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Just before the Sanibel Island Causeway is a beautiful palm tree-lined peninsula that is a top destination for Southwest Florida travelers. Looking at the sprawling resort you’d never know that Punta Rassa has such a lengthy and diverse history.
Prior to Ponce De Leon’s arrival in the early 1500’s, the area was inhabited by the Calusa Indians, a fierce people who often warred with and enslaved neighboring tribes. The Calusa are the first known shell collectors and used shells in their weapons, tools, décor, and jewelry. Archaeologists have been studying the remaining shell mounds for years to better understand the Calusa and life in Southwest Florida prior to European arrival. The Spanish brought cattle to the area in the mid 16th century before being driven back to Cuba by the Calusa. Fort Dulany was built in 1841 and used sporadically in times of both war and peace.
In the 1800’s Punta Rassa would become an important part of the Florida cattle trade. Jacob Summerlin, who would later be known as “King of the Cattlemen”, established a thriving cattle operation at Punta Rassa in 1858 and began shipping cattle to Cuba. Over 1.5 million cattle were sent 1868-1878. When the Civil War began, Punta Rassa became crucial in supplying both the Confederate Army and local Union Troops with cattle.  After the war, the International Ocean and Telegraph Company gained control of the area and ran a telegraph line 110 miles to Havana Cuba.
The 1880’s brought another transition – Punta Rassa became wildly popular for sport fishing, especially tarpon. Accommodations soon replaced cattle pens and fishermen from around the world came to fish for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, and kingfish. After the Tarpon House burned down twice (first in 1906 and again in 1913), travel to the area waned and fishermen went north to Charlotte Harbour instead.
In the 1920’s, the Kinzie family started to run a car ferry to Sanibel Island, leaving from Punta Rassa and docking at Reed’s Landing on the Island. The first ferry only held 7 cars and ran 4 times per day. As demand increased, the Kinzies purchased a larger ferry and continued being the link between the mainland and Sanibel until the Sanibel Causeway was built in 1963.
The Sanibel Harbour Resort was built in the 1980’s in stages, beginning with the tennis complex & spa and ending with the main hotel building. The Resort changed hands several times through the years and the Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa is now owned by Marriott. The Bay View and Harbour Towers are governed by different condo associations and are predominately used for vacation rentals. Resort Harbour Properties manages the lion’s share of rentals today with over 70 units in our program.

Further Reading:

Calusa Indians

Florida Cattle Industry

Old Punta Rassa


We are so excited to welcome you to our beautiful properties! Below is a suggested itinerary to help you prepare for your stay. While Uber and Lyft do run in the area, we recommend renting a car to best enjoy all that Southwest Florida has to offer. For even more information about our beautiful area, please refer to our website and view the “Area Guide” tab.

Day 1 – ArrivalWelcome to Southwest Florida! If you have arrived before our check-in time of 4 PM, we recommend stopping for a quick bite and some supplies for your stay. There are a number of restaurants near the resort as well as a grocery store, Publix, within 2 miles.
What to Do:
4:00 – Check-in – please refer to instructional email sent a week prior to your arrival for more information. Settle in and change for a swim.
5:00 – Afternoon swim at the private beach or pool, watch the sunset.
6:00 – Return to the condo and dress for dinner at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. Casual dress is appropriate, allow approximately 15 minutes for travel.
8:30 – Stroll Time’s Square Fort Myers Beach, have a drink at The Salty Crab.

Can’t Miss:
Walking Fort Myers Beach and Pier
Lover’s Key – State park teeming with wildlife, daytime only.

Day 2 – Sanibel Beach DayWhat to Do:

  • 8:00: Sanibel Island is minutes away from Sanibel Harbour Resort and is world-famous for its shells and beaches. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, we recommend getting there early to secure your spot on the beach. Don’t forget sunblock!
  • 12:00: Lunch at Cip’s place, then rent a bike to cruise around the island. With over 25 miles of bike trails, there’s plenty to see.
  • Dusk: Lighthouse Beach for a sunset swim, you’ll usually see dolphins frolicking in the waves around this time.
  • 7:30: Head to the Island Cow for dinner. The laid-back atmosphere is perfect after an busy day and the crab cakes are delicious.
  • 9:00: Back to the condo for a quiet night in, sit on the balcony and enjoy the sounds of nature.
    • Pro Tip: If you forgot your sunblock earlier, white vinegar will take the sting out of sunburn. Dab it on and let dry before applying aloe, allow time for aloe to dry before dressing. The only thing worse than a sunburn is peeling clothes off of your burnt skin.

Can’t Miss:
The Island Trader – A unique antique store filled with history
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Blind Pass Beach 

Where to Eat:
The Bubble Room (Captiva) – Famous for the fun atmosphere and enormous cake.
Cheeburger Cheeburger – Stop by the original location for a milkshake and kitschy 50’s fun.
The Mad Hatter – “Alice in Wonderland” themed upscale restaurant.

Day 3 – Downtown Fort Myers & The Edison Ford Winter EstatesWhat to Do:

  • 8:00: Breakfast at CRaVE on your way to the Edison Home, drive down McGregor to see the historic houses and get that “old Fort Myers”  feel.
  • 9:30: Take a tour of the Edison Ford Winter Estates and learn about two of the most famous inventors of our time – Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Wear comfortable shoes as there’s lots to see and don’t miss out on the garden!
    • Be sure to check the website for the schedule of upcoming classes – there are many on gardening, history, and the flora and fauna of our lovely state.
  • Lunch: Drive into the heart of Downtown Fort Myers and stop for lunch at The Standard. After lunch, stroll through our beautiful River District. There’s plenty of shopping along First Street, including several interesting antique shops.
    • Parking can be tricky and the meter maids are extremely punctual. We recommend parking in a garage if you plan to walk around.
  • 2:00: Check out The Butterfly Estates to see a variety of butterflies that are native to Florida. Proceeds from this organization go to support the conservation of native species and educate the public about the important role they play in our ecosystem.
  • 8:00: If you love a good ghost tour (who doesn’t?) schedule a tour to learn about some spooky Fort Myers history.
  • 9:30: Recover from your night of fright with a drink at City Tavern or Barrel Room. Both are laidback, casual bars within walking distance.

Can’t Miss:
Remedies Parlor
 – Quirky antique and crystal shop, famous for their wine tasting nights.
Florida Repertory Theater
Ivy Cottage – Antique store packed full of treasures.
Where to Eat:
Downtown House of Pizza – The best pizza in Fort Myers, always busy and open late.
10TwentyFive – Great for brunch, enjoy the bottomless mimosas on their rooftop patio.
Firestone – Check out the rooftop Skybar at night for a party with a view.
Oasis – A classic, casual diner with all-day breakfast.

Day 4 – Relaxing Day at the BeachWhat to Do:

  • 9:00: What’s vacation without a little relaxation? The Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa is open to the public and offers a number of fantastic treatments. As a bonus, purchasing a treatment at the spa also grants you access to the Marriott pool and fitness center for the day (subject to change, blackout dates at discretion of the Marriott). Book a treatment and soak in the tranquil spa atmosphere.
  • 11:00: Grab a book and lay out on the beach (again, sunblock is crucial). Take a swim in the beautiful Sanibel Harbour and watch for dolphins, they’re frequent visitors.
  • Lunch: Take a walk to the Bimini Bait Shack at the entrance to the property for lunch – it’s a guest favorite.
  • 2:00: Switch things up and hang out by the pool, either the condo tower pool or the Marriott if you have the pass. If you’d like a little more activity in your day, stop into Holiday Adventure Tours on the Marriott property and rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the harbour.
  • 5:00: Back to the condo to dress for dinner. Take a sunset dinner cruise on the Sanibel Harbour Princess Yacht (reservations required).
  • 9:00: Not ready to turn in for the night? Go for a game of mini golf at Castle Golf or Pop Stroke, both within 20 minutes of the resort.

Can’t Miss:
The sunset
 – whether you opt for the dinner cruise or not, make sure you don’t miss our gorgeous sunsets.
Nature trail – there is a short nature trail on property (approximately 20 minutes) that’s a great way to see some of our native wildlife.

Day 5 – CheckoutWhat to Do:

  • 8:00: We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay with us! Please refer to the checkout email for departure instructions. Checkout time is at 10 AM, if you are not leaving until later in the day, you are welcome to continue using the beach and pool provided you remove all your belongings from the condo.
  • 10:00: Checkout time! If you’re leaving later in the day, we recommend stopping by Sanibel Outlets. There are plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as a play area for the kids. If you’re flying out of Southwest Florida International Airport, you may enjoy stopping at Gulf Coast Town Center or Miromar Outlets. Both are minutes from the airport and have tons of shopping and dining options, playgrounds, a movie theater, and much more!

Thank you for choosing Resort Harbour Properties, we hope to welcome you back soon! Be sure to check your email for specials and promo codes!

Biking around Southwest Florida is one of the best ways to enjoy our beautiful scenery. Although parts of Fort Myers are best suited for travel by car, there are multiple bike trails, parks, and gorgeous historic neighborhoods in the area that are ideal for cruising. Below are some of our favorite places to ride, as well as a map of Lee County Bike Trails.
Sanibel Island
No trip to Sanibel Island is complete without a bike ride! With over 25 miles of bike trails, it’s the perfect way to see the natural beauty that Sanibel has to offer. Designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, it’s perfect for cyclists of all ages. Don’t miss the 4-mile trail through J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see the beautiful flora and fauna that Sanibel has to offer.

Bike Rentals
Billy’s Rentals – 1470 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, (239) 472-5248
Billy’s Bike Shop – 1509 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, (239) 472-3620

Fort Myers Beach
Go for a sunset bike ride on the hard-packed sand of Fort Myers Beach or enjoy one of several scenic trails on the island. Black Island Trail Head and Matanzas Pass Preserve are favorites for locals and visitors alike.  Lover’s Key State Park is also popular with over 5 miles of trails, playgrounds, a beach, and great fishing!

Bike Rentals 
Quicky Scooters & Bikes – 1149 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, (239) 463-8000

Fort Myers
Head east to Alva to explore Caloosahatchee Regional Park. With 768 acres and 20 miles of trails to explore, pack a picnic and plan to spend a quiet afternoon enjoying the beautiful Caloosahatchee River views. This park is in a rural area, approximately 1 hour from the resort. There are not bike rentals on property, so plan to bring your personal bike or rent one to transport.

Bike Rentals
The Bike Bistro – 20351 Summerlin Rd, Fort Myers, (239) 479-1999
The Bike Route– 8595 College Pkwy, Suite 200, Fort Myers, (239) 489-1162
EA Bicycles – 15630 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, (239) 415-6600
Trek Bicycles– 8291 Dani Dr, Fort Myers, (239) 931-6690

Lee County Bike Map

A Local’s Guide to the Top 5 Things To Do in Ft. Myers, Florida

Your reservation is confirmed. Your bags are packed. All that’s left is the itinerary! Luckily, when you stay with Resort Harbour Properties you are staying in the heart of the excitement. The condos at Sanibel Harbour are the perfect middle ground to come back to after a day’s adventure around Ft. Myers. This guide is packed with local secrets, off the beaten path adventure, and stops you won’t find inside a tour book.

Top 3 Reasons to Book Direct for your Next Visit to the Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island

Resort Harbour Properties allows the ease and simplicity of booking direct at the click of a button at your convenience. Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning, or have narrowed down your options and are ready to hit ‘reserve’, booking direct has more benefits than you even know!

Tailor your Trip – booking direct with Resort Harbour Properties allows you to choose from a variety of different vacation rental accommodations. Our properties have a wide range of features, aesthetics, locations and more. We offers the largest vacation rental property options at Sanibel Harbour Resort.  When you are researching, think about what features make you most comfortable to ensure you are getting the most out of your vacation rental experience. Enjoy top of the line upgrades? Select our ‘Luxury’ category when searching online to view all of the newly remodeled vacation rentals. Looking for something with a wrap-around balcony in Sanibel Harbour? Select the ‘Corner Unit’ field to preview the properties that offer sweeping, panoramic views overlooking the beaches and waterways of the Gulf towards Sanibel Island.

Speak to Local Professionals – all of the employees at Resort Harbour Properties work directly on-site at Sanibel Harbour. Their knowledge of the local area, things to do in Fort Myers and Sanibel, as well as the intimate details of each of our properties will prove to be helpful when planning your next visit. Our offices are staffed 7 days a week for our guest’s convenience. No more calling an 800 number to reach a generic robo-operator. We are here to help guide you in selecting the best vacation rental option for you and your family. Looking for restaurant recommendations on Sanibel Island for a special event? Let us offer you some of our local favorites to try! Perhaps Cips Place on Sanibel, or Mucky Duck on Captiva! Not sure which vacation rental will best fit your needs? Give us a call to discuss your options and we will share our first-hand experiences! By booking direct for your next vacation you are directly stimulating the local economy as well so SWFL can continue to welcome visitors like you to the destination.

Savings! – Last but not least are the savings! Booking direct entitles you to more than just customized, personalized service; it offers the greatest savings as well. No hidden fees, what you see is what you book. The bigger guys like Airbnb, HomeAway or Vrbo need to charge you extra service fees to stay in the business since they are the middlemen. They offer great industry-driven platforms to research your next visit but when it comes down to booking time, there’s no better way to get the best bang for your buck than booking direct. Those hidden service fees that are charged can increase your vacation budget by hundreds of dollars! Think of the extra nights you could booking with $500+ dollars in unnecessary fees. Also, when searching Resort Harbour Properties’ website, be sure to visit the ‘Specials’ tab for even more potential savings. You can save on your next Sanibel Harbour vacation rental by taking advantage of ongoing promotions and discounts! Booking direct also offers the most financial security since you know who you are booking with, how to get in contact with them, and received step of the way communication directly from Resort Harbour Properties.

In an automated world, Resort Harbour Properties strives to ensure the personal touch is not lost. We are here to ensure your vacation to Sanibel Harbour is complete, customized, cost-effective, and above all; memorable!