Beaches are still the big draw for visitors to Fort Myers & Sanibel

Beaches are still the big draw for visitors to Fort Myers & SanibelTORONTO — It’s not often that a destination mentions its competitors but representatives for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel know that Canadians love to explore when they travel, and typically have a car at their disposal.

“We’re two hours from Tampa and three hours from Orlando,” said Shelley Crant, Principal, Destination, Tourism Sales & Promotion for Florida Travel Marketing Inc., at yesterday’s Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel industry event.

Crant said she wants agents to know that clients visiting either of these top Florida destinations can easily work a trip to Fort Myers & Sanibel into their itinerary.

What are the selling points? With its 100-plus barrier islands, Fort Myers & Sanibel are great for dolphin watching and fishing. “We’re all about nature, we’re very low-key and we’re great for families,” she said. Shelling is another popular activity and die-hard shellers can even take shelling charters out to the islands, for the best finds.

The area also offers The Great Calusa Blueway, a paddling trail with multiple access points, so visitors can paddle their way for an hour, a day or a week, says Crant.

Fort Myers & Sanibel are also home to 1,549 holes of golf on 95 courses.

Top properties in the area include the 213-suite (all oceanfront) Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. “Everything in the property is looking at Sanibel Island and the lighthouse,” she says. Sister property The Sandpiper Gulf Resort has 63 suites. There’s also the South Seas Island Resort, and Sunstream Hotels & Resorts properties, to name a few.

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