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.

The Sandbar & Grille

Posted by Barb On October 14th
488114 3271272960986 1784772482 n The Sandbar & Grille

Click here for vacation rentals on the South end of Fort Myers Beach, near The Sandbar & Grille.

Voted best sports bar on the island three years in a row, the Sandbar & Grille is a great place to grab a few cold ones after a day at the beach!

The restaurant has a full liquor bar, serves 15 beers on draft, and has a menu that includes all your sports bar favorites — chicken wings, nachos, hamburgers. They also have salads, pastas, fajitas, and other entree items, and they’re famous for their pizza. Try the Sandbar Supreme, which comes with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, black olives, and green peppers, or keep it simple and go with a pepperoni pizza.

The Sandbar also has a good kid’s menu with classics like grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and spaghetti and meatballs.

The Sandbar is a true sports bar, with 26 high-quality HD TV’s mounted on every wall, and there’s a monitor at most tables. This is definitely the place to watch your favorite game on one of their 26 TVs. There’s a free shuffleboard, and on some nights the restaurant offers karaoke or live music.

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South Beach Grille

Posted by Barb On September 30th
South Beach Grille Dining Room South Beach Grille

For condos or homes located close to South Beach Grille check out these vacation rentals in Ft Myers Beach, FL.

A Fort Myers Beach diamond!

South Beach Grille offers exquisite menu items in a beautiful Art Deco setting. Saltwater fish tanks glow with icy neon lights and the rich, warm atmosphere feels very chic. This is a restaurant for a special night out.

Tucked into a small storefront in the Santini Marina Plaza, South Beach Grille is easy to miss. But don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you. This beach restaurant is a powerhouse of upscale dining.

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The Beached Whale

Posted by Barb On September 4th
Beached Whale Storefront The Beached Whale

For vacation rentals close to this restaurant, visit North Island, Fort Myers Beach rentals.

The most rockin’ place on Fort Myers Beach! If you like live music, then you have to stop by the Beached Whale where bands play seven nights a week starting at 10:00 p.m. Check their website for an updated schedule of who’s playing. Soapy Tuna is a local fan favorite.

In addition to the live music downstairs, the Beached Whale has one of the best rooftop decks on the island. Open-air with a good view of the Gulf of Mexico, the Look Out Lounge is a fantastic place to see the sun set.

It’s also the perfect spot to people watch as tourists and locals come and go through the heart of Fort Myers Beach. The Beached Whale offers a full menu that includes favorites like crab legs and and shrimp scampi flatbread, and also has a raw bar with oysters and peel n’ eat shrimp. They’re known for their barbecue — be sure and try a rack of their fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs.

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Charley’s Boathouse Grill

Posted by Barb On August 20th
Charleys Dining Room 550x207 Charleys Boathouse Grill

For vacation rentals near this restaurant, visit

For nearly 40 years, Charley’s Boathouse has been a Fort Myers Beach institution. It’s traditional, stately atmosphere has long made it a special-occasion destination. The restaurant specializes in both steaks and seafood. The steaks are certified Angus beef, hand-cut on the premises, and aged in-house to ensure the highest quality. The seafood is fresh and locally caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

What’s more, Charley’s is perhaps best known for its expansive salad bar. With over 50 items, there’s something for every taste. This is a classic salad bar the way the best restaurants used to offer them — with a mix of crisp greens, savory toppings like croutons and grated cheddar, and small dishes like pasta salad and cottage cheese.

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Skye’s Restaurant

Posted by Barb On August 7th
Skyes Bar Skyes Restaurant

For vacation rentals close to Skye’s Restaurant, visit

This casual restaurant and bar in Santini Plaza on the south end of the island covers all the bases. They start the day with one of the best breakfasts on the beach and then round out the evening with great margaritas and a fun, happening happy hour.

If you go for breakfast, be sure to try the huevos rancheros, eggs scrambled with fresh vegetables, cheese, and chorizo, served with tortillas, salsa, and black beans. Skye’s also serves up a full American breakfast with classics like biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash, and buttermilk pancakes. Or, for a lighter option, try their Ultimate French Toast, 3 pieces smothered with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. (pictured after the break)

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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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