The Beaches Of Fort Myers and Sanibel. A Natural Un-Winding Haven in Florida.
Florida = Orlando Theme Parks, Miami Art Deco and Beautiful Keys……… Or does it?
I was invited to a breakfast meeting for travel bloggers during the World Travel Market in London, which was initially referred to as for “Florida”. How cool I thought! I imagined lots about Orlando (with their Theme Parks), Miami (with their Art Deco Buildings and vibrant Spanish/ Cuban pulse), and finally stuff about the long and languid Florida Keys (with their quirky long bridges and always popular Key West). Then the formal invite came promising “The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel”.
“The what?” was my second reaction. The first was more about disappointment that the Florida I knew and recognized was no where to be seen on the invite. Though having committed to go I went along (tentatively). However, I came away with a very different attitude! Once again, as usually happens as you explore travel, the places that you do not know even exist, or those that you do not know much about, are the ones that surprise and engage. Discovery and surprise is the secret ingredient that we can easily forget, as we get drawn to the well tread, and well documented, destinations.
Nancy Hamilton of Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Revealed The Another Side to Florida
I met a super enthusiastic Nancy Hamilton, who is the Director of Communications for the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, and she had me convinced that this is a place I need to go to. She started working there 20 years ago, and so loves the place she stayed, and has been promoting it ever since.
Fort Myers is located on the South West of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. A 2 hour drive from the main gateway cities of Orlando, Miami and Tampa. So it is very accessible, and does have its own airport that people can fly in from many places in the USA, as well as further afield from places like Canada and Germany.
It is a destination of islands, beaches and nature. It is a place to unwind and chill out. It has a rich heritage and lots of fascinating stories, with many famous names like Edison and Ford having lived here. It has a growing cultural heart with theatre and a fascinating Art of the Olympians gallery, where art from these masters of sport is collected. There are no major chain hotels, and lots of independent hotels of 4 star ranking and below. It is lush, rich in nature and sounds like a prefect unwinding spot, with a lot of beauty, after a manic stay in Orlando or Miami that many people are usually drawn to Florida for.
I recorded an interview with Nancy talking more about the area and attractions, which you can listen to online by clicking here or by subscribing to the Tips for Travellers Podcast on iTunes. Her most important message is that Fort Myers is a place to come to unwind in.
They have created, in partnership with Lonely Planet, a really cool and very visual guide to the area which you can download or order online via http://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/order-travelers-guide/. The website is Fortmyers-sanibel.com
The next step is to get there, relax, enjoy and capture the beauty!