I don’t know about you, but I could use some good old fashioned holiday cheer. With the holidays just around the corner, maybe you’re thinking about a trip. Might I suggest southwest Florida? Plenty of holiday happenings to bring you some yuletide cheer combined with the perfect weather equals one great getaway.

The weather is perfect this time of year, the humidity has dropped, and the need for outdoor activities has risen. I’ve taken the liberty to put together a one-stop guide for Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Sanibel holiday happenings.

My first suggestion, if you’re planning an overnight, weekend, or even a week-long trip, stay at The Hibiscus House Bed and Breakfast!! You know the reasons why; comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, it’s got that home away from home feel and beautifully decorated for every occasion. The food is always delicious and made with special attention to complement the season. You won’t find any pumpkin or peppermint there in the spring. Let’s dive into Fort Myers holiday events to look forward to!

Traditional Holiday Lights Display

Edison and Ford Winter Estates “Holiday Nights”
A holiday lights display unlike any other can be found at Edison and Ford Winter Estates right down the street. General admission, guided tours and inside guided tours are available.

The Historic Burroughs Home and Gardens “Holiday House”
A glittering winter wonderland is presented by the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club. The club will deck the halls and gardens with holiday decorations and lights that is sure to get you in the holiday mood.

Sanibel Lighthouse
Don’t forget to take a beautiful ride over to Sanibel Island where you can see the historic Sanibel Lighthouse decorated for the holidays.

What’s more Christmas than Shopping?

Christmas House at the Shell Factory and Nature Park
Shop like it’s Christmas all year long.

Miromar Outlets
Miromar Outlets Designer and brand name outlets, SWFL’s premier place to shop and dine. Recipient of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice award 2020. Check out their events page for their Toy Drive, free gift wrapping, holiday mini horse trails and other events.

Sanibel Captiva’s Luminary Week
A week-long, shop small celebration with discounts from local businesses.

The Best Holiday Festivals in SW Florida

Festival of Trees at the Sydney & Berne Davis Arts Center
View trees decorated by local businesses, vote on your favorites and buy a raffle to win a tree. Proceeds benefit Goodwill of Southwest Florida and the Arts Center. Events include a Wreath Lighting, Santas Block Party, and Raffle Drawling.

Holiday Festival of Lights, Downtown Cape Coral
SWFL’s official start to the holiday season in Cape Coral! Includes a tree lighting, a visit from the big man himself Santa Clause, multiple stages for entertainment, craft vendors, food, and fun for kids.

Unique to Southwest Florida, Boat Parades

These parades can be found along the numerous canals and waterfronts in the area during the season. Here are three to be on the lookout for.

  • The Fort Myers Beach Boat Parade
  • The Bonita Springs Boat Parade
  • Holiday Boat a Long, Cape Coral Boat Parade

Neighborhood Holiday Lights Display (personal favorite)

McQuade Family Christmas Show
A Christmas Crazed couple who turns their home into a Christmas lights extravaganza.

Cape Coral Holiday Lights Map
I discovered this interactive map showing all the Cape Coral holiday lights displays in the neighborhood.

Holiday Music
Just an FYI so you don’t have to scan every station to find some holiday tunes, the official holiday music radio station is Sunny 106.3.

Southwest Florida Symphony Holiday Pops Concert Series
The symphony musicians will play holiday favorites in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Sanibel Island.

Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

Alan Ohara