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Close out summer at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

PHOTO: Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel courtesy of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

In addition to great, year-round weather and the cleanest parts of The Gulf of Mexico, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in southwest Florida continues to provide new experiences for visitors such as hiking and horseback riding, as well as the production of “wicked rum.” These beaches cover an expanse including the sun-drenched settings of Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres.

For those looking for a last minute summer getaway – or a head start on Labor Day – this U.S. News & World Report ranked best family beach vacations should definitely be a contender.

PHOTO: Kids running on the beach courtesy of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel


Sundial Beach Resort on Sanibel Island has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation that includes a refreshing of accommodations, new fitness center, HydroGrid tennis courts, a campus of the Sanibel Sea School, a Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique and a satellite operation of Sanibel's Bailey's Marketplace. Visit

The historic Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande added five new estate homes, offering accommodations for friends or multi-generational travelers. Preserving the same old-Florida charm the 101-year-old inn is known for, the homes include three-and four-bedroom options, featuring a kitchen, dining and living areas with an open layout and amenities. A member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on The National Register of Historic Places, the resort offers 142 accommodations in a pristine environment in the heart of Boca Grande, located on Gasparilla Island. Visit Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island has been ranked by Travel and Leisure Family magazine as one of North America's Top 20 Family Resorts.

PHOTO: Exterior grounds of Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island courtesy of Casa Ybel Resort

Hiking and horseback riding at Buckingham Trails Preserve

The Lee County Conservation 20/20 program opened Buckingham Trails Preserve to the public so guests to this east Fort Myers site can utilize 2.3 miles of hiking trails and 4.8 miles for both horseback riding and hiking. This 572-acre preserve features scrubby and music flatwoods along with several small wetland systems and cultural resources associated with the property’s past military use. Wildlife species on site include the threatened gopher tortoise, Florida sandhill crane and the Cooper’s hawk.

Wicked Dolphin Rum and Lee Reefs partner for Special Operations Bionic Warriors

For the first time in Gulf of Mexico history, a unique class of rum will be created using the atmospheric pressure in the crystal blue water of the ocean basin. Five Wicked Dolphin Rum barrels filled with distilled water were sent 90 feet down to the USS Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef recently and then raised 72 hours later. This batch will be used to craft the Florida distiller’s latest offering: Sunken Barrel Mohawk Reserve.

Wicked Dolphin Rum and Lee Reefs have partnered to create this limited edition rum to benefit the Lee Reefs program and Special Operations Bionic Warriors - a foundation that ensures wounded, injured or ill U.S. Special Operations veterans/athletes receive state-of-the art adaptive sports equipment, coaching and access to cutting-edge sports science that will ensure achievement of their athletic goals.

The rum will be available at Wicked Dolphin Distillery, based in Cape Coral. It’s a limited edition sold in 750 ml bottles. There will be 200 signature bottles sold with the name “Sunken Barrel Mohawk Reserve.” To see more, visit

PHOTO: Wicked Dophin Rum courtesy of

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