Are you asking yourself…OK I rented a boat now what do I do?
Here are some of the most sought after adventures out on the water.
Visit any of these locations and make lasting memories for you and your family and friends.
Sanibel has 15 miles of beaches that are world renown for their pristine sands and abundant shells. Due to the island’s east-west orientation, Sanibel Island is the perfect sift for the Gulf tides and over 250 types of shells. Breathtaking sunsets and playful dolphins contribute to the excitement of boating, and the beautiful waters of the island offer some of the finest fishing in the world. While there are no coral reefs, plenty of marine life makes their home in the numerous artificial reefs and wrecks. As a result, diving these offshore installations is also an enchanting and enriching experience.
The name “Sanibel” stems from “Santa Isybella” the name given the island by Ponce de Leon (after the Spanish Queen Isabella) when he was believed to have been its discoverer in 1513. During the years following the original Calusa Indian population and apart from pirates, Sanibel remained largely unsettled until it was secured in the latter half of the 19th century. On August 20, 1884, the Sanibel Lighthouse was lit, and it remains both an iconic landmark and a working lighthouse to this day.
Cabbage Key Inn
One hundred acres of tropical vegetation surround the historic restaurant, inn and rental cottages. A panoramic view of Pine Island Sound, near Fort Myers in Bokeelia, is provided from the front porch of the open-air restaurant situated atop a thirty-eight foot Indian shell mound. There are no cars here, not even a paved road. You will find winding nature trails, romantic picturesque views and relaxation.
This secluded island getaway offers visitors an atmosphere of friendly hospitality and old Florida vacation relaxation, totally void of commercialization. Our resort guests enjoy each other’s company, nature, fishing, shelling on nearby deserted beaches, reading, writing, painting, boating, and most of all quiet and tranquility. Of course, the restaurant and bar is a busy place as boaters from many ports stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Well-known travelers frequent the lounge, famous for its festive atmosphere and unique decor.
It is a full day trip to make it out to Cabbage Key, eat lunch and return in time for check in. Please plan accordingly or you may want to consider a discounted multi day rental so you can also take advantage of all of the other local area attractions.
If you’re looking to experience some of the wonderful sights of dolphins, you’ve come to the right place.
Right in the Gulf of Mexico are pods of dolphins making their way up and down the coast daily. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the most common dolphin in Southwest Florida is the bottlenose dolphin, which can live up to 50 years. Many tourists come here in hopes of seeing one of the most captivating creatures of the ocean.
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach is a town on Estero Island, off the southwest Florida coast. A long, sandy beach faces the Gulf of Mexico. The Ostego Bay Marine Science Center showcases local marine life. To the east, trails run through Matanzas Pass Preserve nature sanctuary. Built on an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound, the 1900s Mound House has archaeological exhibits. Times Square shopping center has stores and restaurants.
Doc Fords on water Restaurant
Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach sits on the back of beautiful Estero Bay on San Carlos Island and offers the best waterfront dining on Ft. Myers Beach. Feel free to come by boat and experience live music and watch the largest shrimp boat fleet in the U.S. head in and out of the gulf thru Matanzas Pass. With seating inside and out, it’s a view you will never forget!
Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon and Restaurant
Looking for a fun stop on Sanibel Island? Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon may be your perfect destination. Come by boat. This 7 time winner of the people’s choice award Sanibel restaurant is located at the Sanibel Marina on the East End of the Island.
This is the only dockside dining you will find on Sanibel. Very few places remain “stuck in time” and Gramma Dot’s is a real treat. Dine inside or dockside for lunch starting at 11:15. If you arrive by boat, call the Dockmaster for a slip assignment, (239) 472-8138. Overnights are also welcome if slips are available.
City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin
The marina is located in historic downtown Fort Myers. Many restaurants and historical sites are nearby and worthy of a visit. Many festivals and other family oriented activities frequently are held at Centennial Park located next to the marina. The marina has the distinction of being the friendliest on the waterway.
You will find its prices for both fuel and dockage to be very competitive. The marina’s water location is on the south side of the Caloosahatchee River between the Edison Bridges and the Caloosahatchee Bridge in downtown Fort Myers. There is little or no current in and around the marina.
Bowditch Point Park
Bowditch Point Regional Park is 17-acres that is located at the northern tip of Estero Island. It is actually a dual-use facility in which approximately seven acres are a developed park for passive recreational use and the remaining 10-acres are a restoration/preserve area. This serene location, which encompasses the entire end of the island, offers a choice of settings to fulfill your needs. The back bay offers quiet waters, peaceful surroundings and a close up look of vessels entering and exiting the bay. The park area features tables and grills, available on a first come first serve basis, in a shaded tropical setting sure to please any picnicker.
The gulf front is more active while still providing a relaxed atmosphere for walkers, swimmers and sunbathers. Walking trails, through the restoration/preserve area, carry you through varied environments and offers an excellent opportunity for bird watching while being highlighted by panoramic views of Estero Bay. There is also an accessible boat dock. Free day docks open for boaters at Bowditch Point. The docks feature 10 slips for boats up to 28-feet in length and a paddlecraft launch onto the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. There is no overnight dockage, and no fishing is permitted from the docks.