Located on the southwest coast of Florida, situated along the Caloosahatchee River, and it is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area, Fort Myers is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its sun-kissed beaches, cultural attractions, and a rich historical tapestry. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Fort Myers has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Fort Myers, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this captivating destination.
- Explore Edison and Ford Winter Estates:
Begin your Fort Myers adventure by delving into the fascinating history of two of America’s most iconic inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates offer a glimpse into the lives of these visionaries, with meticulously preserved homes, botanical gardens, and an impressive museum. Take a guided tour to learn about their contributions to technology and innovation.
- Relax at Fort Myers Beach:
No visit to Fort Myers is complete without basking in the sun at its renowned beaches. Fort Myers Beach, with its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, is a haven for beach lovers. Whether you’re into water sports, shell collecting, or simply lounging by the shore with a good book, this beach has it all. Don’t forget to catch the breathtaking sunset – a daily spectacle that paints the sky in hues of pink and orange.
- Journey Through the Edison and Ford Winter Estates Gardens:
Apart from the historical homes, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates boast stunning botanical gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush landscapes, featuring rare plants, exotic flowers, and towering palms. The gardens provide a serene retreat, allowing visitors to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty that surrounds this historic site.
- Visit the Imaginarium Science Center:
For a family-friendly experience filled with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, the Imaginarium Science Center is a must-visit. Perfect for curious minds of all ages, this science center combines education with entertainment. Explore exhibits on marine life, the human body, and the principles of physics through engaging displays and live demonstrations.
- Discover the Great Calusa Blueway:
Fort Myers is a gateway to the Great Calusa Blueway, a paddler’s paradise encompassing 190 miles of marked canoe and kayak trails. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler, embark on a water adventure through mangrove tunnels, estuaries, and coastal waters. The Great Calusa Blueway offers a unique perspective of Florida’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife.
- Indulge in Culinary Delights at Downtown Fort Myers:
Downtown Fort Myers is a haven for food enthusiasts, with its eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes. Explore the vibrant culinary scene, ranging from seafood joints to fine dining establishments. Try local specialties like Gulf shrimp, Florida stone crab, and Key lime pie. After a satisfying meal, stroll through the historic streets adorned with art galleries, boutiques, and theaters.
- Manatee Park:
Head to Manatee Park for a unique wildlife experience. This refuge is home to the gentle giants of the sea, the manatees. During the colder months, these warm-blooded mammals gather in the park’s canals. Take a kayak or paddleboard tour to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
- Art Walks in the River District:
Immerse yourself in Fort Myers’ thriving arts scene by joining the monthly Art Walks in the River District. Local galleries open their doors to showcase a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media. It’s a fantastic opportunity to engage with the local arts community and maybe even take home a unique piece.
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary:
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a pristine wilderness that is home to diverse flora and fauna. Wander along the elevated boardwalk that winds through ancient cypress forests and wetlands, providing an up-close encounter with wildlife, including alligators, otters, and a plethora of bird species.
- JetBlue Park:
Baseball fans shouldn’t miss the chance to catch a game or tour the JetBlue Park, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. Even if it’s not baseball season, the park offers tours that provide insight into the team’s history and the unique features of the stadium.
- Shell Factory and Nature Park:
For a family-friendly outing, head to the Shell Factory and Nature Park. This attraction combines an amusement park, zoo, botanical garden, and retail center. Enjoy arcade games, go-kart racing, and a wildlife encounter featuring exotic animals. Don’t forget to explore the massive shell-themed retail store for souvenirs.
- Caloosahatchee Regional Park:
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the trails and natural beauty of Caloosahatchee Regional Park. With hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and serene water views, this park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including birds and butterflies.
- Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve:
Get in touch with Florida’s wetland ecosystems at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. This linear ecosystem features a mile-long boardwalk winding through a cypress swamp, providing an opportunity to observe native plants and wildlife, including turtles, alligators, and a variety of bird species.
- Fort Myers Historical Museum:
Delve into the city’s past at the Fort Myers Historical Museum. Exhibits showcase the region’s history, from its Native American roots to the early settlers and the growth of the city. It’s a fascinating journey through time, providing context to the vibrant community you see today.
- Fishing Charters:
Take advantage of Fort Myers’ proximity to the Gulf of Mexico by booking a fishing charter. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, experienced guides can take you to prime fishing spots, where you might reel in snook, tarpon, and other sought-after species.
Fort Myers, Florida, is a destination that seamlessly blends history, nature, and modern amenities. Whether you’re exploring the estates of iconic inventors, relaxing on sun-soaked beaches, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Fort Myers offers a diverse range of activities for every traveler. Make the most of your visit to this captivating city, and create memories that will last a lifetime.