Being an adult student again, in between semesters I need to rest, relax, and get away. Typically, a cruise always seems a great choice as the prices tend to be less expensive for Florida locals than any other trip. This past August, I wanted to do something different and actually see parts of Florida that I have not seen in the entire eleven years I have lived here- specifically the Fort Myers area. So that is in fact what I chose to do.
Fort Myers Beach is only about two hours away from Miami and a very easy drive across Alligator Alley. Summertime reservations are quite easy since it is out of season (which was obvious once we arrived).
We left Miami about ten in the morning and arrived to the ‘Alley where we hunkered down for that long stretch of basically NOTHING. As we zoomed by the reeds on either side of the road, I peered as close as I could trying to spot me a gator. Alas, a futile task.
Our destination had arrived, even if the GPS took us the scenic route from the south on U.S. Route 41 instead of Interstate 75. We finally got to the Harbour House at the Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The Harbour House is a powder-yellow three-story condominium/hotel that offers suites with efficiencies and at very reasonable prices. They offer a small pool and some rooms overlook the harbor.
Looking at Google Maps, it’s difficult to judge scale sometimes. This was the case for me with Harbour House’s location. I was delighted to see how close to everything it was. It’s basically a block away from the ocean, pier and restaurants. And of course just behind it is the harbor.
Upon check-in, we were greeted with smiles – we were early so the room wasn’t ready yet. We opted to go walk around and get lunch and were told they’d give us a call when the room was ready. Sure enough, in about an hour and a half the call came.
We had a king suite near the pool- and it was immaculately clean; everything anyone would need. As you entered, there was a 2-burner stove kitchenette with full fridge and lounge area with a 2-chair dining table. The bathroom was located between the kitchenette and the bedroom. The bedroom had a beach cottage feel that offered a second flat screen television and plenty of closet space. The king bed was quite comfortable- so for me, this place is just a delight. The complex also has a parking garage available (1 car per suite).
While there, we ate at Pete’s Time Out among other places. Pete’s stands out because of the food and the service and its TripAdvisor ratings. It was an off and on rainy afternoon that first day and we arrived just after a downpour. They were still wiping the tables and chairs down when we arrived- the waiter cheerfully greeted us, took our drink orders and promptly returned with them. We ordered the shrimp boil and the butterfly shrimp dinner.
The food arrived not long after- live music played from a lone guitarist. As we enjoyed our meals, others began to be seated, creating a bit livelier atmosphere. My fried shrimp were delicious- lightly battered (almost a tempura batter but lighter) and cooked just so- they were tender and flavorful. The shrimp boil was good as well, with just enough spice- but not too much for the heat of the day. The second night we chose Pete’s again because the first night was so good. This time, I had the grilled mahi mahi dinner and it was like a tender flakey steak- AMAZING. I was definitely not disappointed. This night was a quite a bit busier (Friday night) so we had to wait a bit longer but with the incredible atmosphere and live music in the square, it wasn’t a bother.
Fort Myers Beach is an island stretch of nondescript waterfront homes/condos with very little else around until once you get to the north end. Once there you’re greeted by white powder sands, fishing pier, a stretch of restaurants and shops in Time Square, and unfortunately, brown water. There are a variety of things to do, such as jet-skiing, fishing, boating, eating, sunbathing, and of course watching the amazing sunsets. Yes, this is certainly quite a “sleepy” area with rest and relaxation the order of the day. It was certainly what I needed.
Fort Myers Beach is nice for a weekend get-away but for me, that’s about it. I would get too bored if more time was spent, plus, there’s so much more of Florida to be seen. The sunsets and food were just amazing and it was refreshing to interact with nice, friendly people. Until next time, thanks for tripping with me.