Free Guidebook: The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

Free Lonely Planet Guide:  The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
Free from the Lee County
Visitor & Convention Bureau

My first paid job in the environmental movement was an internship at the Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC.

I worked for ecologist John Clark, a pioneer in the conservation of wetlands and barrier islands.

He had just published a the seminal guide to ecologically-based land use planning:  The Sanibel Report:  Formulation of a Comprehensive Plan Based on Natural Systems.  The report is a case study of how to develop a land use plan consistent with the carrying capacity of natural systems.

I have always been curious about Sanibel Island in Florida — was the conservation plan able to keep development in check?

Today, much of the island is preserved as the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  Sanibel, and neighboring Captiva island are best known as a shell collector’s paradise.  Eco-tourism is the major industry.

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau is promoting the area by distributing a free copy of Lonely Planet’s guidebook, Discover the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, published in July 2012.

This is a full color softcover, pocket-sized travel guide — 176 pages, plus a pull-out map. There are no ads.

This guide covers:

  • Beaches: Beautiful beaches of every style, including world-class shelling, secluded white sand and sunsets
  • Nature & eco travel: From pristine beaches to wetlands and wildlife refuges
  • History & culture: Meet the pioneers, from the Calusa Indians to the Koreshan, and lively artists colonies
  • Entertainment: Shopping or nightlife,  from jazz bars to dives and boutiques
  • Dining: Everything from bargain seafood joints overlooking the water to ethnic eats
  • Sport & activities: Get your hiking boots on, your kayak prepped, or hop on a bike
  • Accommodations:  Choose from historic cottages, vacation rentals or chain hotels

Sign up here to request a free hard copy of the Lonely Planet guidebook.

If you prefer a digital version, you can download the Kindle edition free of charge from