Fort Myers

The City of Palms


< 14 years
< 2 years
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Fort Myers, originally named after a Civil War army colonel, was best known as the winter home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Today, this riverfront city is a compelling destination for business, pleasure and shopping, as well as a main connection point to the Keys further south. You’ll find historic attractions, beautiful nature preserves and entertainment pleasures that start once the sun sets over the Caloosahatchee River…a breathtaking sight you won’t want to miss. Currently 18 airline partners serve RSW with nonstop service throughout North America and international service to Canada and Germany. With flights to major gateways like Atlanta, Chicago, New York and more, travelers have access to convenient connections worldwide.

Housed inside a historic train depot is the Southwest Florida Museum of History. Exhibits, artifacts and tours trace Florida from pre-historic to modern day, including a Cracker House and 1929 Pullman train car. Little ones will love the interactive Imaginarium Hands-On Museum & Aquarium. For kids nine and up, check out the Edison and Ford Winter Estates: 20 acres of historic buildings, gardens and museum displays that honor their famous former residents.


Immerse yourself in authentic Florida at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, (pronounced “slew”) and bring binoculars if you have them. This 2,500 acre wetland sanctuary is 9 miles long and 1/3 mile wide, home to diverse plants and animals, including endangered species. Put your putting skills to the test at Castle Golf: locally-owned and voted #1 in Florida by Florida Monthly magazine with top reviews by mini golf enthusiasts. The 18-hole course surrounds you in waterfalls, water fountains and lush tropical plants.


Fort Myers and the surrounding area is known for outlet shopping: Florida residents often make the drive from cites to the north, south and east to check out goods here. Start with the designer deals at Tangers Outlets. Add charming, turn-of-the-century atmosphere with a stroll through the River District downtown, blending early 20th century architecture with modern shops and galleries and restaurants. Shop outdoors at the village-like Gulf Coast Town Center. Twenty big name retail anchor stores, 50 specialty shops and 20+ restaurants. Go antiquing at many shops in and outside the city. Flea market fans will love 900+ store Fleamasters Flea Market.


Start the day with tasty skillets at the extra-friendly Oasis downtown. If fine dining is what you crave, Roy’s fits the bill: European techniques and Asian cuisine meet Hawaiian hospitality. Catch a game on TV, live music or kick back on the outdoors patio at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille: inventive drinks and a big menu of classics and island-inspired fare like Caribbean Jerk Tostados, fish tacos, mussels, Doc Ford’s Famous Fish Fingers, Heat Island Chicken, paella and more.


Classic dive bar atmosphere, quirky clientele and reasonable prices are what loyal locals and visitors love most about the Half Shell Lounge, a 20+ year Fort Myers stalwart. Hot blues, cold beer and good eats are at the World Famous Buckingham Blues Bar, along with a spacious backyard hosting monthly outdoors blues music performances. Spirits of Bacchus has a gastropub feel with hard-to-find beers, tapas, huge menu, casual atmosphere and younger crowd.


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