Essential Guide to Fort Myers, FL
The news is officially out in internet land and Jesús and I could not be more excited to officially share that we’ve moved from Fort Myers, FL to St. Petersburg, FL!
Moving to St. Pete, back to my home town, has been on our radar for a couple years now, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that we started seriously planning to make this move happen. It hasn’t been until this year that the timing felt right to take this next step in our lives.
A 2 hour move may not sound significant, but it’s leap for us nontheless as we’ll be leaving the super close proximity of Jesús’s family and our best friends.
To quote Jesús on our reasoning:
“You’re probably wondering why we’re moving, and no, we’re not having a kid. We’re moving with the intention and goal to grow! Grow our careers. Grow as individuals and as a couple. Grow spiritually. Grow our friendships and be surrounded with more creative contemporaries. Grow our business ventures. And more specifically for myself (Jesús), to grow my band, Muchacho.”
As the month of February winds down (or should I say, ramps up), I can’t help but feel reflective and thankful and sappy about the 6 long, beautiful, challenging, life-giving years that I’ve been able to spend in Fort Myers. It’s a city that embraced me, even when I chose to hate on it. And despite my sheer excitement to move on to the next phase and place in life, I’m going to truly miss calling this city our home.
To commemorate the memories, I thought I’d share some of my very favorite places and things about SW FL, call it a travel guide if you will, especially if you’re just arriving to the blog and this sappy love letter has no relevance to you - ha!
May this post as a whole encourage us to better love our cities, no matter where we’re at. Here’s to you, Fort Myers! Thanks for loving me well.
Favorite places in Fort Myers (+ Naples/Cape Coral)
Nice Guys Pizza (Cape Coral)
The Nosh Truck (Food Truck)
Rosy Tomorrows (Farm to Table)
True Food Kitchen (Naples)
Aji Limon Peruvian Restaurant (Cape Coral)
Love Boat Ice Cream - it ain’t Jeni’s ;) but it’s reallllly good!
SHIFT COFFEE BAR, BABY
Remedies Parlor Hour in the Garden - best vibes and the kindest company
Nice Guys Pizza - the best cocktails
Fort Myers Brewing (Great beer!)
10 Twenty-five - cocktails
Remedies Parlor (my personal favorite)
Retro Home - incredible mid-century pieces!
Antiques and Memories (Downtown Fort Myers)
Driftwood Garden Center (Estero)
Family Thrift (the best thrift store)
Sun Harvest Citrus - kitschy FL citrus shop with the best orange/vanilla soft serve (a childhood staple)
Sanibel/ Captiva - our favorite beaches
Farmer Mikes U-Pick - they have the prettiest flowers to pick in the spring time
Waterside Shops in Naples - Closest Anthropologie and Free People, also one of the prettiest malls ever
Naples Botanical Garden - absolutely stunning
When visiting, we recommend staying as close to downtown as possible! If not downtown, then near Bonita Springs beach, Sanibel or Captiva!
We love these neighborhoods:
- Dean Park
- Anywhere off McGregor Blvd towards Downtown
- Edison Park
- Seminole Park Historic District
On the other hand, if you’re looking for some serious peace and quiet - a more rural stay - then we also love Buckingham and Alva!
The best lessons learned and things that I’m thankful for from my time spent in Fort Myers are these:
1. Fort Myers brought me the best friends and best neighbors who confirmed this: community is truly what matters in this life.
2. Fort Myers, while so many people are drawn to it’s beauty, never quite resonated with my personal style or creative interests. Even though this had a huge power to discourage me in my creative projects (and it definitley did at times) it also stretched my creativity in ways that wouldn’t have happened elsewhere - and for that I’m incredibly appreciative.
3. It grew my love for travel and pushed Jesús and I outward to explore so many new FL cities around us. I got to travel across the Atlantic for the first time in 2018 - and I don’t know if that could have been possible at this stage of our marriage, had we been living or working somewhere “cooler” and with a higher cost of living.
4. It grew Jesús and I closer together. There were moments when I had a really tough time living here. I cried a lot. Jesús listened a lot. Our understanding of one another deepened and we were better able to focus in on refining our goals and aspirations because we knew deep in our hearts that Fort Myers wasn’t our forever place.
5. It taught me to cook! Vegan + vegetarian recipes specifically - because we don’t have too many options here.
6. It gave me an education that I am extremely proud of and thankful for. I am forever proud of my choice to attend FGCU - even more than the education I recieved, I’ll forever treasure the professors which offered priceless wisdom and insight on my creative pursuits and aspirations in life.
7. It stretched and grew my patience. Not only through the snowbird traffic, but in my desires to always move on or rush into the next thing.
8. Fort Myers provided Jesús and I the most beautiful first home together we could have ever asked for. A 1920’s apartment full of character, and right next door to some of our best friends.
9. It was in this city that I was able to begin healing from a broken perception of church that I carried with me down here. I was able to watch my relationship with God evolve and find community again with people who love Him. Only this time, it wasn’t in a traditional church setting with lights and a stage - it was around a table of people that grew to love me, over weekly dinners and wine and late-night desserts. It’s been a kind of gathering that I hope make space for in our next home.
10. It gave me the love of my life, Jesús - I don’t think we would’ve ended up together if I hadn’t moved here back in 2013.