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