Looking for romance? Find Valentine’s Day love with an escape to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

When it comes to romance, the beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offers all the ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. With spectacular sunsets, perfect weather, white-sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, sparkling waters and unspoiled natural beauty, the area is as romantic as it gets! You can even renew your vows on Lovers Key! Go island hopping. Kick back. Relax. Fall asleep in a hammock to the rhythm of island breezes. Indulge in a sunset cocktail. Count the dolphins. Escape to a deserted island. Rent a kayak. Book a romantic sunset cruise. Browse charming boutiques and galleries. Walk on shell covered beaches. Sleep late. Do nothing.

Looking for romance? Find Valentine’s Day love with an escape to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

LEE COUNTY, FL – When it comes to romance, the beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offers all the ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.  With spectacular sunsets, perfect weather, white-sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, sparkling waters and unspoiled natural beauty, the area is as romantic as it gets! You can even renew your vows on Lovers Key!

Go island hopping.  Kick back.  Relax.  Fall asleep in a hammock to the rhythm of island breezes.  Indulge in a sunset cocktail. Count the dolphins. Escape to a deserted island.  Rent a kayak.  Book a romantic sunset cruise.  Browse charming boutiques and galleries. Walk on shell covered beaches.  Sleep late. Do nothing.

Many area properties, spas and restaurants offer romance packages. To celebrate with a visit to the area, visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/discover/around-town/romantic-escapes/ for details.

A sampling of special Valentine's Day events includes:

Friends of Lovers Key Annual Vow Renewal, Lovers Key State Park

Feb. 14, 2018

www.friendsofloverskey.org

Love is always in the air at Lovers Key State Park, but even more so on Valentine's Day. Couples are invited to renew their vows near the gazebo on the beach, while the ocean and gulls provide background music. 

Three ceremonies are available at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. and include a champagne toast, a full meal catered by Truly Scrumptious, coffee, cake and desserts, dancing, photo, door prizes and a special gift. Reservations are required for the event, which is open to 120 couples. The non-refundable cost of $100 per couple goes to the Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. This event has been a sell-out in the past, so reserve a spot early by contacting event chair Judy Greenwood at 708-359-0466 or fjgreenwood@gmail.com. For details, visit www.friendsofloverskey.org/events-valentinesday.html

Lovers Key State Parkhas been namedamong the “Top 10 Romantic Retreats” by Coastal Living magazine and earned a spot on The Travel Channel’s “Florida’s Top 10 beaches.” Located between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach, Lovers Key was only accessible by boat for many years and legend has it that lovers traveled to the island so they could enjoy its secluded beach.

Valentines with a Love connection

Norman Love Confections

www.normanloveconfections.com

This Valentine’s Day, award-winning Norman Love Confections offers many ways to celebrate during the most romantic holiday of the year with handcrafted artisanal chocolates. Three chocolate and dessert salons in Fort Myers and Estero offer retail shops where customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies. Try an afternoon tea for something special. Visit site for locations and Valentine gift options.

Adventures In Paradise: Valentine's Day Sunset Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise 

Feb. 14, 2018

www.adventureinparadiseinc.com/cruises/holiday-cruises/valentines-day-cruise/

239-472-8443

Valentine's Day Sunset Dolphin Cruise includes complimentary soft drinks, bottled water and cupcakes. Listen to tropical music, cruise the tranquil waters along the coastline of

Sanibel. Experience hundreds of birds flocking to their evening roost, watch dolphins play in the wake, sightsee and learn about the mangrove islands and estuaries where the Calusa Indians once lived. $29 per adult. Reservations required.

Pure Florida Fort Myers

Feb. 14, 2018

www.purefl.com/fort-myers-activities

239-263-4949

Special cruise for Valentine’s Day includes a red rose for the ladies and spectacular sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Reservations required.

Romantic day (or evening) on Tarpon Bay, Sanibel Island

Feb. 14, 2018

239-472-8900

www.tarponbayexplorers.com

Join Tarpon Bay Explorers on Tarpon Bay on Sanibel Island for an evening cruise, kayak trail tour or nature and sea life tour. Check for complete list, additional dates and times.

Sweetheart Express

Feb. 11-14, 2018

www.semgulf.com

 239-275-8487

A strolling violinist completes a romantic evening of dinner show and ride aboard the Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Fort Myers. Visit website for reservations and information.

Sunset with a view

The Mucky Duck at the north end of Captiva Island is a favorite with visitors and locals who claim it has the best sunset views in the area. Aside from British dishes like fish 'n' chips, the menu boasts Florida favorites of grouper sandwiches and Key lime pie.  www.muckyduck.com

Other popular beach locations for catching a sunset include: the Fort Myers Beach fishing pier, Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island, the old shipping pier on Boca Grande, Cabbage Key, Bonita Beach, Captiva Island and Lover’s Key.

A Valentine's Day paddle on the Calusa Blueway

Set out in an easy-to-use tandem kayak with a picnic to a coastal island to celebrate!

The 190-mile Calusa Blueway provides the perfect idea for paddlers looking for a getaway. The trail is not crowded and the area's sugar-sand beaches on barrier islands, such as Sanibel and Captiva, harbor back bays loaded with isolated sandy spots and picturesque mangrove mazes. Two dozen outfitters are available in the area, so it is easy to find a boat that suits your needs and/or hire a guide. Visit www.calusablueway.com

Leave all your cares behind                                                                                               Start a shell collection. Relax away the hours. Watch exotic wildlife. Learn why Anne Morrow Lindbergh was inspired to write her best-selling book, Gift from the Sea, while visiting Captiva Islandwww.fortmyers-sanibel.com

Sleep on an uninhabited island

Book a really rustic cabin or pitch a tent at Cayo Costa State Park. Sleep under the stars and walk on unspoiled shell-lined beaches along this deserted island. www.floridastateparks.org/park/Cayo-Costa

Dine beachfront on Sanibel Island

Watch the sun set surrounded by the historic elegance of the award-winning Thistle Lodge Restaurant on Sanibel Islandwww.casaybelresort.com/thistle-lodge

Escape all ties to the mainland!

Let Captiva Cruises whisk you away to an outer island for lunch on Cabbage Key or Useppa Island. Sunset serenade cruises are also available to capture the beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunsets! www.captivacruises.com

It’s just silly!

But great fun!  Don’t miss a dinner at the Bubble Room on Captiva Island.  Electric trains run amok, there are miles of Christmas lights and a tree, 2,000 movie star photos, Superman in a phone booth. Waiters and waitresses are dressed as bubble scouts. It has to be seen to be believed. Super-sized portions and huge desserts are legendary. www.bubbleroomrestaurant.com

Indulge

Book a spa package at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa.  For some real romance, try the Caloosa Experience, a couple’s favorite. www.marriott.com/spas/rswsb-sanibel-harbour-marriott-resort-and-spa/the-spa-at-sanibel-harbour/5136484/services.mi

Mingle with the Vanderbilts

Visit the very preppy Boca Grande. Pedal down Banyan Street and visit the old Gasparilla Inn, a favorite from the Vanderbilt’s to the Bush family. Have a waterside lunch at Harpers. Be sure to visit the historic lighthouse. www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/discover/communities/boca-grande-and-outer-islands

Peek inside two of the area’s famous estate homes

Visit the beautiful homes (Edison & Ford Winter Estates) of famous next-door neighbors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, tour botanical gardens, Edison’s laboratory and a museum with the world’s largest collection of his inventions and memorabilia. The Estates are also a popular site for memorable weddings. www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

Push some pedals!

Rent bikes and explore 23 miles of paved bike paths on Sanibel Island. There are even bikes for two! Meander through shopping areas, past beautiful gulf homes, tour through diverse parts of the island.  Quaint shops and restaurants provide fun rest stops. Wheelchair bikes are available.  www.sanibeltrails.com/sanibel-bike-paths.aspx

What is a romantic getaway without some shopping?

Stroll along Captiva’s picture-perfect Andy Rosse Lane and its eclectic shops and galleries. Nearby is Jungle Drums, “The Ultimate Wildlife Gallery,” which showcases wildlife art work in bronze, glass, clay, mixed media, resin, wood and others. Visit the colorful galleries of Matlacha and Pine Island.

www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/see-do/shopping

Share a Cheeseburger in Paradise

Head for this beautiful tropical island and leave a dollar at Cabbage Key’s historic restaurant andinn, where the walls are covered with thousands of signed dollar bills (a tradition that began when a thirsty fisherman left a bill taped to the wall to make sure he would have a cold drink during his next visit).  Built atop a Calusa Indian shell mound, the island has cottages for rent but don’t look for telephones or TVs! www.cabbagekey.com

Editor's note: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in Southwest Florida includes: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres. For media assistance, visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/media-central/. Images available upon request.

 

 

Megan Contreras

mcontreras@leegov.com