Staff Picks

Check out our monthly Staff Picks to discover the most exciting attractions, upcoming events, and in-the-know advice on how to make the most of your time on Estero Island.

woman holding seashells

Search For Seashells On Sanibel Island


Make the most of your summer on Florida’s Gulf Coast with a visit to Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island. The nearby destination makes for the perfect day trip with family and friends. Lovebirds and solo-adventurers will enjoy the island as well...

Home to a 5200-acre wildlife refuge, historic museums, and the kind of white sand beaches you dream about, Sanibel Island is absolutely worth the drive. But what makes Bowman’s Beach so special is its colorful and diverse seashells that wash ashore. Shell collectors from all over the world travel to Bowman’s Beach in search of these rare and vibrant beauties—there’s even a museum on the island that’s dedicated to shells and the animals that leave them behind.

On your afternoon trip to Bowman’s, enjoy a peaceful stretch of shoreline that for the most part has seen very little development compared to the rest of the island. With miles of unobstructed views and calming seas, Sanibel is a quintessential vacation destination.

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couple parasailing

Let’s Set Sail


Take off to new, incredible heights when you book a tour with Ranalli Parasail. You’ll receive safety and riding instructions from an experienced professional before taking off and enjoying the views of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, and the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Chances are, you’ll even get a peek at dolphins, turtles, colorful fish, and more as you glide peacefully above it all. It’s a truly freeing experience, and one you surely won’t want to miss...

One to three people can fly together at a time, so your group can partner up and experience the magic of flying together. Flights range depending on what you’d like to experience, so choose from 300-foot or 600-foot flights, a 900-foot flight where you’ll get to dip your toes in the water once, or a 1200-foot flight that includes two toe dips!

Book online today to create a new memory to add to your stay at the GullWing Beach Resort.

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dolphin jumping out of the water at sunset

Valentine’s Day Sunset Dolphin Cruise


Having the perfect Valentine’s Day date is easy when you rely on Adventures in Paradise! This delightful cruise company is offering a special evening for you and your partner when you come aboard and set sail on their Valentine’s Day Sunset Dolphin Cruise. You will take a 90-minute guided tour, departing at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, February 14th, where you’ll be shown all about the gorgeous Pine Island Sound. ..

You may even get to see bottlenose dolphins, trailing the boat’s wake and jumping nearby the comfortable 45’ Corinthian Power Catamaran you will be aboard. Tickets are $35 per passenger. Complimentary soft drinks and water will be available, and you may also bring your own alcoholic beverages if you would like. Don’t settle for anything less than a spectacular Valentine’s Day that your partner won’t soon forget! Secure your spot aboard the vessel today, as tickets will likely sell out for such a romantic and exciting excursion.

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mini golf

Putt & Pub Crawl 2020


Put your winter blues away and get into the South Florida state of mind when you join in the Fort Myers Putt & Pub Crawl 2020. On January 18th starting at 10:00 a.m., you can play a round of mini-golf all while enjoying tasty drink specials, raffles, dinner, and more. Not only will you have a blast, but you and three of your friends will be teaming up to compete for a good cause—supporting 9 local, nonprofit organizations. Having a good time doesn’t get much better than that!..

You will play 9 holes to try and win fantastic prizes until 4:30 p.m. when your scorecard is due. Teams will then head to the after-party from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to see if they’ve made the cut. Prizes are awarded for 1st and 2nd place teams, the Duffer’s Award for the worst score, the Best Dressed Team, the Best Team Name, and the Judges’ and People’s Choice Awards for the Hole Sponsors.

Pre-register online today!

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two kids on the bow of a boat wearing santa hats

Santa’s Last Stop


There is no need to rush away during your vacation at the GullWing Beach Resort for last-minute shopping for the holidays! All you have to do is make your way to Santa’s Last Stop at Lover’s Key, conveniently between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach just off of Estero Boulevard. This fantastic market offers up the best, most unique handmade gifts so you can easily find something, even for the most difficult person on your holiday shopping list. ..

This isn’t your typical shopping trip, but a fun event for the whole family. Santa will be visiting, and there will even be carolers walking along and regaling you with classic songs to get you into the spirit of the season. The sale takes place on Sunday, December 21st and Saturday, December 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. so get out there, shop your heart out, and enjoy the beautiful, Florida weather.

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toy train at christmas

Sounds of Christmas


Get into the spirit of the season and celebrate with your family and friends at the Sounds of Christmas event from November 21st to December 25th. This musical revue is put on by the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and features amazing production numbers, incredible dancing, and colorful costumes that are sure to delight and entertain you. All of your favorite holiday classics will be performed as well as popular choices like “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Run Run Rudolph,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”..

You can choose from a matinee show that includes lunch or an evening or twilight show that includes dinner. Show-only options are also available. Prices vary depending on the day chosen so be sure to check online to get the best deal for you and your loved ones. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and you don’t want to miss out!

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the edison bridge over caloosahatchee river in fort myers florida

Rhythm On the River


The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the place to be on October 25th. Starting at 6:00 p.m., you and your family will be whisked away on a tidal wave of sound at Rhythm on the River. A Journey tribute band will be performing all of their classic hits for you to enjoy all evening long. Just bring a lawn chair and a desire for fun, and you will be set for a night you will not soon forget. The fantastic views of the river itself are enough to settle you into a magical mood, but these performers are sure to amp it up for an even more amazing experience. ..

No coolers are allowed to be brought into the event, but there will be a cash bar and other refreshments available for purchase. The regular price of admission is $25 and only $20 for members of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. All tickets at the door are $30, so be sure to buy your tickets online soon.

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baby alligator

Everglades Wonder Gardens


Check out the beautiful plants and diverse, wild animals native to Florida when you spend a day at Everglades Wonder Gardens. A short drive from you stay at GullWing Beach Resort, the Everglades Wonder Gardens gives guests a chance to see gorgeous pink flamingos and awesome alligators up close within its 80-year old botanical jungle. ..

Check out the Alligator Interactive Educational & Entertaining Experience for just $5! You’ll learn about the beauty and power of these amazing animals from our zookeepers or docents, and you even have the opportunity to feed an alligator. Simply purchase a ticket for bait, and the experts will attach a fish to a bamboo pole so you can give the gators a tasty treat. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Adult admission, for ages 13 to 64, is $12, children 3-12 are $7, and children under 3 can visit for free. Seniors 65 and older are admitted for $10.

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girls eating popcorn in movie theater

A Whole New Way to Go to the Movies


Maximize your movie-going experience with a trip to Beach Theater! This popular destination shows all of the latest Hollywood hits you and your family have been anxiously waiting to see while serving up some luxurious and relaxing surroundings. ..

Not only will you love the family-owned, welcoming atmosphere and comfortable ambiance Beach Theater has to offer, but you’ll also love the diverse selection of delicious dishes too. Their star-quality menu has something for everyone to enjoy, from standard cinema fare like popcorn, nachos, and soda to upscale eats like prosciutto avocado flatbread, Norwegian salad topped with blackened salmon and sesame garlic sauce, and a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails to choose from. There are even vegetarian options available. So do dinner and a movie the right way, and stop by Beach Theater. Your fabulous cinema experience is conveniently just a short walk from your stay at the GullWing Beach Resort.

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fourth of july sparklers

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Fort Myers Beach


Fourth of July festivities in Fort Myers Beach are unlike any other! Create memories to last a lifetime just a short drive from our property at the annual Fort Myers Beach Independence Day Parade...

This fun, family-friendly event is a favorite among locals and kicks off at 10 a.m. off Estero Boulevard. Cheer on the performers and floats, all decked out in red, white, and blue, and join in on the patriotic cheer with your whole party. Then, head over to the Times Square area to check out the celebrations with local restaurants, lounges, and shops—there’s something for everyone. Just after sunset, stick around for the main event: the Fort Myers Beach Fireworks Show. Shooting off from the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier, the firework show is a dazzling and mesmerizing display of our love for this beautiful country. Happy Fourth of July!

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fort myers times square

Shop, Dine and Watch the Sunset in Times Square


Our Fort Myers Times Square may be missing the bright flashing lights and big screens of the New York attraction of the same name, but it does offer visitors a unique experience the NYC spot can’t: a next-level view of Fort Myers’ show-stopping sunsets...

Buzzing with locals and visitors alike, this vibrant town center offers a little bit of everything with the stunning water as the backdrop. Explore the many shopping options where you can find inexpensive souvenirs and gifts for your friends back home. Then, refuel at one of the popular restaurants and bars with a great meal and live music to set the ambiance. Whatever you have planned, the square is ideal for ending the afternoon by unwinding with friends and taking in the breathtaking sunset. Thanks to the Fort Myers Beach Pier right next door, you’ll get a front row spot to wow over the view.

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little boy hiking

Discover the Historic Otter Mound on Marco Island


Set aside time for a day trip you’ll talk about for years to come, at the Otter Mound Preserve on Marco Island. If you haven’t explored Marco Island--you must! Especially so if you’re looking for a relaxing visit into nature, with a touch of history. Home to a 40-acre shell mound, Otter Mound Preserve is believed to be made by the Calusa Indians years and years ago. ..

Likely once the village area for the Calusa Indians, the shell mound created a tropical hardwood hammock over time—be sure to look up at the canopy of tall trees above. And due to fast development in the area, Otter Mound is one of the few remaining tropical hammocks in South Florida. As you wind through the preserve’s natural surroundings, tropical trails, and more, you can’t help but feel the vibrant history of the site.

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film camera

Catch a Film Screening at the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival


You don’t need to visit Hollywood for a taste of the glamour and excitement of the film world. Now in its 13th year, the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival is back April 24-28 for another compelling week of incredible films...

 Visitors from every part of the world travel to attend and get a behind-the-scenes look into the film process from the creators themselves. Independent film fans, filmmakers, producers, and everyone in between can enjoy five days of film premieres, lectures, interviews, and more to gain insight into what it takes to produce these amazing films. Plus, the festival encompasses films from all different types of genres, including documentaries, shorts, dramas, and feature-length. Don your best Hollywood attire and plan your week according to what interests you most—each day has options from interactive workshops to straight-forward screenings. And with events friendly to all ages, the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival is a fun affair for the whole family!

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grilled shrimp

Dig Into the Annual Shrimp Festival


Come hungry—really hungry—for this year’s Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival! The largest two-day annual event on Estero Island is being held from March 9-March 10 on Estero Boulevard. Bring your appetite and get ready to enjoy the best of the best on the Gulf Coast. ..

Peruse over 100 arts and crafts vendors, listen to live music, and taste-test your way through amazing, locally-caught shrimp eats! Fort Myers Beach is home to the largest shrimp boat fleet on the Gulf Coast in the entire country, so it’s safe to say you’re in good hands. The festival will start at 10 a.m. with a two-mile parade to get the celebrations going. Then throughout the rest of the afternoon, you and your family can join in on the fun and eat to your heart’s content! The Lion’s Club suggests parking at the new park and ride on Summerlin Square Drive and taking the trolley to get to the festival. See you there!

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rocking chairs on front porch

Step Back in Time at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates


Catch a glimpse of Fort Myers' past with a visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. With incredible legacies to their names, the Edison and Ford families formed a friendship not many know about, which led them right here to Fort Myers. Situated on the Caloosahatchee River, the two historical properties sit adjacent to each other and allow you a look into the winter getaways of these two friends. ..

At Edison’s Seminole Lodge, you’ll swoon over the timeless furnishings and architecture of the early 20th century. At Henry Ford’s The Mangoes, you have to check out the beautiful classic porch and an unbeatable view of the river. Then, take your exploration outdoors to the botanical gardens where you can enjoy over 20 acres of impressive plants from six continents. As your afternoon comes to an end, you’ll truly understand why this beautiful land became Edison and Ford’s most sacred getaway.

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cookout at park

Sample Great Food at the Gumbo Fest


There’s nothing like a good old fashioned cookout! Now in its 17th year, the Gumbo Fest is where you want to be on Sunday, January 27. Held at The Shell Factory & Nature Park, the annual festival welcomes empty stomachs and nature-seekers for a fun day of family-friendly activities, entertainment, and a whole lot of great gumbo. ..

Vendors from all over the region will be set up for the ultimate sampling of the best tasting gumbo in Florida. Call up your foodie crew and come hungry, you’ll want to make the rounds to try out all that there is to offer! In between your taste-testing, listen to lively Zydeco music and check out the other cool booths and artisans. What we love most about this festival? It’s a vibrant community event that gives you a peek into the everyday life here in Fort Myers.

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