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Open Jaw

Lesson No. 2:
Fort Myers Is The Pearl, South Florida The Oyster

This southwest Florida region is an ideal hub for exploring the Sunshine State

If clients can bear to tear themselves away from the laid-back beachy vibes, diverse wildlife and endless marine activities of the Fort Myers and Sanibel area, they will find a world of other Florida adventures not far away.

Hub-and-spoke travel is a great way to truly discover a destination at a comfortable, relaxed pace -- you get to try it on for size, instead of just browsing. It’s also suitable for travel with a group or family because you aren’t constantly packing up and moving.

  • As far as ideal hubs go, the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel tick all the boxes.
  • A spot that allows you easy day or short-term trips to other locations? Check! Pleasant, safe, with plenty of affordable accommodation, efficient public transportation and day tours? Yup.
  • Interesting in its own right with plenty to see and do? Double check!

Lee County, the home of Fort Myers, is just a hop, skip and jump away from some of South Florida's most iconic must-visit destinations that act as a great complement to The City of Palms, as Fort Myers is known, and Sanibel.

The port city of Tampa, home of Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium, is a quick two-hour drive north from Fort Myers, while Orlando, world-renowned for its theme parks, is three hours away. Over on the east coast, Miami's vibrant bustle is 2.5 hours by car and balmy Fort Lauderdale is two.

Another site well worth exploring is the Florida Keys. This halcyon crescent of coral and mangrove islands has a diverse marine population that attracts coastal kayakers and fishing enthusiasts from around the world.

Of some 1,700 keys, 43 are attached to the mainland by the Overseas Highway, but tourists can also arrive directly from Fort Myers Beach aboard the Key West Express – a jet powered catamaran that runs daily year-round. It brings travellers to a private dock in the heart of the Historic Seaport District with its many fine restaurants, bars and shops.

On top of air-conditioned interiors, exterior sun decks and reclining airline-style seating, guests enjoy a full-service galley and bar and flat screen TVs with satellite television to watch during the 3.5-hour ride. 

On arrival there are electric cars and bicycles for rent, as well as the Key West trolley at the Sponge Market.

A day spent snorkeling Key West's scenic reefs, pedalling around the two-by-four mile island, restaurant-hopping or joining a sightseeing tour can add the perfect tang to a Fort Myers vacation.

Once clients have enjoyed the bustle of Miami, the whooping thrills of Orlando's theme parks or the end-of-the-road backwaters of Key West, they know they can come back to their "second home" in Fort Myers & Sanibel.

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