Explore the Best of Lee County Florida: Your Ultimate Guide

Lee County, located in Southwest Florida, offers an array of attractions and activities that make it a must-visit destination. With its stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, rich history, and diverse culinary scene, there’s something for every type of traveler.

With over 50 miles of pristine coastline, Lee County boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit for nature lovers, while the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers offer a glimpse into American history. The Miromar Outlets and Bell Tower Shops provide shopping opportunities for all tastes, and a variety of events and festivals will keep you entertained throughout the year.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lee County is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking outdoor adventures, rich cultural experiences, and beautiful beaches.
  • The county’s attractions include stunning beaches, wildlife refuges, historic estates, shopping centers, and a variety of events and festivals.
  • Lee County’s diverse culinary scene offers a range of options for every palate, including fresh seafood and mouthwatering Key lime pie.

Beaches in Lee County Florida

Lee County boasts numerous pristine beaches, each offering its unique charm and beauty. Among the most popular beaches are Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island. With crystal-clear waters, breathtaking views, and opportunities for various water activities, these beaches are perfect for both locals and tourists.

Fort Myers Beach is a seven-mile stretch with an expansive shoreline, ideal for sunbathing and swimming. It also features a fishing pier and a boardwalk, where you can enjoy the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel Island is known for its seashells, which you can collect as you walk along the shore. The island also has several nature preserves, where you can go birdwatching, hiking, and kayaking. Captiva Island is a quieter alternative, perfect for a romantic getaway with its intimate atmosphere and picturesque sunsets.

All of these Lee County beaches have white sand, perfect for building sandcastles, and warm waters for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach or a more secluded spot, Lee County’s beaches have something for everyone.

And if you’re a fan of water sports, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge in your favorite activities, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. Additionally, many of these Lee County beaches have facilities for picnicking and barbecuing, making them the perfect spot for a day of fun in the sun.

No matter which Lee County beach you choose, you’re sure to be impressed by the unparalleled beauty and natural wonders that Florida’s west coast has to offer.

Nature Preserves and Parks in Lee County Florida

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Lee County has plenty to offer. The county boasts a diverse range of ecosystems and wildlife and is home to several nature preserves and parks where visitors can explore and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

One of the most popular destinations for nature lovers is the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. This 3,500-acre wetland habitat features a boardwalk trail that takes visitors through marshes, cypress swamps, and oak hammocks. The preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, otters, and more than 200 species of birds.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is another must-visit for birdwatchers. The refuge spans over 6,400 acres and is home to more than 245 species of birds, including the endangered roseate spoonbill. Visitors can explore the refuge’s mangrove forests, tidal flats, and sea grass beds by foot, bike, or kayak.

Lovers Key State Park, located on a barrier island, offers miles of pristine beaches and a variety of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, and ospreys. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, or paddleboard in the calm waters or hike the nature trails.

The Estero Bay Preserve State Park is another great option for those seeking to experience Florida’s unique natural habitats. The park consists of ten different habitats, including mangrove forests, salt flats, and oak hammocks. Visitors can paddle the Estero River or hike the trails to spot wildlife like bobcats, river otters, and bald eagles.

No matter which nature preserve or park you choose to visit, Lee County Florida is sure to impress with its captivating natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

Cultural and Historical Attractions in Lee County Florida

In addition to its natural beauty, Lee County also offers a rich cultural and historical heritage. The region boasts numerous attractions that celebrate its diverse cultural identity and fascinating history.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are among the most popular cultural attractions in Lee County. The estates were once the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Visitors can explore their homes and gardens, as well as Edison’s laboratory, which is now a museum. Throughout the year, the estates host a variety of exhibitions and events that showcase the inventors’ lives and achievements.

If you’re a lover of art, the Lee County Alliance for the Arts is a must-visit destination. This organization supports and promotes local artists and cultural activities. They offer art exhibitions, performances, and workshops, among other events. Visitors can immerse themselves in the galleries and discover a diverse selection of artworks that showcase the talent of the region.

The region is also home to a variety of festivals and events that celebrate its cultural heritage. One such event is the Southwest Florida Irish Fest, held annually in Fort Myers. It showcases Irish music, dance, and food, providing attendees with a taste of Irish culture. Similarly, the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival celebrates the Native American history of the area. Kayakers and nature enthusiasts gather to explore the waterways and learn about the ancient roots of the Calusa tribe.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Lee County, the Southwest Florida Museum of History is the perfect choice. Through its exhibits and displays, the museum tells the story of the region from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can learn about the Native American tribes, the arrival of European explorers, the development of the railway system, and more.

Lee County is not just a natural paradise – it’s also a treasure trove of cultural and historical attractions. From museums and heritage sites to festivals and events, this region offers a diverse range of experiences for those interested in exploring its history and cultural identity.

Entertainment and Dining in Lee County Florida

Lee County offers a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. From delicious dining experiences to exciting entertainment venues, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this area.

When it comes to dining, Lee County offers a plethora of choices. Visitors can indulge in fresh seafood and waterfront dining at popular spots like Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille, where they can savor mouthwatering dishes while taking in stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. For those seeking a taste of international cuisine, places like Sasse’s Restaurant and Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill offer a diverse menu featuring flavors from around the world.

In addition to its diverse dining options, Lee County is also known for its entertainment scene. The area boasts several theaters and performing arts centers, such as Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, where visitors can enjoy Broadway-quality shows and musical performances. For a more casual evening out, visitors can head to popular entertainment districts like downtown Fort Myers and Cape Coral, where they will find a lively atmosphere with live music, bars, and restaurants.

Nature lovers can also find entertainment in Lee County, as it is home to beautiful beaches and natural parks. From enjoying a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores of Fort Myers Beach to exploring the wildlife at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, there are endless opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Overall, Entertainment and Dining in Lee County Florida offers a diverse range of options to suit every taste and preference. Whether visitors are looking for a fine dining experience or a night of live entertainment, they are sure to find what they are looking for in this vibrant and lively area.

Outdoor Activities in Lee County Florida

Lee County is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning natural beauty and warm climate, it offers a wide range of options for those who enjoy outdoor adventures.

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Lee County is kayaking. With its abundance of waterways, including the Caloosahatchee River and Estero Bay, kayaking provides the perfect opportunity to explore the area’s unique ecosystems. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are guided tours and rental options available for all skill levels.

Paddleboarding is another popular activity in Lee County. This water sport allows you to glide across the calm waters while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. With its shallow and clear waters, areas like Bonita Beach and Lover’s Key State Park are perfect for paddleboarding.

For those who prefer activities on land, hiking and biking trails are plentiful in Lee County. The Calusa Blueway Trail offers 190 miles of paddling trails along the Gulf Coast. If biking is more your style, the Pine Island Bike Path is a scenic route that takes you through the island’s lush landscapes.

Lee County is also known for its golf courses, making it a prime destination for golfing enthusiasts. With over 50 public and private golf courses, including the prestigious TPC Treviso Bay and the scenic Old Corkscrew Golf Club, the county offers plenty of opportunities to tee off in a stunning natural setting.

If you are looking for a unique outdoor experience, consider visiting the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel. This refuge is home to over 245 species of birds and offers nature trails, wildlife drives, and kayak tours for visitors to enjoy.

In conclusion, Lee County Florida offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From kayaking and paddleboarding to hiking and golfing, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful county. Whether you are seeking adventure or simply want to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, Lee County has it all.


In conclusion, Lee County, Florida, offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests. From stunning beaches to exciting outdoor activities and cultural and historical landmarks, Lee County has something for everyone. Its thriving entertainment and dining scene provide visitors with plenty of options to explore and enjoy.

Whether you are planning a vacation or considering a move to Lee County, the area’s thriving tourism industry and excellent real estate opportunities make it an attractive option. With a strong education system, efficient government, and numerous events throughout the year, Lee County is a great place to live, work, and play.

Plan Your Trip to Lee County Today

Don’t miss out on the many attractions and experiences Lee County has to offer. Start planning your trip today, and make sure to include some of its top-rated attractions in your itinerary.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through Lee County, Florida. We hope this guide has given you a taste of what this beautiful area has to offer, and we look forward to seeing you soon!


Q: What are the main attractions in Lee County, Florida?

A: Lee County offers a diverse range of attractions, including stunning beaches, nature preserves, cultural and historical sites, vibrant entertainment and dining options, and a variety of outdoor activities.

Q: Which beaches are worth visiting in Lee County, Florida?

A: Lee County boasts several beautiful beaches, including Fort Myers Beach with its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters, Sanibel Island known for its shell-strewn shores, and Captiva Island offering a more secluded and intimate setting.

Q: What are some popular nature preserves and parks in Lee County, Florida?

A: Nature enthusiasts can explore the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in neighboring Collier County, and the Lovers Key State Park with its secluded beaches and vibrant wildlife.

Q: What cultural and historical attractions can be found in Lee County, Florida?

A: Lee County is home to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, museums dedicated to the legacies of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, a hub of creativity showcasing local and international talent.

Q: Where can I find entertainment and dining options in Lee County, Florida?

A: The downtown area of Fort Myers, particularly the River District, offers a wide range of dining options and lively bars and clubs with live music and entertainment. Families can enjoy the Imaginarium Science Center, an interactive museum with exhibits and activities for all ages.

Q: What outdoor activities can I try in Lee County, Florida?

A: Lee County is a golfer’s paradise with over 90 golf courses. Adrenaline junkies can try parasailing, jet skiing, or skydiving. The warm temperatures and favorable weather make it an ideal destination for outdoor adventures.

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