The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel can make any beach-lover’s dream holiday come true.
With more than 50 miles of sandy shoreline, the area offers beaches that vary from bustling resort scenes to secluded island escapes.
Evenings Full of Entertainment
The minute we drove up to The Paramount Theater, I knew we were in for a treat. With a beautifully lit marquis, 1930s style and location on the river, the theater itself is a spectacle to behold. Adding to its appeal, though, is the caliber and variety of the entertainment on stage, from famous comedians, to family shows, to music, and of course, their Broadway series. The Paramount’s Broadway lineup is enough to never want to stand in line for a Broadway show in a major city ever again. After the show, we headed just a few feet down the river to the Hollywood Casino, and enjoyed their brand new poker room, as well as a young Elvis entertainer, the locals’ favorite, at the casino’s Center Stage. You can also enjoy a meal here at the Fairbanks Steak House or Epic Buffet.
Farnsworth House: A Hidden Gem In The Woods
I wouldn’t ordinarily call myself someone who is a fan of modern architecture, but the Farnsworth House was a treat like none other. Driving out to the property, all I knew was that Mies Van Der Rohe had designed this house which looked like not much more than a box in the woods from the images online. It may sound cliché, but you just have to go, as the pictures don’t do it justice.
There is a thick beautiful forest as you drive down to the Fox River’s edge where you’ll find the house. When you walk up to the house, you see why it is so famous. The design is beautiful, clean and efficient, yet not the least bit “cold.” Quite to the contrary, the house and surrounding property are all so inviting, and there is an air of calm about it. Probably exactly what the Edith Farnsworth, the lady who commissioned Van Der Rohe, had intended for this weekend getaway house. Perhaps what amazed me most about this house was that it looks like a space you might see in the trendiest design galleries today, but to think that the house was built more than a half century ago left even this non-modern appreciator in awe of Van Der Rohe’s talent and foresight.
Better Than Your Typical Souvenir Shopping
It’s not every day that as you stop for some shopping and end up with a pair of Ferragamo shoes for more than half off what’s in stores. The Chicago Premium Outlets are aptly named, as they carry some phenomenal brands, including some quintessentially non- outlet brands. They also had plenty of everyday clothing brands too, and with the coupon book we picked up at the Mall Office, we enjoyed some additional savings off the already low prices.
Aurora is a great place for a getaway. It may be the second largest city in Illinois, but it sure had some first-rate entertainment and cultural attractions.
More Beach Adventures
Those who seek quiet and nature also head to Sanibel Island, known for its wealth of seashells and shorebirds. Start at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach, a popular stop on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Near a circa-1884, still-working lighthouse, the beach wraps around the island’s end from Gulf to bay. On the bay side, a fishing pier welcomes anglers. Bird-watchers, beachgoers and sea shell-seekers head Gulf-side.
For a true island escape, rent a boat or join a tour to the upper islands, completely isolated from the mainland. Occupied mostly by Cayo Costa State Park, unbridged Cayo Costa features a long, natural beach where you can look for seashells, often without seeing another person. Overnighters can rent a cabin or pitch a tent.
Visit the exclusive sand beach on Useppa Island, a private island accessible only by boat, via a luncheon excursion with Captiva Cruises. Lunch takes place in the club’s historic inn.
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