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Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel celebrates fall with exciting events, attractive deals

By Staff | Jun 9, 2010

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel on southwest Florida’s Gulf coast offers the destination’s third annual Islands FallFest from September through November 2010. 

The promotion combines annual events and festivals with special rates and value added deals for visitors to Florida’s unspoiled island sanctuary.

Fall is a great time to visit the area. It’s less crowded. The weather is cooler.   Sandcastles dot the beaches. Stone crab season begins Oct. 15. An “old Florida” community shows off its creative side. An eco-festival and a paddling festival celebrate the area’s natural resources.

Visitors planning a vacation will find a complete listing of events and packages at www.Islandsfallfest.com.

Packages and special offers during FallFest include:


• Holiday Inn Downtown Historic District — Fort Myers

FallFest offer: Free dinner for two at hotel restaurant, Palms Bar & Grille, with minimum two-night stay, double occupancy.

Rate:  $79

Available: September through November

Reservations: www.holidayinn.com/ftmyersdwntn or 239-332-3232


• Holiday Inn — Sanibel Island

Florida Residents special: Receive up to 20 percent off corporate rates, no prepay, no penalty to cancel/change 72 hours prior to arrival.  Kids eat free program applies.

Available: Through Dec. 17

Reservations: 239-472-4123 or www.sanibelbeachresort.com


• Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise — Fort Myers Beach

FallFest offer: Buy three regularly priced fares and receive one full fare free.

Rate: Adults: $25; children: $20.

Available: Through Dec. 15

Reservations: www.PiecesOfEight.com or 239-765-7272


Islands FallFest is a chance to discover, or rediscover, the area.  The nearly 30 events spotlighted during the 75-day celebration appeal to a wide variety of interests.  A sampling includes:


• 12th Annual Summer Slam by Yamaha

Sept. 24-26

Pink Shell Beach Resort, Fort Myers Beach



The third of four tournaments in The Tournament Series with a total purse in excess of $115,000, the 12th annual Summer Slam Fishing Tournament offered prizes and awards totaling $23,000 in 2009. Participants are after redfish, snapper, and a daily mystery fish, plus fun fish categories. Entry fee charged.


• 21st Annual "Ding" Darling Days — Sanibel Island

Oct. 17-23, 2010

J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge



"Ding" Darling Days include a week of eco-activities with free refuge tram tours, live wildlife presentations, hot dogs, kids’ activities, Federal Duck Stamp artist presentation, and more. Birding and kayaking tours, environmental speakers, a nature photography contest, and Junior Duck Stamp Awards will fill the week with environmental activities for all ages. The festival celebrates the birthday of the refuge’s namesake, conservationist and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist J. N. "Ding" Darling.  For detailed schedule, visit website.


• Fifth Annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival (county-wide)

Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 2010


Along the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail on waterfront communities in southwest Florida, events include activities that will help attendants achieve a “carbon neutral” vacation experience with tips to bring home.  The festival includes free clinics and demonstrations, a speaker series, waterfront hospitality events and chances to win a kayak and other prizes. Also: moderately priced nature and cultural tours, waterway cleanups, canoe and kayak races, and a catch-and-release kayak fishing tournament. A nature photography contest and family-oriented outdoors eco-fests round out the offerings. Complete details with contact information and regular updates may be found on website.


• 28th Annual Taste of the Town — Fort Myers

Nov. 7



Sponsored by the Junior League of Fort Myers, this tasty event held downtown in Centennial Park features samplings from more than 40 local restaurants. The largest food and entertainment festival in southwest Florida with more than 15,000 people attending, it also includes live music and more along the Calooshatchee River.  From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


• 24th Annual American Sandsculpting Championship Festival — Fort Myers Beach

Nov. 10-14



Dolphins, great blue herons, giant computers, entwined lovers and Neptune, god of the seas: The intricate sculptures at the 23rd Annual American Sandsculpting Championship Festival takes “playing in the sand" to a whole new level in November on Fort Myers Beach.  From nothing more than a beach of sand and 300 gallons of water, about 20 master sculptors will create complex works of art. Amateur sculptors are invited to create and learn from the masters during a Sandsculpting 101 workshop on Friday. The workshop is free, but there is a fee for amateur team entries into the contest’s three categories: children, friends and family, and businesses. The fee includes T-shirts and gift prizes for winning teams.


• Cape Coral CoCoNut Festival

Nov. 12-14



Sun Splash Family Water Park

400 Santa Barbara Blvd.

The Cape Coral CoCoNut Festival celebrates Cape Coral’s 40th birthday as a city. It enjoys a reputation in the Lee County area for coconuts, multi-cultural food, boating, fishing and wildlife. The festival will feature a live national musical act, gymnastic entertainment, carnival rides, water-ski shows, tropical food, contests, coconut crafts, fireworks and more.


For information on planning a vacation to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and special value-added packages, visit www.FortMyersSanibel.com. Also visit the VCB’s Twitter page at www.Twitter.com/SocialLeeVCB (@SocialLeeVCB) or become a fan of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel at www.Facebook.com/SocialLeeVCB.