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Top Five Fort Myers Attractions

Fort Myers’ islands, beaches, and neighbourhoods are jam-packed with unmissable sights and attractions showcasing the area’s dynamic culture, natural beauty, cultural diversity, and so much more. To help you plan your next trip to Fort Myers we’ve compiled our top five list of attractions you can’t afford to miss on your next visit.

1. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates

First on the list are the landmark winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Thomas Edison purchased a property on this expansive estate first in 1886, followed by Henry Ford in 1915. Both used the homes for the duration of their lives for sunny winter escapes.

Today a visit to the estate will enable you to tour the main homes, guest houses, caretakers lodgings, pools and the pier that were used during their lifetimes. On site, you’ll also find the expansive 15,000sq ft Edison Ford Museum which features fascinating exhibitions and inventions, along with costumed actors. The wider grounds include 20 acres of botanical gardens with 1,700 plants.

2. The Florida Repertory Theatre

The Florida Repertory Theatre is housed in the Historic Arcade Theatre building which first opened in 1915, and served as a cinema and a Vaudeville house theatre. The original building was built as part of a regenerative 20th-century development in Downtown Fort Myers. The current Florida Repertory Theatre opened in the building in 1998.

As part of the reopening, the theatre has been restored and renovated and is used to host a variety of thrilling theatre productions in the main theatre room along with the smaller ArtStage Studio theatre, which opened more recently in 2009. This smaller space hosts 120 guests and is used for smaller productions and one-man plays.

Each year the theatre puts on performances for 10,000 guests and young people. Educational programs include art therapy for children with autism, programmes for advanced theatre students, along with introductory programmes to inspire interest in the arts.

Shows currently running in the Sep 2023 – May 2024 season include A Sherlock Carol, Beguiled Again, The Legend of Georgia McBride and many more.

3. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a 3,500-acre narrow wetland ecosystem which is home to a variety of local wildlife including alligators, birds, turtles, and otters. It is also used as a stopping point for species of migratory birds.

The preserve was founded after residents highlighted the need to step in and protect local ecosystems and elected to do this through increased taxes to fund the project. Following this, the boardwalk trail was opened in 1991 by the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department so the preserve could be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.

The mile-long boardwalk trail includes observation decks, maps, and free information for those wishing to learn more about this incredible ecosystem. Guided tours led by experts can also be booked. Visitors can also explore the onsite interpretive centre, and paid parking is also available.

4. IMAG History and Science Center 

The IMAG History and Science Center is a family friendly museum which focuses primarily on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) along with the local history and culture of Southwest Florida.  The centre has a variety of incredible exhibits and displays including an aquarium, along with activities for all ages.

The centre also includes an onsite restaurant, the Snack House Café, along with the vibrant Snack House Exhibit. This exhibit includes a range of 1950s memorabilia and displays from the original Snack House Café which was open from 1949 – 1993 in Fort Myers. When it first opened. the Snack House Café was the first restaurant in Fort Myers with air conditioning, and it quickly became a local landmark in the area. The original 1950s sign has been refurbished by IMAG and can be seen on your visit.

5. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is famous around the world as a stopping point for migratory birds. This 7,600-acre wildlife refuge was created in 1945 by Harry Truman via an executive order to protect local wildlife and was later renamed after the conservationist Jay Norwood Darling in 1967. It is especially known for its diversity of birds, with over 245 different species.

A free centre is open every day which includes programs and tours. A 4-mile scenic drive can also be taken, and you can spend anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day on your visit. Available activities include fishing, cycling, bird watching, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Dogs are allowed on leads.

There is plenty to do in fantastic Fort Myers all year round with activities to suit all age ranges and tastes. Whether you fancy a romantic couples break, a family sunshine escape, or a trip back through time by immersing yourself in the area’s living history. Get in touch with our travel experts today to book your dream getaway!

Feeling inspired? Book your next escape now, or find out more by visiting our dedicated Fort Myers page below.

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