Whenever my family goes to Florida, we always hit up the beach. It is an ongoing joke that when we took my little brother to Disney when when he was four years old, he was quite vocal that he “didn’t go all the way to Florida to watch parades”. He wanted to go to the beach.
Now when we’re lucky enough to go down and visit my parents’ at their new place in Florida, we always head to the beach for at least a couple of the days of our trip. Within a short drive of their house, there are three great beaches to visit: Cape Coral Beach, Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. Each offers something different, but they all have the same wonderfully warm sand between our toes and salty wind in our hair.
Cape Coral Beach
There is a great little food bar on the pier at Cape Coral Beach. You can get a pitcher of beer and a big boxes of fries for under $8. Perfect for just sitting back on a lazy afternoon, watching the sunset. I love that they always throw a baggie of ice into the pitchers. It really does help keep it cold!
As you walk along the sidewalk near the beach, you can hear this loud squawking noise from this big palm tree.
If it wasn’t for the fact that you can hear them as soon as you get close to the tree, you would never see them. Their bright green feathers blend into the leaves so well.
Occasionally, a group of them will swoop out to nearby telephone lines and watch all the people on the beach.
Cape Coral is also home to the largest population of burrowing owls in Florida. Every once and awhile you’ll drive by a lawn that has these largest stakes in a square around a mound, with a little hole in in the middle.
Nestled inside that hole, is a little owl like this guy. They are highly protected by local authorities, and even members of the community as well. They are tiny little things, but if you get to close, they let you know!
Just driving down the main stretch you see so many interesting restaurants and shops, like this “She Sells Se Shells” shop.
When you go around to the other side of the lighthouse, there is a long fishing pier. Everywhere we turned were different species of birds trying to get in on all the fish being lured in with bait.
We even saw a wild dolphin swimming nearby. The first time his fin came out of the water, someone yelled SHARK and you should have seen how fast everyone got out of the water!
Fort Myers Beach
On our last day of our trip, we headed over to Fort Myers Beach. It was full of people out to enjoy the warm weather, despite the wind.
A local girl flipped him over to show up what they look like underneath, and then walked him back out to safety in the surf.
After awhile, we started to worry about getting burnt (which was too late…we all did), and headed back up to the strip to visit some of the fun local bars. The Lanai Kai, located right on the beach, has live reggae bands and limbo during happy hour.
This one had a real thatch roof inside, and I was surprised to see people smoking inside of it!
We headed back to the pier that comes off of the bar, to share a pitcher of beer while watching the ships come in. I’d read about “pirate tours” in the local paper, but I’d never seen one before until this one headed into harbour.