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Southwest Florida Day Trips

When you’re not basking in the comfort of your spacious guest suite, sunbathing and socializing on the pool deck, or enjoying the endless recreation at your fingertips, take a scenic drive to some of our favorite area attractions.

The greater Fort Myers and Naples region is filled with local treasures and hidden gems that make perfect day trips for our guests. Enjoy water parks, secluded islands, museums, tropical gardens, historical sights, spring baseball – it’s all right here, and it’s just a short drive away. Stop by Guest Services for local tips, driving directions, and suggestions for places to eat and things to see along the way. And when you return to GullWing after a fun-filled day of local adventures, you’ll feel right at home.

 

Lovers Key State Park

Lover’s Key State Park is a 712 acre park located toward the south end of Fort Myers Beach. This beautiful, isolated beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is home to a variety of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, marsh rabbits, and more. Lover’s Key offers a variety of things to do on the water such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and boating. It’s a true Southwest Florida hidden gem.

“Lovers Key State Park is private, scenic, and great for shelling. You also have easy access to outdoor activities like biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding.” – Jamie, Guest Services Manager, DiamondHead

Sun N Fun Lagoon

“Sun N Fun Lagoon is a great family-friendly attraction located in Naples. It’s a fun water park with several rides and attractions including water slides, a lazy river, play areas, and a dive pool.” – Emily, Guest Services Manager, Park Shore

Sanibel Island

Located about 13 miles away from Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island is a beautiful, pristine, white sand beach, featuring crystal clear water, palm trees, and tropical foliage. Sanibel Island is best known for the massive collection of exotic, vibrant, seashells that wash up on the shore where travelers can gather them as they stroll down the beach. With a number of delicious restaurants, shops, and outdoor activities to participate in, including fishing, kayaking, biking and canoeing, you will never run out of exciting things to do.

Captiva Island

Located about 25 miles away from Fort Myers Beach by car and just north of Sanibel Island, Captiva is an incredible, one of a kind beach to visit. This beautiful, pristine beach features tropical foliage, sparkling, clear water, and an array of exotic, colorful seashells that wash up on the shore. Captiva Island offers a variety of restaurants and golf courses, as well as activities such as biking, sailing, and fishing.

Downtown Fort Myers

Located about 15 miles away from Fort Myers Beach, Downtown Fort Myers is a fun place for locals and travelers to visit. Downtown Fort Myers features a variety of delicious restaurants, shops, and bars. With weekly events such as farmers markets, art walks, live music performances, and more, there is always something exciting going on. Downtown Fort Myers is great for both a relaxing day of shopping and dining, as well as a late night out with your friends where you can enjoy a variety of drink specials, live music, and dancing.

Key West Express

The Key West Express sails seasonally from Marco Island and Fort Myers Beach. These high-speed, air-conditioned ferries will bring guests to Key West in just a few short hours. With snack bars, cold, refreshing cocktails, large TVs and sundecks, the Key West Express can guarantee you a fun ride. Once deporting the ferry, guests can enjoy the day exploring the beautiful Key West beaches, bars, restaurants, shops, art, and more! The Key West Express is a fun and exciting excursion to enjoy for an entire day.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a historical and educational museum where visitors can enjoy 20 acres of authentic botanical gardens, historical buildings, the Edison Ford Museum, and the Edison Botanic Research Lab. This unique property offers guided tours for visitors to learn about the winter retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in a fun, engaging way. Edison & Ford Winter Estates truly is a Fort Myers gem.

“One of my favorite attractions in the area is the Edison/Ford Estates. I especially like visiting during the holidays when they have all the decorations out!” – Haley, Guest Services Manager, GullWing

Marco Island

This tropical, metropolitan beach town is a popular destination just south of Naples. It is the largest of Florida’s renowned Ten Thousand Islands, featuring soft white sand, crystal clear water, beautiful, exotic seashells, and a peaceful ambiance. Oftentimes, visitors will see dolphins playing in the surf, pelicans diving in the water for a snack, and sea turtles swimming through the Gulf. There is always something exciting to see in Marco Island. This beautiful island also offers a variety of restaurants, shops, golf courses, and water sport rentals.

Burroughs Home & Gardens

This historic home on the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers was one of the area’s first luxury homes and is now renovated and on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available of this waterfront home and garden – a must see for anyone who loves history. Located in downtown Fort Myers off First Street.

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

Experience and learn about the natural history of Southwest Florida at the Calusa Center and Planetarium. Perfect for families and anyone who wants to learn about the Fort Myers and Southwest Florida environment, the center offers nature trails, aviaries, a museum and planetarium offering star shows, a gift shop, and outdoor picnic areas. Located on Ortiz Avenue in Fort Myers, Exit 22 off Interstate 75.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Owned and operated by the National Audubon Society, visitors can see a variety of wading and migratory birds and other wildlife on two miles of nature trails through the largest virgin bald cypress forest in the United States. Located Southeast of Bonita Springs, 15 miles East of Interstate 75, Exit 17.

Everglades Wonder Gardens

Visitors will find themselves surrounded by lush, tropical gardens as they view the mammals, reptiles and birds from the vast and silent Everglades. See “Big Joe” – a 14.5 foot long and over 1,000 lb. crocodile, Florida panthers, and over 2,000 species of wildlife and plants. Group rates are available upon request. Located on Old US 41 in Bonita Springs.

Fort Myers Historical Museum

Learn about the history of early settlers and explorers in Southwest Florida and Fort Myers through the exhibits at this museum. Situated in the former railroad depot, the museum showcases the rich history of Southwest Florida. Located at 2300 Peck Street in Fort Myers.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

A sanctuary for native and migratory birds, the nearly 5,000 acre refuge is a favorite attraction for residents and visitors alike – a five-mile wildlife drive through unspoiled mangrove swamp and island uplands, with foot trails and a canoe trail. Located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel, the refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States, world-renowned for its spectacular migratory bird populations. Stop by the visitor center just off Sanibel-Captiva Road for literature about the Refuge.

The Shell Factory

The Shell Factory offers one of the largest collections of shells and coral all under one roof. Visitors can also browse and shop for imported resort wear, jewelry, and handmade leather goods. Located four miles North of Fort Myers on US 41.

Boston Red Sox & Minnesota Twins Baseball

Lee County is the spring training destination for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox baseball teams. The Twins play at the Lee County Sports Complex, and the Red Sox play at JetBlue Park – which includes a “Fenway South”, “Green Monster”, and a manual scoreboard. Bring friends or family to a game at either ballpark for an evening they’ll never forget.

Babcock Wilderness Adventures

Just the place for a day of family fun. Discover history and adventure with a tour of the working cattle ranch and surrounding ecosystem, and enjoy lunch at the Gator Shack Restaurant. Located at 8000 State Road 31 in Punta Gorda. .

Captiva Cruises

A family favorite for more than 20 years, Captiva Cruises operates a fleet of vessels and offers a great way to explore the beautiful outer islands of Southwest Florida. Tours options include The Dolphin Watch & Wildlife Adventure Cruise, a 90-minute wildlife cruise on Pine Island Sound; The Sunset Serenade Cruise, a one-hour cruise featuring live entertainment and Gulf of Mexico sunsets; a Beach and Shelling Cruise, a three-hour cruise to the secluded Cayo Costa State Park Islands; an Out-Island Cruise, or a half-day cruise to one of four exciting destinations – Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Boca Grande, or Cayo Costa. Private Sailing Charter Cruises are also available. Tours and cruises depart from South Seas Island Resort and McCarthy’s Marina on beautiful Captiva Island.

Caribbean Gardens, The Zoo in Naples

Founded in 1919, Caribbean Gardens offers 52 acres of mature, tropical foliage and manicured walking trails, and is home to hundreds of animals ranging from tigers to impala antelope. At the Safari Canyon Show, where multimedia encounters nature, visitors can observe the natural abilities of animals while range maps, wildlife footage, and computer graphics are displayed on video screens. Guests love the Primate Expedition Boat Tours and the variety of other fun shows and activities. Located at 1950 Goodlette-Frank Road in Naples.

Lakes Park

This 279-acre park features 158 acres of freshwater quarry lake with canoeing and fishing for bass, bream, and other fresh and saltwater species. The park contains approximately 2.5 miles of paved or natural paths for walking, jogging, and biking. There are also picnic areas, concession stands, a miniature train ride, boat rentals, play equipment, a rock climbing wall, and a water feature playground! Located off Gladiolus Road in Fort Myers.

Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball Family Fun Park

Featuring family fun including miniature golf, four go-kart tracks, eight batting cages, paintball, an arcade, and much more! Located at 35 Pine Island Road in Cape Coral.

Naples Princess

Enjoy the beauty of Naples Bay; see the spectacular homes of Port Royal and watch a breathtaking sunset on the Gulf aboard the Naples Princess Yacht. Cruises are available offering sightseeing, lunch, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner. Private charters are available. Sails from Port-O-Call Marina near downtown Naples.

Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Racing & Poker

The Greyhound Track offers year round racing, as well as a casino-style Poker Room. Food and drinks are available at the facility as well. Located on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs.

Big “M” Casino Boat

This Las Vegas-style casino boat features blackjack, roulette, Let-It-Ride, 3-card poker and plenty of slots. Guests can also enjoy an all you can eat buffet, live entertainment and bingo games. Cruises depart from Moss Marine on Fort Myers Beach. Must be 21 years or older.

Seminole Indian Casino

This casino offers 24-hour gaming and excitement, including slots, table games, and a Poker Room. Additionally, the casino offers a variety of dining and entertainment options. Located on 1st Street in Immokalee. Must be 21 years or older.

More from SunStream

Picture yourself here – GullWing Beach Resort

View the resort gallery to inspire your next Fort Myers Beach getaway or to relive your favorite GullWing memories from your last visit.

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