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Southwest Florida Info - Fort Myers


Fort Myers - The City of Palms is located in Southwestern Florida on the south banks of the Caloosahatchee River and is known for the deep-sea fishing, the golf courses and the famous white sand beaches and islands that line the Gulf Coast. A renovation of the city's downtown waterfront promises new restaurants, clubs, shops and galleries. The rhythm of the city blends with staid beauty and history in downtown Fort Myers. People in business suits hurrying from the courthouse or financial offices pass vacationers in shorts meandering through the collection of specialty shops or pausing in the shade of a sprawling banyan tree outside grand, historic buildings. Yachts dock at the marina at Centennial Park and Yacht Basin alongside sailboats and smaller pleasure crafts stopping for a nice meal or a relaxing sunset. Attractions include the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, as well as nearby Naples and the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.

Fort Myers is the seat of Lee County and home of much of the areaís history. Itís apparent in the architecture downtown and in nearby neighborhoods-most notably just south of the downtown area, where Fort Myers most celebrated residents lived. The Edison-Ford Winter Estates-the former homes of seasonal residents and friends Thomas Alva Edison and Henry Ford-is arguably the cityís most popular spot for visitors. A tour of the estates takes peoples through the winter homes of these two remarkable men as well as through Edisonís laboratory and extensive gardens. Fort Myers celebrated Edison annually with the Edison Festival of Light, featuring pageants, parties, a parade, and other activities and events.

History buffs can learn much more at the Fort Myers Historical Museum about the areaís prehistory when huge armadillo-like creatures walked the earth, to the history of the Calusa Indians, U.S. soldiers, Florida Crackers, and homesteaders who subsequently left their marks on the region.

Sports enthusiasts have terrific opportunities in Fort Myers- apart from the obvious water activities that abound. Baseball fans flock to Fort Myers each spring to watch the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins in spring training. In the summer, the Twins farm team, the Fort Myers Miracle, keep fans at the Lee County Sports Complex happy. Hockey lovers and ice skaters indulge their passions at the Fort Myers Skatium or a few miles south in Estero, where Germain Arena is home to the Florida Everblades team.

Those in search of arts and culture find them at the Arcade Theatre downtown, where Florida Repertory Theater Company stage regular productions, and the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater and its associated Off-Broadway Palm Theater, where professional musicals and other productions take place. Lee County Alliance of the Arts offer classes and presents art exhibits, as well as drama productions and music in its indoor and outdoor venues. Among these are cutting-edge dramas by Theatre Conspiracy, which also hosts the annual playwright contest. And the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, home of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, offers a regular menu of ballet, rock groups, Broadway productions, chamber music, comedians and a pleasing diversity of other arts and entertainment. Families also have plenty of options, including the Imaginarium where children explore science through sensory attractions and activities.

Southwest Floridaís natural places make the region different from any other on earth, and visitors can explore mangrove forest, swamps, and other unique habitats in several areas. Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium provides an informative look and special programs about the regionís natural systems and animals. Special presentations also are staged periodically in the planetarium. Manatee Park allows winter visitors to get a close-up look at these gentle water giants in their natural habitat, and Six Mile Cypress Slough gives visitors a feeling for the regionís wetlands and the creatures that inhabit them. Lakes Park is a good spot for those who prefer to walk or bicycle along nature trails-simply to relax after a busy day sightseeing around Fort Myers.

Map of Ft. Myers

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Links of Interest
(3rd party links will open in a new window):
Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Inc.
City of Fort Myers website 
The Beaches of Fort Myers / Sanibel  
Miracle Professional Baseball Club



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