Morning and mid-day, evening and
night-time, or basically anytime, is a good time in and around the
Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier in Fort Myers, Florida. The Gulf
water is beautiful in the late morning and early afternoon, and
then beach-goers are treated to a fantastic sunset. Night-time is
a great time, too. The water still sparkles under the lights as
the waves roll in on the beach. Folks are out for a late dinner
and some entertainment too; it's all a difference between day and
The PierSide Grill is located
right at the Fort Myers Beach Pier. In fact, the patio looks right
out onto the Pier itself. Right now, it's time for lunch, and
people are coming in to get a plate of shrimp or fish or maybe a
cheeseburger. As the 2021-2022 snowbird season starts next week,
PierSide is not too crowded today. There's live music, though, on
this third Wednesday in December 2021, the 15th. There's plenty of
seating at either the bar or closer to the Pier.
The PierSide Grill and Blowfish
Bar has live music most of the time it is open. In fact, most
open-to-the-air establishments along the Gulf Coast and in Key
West will have live entertainment during their hours of operation.
This entertainer here is Smokin' Bill. In addition to cash in his
tip jar, smartphone users can scan a QR code to show their
appreciation for his music. The setup at PierSide is that the
entertainer will sing and play over a backing track of popular
What a view at PierSide! This
image looks southerly along Estero Island's western shore. Imagine
sitting here, watching the jet skis, with food and drink brought
out while enjoying the view. The time is almost one o'clock and
lunch is in full swing with the wait for food at about fifteen
minutes. Being so close to the start of snowbird season in
southwest Florida, PierSide was still fairly busy even during
The best seat in the house comes
with lunch and a pier-side view. The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful
today, with barely a cloud in the sky at 85 degrees Fahrenheit
(29.44 C). PierSide does not take reservations; they simply state
to "come on by." PierSide has been here since 1980 or so; so says
the ice-cream-cone artist at nearby Dairy Queen. There has been a
fishing pier of one sort or another in this spot since the 1930s,
beginning with a wooden structure.
After a great lunch at the
PierSide Grill, it's time to explore the Fort Myers Beach Pier.
According to a local news outlet, the Pier was closed in
mid-August 2021 for the resurfacing of the concrete deck. That
process took three weeks, and the Pier was reopened on September
10th. Just a note on the address for this Pier: it is located at
10 Old San Carlos Boulevard. This pier, however, is right in the
heart of Lynn Hall Memorial Park, but the park itself is located
at 950 Estero Boulevard.
Leisure-seekers who are visiting
the Pier might notice the smooth walkway as it was just resurfaced
in mid-August by Lee County Parks and Recreation. Looking ahead,
Rudy's Treasure Chest is a great amenity to have on the Pier. Both
the Pier and Rudy's are open 9 am - 9 pm, seven days a week, and
admission to the Pier is free. The Lee County website states that
this is a licensed fishing pier, but according to Rudy's website,
visitors do not need a fishing license to fish from the pier.
The "tail" portion of the FMB
Fishing Pier was added in the mid-1970's. It can also be called
the "t" portion or the "apron." The mid-1970's also saw concrete
being used, replacing wooden structures. There are benches under
shelter from the sun here, plus informational bulletins regarding
wildlife and bronze plaques placed in 1976 and in 1991. After a
terrible storm in May 1991 that caused a partial collapse, the
Pier was rebuilt with a new approach and new beach access.
The Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier
is still the same--but different--after sunset. What a difference a
few hours can make on a Gulf Coast beach. There's still a good
hour left for fishing until the Pier closes for the night. Fish
are abundant at the Pier, especially the delicious and sustainable
Cobia, plus Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, Spotted Sea Trout,
Sheepshead, and Bluefish. The view from out here is endless on
what used to be called "Crescent Island."
Rudy's Treasure Chest is quite
possibly the most complete little knick-knack shack out in the
waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There are still more shirts, snacks,
and backpacks behind the camera to browse through. Pole rental is
less than ten dollars and a variety of baits are sold here, right
next to the front door. No license needed, says the sign.
(Out-of-staters need a license to fish from the shore, however.)
There are also Florida-centric souvenirs for sale on tables
outside the shop, too.
The evening is still young and
there are yet many things to do just steps away from the Fishing
Pier. PierSide Grill is open until ten o'clock at night and will
have live music until nine. Folks are at the tables on the porch,
while the wait staff brings out seafood and key lime pie. The
lights and sounds are festive and the night sky is clear for
miles. In this image, PierSide is in the foreground; on the right
is the Sunset Beach Tropical Grill, and on the left is an open-air
After dark, the Blowfish Bar at
PierSide is really mellow. The tunes played long after sunset are
less bouncy, less beachy, and more introspective. For instance,
instead of Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise," guests
might hear "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak. Entertainment on the
other side of Times Square might be peppier, say at Mango Rita's,
but the music here is more like accompaniment for a quiet, late
dinner. It's all about preference.
The Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier
extends about 560 feet, or 170 meters, into the Gulf of Mexico.
There's a lot to see here with Sanibel Island nearby, especially
with its Lighthouse Beach Park on the easternmost tip of the
island. Also, there are seven miles of beach that make a beautiful
view right on Estero Island. Early risers might catch a glimpse of
a Key West Express ferry boat jetting off to the Florida Keys. For
now, though, it's time for dinner with a view of the Pier.
This is the blackened platter at
$26.00. According to the menu, it is "fresh fish fillet, Gulf
shrimp, and scallops." The blackening used was savory with just
the right amount of cajun flavor. One criticism of this platter is
that the menu doesn't say what type of filet is used.
Nevertheless, everything is delicious. The sauces on this platter
were just as mouth-watering as the seafood. Platters come with
dinner rolls and two side dishes, like a house salad and French
The key lime pie at PierSide
Grill is delicious at $5 per slice. The texture of the pie itself
has a great mouth-feel and the chocolate Oreo-crumb crust added
more flavor and color contrast to this dessert. Key lime pie is
the one and only dessert at PierSide. The night's total bill for
dinner was $55.39 for a shrimp burger and fries ($15) with cheddar
cheese ($1), one blackened platter ($26), two slices of pie ($10),
water to drink ($0), and tax ($3.39).
This is PierSide Grill after
sunset; no windbreaker needed even at night. There's still parking
available right next to the pier if arriving by car. The view from
the patio shows the Gulf at its best, and the main dining room
here is also nice with its Christmas decorations. After dinner and
dessert are finished, it's time to enjoy the rest of the evening.
The souvenir shops are open for a little while longer and there's
still a lot to see on Times Square.
Christmas is coming to Estero
Island with this beautiful palmetto poinsettia combo right in the
heart of Times Square, which is just as eye-catching in the
daytime. Tourists will stop and pose for a picture right here.
Street entertainers come to show off their talents and collect
tips for their skills. So what's tomorrow's adventure? There are
dozens of restaurants right around the corner and beautiful views
everywhere. Times Square is a great place to start, and to finish.