the pool at the hotel, then went back to Ft. Myers beach via water taxi from 11am-4pm. This time, armed with our new beach umbrella ($18 umbrella that we couldn't take home, might I add!) we stayed cool and enjoyed the afternoon so much. I got about 12 chapters of my book in which was really fun and relaxing.

Before the water taxi picked up, we grabbed ice cream right on along the Ft. Myers Beach shops. There's a bunch of shops (except they're all touristy and literally every shop has the exact same trinkets as the one next to it ;)) and restaurants.

Swim Suit Top is 3 years old and sold out, but from Target. You can find it second hand by googling "Target lace and crochet bikini top".

That night we got back and just went to dinner at tour hotel's restaurant called Marker 92. It was really yummy! I got a flatbread pizza and McCann got the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi. The sunset from the marina and restaurant was beautiful!

This was basically our view from the restaurant patio where we sat.


We had the best time! It was just what we needed to escape the cold and reconnect for a few days. In case you didn't make it through reading the whole post, here are some restaurant recommendations I got from you all and the places we went and enjoyed are starred:
Cape Coral:
BoatHouse (we went, but didn't love)
Marker 92*
Point 57
Ft. Myers:
Capone's Pizza
Cabo Cantina*
The Firestone
Lighthouse Cafe*
Mucky Duck -- would recommend for drinks/apps at sunset
Key Lime Bistro*
The Sandbar
Thistle Lodge
Love Boat Ice Cream
Pinocchio's for ice cream
Bailey's General Store
Doc Ford's 
George & Wendy's
The Bubble Room (dessert)
Cantina Captiva
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