We have a weekend place on Fort Myers Beach and are often there for weekends. The Beached Whale has a nice view of the town and the beach beyond. The food is ok.
Last week we sat outside at The Cottage for drinks before dinner at The Gulfshore Grill (they are connected) and watched dolphins, about 10 of them, frolicking close to shore. I had never seen them having so much fun. They were tossing a large fish back and forth amongst themselves. All the kids staying down for Spring Break were mesmerized by the show.
Dinner at the Gulfshore Grill was pretty good but not trendy in any way. There were a number of young children. My husband had Florida lobster tails that were baked and I had blackened grouper. Plain food is the best plan here. Wine list is not much.
I generally avoid all the Times Square restaurants. With their location, good food is not an obligation, but an afterthought. The best might be the Greek restaurant. It is fun to sit at sunset and watch the sunset celebration with Saganaki (flaming cheese) and a beer.
My favorite restaurant is not on the beach per se, but on the island before. Parrot Key Grill. Last week I had a grilled swordfish (again) with their jasmine rice and dry salsa verde. On Thursdays there is a crazy live show with Frank Torino that impersonates Frank Sinatra, Elvis, etc. You might be thinking this will be awful but it is hilarious and the early evening (show is at 7 p.m) ends with grand kids dancing with their grandparents and a conga line. No sophistication here except with the food.
I shop at the Sandy Butler and am grateful for their presence. They have an amazing cheese selection, Kobe beef, Sushi grade fish, excellent bread and pretty but dull desserts. I have eaten their about 4 times and am still waiting for them to meet their potential. Good wine shop with different wines and decent prices.
My parents live there and they just told me about The Sandy Butler on the way down to the beach. It's a restaurant & gourmet shop...she said it has many take away items as well.
If you venture away from the beach into Ft Myers, the Cantina Laredo is a great mexican restaurant. It's next to the Bell Tower Mall on 41.
Both places are kid friendly.
search the board for recs -- there are plenty: