Fort Myers Beach has been awarded several honors, including being ranked as a top five winter escape destination by the Weather Channel in January 2015 and a top 10 most popular winter destination for 2014-15 by the American Society of Travel Agents. Inventor Thomas Edison frequently wintered in Fort Myers beach and is responsible for importing and planting 200 of the royal palm trees from Cuba that line both sides of McGregor Boulevard for 15 miles.
As of 2015, more than 1.8 million visitors travel to Fort Myers Beach each year. The first bridge built to Fort Myers Beach from the mainland was a wooden swing bridge in 1921. Travelers were charged a $0.50 toll to traverse the bridge per five people. The bridge was washed away in 1926 during a hurricane, renaming the area Hurricane Pass.
The area enjoys shallow water and little undertow, allowing people to walk 7 miles, the entire length of the Fort Myers Beach island, in the edge of the water.
Famous people who have traveled to or through Fort Myers Beach include Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto and pirates who, according to legend, hid treasure in the area, sometimes by sinking long boats off-shore filled with treasure to recover later.