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The town is located on Estero Island, which lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Matlacha Pass. The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges (one for northbound traffic only) that span a narrow canal connecting Estero Bay with Matlacha Pass. It has been nicknamed "the world's longest bridge over water". Fort Myers Beach was named after General Zachary Taylor's troops camped there in 1845 during the Second Seminole War. Fort Myers Beach was originally called Sand Point until it became incorporated as Fort Myers Beach in 1995. In 2004, Hurricane Charley destroyed many of its beachfront homes and businesses but spared most of its historic buildings; however, some were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Irma hit Florida on September 10th 2017 causing extensive damage throughout Lee County including FMB .