Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently does the island trolley pass by our home?In "season" the trolley runs quite frequently. As frequently as every 12 minutes during peak-peak time, often every 15 minutes, down to every 30 minutes at the beginning and ends of each day. Out of "season" there isn't as much need for trolley service, and the frequncy drops off. Sometimes down to about once every hour.
How can we get from the airport to your home?The nearest airport is the Southwest Florida International Airport, better known as the Fort Myers airport (code: RSW)
The cheapest and least simple way is to take the public transportation system. There is a bus that goes from the airport to the north end of the island trolley route. You could then hop on the trolley, which takes you to the front of the Estero Beach and Tennis club (where our condo is located). That would cost you about $5 per person each way, give or take a bit.
Next up would be to rent a taxi. Taxis will likely charge about $35-50 each way plus whatever tip you want to leave.
Most convenient is to just rent a car. If you have a AAA discount, you could rent a car for a week for about $120-250. The car, even though totally not necessary to enjoy yourself, can be handy for lots of things. The trolley is still very convenient for going to the north end (parking will run you $5-10 near Times Square).
How far is your home from Times Square and "the fishing pier"?Our FloridaBeachSunset home is about 4.5 miles from Times Square via Estero Boulevard. There's a wonderful view of the Times Square fishing pier from our condo balcony. Binoculars are valuable for seeing any details. The north end of the island, where Times Square is located, is traditionally the "louder" end. If you are wanting the "party till 2am" environment, you will likely be more happy renting a place up closer to Times Square. The southern end of the island, where our home is located, is traditionally the quieter, more laid-back end of the island. Keep in mind that if you want to spend a day at Times Square, you can hop on the trolley for 50 cents a person and ride it up to the north end and avoid the high priced parking and driving, and escape back to your retreat at the end of the day.
How's the fishing around there? Anywhere to fish from? Do you including fishing licenses with the rental?There are several places to fish around our home. There are often people out on the beach fishing right in front of our condo casting their lines into the sea (so to speak). There's a marina across the street (Fish Tale Marina) with a boardwalk that we suspect you could fish from, but we honestly haven't checked with them, so we can't say that for sure. There are, in fact, boardwalks that go all along the back bay in that area. Fort Myers Beach has a large fishing pier up by Times Square that you could also visit if you wanted to be a few hundred feet farther out in the Gulf to cast your line. There are numerous deep sea fishing trips that you can also go on from the marinas.
While we have considered bundling things like fishing licenses and trolley passes with each stay, we've decided that, rather than penalize those that don't use the items, we just let those that want them get them while they are there.
Is there anywhere around there that is a good place to eat?In a word, yes. There are at least eight restaurants in the plaza across the street and many others a short car ride away. Restaurants are one of the things we really like about this area. The food choices are all pretty good, and we typically eat for around $15/person. You can spend more or less, but the point is at the area isnt super expensive for eating out.
We'll also mention that we have a Guestbook in our home that you should absolutely take a look at. Many, many previous guests have left notes on which places they particularly liked. Be sure to add your own entry at the end of your stay!
Do I need to clean everything? Is there a vacuum and cleaning supplies in your home?We want you to treat our home with the same care and love that you would give to any home that you respect and love. There will be a professional cleaning done after you depart from our home, so you don't necessarily have to clean everything to perfection, but hopefully you won't have allowed things to get terribly dirty during your stay. (Excessive required cleaning by our cleaning crew can result in part of your security deposit being used to pay for the excess time required) There is a vacuum, and other cleaning supplies, in the home if you have any spills or anything like that that you need to clean up.
Our granite countertops require special care. Be very careful to not use ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners on them, and clean up any spills quickly.
Do You Provide Beach Towels?The linens that we provide in our home are matched sets that are designed to stay in the home, and won't hold up well if they are subjected to the beach sand on a regular basis. You will need to bring your own beach towels.
Are there any water and beach accessories in your home?There are some amenities for water play in our home. There are some pool noodles under the bed, some beach chairs in the closet, and even a bucket or two for building sand castles. The only caveat is that people end up taking them to the beach and bringing them back with a ton of sticky sand attached that then gets deposited in our home. And, if people decide to clean them off with water first before bringing them back to our home, the water ends up getting trapped in the metal tubes on the chairs and drains out onto the condo floor after it has turned rusty. So, we don't advertise heavily that we have them. But, they are there, and if you are super careful, we would be happy for you to use and enjoy them! Down on the wide part of the beach you can rent chairs, umbrellas, and more.
Is there anything that you don't provide that we would need to bring?Our home is equipped with normal items that a home might have, so you won't need to bring frying pans or coffee makers or anything like that. Our cleaning crew provides you with a "starter pack" that includes a garbage bag, one use of laundry and dishwasher detergent, one roll of toilet paper/paper towels, and a bar of soap. If that isn't enough for the duration of your stay you will need to provide subsequent portions, as well as things like shampoo, toothpaste, and other consumables that you might desire.
Is there a gym/weightroom?Our home does not have a gym or weight room; but if you want to get exercise beyond walking, swimming, playing tennis, and other things you can do right around the area, there is a gym on the island, about 3.4 miles up the road. It is called the Hammerhead Beach Gym and they have daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, punchcard and probably several other rates available!
What about the "Lagoon"?! Does it make getting to the beach hard?We like to think of it as a bird estuary, or its official name, Little Estero Bay.
Our home is in the southern-most building, which is closest to the beach, at EB&T. You literally walk out of the building, across some grass, which is maybe 100 feet. Then, there is a sand trail that takes you right out onto the sand near the beach. During low tide, everything is dry. You can walk all the way to the Gulf's edge without any water. During high tide, there is maybe 6 inches of warm, Gulf salt water that you need to walk through. It's truly no big deal, though. If you look at the second video on our website, you can go to minute:second - 2:03 to 2:10 to see the exact path that you take.
The actual "lagoon-y" part of the estuary blocks the condos to the north of us, but our particular building is perfectly situated for easy beach access.
We like walking and hiking. Is there anything to do around your vacation home?The entire 7 miles of beach at Fort Myers Beach is public property, so you can walk the entire length of the island if you feel so inclined. (you can only get from the-beach-to-the-street on our condo grounds and on designated entry/exit points, though) Also, Lover's Key state park (about 1.5 miles south of our condo) has numerous hiking trails. The hiking trails are mostly flat and easy to navigate. (The trolley can get you down to Lover's Key if you want to get down there mechanically)
Is there anywhere near there where we can rent Kayaks?We used to have a little company in the marina across the street but they have gone out of business. There is a kayak company in old Bonita Springs called CGT Kayaks and Kayak Excursions provides kayaks around the Bunche Beach area off the north end of the island. If you get one down close to where EB&T is, when you paddle out from the marina, you are in the "back bay". There's actually a state park on an island (Mound Key) that is only accessible by boat. Calusa Native Americans lived there back in the day (for about 2,000 years, ending around 1750AD).
Do You Provide Tennis Racquets?We don't officially provide tennis racquets, but we have some that you can use if you are careful with them. Tennis at EB&T is neat. The courts at EB&T are clay courts. They are green clay, and are quite special. Our association actually closes the courts for about 2 hours each day to "water" them so that the clay doesn't dry out.
How's the snorkeling around there?This part of Florida isn't best for snorkeling. The powder white sand that makes the beach soft also causes the water to not be super clear. It's a lot better on the south end (where our condo is) of the island than it is on the north (the north end of the island has a river that dumps into the ocean near there, which causes more debris to be kicked up). You would also probably have better luck snorkeling on the back bay, because everything will be more settled there. We are not aware of there being any amazing reefs to look at right around FMB. So, make sure that the success of your entire trip doesn't absolutely depend on the awesome snorkeling, lest ye be disappointed.
What's the weather going to be like while we are there?See our Weather page.
Where can I catch the ferry to Key West?The ferry to Key West leaves from San Carlos Island, which is just across the bridge from the north side of Estero Island (where our condo is located). There are some great restaurants over near the Ferry terminal (Parrot Key is one of them).
Can we store our luggage somewhere if we get there early or need to leave late?Because our Club was designed as a place for people to live long term (with the "homey" feeling that comes with that!), it doesn't have some of the amenities that you would have at a traditional hotel, including a luggage check. In the past we've had guests that have either stayed downstairs with their luggage or rented a car and stored the luggage there for a few hours.
We've always found it relaxing enough that just sitting at one of the tables downstairs and "taking it all in" is worth doing for several hours!