Fort Myers is a popular tourist destination in the southwest region of Florida. The hot summers and beautiful beaches make it a favoured vacation haven in Florida. The most visited tourist attractions in Fort Myers are the winter estates of both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. But as well as discovering the area’s history, there are outdoor activities year round and beautiful sunsets to be enjoyed.
10. Lee County Manatee Park
This park is a cool place to visit and it is free! Between November and March manatees swim into the canal of Lee County Park to escape the reducing temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico. The water here is warm and it is the best place to see manatees in a non-captive environment. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at the gift shop and there are plenty of amenities for a day out. When the manatees cannot be seen, the butterfly garden is a pretty place to be explored and birds and other wildlife can be found too.
9. Southwest Florida Museum of History
Inside a former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot, the museum of history educates visitors on the areas interesting past. Exhibits include the lives of early settlers, Spanish explorers, the Seminoles and Paleo Indians. There is a 1929 private Pullman rail car where the private dining car, lounge and servant quarters can be explored and a replica of a pioneer cracker house. The museum opens between 10am and 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and admission costs $9.50 for adults and $5 for students and children under 4 are free.
8. Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Fishing Pier
The Sanibel Lighthouse is a 98-foot tall tower which was first lit in 1884. It was built to mark the entrance to the San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island. The impending structure and beach are a favoured spot for photographers, being the most photographed landmark in Sanibel Island. Although there are no tours of the lighthouse itself, visitors can enjoy the surrounding area. At the fishing pier snapper, redfish, seatrout and more can be found in the waters. The attraction is absolutely free but parking at the location costs $4 per hour.
7. Fort Myers farmers market
Every Thursday from 7am until 1pm the farmers market is found underneath the Caloosahatchee Bridge in Centennial Park. The market has been in operation since 1995 and the vendors and stalls have grown in number each year. Find vegetables, fruits, herbs and seafood. Locally baked goods consisting of artisan breads, croissants, cookies and more. Even non edible goods such as flowers, plants and homemade soaps. Lots to take in, take your time to browse and shop. A great choice if you are staying self-catering for a romantic weekend in Fort Myers.
6. McGregor Boulevard
A cool palm lined street that leads to downtown, McGregor boulevard stretches 14 miles and is the traditional entrance to the city. When in Fort Myers take a stroll and enjoy the restored buildings, browse the beach stores and dine in the pretty eateries that are dotted along the route. Driving along the road can be busy with traffic but it is worth it for the view. The estimated 1800 Royal palm trees line the road, some towering over 75 feet tall. A lovely way to pass the time in the city.
5. Imaginarium science center
This hands on science museum provides hours of entertainment for kids and the whole family. There is a marine touch tank where life stingrays can be handled and daily animal encounters. Discover how to dig for fossils, have fun with the science of motion, explore the fisheye lagoon and watch a 3D movie. The imaginarium science center has exhibits for all ages and is one of the best fun family places to visit in Fort Myers! Find the center on Cranford Avenue, opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday noon-5pm. Admission prices are $12 for adults and $8 for children.
4. Florida Repertory Theatre
The arcade theatre was built in 1908 and is recognised as one of Americas top repertory companies. The theatre draws more than 80,000 people to see the variety of dramas, musicals and comedies on offer. The historic building is enough to marvel at without the knowledge that figures such as Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison had watched films in the same place. Today you can catch The Seafarer a well-liked production nominated for best play. Box office hours are 10am-1pm in Summer and Mon to Sat 10am-5pm and one hour before curtain times.
3. JetBlue Park
The JetBlue park at Fenway South is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Major League Baseball team. It opened in March 2012 and the ballpark has a capacity for 11,000 fans. It was designed to recreate Boston’s home Fenway Park. The stadium is a great place for an enjoyable family day out. There is plenty of parking available and the proceeds contribute towards the Boys and Girls club of Lee County. The tickets vary in price but it is a good idea to book in advance.
2. Lovers Key State Park
In the past the romantic beach was only accessible by boat and lovers would travel here to be alone. Now it is easily visited by boardwalk or tram. The two-mile-long sandy beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Although there are a lot of tourists the area is well looked after and mostly unspoiled meaning there is also an abundance of wildlife here. The park is open every day from 8am until sundown. Admission is $8 per vehicle containing up to 8 persons, $4 for single occupant vehicles and $2 for pedestrians, cyclists and extra passengers.
1. Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The historic complex gives visitors the chance to learn about the two famous inventors and business leaders, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The grounds span 20 acres of buildings and gardens as well as the museum and research lab. The houses are newly restored and the museums contain inventions and artefacts including some of the first light bulbs burning in the lab. There are different tours that can be taken starting at $20 for adults, $11 for children and free for under 5’s. The estates are open 9am to 530pm daily.
So as you can see there is a great range of things to do in Fort Myers. The city is easy to get around and the climate is perfect for cycling, being a very bicycle friendly place. The bus service is also a good way to discover the location quickly. There are plenty of places to stay with a range of hotels which vary in price. Whether it’s a relaxing break on an action packed holiday there is something for everyone.