One Year Later, Find out What's Strong with Fort Myers Beach

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September 28th marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ian, the cataclysmic Category 5 storm that devastated Fort Myers Beach and surrounding areas.

The residents and businesses of Fort Myers Beach have faced many struggles over the past year and still have many hurdles on their path to rebuilding their community.

However, when you talk to the business owners and locals who are dedicating so much to this endeavor, what you hear is a message of hope and excitement about the future.

In recognition of this one-year anniversary, it is important to remember that so much has been lost and to recognize the price that the survivors have paid and are continuing to give to restore this beautiful island. In recognition of their hard work, we encourage you to check out some of the events that are happening to support the local businesses of Fort Myers Beach.

Fort Myers Beach Iconic Clock Tower Is Making a Comeback!

The beautiful clock tower that once stood in the center of busy Times Square was a landmark for visitors and a nostalgic icon for locals. The clock was swept away in the storm, but due to a generous donation from George and Linda Merschman, of Michigan, and the efforts of local South Florida resident, Ryan Kelly, President of Kelly Contracting, the restoration of this important city hallmark is now complete! The clock will be unveiled after the town holds a remembrance ceremony on the anniversary of Hurricane Ian, on Sept. 28 at Bayside Park. That ceremony is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Grand Opening of Fort Myers Beach Market

On Friday, September 1st, Shop Local Productions successfully launched the new Fort Myers Beach Market at Times Square. The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce was there to participate in the celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony, and there was a great response from the community.

Going forward, there will be a market every Friday until the end of April with all kinds of cool stuff like fresh fruits and veggies, yummy artisan foods, handmade crafts, stylish clothes, and more. And the best part? There's plenty of parking nearby.

Vendor Applications can be found at

Bay Oaks Ballfield Grand Re-Opening

The Ballfield re-opened for play on August 24th. Welcome back!

Revive The Vibe 2023

Thursday, September 28th, 11 am - 8 pm.

Location: Old San Carlos Boulevard & First Street

1st Annual event to bring everyone together to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Ian to remember those lost during the storm and to provide some love for the local beach businesses who have been diligently working to re-open and restore beautiful Fort Myers Beach. It's a 1-day musical event showcasing Fort Myers Beach, nearby restaurants, bars, and businesses as a boost to visitation to the island.

Putt & Pub Crawl - 12th Annual Event

Saturday, January 20th, 2024

Shoot a WACKY round of golf for Charity!

The Fort Myers Beach Women's Club and nine local non-profit groups and restaurants partner to create a championship "golf course" throughout the north end of the island. The Putt & Pub Crawl is a great way to support multiple non-profit groups on our beach and bring revenue to the local bars and restaurants.

Find out more or become a sponsor by contacting the Fort Myers Beach Women's Club at

Island Hopper Songwriter Festival is Back!

September 22nd - October 1st, 2023

The Festival takes place over 10 days in the neighborhoods and beautiful beaches of Fort Myers. It's a chance for fans to hear popular songs they've heard on country radio performed by the actual songwriters. Musical performances will be held throughout the city at several tropical venues.

Headliner Chris Janson will perform on Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina pool party on Fort Myers Beach.

Download the app at to get the complete schedule of performances and artists.


The Tribby Arts Center Is Open To The Public

The Tribby Arts Center is a new world-class hub of creative and cultural activity at Shell Point Retirement Community that is home to theatrical, educational, and musical programming.

The 44,000-square-foot Tribby Arts Center boasts a 400-seat auditorium and three art galleries showcasing exciting work from residents as well as regional and national artists.

Check out their 2023-2024 Fine & Performing Arts Series for an impressive lineup of concerts, ballets, and performing arts!

These are just a few highlights of what the dedicated businesses and residents of Fort Myers Beach have been working on to restore their beautiful community. We encourage visitors and residents alike to show their support by coming out and participating in these fun events.

For more details on these events and for a list of businesses that are open and ready to welcome you back to beautiful Fort Myers Beach visit

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Original Blog Shared on March 6th, 2023

The Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida is home to some of the most magnificent attractions and beaches, like Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, as well as Sanibel and Captiva Islands. On September 28th, 2022, this region got hit by Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that affected many businesses and beaches. However, in the midst of this tragedy, these cities showed great resilience in recovering and rebuilding after the storm. 

Tourist season is upon us and if you are planning a trip to these cities, you may be concerned about what is open. To help you plan your trip, here is a guide on what to expect from Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, and Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

A Community Coming Together

Since Hurricane Ian, the community has truly come together to help people and businesses get back on their feet. Hundreds of people came together to clean up beaches and roadways, donations have been rolling in to help with the relief efforts, and charities have been helping around the clock to bring back these wonderful areas. If you are interested in learning about how you can help, learn more here.

What Businesses Are Open? 

Since rebuilding is still heavily in progress more and more businesses, attractions, and beach areas are reopening so please check ahead to see the latest info. Click here to learn more about what’s open at Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island.

The following are some businesses that are open for tourists:

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

Smugglers Cove is one of the most popular attractions in the Fort Myers area. It's a special place that offers an exceptional mini golf course with fun, pirate-themed décor, and thrilling obstacles. This makes golfing on this course a true adventure that hundreds of locals and tourists love.

When Hurricane Ian struck the region, the team at Smugglers Cove was determined to rebuild and reopen as soon as possible. They understood the course's importance to the community and wanted to continue creating a safe and fun environment for families to enjoy. The team removed debris and repaired structures damaged by the hurricane. Thanks to their dedication and hard work, this mini golf course is now open to delight locals and tourists with an unforgettable golfing experience.


Hurricane Ian caused a severe amount of damage to our local beaches. Although there has been a tremendous amount of clean-up done, most public beaches throughout Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva Island are still currently closed.  

Beach access currently is limited to Gasparilla Island State Park, Blind Pass Beach Park, and Tarpon Bay Road Beach access area. Click here if you want to learn more about the tentative opening plans for beaches and beach parks.

Pinchers Crab Shack

If you're looking for the best seafood restaurant in Fort Myers, Pinchers Crab Shack is a perfect spot. The restaurant is famous for its fresh yet delicious seafood and comfy, laid-back atmosphere.

After Hurricane Ian, Pincher's quickly repaired the damaged roofs and structures, repainted the walls, and sandblasted the floors. This enabled the business to reopen just a few days after the storm. Pinchers is now serving tourists and locals fresh and delicious seafood cuisines. They still offer a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere that visitors know and love.

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill

Parrot Key Caribbean Grille has been voted the Best Waterfront Dining since 2004 and is the perfect place to grab some delicious Caribbean-inspired seafood. Although the hurricane caused them to be closed for several months, they are now back open for business! They have a limited menu, but the same tropical drinks and paradise vibes are back! 

Florida Native Butterfly Society

The Florida Native Butterfly Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Florida’s native butterfly species. They hand-raise every butterfly there as a part of their breeding program and have education programs to teach others how to build butterfly gardens. 

Hurricane Ian damaged a lot of the fencing around the property, but left the glass butterfly conservatory unscathed thankfully! They are now open their regular hours of Nov - May:  Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 3 pm and June - Oct:  Tuesday - Sunday 9 am - 2 pm. Keep in mind if the heat index is high they close early.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford left an incredible legacy for the Fort Myers area, where they spent their winters. When you visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, not only do you get to their winter homes but also acres of botanic gardens, a museum, a laboratory, a Garden Shoppe (Garden Center), and a Museum Store. They are also a 2022 top-rated destination based on TripAdvisor visitor ratings so this is a definite must-visit.

Hurricane Ian caused extensive damage to the gardens and landscaping, but thankfully the elevation of the estates saved them from flooding. Now they are back open for business and although there are still some areas of the property that are still closed, they are ready for visitors again.

Hurricane Ian caused much destruction in the Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, and Sanibel Captiva Island areas. Thanks to the hard work of businesses and locals, some areas are ready for tourists and locals. If you are interested in a fun activity for all to enjoy, come to Smugglers Cove for a round of mini golf. Contact us today for any questions and we hope to see you soon!


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Topics: things to do, Fort Myers