Hello fellow travelers. After a slew of covid related trip delays, I was finally able to visit my brother, wonderful sister-in-law, and niece just a couple weeks ago and Fort Myers did not disappoint. The weather in mid-May was B-E-A-utiful in the upper 80’s to low 90’s with sunshine in abundance. Bob said it was the start of the rainy season, but the 5 days I was there it only rained twice for a short bit in the late afternoon. I thought I’d share a few of my experiences with you in the form of Google reviews, stars and all. Let’s go.
Costco Travel: 5-STARS, plus one
My parents and I had a rental car reserved at Budget Rental Car company for $360. You already know we used Costco, no need to ask. A week before our trip we changed our flight to depart a day earlier. The cost to change the rental car was over $100 for the extra day. So we decided to just catch a ride to the Hibiscus House and pick up the rental car the following day. My father, always looking to find a deal, had an amazing and as it turns out, cost saving idea while waiting to board the plane in Baltimore. He said I should check Costco last minute for our new itinerary, arriving in just a few hours and can you believe it? We were able to snag a rental car for $315. SCORE!
Budget & Avis Rental Car Desk at RSW: 2.5-STARS
After retrieving our bags we headed over to car rentals. Since I’ve been to Fort Myers Airport many times, I knew where Budget was located…at the very end of the building. As soon as I walked in though, I knew something was up. The line for Budget & Avis were combined, like they usually are, but it was visibility packed. We waited over an hour in that line. For reference our flight was just over two hours.
The employees were working hard and were pleasant enough, but WOW what a wait. I’d really like to avoid getting stuck again, so next trip I’ll book something with two different companies to have a backup if the queue is too long. I’d pay a little extra to get the heck out of there sooner.
This is where the extra star for Costco Travel gets applied. While standing in that hour plus long line, I was able to reserve yet another booking for our trip and got the cost down to $290. I was literally booking a rental car on the app, while standing in line, to be picked up within 15 minutes.
*Quick note, the Budget Intermediate SUV not what I’d consider intermediate. I’d say it’s the smallest SUV I’ve ever seen.
Blue Dog Bar & Grill and Matlacha, FL: 5-STARS
I loved this restaurant and can’t wait to go back. It’s located on a teeny-tiny neighborhood island called Matlacha, just west of Cape Coral. It’s the kind of place where locals live, work, eat, and play. Matlacha is not mentioned in the tourist books but if you’re looking for what true Southwest Florida is about, this is it. More details on Matlacha in an upcoming post. Blue Dog Bar & Grill is a neighborhood restaurant, rather small, serving seafood from local fishermen on the island. I love shrimp and quickly found dish I was craving, TNT Shrimp Tacos. My stomach is growling just thinking about it. The waitstaff was super friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. Will return!
Causeway Islands: 4-STARS
To get to Sanibel & Captiva islands from the mainland, you travel over a few short bridges that bisect two small islands known as the Causeway Islands. Parking is just at the waters edge on the dense sand and there are picnic tables, trees for shade, and beautiful calm waters to fish, wade, swim, wind surf, kite board or any other waterside activity. The first island offers parking only. The second island offers restrooms, water fountains, charcoal grills and picnic tables conveniently located on both sides. We like the ease of water access here; pop the trunk, plop your chair in the sand, take four steps, boom! You’re in the water. Great spot if you’re short on time. 4-stars just because no amount of convenience can beat a Gulf view from Sanibel or Captiva.
Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast Jasmine Room: 5-STARS
This past trip was my first time staying in the Jasmine room at the Hibiscus House. I was not expecting to enjoy this room as much as I did. It’s the smaller of the lot both in actual room size and bed size, however I really, really enjoyed it. First off, every room at the HHBB has it’s own exterior door, however the Jasmine has a special offering that many don’t know about. The Jasmine room is the only room to have it’s very own parking spot. Right outside the door! Additionally, being located on the ground floor, you can avoid stairs if that’s an issue. AND, it’s toward the back of the house so it’s much quieter. I actually requested this room for my next stay. I’m more shy than my brother, so I like being able to quietly disappear and I’ll gladly stay in the Jasmine room anytime it’s available.
Check back soon for the next Blog & Breakfast entry, I’ll be covering a few beaches and surrounding islands to give you the inside scoop.
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