There’s so much to do when you’re on vacation at one of our city-side Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals, but sometimes it is nice to go a little off the beaten path. With so many places to see and things to do outdoors, you could fill an entire vacation with water activities and still not see it all.
Some of the most interesting, and sometimes overlooked, spots to check out are the unspoiled islands in the area. Specifically, you won’t want to miss Cabbage Key and Cayo Costa. These two pristine islands deliver some of the most exhilarating natural attractions off the shores of Fort Myers.
How do you get to Cabbage Key?
All you have to do to get to Cabbage Key is hop on a quick ferry that will take you across the Pine Island Sound to this remote spot. Cabbage Key encompasses 100-acres of paradise that have remained untouched and preserved.
You can also charter or rent your own boat to make the short trip. If you love Old Florida Style and a rustic feel, this is the place for you to explore the true nature of Florida.
What should you do once you get there?
Cabbage Key is a haven for anyone who loves to boat or fish. Make sure you bring your own fishing gear with you, because there’s nowhere to rent it on the quaint island.
You can fish right off the dock that you land on if you take the ferry over. Also walk along the Cabbage Nature Trail, which will take you through some of the lush vegetation as you look for some of the wildlife in the area.
Where should you eat?
You only have one choice of dining once you’re on Cabbage Key, and that’s at the Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant. Enjoy their casual dining in a unique setting. You can eat inside or outside, but make sure to at least look around indoors. There are thousands of dollar bills taped to the ceiling and walls making this a one-of-a-kind place.
Cabbage Key is rumored to be the place where Jimmy Buffet wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” It’s not hard to tell why he fell in love with the area after experiencing the unique ambiance for yourself. And Jimmy Buffet isn’t the only one who loved this place. Mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart and her son built most of the buildings on the island back in 1938.
Next Up: Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa is another beautiful untouched barrier island near our Fort Myers vacation rentals. You won’t want to miss a chance to explore this unique state park which is within a few miles of Cabbage Key (though you can only access either area by boat or ferry).
This park features nine miles of pristine scenic beaches and over 2,426 acres of protected habitat. It is a popular destination for shelling, birding, snorkeling, swimming, biking, hiking, camping and fishing.
This park also offers several facilities including restrooms, showers, picnic areas, trails, a canoe/kayak launch, exhibits at the ranger station, and a gift shop with snacks, drinks, ice, and camping items.
Getting to Cayo Costa
Captiva Cruises offers a ferry service to the park from nearby areas including Fort Myers, Pine Island, Captiva Island, and Sanibel Island. Reservations are required to book the ferry, and you can reserve your spot by calling (239)-472-5100.
Another ferry option is Tropic Star which can be reached at (239)-283-0015.
What is there?
Even though Cayo Costa remains largely untouched, one thing the spot is known for the most is the beaches. More than nine miles of unspoiled sands seashells are piled as far as you can see.
This spot shows Florida in all of its raw and natural beauty. It’s not uncommon to see manatees and dolphins off the coast, and birds nesting in the trees along the beach. You’ll also find trails for hiking and mountain biking in the wooded areas on the island.
Fishing at Cayo Casta
You can surf fish at Cayo Casta along the shores or from your own private boat rental. The Cayo Casta Camp Store on the island also sells a number of different types of supplies for your convenience.
Learn More About Islands and Parks Near Fort Myers
We have over 24 years of experience helping visitors to Fort Myers find their perfect vacation rental. With excellent locations near the ocean on Fort Myers Beach, you’ll have access to these pristine islands, amazing restaurants, and more. It’s time to get started planning your next trip to Fort Myers Beach!