Romantic Escapes

A passion for passion.

It's impossible to deny the romance of a destination where there isn't a bad spot to watch a magnificent sunset. Or where there are hundreds of secluded locations for picnics for two. The naturalness of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel just has a way of making sparks fly and connecting people on a different, deeper level. Having places named romantic things like Lovers Key doesn't hurt either.

Best Bets for Romance

"Romance is an all-day affair, from morning strolls on secluded beaches to intimate dinners and theater outings."

Dining for Two
Make any meal more special by boarding a boat. Try the dinner or Sunday brunch cruise on the Sanibel Harbour Princess, a luxury yacht sailing from the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. The Fort Myers Princess, sailing from Fort Myers Beach, offers seasonal dinner cruises aboard its double-deck boat. Or take Captiva Cruises to the Collier Inn on Useppa Island.

If a landside sunset dinner appeals, head for Fort Myers Beach's Anthony's on the Gulf, which features Italian specialties. Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel Resort, Sanibel, is an excellent choice for upscale waterside dining.

Arts, Culture and History
Learn about the intriguing history of Gasparilla Island at the Boca Grande Lighthouse. The distinctively shaped building now houses a museum.Nature and the Outdoors

Take an excursion with Captiva Cruises to remote Cayo Costa for a picnic and shelling. If you have boat-driving experience, you can rent a boat from Jensen's Marina on Captiva Island or Four Winds Marina in Bokeelia and make your way to sandy seclusion.

Another great spot for a beach picnic is Lovers Key State Park, south of Fort Myers Beach. Hike the trails, kayak among dolphins in Estero Bay or relax on the beach.
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has a four-mile paved path that's great for biking (rentals available) and hiking the mangrove forest. See shore birds, alligators and more. Or rent at Billy’s Rentals or Finnimore’s Cycle Shop on Sanibel Island and bike the more than 22 miles of paved pathways.

Cruise into the setting sun aboard the Fort Myers Princess, which offers sublime sunset party cruises on the Gulf of Mexico. New Moon Sailing adds the sensuousness of gliding below wind-filled sails.

For a nighttime adventure, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and CREW Land & Water Trust host full-moon hikes under the light of the full moon from January through Easter. Aboard tours with Gulf Coast Kayak, GAEA Guides and Adventure Sea Kayak Wildlife Tours, you can watch the sun set and the moon rise.

Spa
Indulge yourselves with a day at SPADA Salon & Day Spa. Its packages include massages, facials, pedicures and manicures. Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa’s Day of Indulgence for Couples includes its signature Caloosa Experience, a couples massage, manicure, pedicure and spa lunch. Afterward, head to Eden Vineyards in Alva, just east of Fort Myers, to sip their six wines – there’s even one made from the tropical star fruit (carambola).

Nightlife
Dress in your fancy duds, then enjoy a martini at South Beach Grille on Fort Myers Beach, or head to Crü or Blu Sushi in Fort Myers.

If Southern gentility is more your style, visit The Veranda's piano bar. On Sanibel, Ellington's Jazz Club and Restaurant features the Brubeck Brothers and other jazz greats.

Romantic Getaways

"Craft a romantic itinerary that includes a sunrise beach stroll, a kayak trip, massages, dinner and dancing, and a midnight champagne toast."

Beach Stroll at Sunrise
Catch the first light as the sun peeks up over the horizon. From Sanibel, Captiva, Lovers Key or Pine Island’s eastern shores, watch the light streaming across the water – a dazzling start to a fabulous day.

Stroll Sanibel and Captiva’s white-sand beaches in search of perfect shells. About 400 species live here. Find a souvenir of your time spent at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

Settle down for a romantic breakfast. Order up room service, complete with white linens, silver tea service, baskets of pastries, and savor your feast outdoors on your balcony.

Kayaking and Two Types of Therapy
Kayak the glassy blue waters before the sun climbs above the treetops. The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail will enchant you as you drift through serene back bays and spot dolphins and manatees.

Once ashore, go shopping in funky art galleries on Pine Island and Matlacha, and explore a quaint shopping village in Boca Grande. Peruse the shops on Sanibel Island’s lush Periwinkle Way, or stop at Captiva’s Andy Rosse Lane for local art to take home.

Then put up your feet and enjoy a massage in the couples suite of Aquagene Spa at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa. Finish by slipping into the couples therapeutic multi-massaging shower.

Lunch, Shells and a Bike Ride
Eat lunch at the Cabbage Key Inn, said to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett's song “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Taking a boat to get to the small island is half the fun.

Visit the The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, featuring shells from around the world, including Southwest Florida's barrier islands. Then ride bikes along the lush paths of Lakes Park in central Fort Myers or through the flowered lanes of Captiva and Sanibel.

Ease into the Evening
Sample sumptuous wines at Eden Vineyards and Winery, tucked away on 20 acres in an Old Florida setting in Alva, just east of Fort Myers. At waterfront pubs and downtown bars, happy hour with your beloved is a great way to rekindle the spark of your first date.

Or head out on a sunset cruise and toast the end of a wonderful day from the deck of a boat. Bid au revoir to the sun on Captiva Cruises’ Sunset Serenade Cruise.

Dinner & Dancing
Find one of the many restaurants that serve delectable dishes waterside. Chloë’s Restaurant & Lounge at the Diamondhead Beach Resort on Fort Myers Beach serves up a breathtaking Gulf view with dinner.

Soak up local atmosphere by catching live music at Bert's Bar & Grill in Matlacha, an establishment that jams with local musicians six nights a week. Then walk hand in hand on moon-lit Captiva Beach, dubbed the country’s “most romantic" by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach."

Call It a Night
At the stroke of midnight, toast the end of a wonderful day and the promise of the new one on your hotel balcony. Gaze out at the stars and soak in the warm tropical breezes.

A cozy bed and crisp sheets are sure to elicit sweet dreams. From upscale resorts and fun B&Bs to funky beach motels, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offers many charming, romantic places to stay.

Romantic Restaurants

"Intimate island inns, waterfront restaurants, dinner cruises and other dining options will boost your appetite for romance."

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel has redefined romantic dining. Candlelight? Linen? Seductive music? Okay, we’ve got all that – plus blazing sunsets, dinner cruises, castaway islands, historic inns and all those oysters! If you’re looking for the best romantic dining and imbibing, be sure to check out these top spots:

Sexy Sips
Head to Hotel Indigo in downtown Fort Myers for rooftop cocktails and Caloosahatchee River views nine stories high at Phi in the Sky. Sip caramel apple martinis at the casually elegant H2 Downtown Bistro nearby, or go for a classic martini at Cape Coral’s Pearl Lounge, a trendy restaurant, sushi bar and nightspot.

Nature’s Aphrodisiacs
Indulge in oysters and Peruvian ceviche from Tarpon Bay Restaurant’s raw bar at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. Blue Pointe Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill in Fort Myers and Timbers Restaurant on Sanibel Island also serve up “sliders” fresh and chilly. With two locations in Fort Myers, BluSushi is the place for sharing your passion for seafood in the raw.

Historic Charm
Dine in the past (and spend the night if the mood moves you) at gracious Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande. Cabbage Key Inn, on its own little island, is another romantic place to step back in time together – indulge in an Old Florida-style dinner or spend a few days away from civilization. For a sophisticated night out, try The Veranda in downtown Fort Myers.

Boating Heaven
Sail into the sunset for dinner aboard a 100-foot luxury yacht at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers. Catch the Captiva Cruises excursion for lunch at the historic Collier Inn & Cottages on Useppa Island, or book a J.C. Cruises luncheon river tour departing from the downtown Fort Myers Yacht Basin.

Waterside Woo
Victorian splendor and sunset panorama dictate Thistle Lodge’s amorous inclination at Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island. Couples can dine with a view at The Mad Hatter on Sanibel Island and Chloe’s (at Diamondhead Beach Resort) or Bayfront Bistro on Fort Myers Beach. In Cape Coral, The Resort at MarinaVillage features two great spots for cocktails and dinner on the water: Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro and The Nauti Mermaid Dockside Bar & Grill.

Dinner & Dancing
Hot jazz and cool martinis: Ellington’s Jazz Club & Restaurant on Sanibel Island has both, plus food that hits all the high notes. In Fort Myers, Biddle’s Restaurant & Piano Bar draws diners out on the floor with music that feet can’t resist.

That’s Entertainment
Get into the murder-mystery dinner act aboard Seminole Gulf Railway in Fort Myers. At Beach Theater in Fort Myers Beach, you can enjoy both dinner and a movie in one spot. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers serves up tasty musicals and flavorsome buffets.

Sweets for Sweethearts
Rev up the love factor with decadent Bubble Room cake on Captiva Island – the red velvet is a favorite and sliced generous enough to share. For take-home tropical treats, shop for “love” truffles at Norman Love Confections in Fort Myers or Queenie’s Ice Cream (mango or toasted coconut, perhaps?), sold at shops on Sanibel and Captiva.

Breakfast a Deux
Continue the romance in the morning with fine coffee and fresh European pastries at the new Poco Loco on Sanibel Island. Other faves for couples breakfasting: Lighthouse Café on Sanibel Island, the waterfront Gulfshore Grill on Fort Myers Beach and 3rd Street Café in downtown Boca Grande.

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