Our Favourite Relaxing family hang outs in Fort Myers, Florida
Look out snowbirds …there are new kids in town and not just for Spring Break!
You know, the longer we travel, the more inspired we are by the increase in full-time traveling families, that we are meeting. Folks who like us, decided to ditch the grind, simplify life and explore. There are so many incredible traveling family stories out there BUT, that is a post for another time. We ABSOLUTELY have a lengthy list of awesome traveling families that we LOVE following.
What we noticed, is a need for family friendly and simple activities content. Sure, there are plenty of reviews from various sources on the “GO-TO” places but not a ton of kid friendly, non-tourism hyped activities. What I mean by that, is a little more, off-the-beaten-path type activities and trips. Activities that won’t break the bank or have you curled up, in the fetal position, twitching while you sip your mommy juice afterwards.
Perhaps one of our favourite tips on travel is to get out there, blend like a chameleon. Get chatting with the people you meet and you’ll discover the hidden gems. The places where the locals hang out and keep hidden from the rest of the world. Now, these are our kinda places!!
It’s not that we don’t appreciate the efforts, cities and towns put into big attractions, it’s just that… well, with a 3 and 5 year old, trying to keep our sanity in mind. We prefer to find places with less people, little to no lineups and truthfully, areas where our kiddos can run free. Perhaps in a few years, when my kids behave better, we’ll be ready for major tourism attractions ( bahaha OMG, i literally spit my coffee while writing that). It kinda goes along with my thoughts on what a great mom I’d be, before I actually had kids.
Anywho, here is one of our two favourite hangouts, that we returned to, multiple times while enjoying the Fort Myers sunshine over the last four months. We promise you that they are budget-friendly and leave lots of room for the kids to roam, which let’s be honest, happy kids = happy parents.
Lover’s Key State Park. Lee County Florida ( actual address is 8700 Estero Blvd.)
Park hours are 8am to Sundown
Apparently, one of the best birding areas of South West Florida ( not really our Jam … but good to know). You can also find various wildlife like manatees, dolphins and bald eagles.
This is a beautiful 712- acre, state park that you find south of Fort Myers Beach. It has a beautiful 2 1/2 mile stretch of beach and was rated #4 of the top beaches in Florida by the Travel Channel. It has day use areas, equipped with shelters, grills and restroom facilities, as well as fountains to refill your water… BONUS👍🏻. Also, 2 fun playground areas, that kept the kiddos (my husband included) amused and happy.
Over 5 miles of biking trails and plenty of hiking opportunities. Truthfully we didn’t see many of them, little legs never really get far. (bring your own bikes or they do rent them at the concession stand, located in the main parking lot, along with the park store for Food and beverage if need be). It is $8 per vehicle to enter the actual park.
We enjoyed plenty of afternoons, where we would just use the day use area at the North End, at Bayside park. It’s about 1 mile north of the main park entrance. We’d hit the playground and picnic area, as well as use the facilities after the drive in. NOTE: once you pay the parking/admission fee, it’s good for all areas in the park. Day use fee was just a few dollars each and kids under 6 are free. The envelope system for payment was set up at the entrance to both, the day use area and the beach access. It was cash-only on premisses but i believe the actual gate to the park entrance, had different payment options.
We then would neander across the way, to the NorthWest side of the park, to re-park the truck and hit the beach, for sunset or more afternoon play. This is where you’ll find a few of the hiking paths, portapotties and beach access.
A few times, in the hot, hot sun, we were able to set up shop under the bridge, which was a lovely shelter and made for a much longer, beach stay especially if you forgot an umbrella.
The beach features lots of shells to collect, small crabs and endless sandcastle making, as well as some of the most gorgeous sunsets we’ve captured in Florida.
There is also a FREE beach Tram, it runs the length of the park and access to Fort Myers Beach. The trolly stops across the street from the North beach access we were talking about. The trolly scheduling is available at https://www.fortmyersbeach.org/trolley
Finally I wanted to make mention of a few of the really cool programs run by the park, like the Florida State Junior Ranger program, and activities like Yoga on the beach and Songwriters At Sunset event. For more information on these and other great programs check out the Florida State Parks website at
Well, it looks like this post it getting way out of control AND far too long. So, our second favourite hang out will have to be featured in part “deux”. Check out part 2, for more information about another awesome Florida favourite.
Let’s face it, our mommy brains can only handle so much, so I’ll keep it a simple read… and well, the kids are up now and screaming for breakfast, so until next time…
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