Popularly known as Cow town in the 1800's, Fort Myers is the commercial center of Lee County in Florida. Fort Myers is also referred to as the 'City of palms' and is a great resort travel destination. Serving as a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, this place is steeped in history and attracts tourists all through the year.
A peep into the past reveals that Thomas Edison became unwell out of exhaustion at the age of 34 and his doctor asked him to shift with immediate effect to a warm working environment. Thomas Edison chose Fort Myers and constructed a house near the banks of Caloosahatchee that served as his winter home. Read on to plan out your Fort Myers travel.
Fort Myers travel
Edison and Ford homes: The homes of the renowned scientist Thomas Edison and automobile wizard Henry Ford are located close to each other at McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. Both the estates are separated by a common gate named as 'friendship gate' attributing the closeness of the owners. The Henry Ford home is named 'The mangoes' and the Edison home is named 'Seminole lodge'.
Edison's home was used as a winter abode by the family for over 50 years. The house still hangs few of Edison's first light bulbs in the lab. The estate is a wonderful place and has a collection of plants planted by Edison while he traveled across the world. The banyan tree outside the ticket office was planted and grown by Edison from a sapling; this banyan tree is the largest banyan tree in the state.
Bailey-Mathews shell museum: People who love to collect shells will love the collection of exquisite shells displayed in this museum is located in the Sanibel islands. A huge globe in the museum displays shells collected from all over the world.
Thomas Edison laboratory and museum: This museum is located in the Edison estate and houses many inventions of Thomas Edison, light bulbs, test tubes and more!
Fort Myers historical museum: This museum is located in the former Atlantic coastline railroad depot. Details about the early settlers of southwest Florida and artifacts of these settlers are displayed here.
Imaginarium: Imaginarium is a science center and a perfect place for children of all ages to enjoy themselves. The display includes a living coral reef, an alligator lagoon, a dinosaur excavation area etc.
Lover's key state park: One of the most beautiful parks of southwest Florida, the entry point to this park lies between Black Islands and Bonita Beach. The beaches in this area retain their scenic splendor and are untouched by human hands. This area is also home to a variety of wild animals. The park is spread over an area of 700 acres where sunbathing, swimming, shelling, and picnicking are the famous activities.
Captiva beach: Located in Captiva Island, this beach is the most popular among tourists. With a steady flow of visitors collecting shells, this beach is also termed as the most romantic beaches of this area.
Sanibel lighthouse: No visitors are allowed to enter this historic place. The lighthouse is 60feet tall and is poised majestically as a guard to the San Carlos Bay from the 1880's.
Barrier islands: Gasparilla Island, Cayo Costa and North Captiva collectively form the Barrier islands. These islands can be reached only with a boat on a day adventure.
Islands of Fort Myers: There are more than 100 coastal islands in different shapes and sizes off the west coast of Fort Meyers, among them Captiva and Sanibel islands have been tastefully developed as island resorts.
Activities at Fort Myers
The beautiful coastline of southwest Florida makes it a wonderful place for water adventures and sports. The backwaters of this area attract a lot of tourists and locals.
Fishing and boating: Numerous artificial reefs in the Gulf coast showcase a rich bionetwork that is perfect for deep-water fishing. The unpolluted waters prove to be the best natural nurseries for shrimps, small fishes and crabs which in turn prove to be the ideal feeding place for large gaming fishes. Fishing tournaments are held in the month of April, May and June when large numbers of tarpon migrate into these waters.
Cruises are available aplenty on the Caloosahatchee River or in any of the waterways in this area. Yacht cruise, canoeing, kayaking etc are other popular water activities in this place.
Golf: Few of the best and attractive golf courses of the world are located here and many golf enthusiasts from all over the world come here to play golf.
Festival of lights: To commemorate Thomas Edison a three week light festival is held here every year in the month of February. Science and invention exhibitions, orchid shows, sailing regatta etc also are conducted during this period.
Sanibel shell fair: This fair is conducted every year in the month of March, shells and shell products are displayed.
American sand sculpting festival: Fort Myers has the most excellent sand in entire North America. The American sculpting festival is held here every year in the first weekend of November.
Fort Myers is served by the southwest Florida international airport. From the airport you can reach the city either by Amtrak buses or by private taxis. Public bus service is available to all places in Fort Myers except for Sanibel and Captiva islands. There is no direct train service to Fort Myers; the nearest railway station is Tampa. The climate in Florida is temperate all through the year with intermittent rains. Travel to Fort Myers between December and May. Hotels, resort, condos are available both in the city and near the beach.