Fort Myers is nestled next to Florida’s Caloosahatchee River, which leads into the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. With accommodations situated just minutes from the water, as well as a variety of activities available for visitors of all ages, Fort Myers is an ideal getaway. Discover your new home away from home and book a stay at one of many relaxing Fort Myers vacation rentals. Whether you’re planning to lounge on the beach, hit it up some popular tourist attractions, or go water skiing and fishing, Fort Myers and its surrounding cities have a little something for everyone. Check out the most exciting places in and around this Floridian destination.

1. Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach is an ideal location in the Fort Myers area if you’re looking for a little fun in the sun, and want to be close to the shoreline. With lodging options, just steps from the water, and restaurants along the bay, this beach town has it all. Rent jet-skis from Holiday Water Sports, and spend the day on the water, or relax outside your vacation rental, and take in the magnificent gulf sunsets. If you’re in the mood for some fresh local seafood, stop by Bayfront Bistro on Estero Boulevard.

2. Iona

Iona sits a few miles south of Fort Myers along with the Intracoastal Waterway, which makes this area extremely popular among boaters and fishermen. Sign up for a family fishing charter with Tide Water Charters, or rent a fishing boat, and try your hand at reeling in some largemouth bass for a cookout at your vacation rental.

3. Punta Rassa, Fort Myers

For a little peace and quiet combined with easy access to the water, choose a vacation rental in Punta Rassa. Located along the Caloosahatchee River and just a short drive away from Fort Myers Beach, this small town is known for its friendly residents and quiet, relaxed energy. Pack a picnic and do a little on-shore fishing, or take a short trip over to San Carlos Bay Beach for a little beach combing, swimming, or jet-skiing.

4. Cape Coral

Cape Coral vacation rentals put you just minutes from the shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico, where you can soak up the ocean air, and get up close and personal with the local dolphins that are prevalent in the area. Sign up for a chartered “dolphin watch” cruise with the Banana Bay Tour Company, and make sure to bring your camera, then enjoy a seafood lunch at Fish Tale Grill.

5. Edison Park Historic District, Fort Myers

The Edison Park Historic District is a great vacation rental spot if you want to soak up some of the area’s history. Historic homes line the walkable streets of this quiet neighborhood, including the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, which were originally the vacation homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Now a joint museum, the estates sit on 20 acres of land and offer walking tours and exhibits to the public.

6. Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs is a perfect vacation rental location if you want to spend a lot of time at the beach and socialize with fellow vacationers. Nearby Bonita Springs Public Beach is a busy hub for families and spring breakers, so you’re sure to meet a few friends along the shoreline. Barefoot Beach, referred to as “the second best beach in America,” is another popular beach in Bonita Springs that rates high among nature enthusiasts thanks to its nature preserve and rocky shorelines. Take a nature walk and be on the lookout for sand dollars, or do a little kayaking on the shallow inland area.

7. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a small island with 15 miles of shoreline that sits across from Fort Myers Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico. This magical little paradise is perfect for vacationers who prefer a cozy, small town atmosphere. Although the island is small, there’s plenty to do and see, and the gulf views only add to the area’s charm. Take the family out for a day of paddle boarding on the peaceful waters, or set up a beach umbrella and relax along the shoreline. After you’ve worked up an appetite playing on the beach all day, take a dinner break and enjoy a slice at Island Pizza.

8. Punta Gorda

Vacation rentals in the Punta Gorda community sit within walking distance of Burnt Store Marina, where you can rent a sailboat or fishing boat for the day, or just stop by to check out all the boats. The marina is located on Charlotte Harbor, which was ranked one of the top 10 best places to sail, and the local boating community makes everyone feel welcome, whether you’re a first time visitor or regular snowbird.

9. St. James City, Pine Island

St James City is a quaint town on the southern tip of Pine Island, a two-mile island along the Matlacha Pass across from Fort Myers Beach. In addition to vacation rentals a few steps away from the shoreline, this fun little community houses a variety of eclectic shops and tasty waterfront restaurants. Head over to Periwinkle Place and peruse the souvenirs and fashions sold by local vendors, then pop over to Low Key Tiki for some signature Tiki Surf and Turf Skewers.

10. Blue Cypress Lake

The Blue Cypress Lake community surrounds a 6,555-acre natural lake that leads into the Intracoastal Waterway and features beautiful greenery and soothing bay breezes. The lake is known for its largemouth bass population, making this area a great spot for avid fishermen. Rent a pontoon boat from Middleton’s Fish Camp and cruise the waters, or spend some time visiting the ducks, blue heron, and other Florida wildlife at Blue Cypress Lake Conservation Area.

11. Captiva

Captiva is a great area for active families, as activities abound for people of all ages. Take the kids to the Bubble Room Emporium, a classic local staple consisting of a restaurant and a gift shop with “Unique and Unusual Gifts for All.” For a little recreation visit the Captiva Island beach, or play a few rounds of golf at the Captiva Island Golf Club.