Recently, Sandra and I enjoyed a trip to Fort Myers Beach – also known as FMB. Despite some significant remaining damage from last year’s Hurricane Ian, there’s plenty to see and do in the area.

One of our great delights was that the Edison Beach House is again up and running. We spent a week there with our sister and brother-in-law. Because of that, had a week’s worth of entertainment. Much of it was from the vantage point of our fifth-floor balcony.

Longtime readers know that each suite at the Edison Beach House has a balcony that faces the Gulf. That means we were able to lounge and watch activity on the beach, on the water and in the air.

Morning On The Beach

From sunrise until after dark, there was plenty to see on the beach. Starting at first light the early birds arrived. While some came to beat the heat, others wanted to avoid beach the traffic. Then runners and exercisers began the show.

We saw this group of boys running along the beach. Here they’re passing a lady doing her morning yoga.

Later came the joggers and the walkers. There were individuals and couples. Some were walking dogs. The canines gave us reason to watch were we stepped. Also, there were groups of walkers. Additionally, there were numerous individuals picking up shells. It was great to see some who passed by were picking trash up off the beach, though it is a relatively clean beach.

Any way you look at it, it was a pleasant day to meander the sand and hear the sound of the waves.

There were groups of walkers out to enjoy the day at Fort Myers Beach.

It wasn’t long after that, we spotted a treasure hunter combing beach. There were several over the week that came along. Some of them were on the sand, others in the water. There appeared to have been a few finds, but not a lot of excitement.

There were several guys with metal detectors that came by during the week.

Several bicyclists also rode by us on the beach. There were only a few, and they sported the large-tired beach bikes.

One of the bicyclists we saw taking advantage of the early morning cooler temperatures.

The only actual motorized vehicle we saw was that of the beach patrol. We observed them on several occasions. They drove by slowly without incident.

We saw the Beach Patrol motor along. There didn’t seem to be any trash and they issued no apparent warnings.

A bit more stationary were the fishermen. Several of them came out during the course of the week. There were only a few bites. We observed only a few small bait fish landed.

This was one of several fishermen we saw as we sat on the balcony. This guy didn’t land anything.
The Afternoon

As the day wore on, those in for the long haul began to set up camp. We could see a good way down Fort Myers Beach. It was interesting to see the difference in the canopies, umbrellas, pop-ups, tents and other structures. There was one fella that had difficulty with his tent. However, after no small effort, he finally got it assembled.

It was striking to see the different kinds of shelters along Fort Myers Beach.

Beach goers during the day gave us an almost constant show. There was the quintessential ball and Frizbee throwing, and plenty of sunbathers. Some of the girls almost had a swimsuit on. Additionally, there were families showing very young children the big water for the first time.

Special Events

We did see a couple of special events. One day we watched as a number of girls created a giant heart on the beach. They then lined it with sea shells. Later, a guy and his gal showed up, he got down on one knee and popped the question. We missed the moment – but saw the result.

Apparently, she said yes.

Another day, we watched what we thought was a wedding shoot. A young girl in a white hoop skirt spent no small amount of time with several handlers and a couple photographers. I went down to get a better photo. What I found was, it was for a Quinceanera celebration. It took better than an hour. She had a couple wardrobe changes and a drone taking pictures.

A photo shoot for what turned out to be a Quinceanera celebration drew me down to the beach.

On another occasion, we watched an event planner. Wearing a pencil skirt and dragging a beach wagon, she set up what appeared to be an elaborate sunset dinner. The low table was set in an amazing fashion. However, storm clouds were moving in. After what appeared to be an animated phone call, she put it all away and dragged it off the sand. Sadly, the storm never shed a drop of rain.

It would have been a beautiful dinner on Fort Myers Beach.
Evening on the Beach

As the sun started to set, we saw another wheeled vehicle. A local ice cream vendor wheeled his wagon down the beach in search of some hungry beach goers.

This ice cream vendor was the only actual commercial activity we witnessed on the beach during our stay,

When it comes to entertainment on Fort Myers Beach, the sunset is one of the tops on the list. The Edison Beach House never disappoints. We were able to sit on our fifth floor balcony and catch some beautiful sunsets.

Although we sometimes went down on the beach with the crowd, were able to get this shot from our balcony.

Even after dark there were things to see. This was turtle season, so we were asked to shut off our lights and draw our blinds. The idea was not to attract turtle hatchlings back to shore. Nevertheless, plenty of people with flashlights could be seen walking the beach. One night, a young lady came out practicing with her dragon sticks. Again, I was lured down five stories to get a better shot.


The Morning Show on the Water

Fort Myers Beach has sunrises and sunsets as well as moonrises and moonsets. We were fortunate to arrive when they coincided. One morning as the moon was going down, we spotted what appeared to be a shrimper. Usually, we see the boats parked by Doc Ford’s. Occasionally we have seen them much further out.

We saw what appeared to be a shrimp boat early one morning as the moon was setting and the sun was rising.

We saw quite a bit of water traffic on the Gulf. In fact, there’s more than on the Atlantic side. While the beach activity starts early, the sailing comes a bit later. Nevertheless, there’s a great variety of different boats that sail by. We were situated where there were swimming buoys. Boats could not sail behind them. However, several sailed close enough for a good shot.

This sailboat cruised by just beyond the swimming buoys

There also was a rather large runabout that motored by slowly. He didn’t even leave much of a wake as he passed.

We also had a good shot at this speedboat. He also had a good shot at us.
Non-Boat Activity in the Water

As the morning progressed, there was some activity closer to shore. As we said earlier, parents had been bringing their kids for a day at the beach. There was one father giving his son surfing lessons. The two-foot waves seemed to be the right height for the young man.

Still a bit young to “hang 10” this young surfer was riding those two footers at FMB

This wasn’t the only surfboard we watched from the balcony. Later we saw one in use as a stand-up pasddleboard. It appeared this slightly older enthusiast had a leisurely tour of the FMB coast in mind.

This young man was headed out to cruise the shore on his paddleboard

One non-human attraction we saw in the water were several dolphin sightings. More than once people fled to the shore after seeing a fin. Once they realized it wasn’t jaws, they came back into the water to catch a glimpse of nature’s beauty. And yes, we could see them from our fifth floor perch. Perhaps better from our vantage point.

We spotted several Dolphin during our trip. This was the best capture.

We also saw a group of swimmers making circles around the buoys. We could see them making laps – but they were too far out to get a good photo.

Some Special Vessels on the Water

We  caught a number of other watercraft sailing by us. Hurricane Ian did significant damage to the nearby Sanibel and Captiva islands. We took a ride over. There we saw a lot of dredge work being done along the causeway. One afternoon we saw one of the dredges on its way over to help out.

We had seen a lot of water traffic along FMB. This was the first dredge we’d viewed.

The Key West Express is one of our favorites to watch when we visit Fort Myers Beach. In the morning we’d see her in the sunlight, at night she was highly recognizable by her lights and fast movement through the water on the return trip.

The Key West Express caught our attention and the attention of a paddleboarder.

Finally, we always were glad to see Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise come sailing along. They run twice a day. First there’s the kid’s cruise, later one for the adults. We’d be sitting on the balcony when the pirates would let go a round from one of their cannon. It was always fun to watch the beach goers jump from the sound of the boom!

Salty Sams sailed by the Edison Beach House twice a day – it was one of the highlights of our visit.
In the Air

We have told you about all the activity we were able to see on the beach and in the water. But wait, there’s more. There were several aerial activities we spied while sitting on our lovely fifth floor balcony. Every day there were parasail boats pulling brightly colored parachutes across the Gulf. For the most part they were pretty far out. But once in a while they’d come close enough to get a photo.

This yellow, smiley-faced parasail group did quite a bit of business while we were there.

We also had some drones fly about during our stay. It was hard to figure out for what they were searching. It appears they were just looking for people enjoying the beach and the Gulf.

There were a few drones that flew by us during our stay at the Edison Beach House

But that wasn’t the only air traffic. We had periodic passes by jet airliners. Apparently, they were on their way to, or from the Southwest Florida International Airport. From the number of planes we saw, it seems to be a pretty busy place.

One of the many airliners that flew over us. That air traffic was only during the day.

Finally, one of the best instances of aerial entertainment, was a moonset. It occurred on the last day of our stay. But, I sneaked out early in the morning and got a shot across our balcony from the living room. It was a beautiful end to our stay, at one of our favorite places in FMB.

The picture from my iPhone just does not do this justice. One of my investments this year may be a good digital camera.

While the Edison Beach House itself is up and running, the damage at Fort Myers Beach and at the Sanibel & Captiva islands remains significant. Still, there’s plenty to do at the beach. Nearby Times Square is coming back, and there are restaurants open on Old San Carlos Street.

We’ll do more on that later. Still to come are reviews on some great nearby restaurants such as the Wisteria Tea Room, La Cassita, and Dolly’s.