What better way to spend a long weekend than at a resort condo overlooking the beautiful back bay waters of Estero Bay, while sipping a cold beverage from your balcony? The views are some of Mother Nature’s finest handiwork.

Lover’s Key Resort is 14 floors of condo suite rentals, some owner occupied. You can also trade-in a time share week to stay here if you are part of the RCI group.

The floor-to-ceiling windows offer breath-taking views. Balconies offer watching dolphins, speed boats, pontoons, pleasure boats, fishing and Jet Ski riders for entertainment.

After being kept under control for most of the year, red tide has returned to some beach areas in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island and Naples. Red tide is a microscopic, single-cell algae called Karenia brevis. When conditions are right, the organism blooms and produces a toxin that kills fish and other sea-dwelling creatures.

When red tide is present it can cause coughing, sneezing and teary eyes. While we were at the beach (mid-December), it was not yet causing any respiratory issues for most people.

The Lover’s Key beach did have some dead fish, primarily mullet and sheepshead. Fortunately, someone picked up the dead fish daily to keep the air clean and the beaches open for people to enjoy.

The beach entertainment district is opening back up and welcoming winter visitors. This is a great time of the year to visit the area, as the weather is mild and there is minimal rain.

DiamondHead Resort recently reopened after closure due to COVID-19. Their Coste Island Restaurant inside the hotel is open, and they have added a new outside bar on their dining terrace overlooking the water. One of their most popular dishes this season is Mongolian Shrimp.

Rae’s on the Beach is back, featuring some new Italian styled dishes with various local seafood. They are located at the Pink Shell Resort and Marina on the very end of the beach.

Lover’s Key has an excellent restaurant overlooking the bay on site, Flippers on the Bay, which offers a wide variety of local favorites and specialty drinks.

Just adjacent to the resort is Lover’s Key State Park, with its pristine beach areas and secluded hideaways. The park was named the No. 4 beach in Florida on the Travel Channel Top 10 Florida Beaches.

The Mound House is on the register of Historic Places. It was built in 1906 above a Calusa shell mound and now serves as a historical museum. The town of Fort Myers Beach purchased the property in 2000 and made the grounds accessible to the public. They also conduct boat tours from the dock.

If you’re bringing the kids or the grandkids, don’t forget to check out The Pirate Cruise. It’s a “swashbuckling 90-minute adventure out on the high seas!”

The restoration of popular Lynn Hall Memorial Park is nearly complete. Hurricane Eta took a bite out of the beach with extensive sand erosion. Approximately 6,000 tons of sand were removed from 600 linear feet of the park’s coast line.