Beach Vacation Blog - A blog about vacations in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs along with things to do and places to stay in Southwest Florida.

Beach Vacation Blog

A blog about vacations in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs along with things to do and places to stay in Southwest Florida.

Fresh Catch Bistro

Posted by Barb On July 16th
Dining Room Fresh Catch Bistro

For vacation rentals close to Fresh Catch Bistro, visit

Fresh Catch Bistro is one of the most elegant and upscale dining options on Fort Myers Beach. Located mid-island on the gulf side of Estero Boulevard, the restaurant has panoramic windows that face onto the Gulf of Mexico and an outdoor dining space that overlooks the beach.

The menu begins with classic fine dining selections like escargot and oysters Rockefeller. There are several nice salad choices like the Bistro Salad, which comes with baby greens, fresh berries, stilton cheese, poached pears, and glazed pecans. You might also want to start with something from the raw bar.

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If you’re a tourist and you’re visiting Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs, take heart in knowing that there are so many awesome restaurants in the area!

While we may not have a huge variety of restaurants that large, metropolitan areas enjoy, the eateries that we do have are really outstanding.

So we decided to compile a list of restaurants that consistently have awesome service, food, and atmosphere and share it with all of you, our guests. We named it:

In this free guide you’ll get the skinny on all of the restaurants that we think are the “Bees Knees” because they consistently deliver the goods.

Read about Fresh Catch Bistro, A Table Apart, The Beached Whale, The Sandbar, and 10 others that we’re sure you’ll love.

If that’s not enough variety for you, simply download our free app on your Android or Apple device and get access to a multitude of other restaurants, local events, and attractions.

So what are you waiting for? Get on a plane, get your tukus down to Southwest Florida, download this guide, and get your gums a flappin’!

To rent a gorgeous condo or beach house, visit now.

See ya soon!


Bonita Beach Parks

Posted by Barb On April 21st

If you’re staying in one of our Bonita Beach vacation rentals, you’ll want to know where the best public beaches are located and how to get to them.

PB090395 Bonita Beach Parks

The reason why is because unless you’ve rented a beach-front condo with its own private beach, you’ll have to go to a public beach if you want to soak up some rays.

Of course, there is always the option to go to a restaurant or beach bar…but if you want to lounge on their beach, you’ll be expected to purchase food and/or beverages from them.

So here are three public parks in Bonita Beach that you can chill out on.

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Have you ever gone on vacation, arrived at your destination, and wondered: “what’s there to do in the area?”

Download Lahainas Free App The New Lahaina Island Accommodations App for iPhone & Android

If you’re coming to stay with us in Fort Myers Beach or Bonita Beach, it’s pretty obvious what the main attraction is…a warm, tropical beach.

But what if you’re sunburned or it’s raining? Sometimes you may not want to lay on the beach? Sometimes you may want to check out other things to do in the area.

Well we think you’re gonna LOVE the new Lahaina app!

Although we’ve always kept a Ft Myers Florida vacation guide on our website, our new app takes convenience to a whole new level because it encompasses:

  • Local recommendations such as:
    • Restaurants
    • Events, concerts, movies, festivals, theaters, sports
    • Activities like boating, biking, fishing, gambling, para-sailing, swimming, water-sports
    • Points of interest like Matanza’s Pass and Lover’s Key

But that’s not all. There’s so much more

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In an effort to bring you more stories from our clients who’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the beaches of Southwest Florida, I’d like to introduce you to Jake. He and his family stayed with us not long ago and this is his (and his family’s) vacation story. Enjoy!


My beginnings in Fort Myers Beach

Back in 1995 I moved from Upstate New York to Fort Myers Beach, Florida and practically every day of the year I got to see what so many people long to see, especially during the deep, dark days of winter…the beach!

I can remember how my eyes widened as I came over the Matanzas Pass Bridge for the very first time in Errol’s taxi, seeing all of the palm trees, colorful shops, the beach, and feeling the warm air blowing through my full head of hair. Here is what that drive looks like 19 years later.

For the year and a half that I lived there, I got to experience a beautiful island paradise with blue waters, dolphins, para-sails, wave-runners, and countless restaurants. Almost every day I had the chance to exit my front door, walk 500 yards, and set up my chair & umbrella on the warm sands of the Gulf of Mexico.

I was 20 years old, without a care in the world. Life was easy. I had no car, no boat, no responsibilities. Just a job that paid for my rent and of course, cocktails. icon wink Southwest Florida is a Great Destination for Family Stay Cations

Life today isn’t as care free…but it’s getting better

Fast forward 19 years and today I am a married man with a beautiful wife and four children, residing in a nearby city in Southwest Florida, not far from Fort Myers Beach.

As you can probably imagine, I don’t have as much time to lounge on a beach as I once had and all those days I once cherished as a care-free 20 year old, have almost faded.

So back in September of last year when my family and I had the chance to spend a 3 day stay-cation in the Seaside condos on Fort Myers Beach, we jumped at the opportunity.

At the time, we going through a very difficult situation which put a major strain on our family ties and it almost resulted in a divorce. While I’m not going to get in to details, I will tell you that addiction affects so many families and it almost ruined ours.

It’s important that I paint this picture for you because I want you to know just how healing this stay-cation was for us. Here we were, a struggling couple, doing our best to raise a 7 year old girl, twin 17 month old boys, and a baby on the way…and along comes an opportunity to put our family back together after one of us spent a 28-day stint in rehab. Talk about stressful times!

Paradise at Seaside Condos

When we first arrived at the Seaside condos, we were blessed and overcome with happiness with this view from our bedroom window.

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To Feel at Home on Fort Myers Beach

Posted by Barb On November 4th

For several years now we’ve done our best to inform you about vacation rentals, local events, and attractions here in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach so that you could plan a vacation of a lifetime.

We could tell you how beautiful this area is until we are blue in the face. But until you actually come here and experience the beaches and all that Southwest Florida has to offer, you’ll never truly appreciate it.

So we decided to reach out to you, our guests, and we asked you to share your Fort Myers Beach/Bonita Beach experience with us and others….and the feedback has been awesome!

Two weeks ago, Linda Trummer shared her Fort Myers Beach experience and we were blown away by how much time and effort she spent in assembling all of her photos and the accompanying story. It’s a MUST READ!

Today, Hanne Kleven Eek is going to share with us her experience this past summer. Keep in mind that it is currently snowing in Norway (where she is from) as she shares her love for “her beach.”

Enjoy! ~Barb

Sommer 2013 007 To Feel at Home on Fort Myers Beach

Welcome to Fort Myers Beach! -Hanne

Paradise on Earth

I am a bit reluctant to tell how much I love the Beach – I want it all to my self!

But then again, how can I not share my love for this Paradise on earth? Sure there are several pretty places in Florida more posh, more glamorous, more stylish than Fort Myers Beach (FMB), but once you’ve been here – it’s impossible not to come back. It’s like a rag doll; you’ll love her all your life….

Sommer 2013 004 150x150 To Feel at Home on Fort Myers Beach

Roseate Spoonbills

We came to FMB for the first time in 1998. Our boys were 10 and 8 – perfect team park-age! We did Disney World from A to Z that year and the years to follow. But every time we came home to Sandarac. And it really felt like home.

We’ve been coming every second year since then, and there’s nowhere we’d rather go. Friends tell us wonderful stories about Sarasota, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, but we have no urge to explore. We have found our spot.

You’re Going to LOVE the Sunsets!

The relaxed pace of the island – especially on the south part, is so valuable to us. We live a very busy everyday life and coming to FMB makes us better people. We can do absolutely nothing, which to us is the meaning of fortune in this material world we live and are a part of! I cannot count how many pictures I have of the FMB sunset, and there will be several more. The view from the condo is ever changing and that is so fascinating.

This summer we stayed all alone in FMB, but we loved every second of the five, wonderful weeks! For the first time we had to use the storm shutters, which was an experience.

But about the weather – nothing bothers me less when at the beach. There will be showers, but eventually the sun will come out again and again! After so many years of coming here, I always pack far too much. I more or less live in my pair of jean shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops (bought from my favorite shoe shop at Santini).

Sure, we do some serious shopping, but mostly presents. We have all we need. Barnes & Noble is my “candy store”. I love to read, and during the vacation I can catch up with the past year’s new bestsellers! Preferably in my deck chair.

Try These Hotspots for Dinner

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My Fort Myers Beach Experience by Linda Trummer

Posted by Barb On October 21st

Bird on Driftwood My Fort Myers Beach Experience by Linda Trummer

At Lahaina Island Accommodations, we have so many guests who come down to Fort Myers Beach or Bonita Beach and wind up having the time of their lives.

We decided to ask some of our guests for their stories about their vacations to Southwest Florida and share them with you. If you’d like to tell others about your experience on the beaches of Southwest Florida, please contact us online or at and let us know.

Today, we bring you Linda Trummer’s story about her recent trip to Fort Myers Beach, Florida. We hope you enjoy her experience.


I started traveling to Florida from my Minnesota home in 2012. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with the extreme climate change. Early in 2013 I rented a condo with Lahaina Island Accommodations in Ft. Myers Beach, and I felt as though I had found my second home.

My first evening on the beach was amazing – there were all kinds of sea creatures washed up on the shore at low tide, laid out for display as if for a flash course in marine biology. There were several kinds of living starfish, shellfish, coral; sea pork, hundreds of fighting conch, mermaid’s purse, natural sponges, sea urchin … and a lot of them.

“A real friend is someone who takes a winter vacation on a sun-drenched beach and
does not send a card.” –Farmer’s Almanac

And then is the endless list of seabirds… gulls, pelicans; sanderlings, dowitchers and willets; herons and egrets; ibis, spoonbills, and oyster catchers – to name the ones I could identify. One can really get in touch with nature on Ft. Myers Beach as there seems to be an unwritten law that humans and animals will co-habitate in peace. It is really quite incredible to be able to watch nature, for better or worse, up close and personal.

While most days bring a bit of rain…

…you know it’s coming and can plan around it!

The early morning walks on the beach are so peaceful; and at the end of the day are the gorgeous sunsets. The scenery is ever-changing, with something new to see at different times of the day and evening.

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In a little over a week, the 3 day Fort Myers Beach Pollo Tropical Pirate Fest will start and  it’s going to be a great time here on the beach!

As we reviewed in our last blog post, it’s a family friendly event, too! icon wink Fort Myers Beach   Pollo Tropical Pirate Fest is almost here!

Pollo Tropical Pirate Festival 375x300 Fort Myers Beach   Pollo Tropical Pirate Fest is almost here!

The 8th Annual Pirate Fest is sponsored by Pollo Tropical and will be featuring:

  • The Pub N Grub Pirate Stroll – Friday (10/11) evening stroll with the pirate musicians along Old San Carlos Blvd and Estero Blvd.  It starts at the Cottage at 6pm sharp, and will hit many pubs throughout the evening.
  • The Pirates’ Ball at Nervous Nellie’s – Local favorite band Celtic Stew will be playing while prizes are won for best pirate, best wench and best couple.
  • And so many more events!

We still have availability for our Fort Myers Beach Home Rentals and our Fort Myers Beach Condo Rentals.  If you’d like more assistance, please feel free to give our wonderful staff a call at (866) 218-1709 – we’re here for you!

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, if you haven’t already – we’ll keep on sharing the fun of Florida with you!

Remember – it’s always beachtime at Lahaina, too!



Pirate Festival – Fort Myers Beach, FL

Posted by Barb On September 9th

If you haven’t been to the annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival yet, then we suggest setting aside a week in October to come down to Estero Island to partake in the festivities…especially if you enjoy dressing up in costumes.

Let the festivities begin!

The 8th Annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival will kick off at 6pm on Friday October 11th with a Pub Crawl along Old San Carlos Boulevard and surrounding areas.

Bands of roving pirates will be accompanied from pub to pub by Daniel O’Ryan and the Craic show, where songs will be sung and ale will be drunk!

But don’t be concerned about Pirates acting like as Pirates do with all their drunken debauchery. This is a family friendly event.

Family friendly entertainment

This year, there are plenty of side shows, contests, and battles for the whole family to enjoy including:

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Why Vacation Rentals ROCK!

Posted by Barb On July 31st

Holiday 485x300 Why Vacation Rentals ROCK!

When you decide to take a vacation, do you like:

  • Having the flexibility to cook your meals or dine out whenever you wish?
  • Having enough space to move around without being cramped or feeling claustrophobic?
  • Having all of the comforts of home without having to call room service frequently?

If so, why not stay in a vacation rental?

Typically when people think about taking a vacation or “going on a holiday” (as they say in the mother country), they choose a destination and then search for hotels in the area to stay in. But those of us in the vacation rental industry are working hard to change that way of thinking and the results have been astounding!

That’s because with every passing year, thousands of new families are learning about the benefits of renting a vacation home. What kinds of benefits you might ask?

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