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For Valentine’s Day: Looking for “love” and a romantic island getaway?


Let The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
sweep you away to paradise!


LEE COUNTY, FL – The sparkling beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel has all the ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.  With spectacular sunsets, white sand beaches that stretch as far as you can see, sparkling waters and unspoiled natural beauty, the area is as romantic as it gets! 

The area also includes the, award-winning barrier island, Lovers Key and it is home to nationally-known chocolatier Norman Love, famous for his Valentine treats guaranteed to win the heart and taste buds of any love interest.

Love connections for Valentine’s Day!

Lovers Key State Park was recently named among the “Top 10 Romantic Retreats” by Coastal Living magazine in its January/February 2008 issue. 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. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up the state park.

With its pristine beaches and outstanding wildlife viewing, Lovers Key provides couples a true castaway experience. Visitors can ride the trolley or walk the boardwalks over tidal lagoons to a recently renourished, white sandy beach.  Guests can ride a bike, hike through the woods, see gentle manatees, kayak through inner waters, fish or have a picnic on the beach.

According to Coastal Living magazine, Lovers Key “is popular, but it still offers secluded nooks and stretches of beach where Valentines can get away from it all.”

With its 2.5 miles of powder white beach along the Gulf of Mexico and its scenic, secluded gazebo perched above the waters, Lovers Key is also a popular wedding destination.    For more information, visit     

Sweet treats!
Norman Love Confections has created heart-shaped treats that include milk chocolate with a butter caramel center; milk chocolate with creamy peanut butter; peanut butter and jelly enrobed in milk chocolate; cookies and cream in dark chocolate; passion fruit in dark chocolate; intense bitter Venezuelan chocolate encased in dark chocolate; strawberry cream in white chocolate; and white raspberry enveloped in white chocolate.

Love and his dedicated team of chocolatiers specialize in handmade, all-natural confections that dazzle both the eye and the palate. Visitors may stop by The Chocolate Salon in Fort Myers to purchase chocolates or to linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.  For details visit

Think romance with a tropical twist
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 dinner cruise.  Browse charming boutiques and galleries. Walk on shell covered beaches.  Sleep late. Do nothing.

Couples’ getaways and vacation packages are available for all interests.  Check out a few ways to escape for a romantic vacation.


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, A Gift from the Sea, while visiting Captiva Island.

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.

Another romantic beach
Many are enthralled by the charms of this area each year and it is no wonder.  Captiva Island has been ranked as one of the most romantic beaches in the country.  Relax in the sun.  Watch dolphins frolic, enjoy award-winning sunsets!

Dine in a Victorian mansion
Watch the sun set surrounded by the historic elegance of the award-winning Thistle Lodge on Sanibel Island.

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!

For a really romantic evening…
Take a starlight dinner cruise on the 100-foot luxury yacht, Sanibel Princess at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa.

Lovers Key…it doesn’t get more romantic than this
Grab a picnic lunch and head for Lovers Key, named one of Florida’s Top 10 beaches by The Travel Channel and one of the Top 10 romantic beaches by Coastal Living.  It is as far from the crowds as you can get.  Rent a kayak and paddle into Estero Bay’s dolphin territory.  Watch the sunset from the shaded gazebo. 

Watch the best sunset view

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

Paddle on the wild side

Meander through a lush mangrove forest.  See white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, manatees, wood storks, bald eagles, ospreys, herons…all in their natural habitat.  Many endangered species call this area home.

See the sunrise by kayak
Follow in the wake of early explorers.  Take a sunrise paddle. Tunnel through mangroves. Travel through the heart of Buck Island, site of an early Calusa Indian fishing village. Watch dolphins play.  Experience the beauty of natural Florida as your day begins.


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.   There is more, but it has to be seen to be believed.  Super sized portions and huge desserts are legendary.

Unique theater
Go to a play in the quaint Schoolhouse Theater on Sanibel Island. 

Give yourselves a treat and book a spa package at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa.  For some real romance, try the Caloosa Experience, a couple’s favorite.

Mingle with the Vanderbilts
From Jensens’s Marina on Captiva Island, take a water shuttle to picture perfect Boca Grande.  Pedal down Banyan Street and visit the old Gasparilla Inn, a favorite from the Vanderbilts to the Bush family!  Have a waterside lunch at Harpers.  Be sure to visit the historic lighthouse.

Visit a utopian community
The Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero was a utopian community at the turn of the century until it became extinct in the 1960s.  For a peek at a unique aspect of the area’s history, take a stroll along the Estero River and view the old bakery, cottages, planetary court and art hall. Self sufficient and devoted to the arts, the Koreshans believed that the earth is concave and everything including the sun and stars exists inside.  Fishing, camping, nature study, boat launch and canoe rentals are available.

Paddle the trails of the Great Calusa Blueway
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offer hundreds of paddling opportunities for beginners and experts alike. The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is comprised of 190 miles of marked waterways and trails along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Explore calm waters.  See spectacular birding.  Experience dolphin in the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.  Take in Mound Key State Archaeological Site, believed to have been the capital of the Calusa Indian nation some 2,000 years ago. 

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.

Have Some Fun

Mail a coconut (yes…mail!) with a message back home from the Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens on Pine Island.  Pick out your favorite message:  “We are never coming home!”

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.

What is a romantic getaway without some shopping?

Stroll along Captiva’s picture-perfect Andy Rosse Lane and its eclectic galleries.  Stop in the pastel-colored Seaweed Gallery, a whimsical place filled with work from both up-and-coming and established artists.  Mediums include paintings, furniture, jewelry, glass and pottery.  Nearby is Jungle Drums “The Ultimate Wildlife Gallery,” which showcases works in bronze, glass, clay, mixed media, resin, wood and others. Be sure to check out the hand-painted Adirondack chairs - they'd make a great reminder of Captiva's laid-back lifestyle.  And if you seek something unusual, visit the colorful galleries of Matlacha and Pine Island.

Share a Cheeseburger in Paradise
Head for this beautiful tropical island and leave a dollar at Cabbage Key’s historic restaurant and inn, 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!


From quaint cottages to colorful inns to upscale seaside resorts, it is available at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.  Special packages for romantic getaways include:

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