Fort Myers Beach Attractions: Mound Key

Feeling adventurous in 2020? Explore Mound Key, a nearby island that acted as the central hub of the native Calusa tribe thousands of years ago. Knowns as the “Home of the King of the Calusa,” the island is one of the highest points in Lee county rising more than 30 feet from the waters of Estero Bay. Covered in a forest of mangrove trees, Mound Key is thought to have been the ceremonial center of the prehistoric Calusa tribe.

The island was developed over the course of 2,000 years. The area was originally a flat sandbar but as the Calusa population grew, they would stack the remains of their food (mainly shellfish), pottery, and animal bone in the area to eventually build the site up to great heights. There are several “shell” mounds located throughout Southwest Florida but Mound Key remains the most impressive and historically-notable. Many researchers and scientists believe that this island was the site of Calos, the capital of the Calusa empire.

Spanish conquistadors discovered the area in the 1500s, ending the reign of the Calusa people. In later years, the island was used and sometimes inhabited by pirates, fishermen, and American pioneers, among others. Today on Mound Key you can still find whelk and conch shells that were fashioned into club heads that were placed on the end of sticks. Artifacts left behind by the Calusa as well as the Spanish have been recovered from the island, as well.

Today, the site is known as Mound Key Archaeological State Park.

If you’re looking for an interesting activity away from the crowds on Fort Myers Beach, head out on an expedition to Mound Key, located approximately 6 miles away from our Fort Myers Beach hotel. The park is accessible only by boat. How to get to Mound Key? Several local tour operators and local destinations offer a ferry service to the island including the historical Mound House and Koreshan State Historic Site. Additionally, renting a kayak or paddleboard and cruising over to the island is also an option.

Upon arrival, a 0.75 hiking trail takes visitors over steep shell mounds surrounded by mangroves. Several interpretative displays line the trail.

During your Fort Myers Beach vacation, consider breaking from the norm to travel back in time to explore one of Fort Myers Beach’s best attractions.

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Lighthouse Island Resort


We are now accepting reservations for all guests, but still undergoing extensive clean up and repair around the hotel property.

We will require a one (1) night deposit at the time of booking, any cancellations must be three days prior to arrival to avoid forfeiture of the deposit.

We are still experiencing challenges with our WiFi service, due to this we cannot promise Internet or TV service.

We will ask you to sign an insurance release, if you choose not to sign this release, you will not be allowed to check in to our resort.

Our temporary office hours are 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. and the temporary office is located on the 2nd floor in room 508.

The available rooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd and 4th floors and our elevators are currently unavailable. You will have to navigate the stairs to access your room.

Parking is limited to one vehicle, we have no parking available for large trucks, trailers, boats or RVs.

Due to our resort being under renovations and repairs; generators, power washers and electric tools will be run early morning to late evening. Please be aware there will be noise throughout the day.

You must be over 23 years old to check in.Your credit card and ID must match the name on the reservation.

Our Yucatan Beach Stand is only steps away and is open daily from 11am to 9pm.

Our Tiki Bar is open 9am to Midnight Daily, serving great cold drinks, Live entertainment and a new ever changing menu from our grill.

The island still has no phone service, so to make reservations please click the Book Now Button below or contact us at To speak with an agent please call 239-356-7829 available 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. daily.