Fort Myers City Guide
About Fort Myers
Fort Myers which is known as the ‘City of Palms’ is a city located in southwest Florida on the eastern banks of the Caloosahatchee River, east of the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Myers was one of the first forts to be built along the Caloosahatchee River that was used as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians in the mid-19th century.
In 1885, Thomas Edison made Fort Myers his winter getaway, ever since that time people from the northern states have flocked to Fort Myers to enjoy its year round warm, balmy weather, golden sand beaches and water-based activities. Twenty years later Henry Ford followed Edison to Fort Myers and today both their former homes are prominent attractions in Fort Myers.
Fort Myers offers a wide array of activities like sailing, boating, fishing, and visiting beach communities and islands like Sanibel, Estero and8 Captiva. The Fort Myers region also has another claim to fame as it regularly hosts the spring training sessions of the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins major league baseball teams.
All these various attractions render Fort Myers as a choice vacation destination which is visited by millions of holiday-makers annually.
Where to stay in Fort Myers
Fort Myers is largely a safe city though it does have a few scattered neighborhoods, which are located east and southeast of downtown, where it is wise to use a bit of caution, especially at night.
Town of Fort Myers Beach
The Fort Myers beach area which is located on Estero Island in Fort Myers is a coveted accommodation spot in the city Fort Myers. Fort Myers Beach, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge, has been voted the safest beach in the world as it has no undertow and shallow waters. This gorgeous beach area stretches for 7 miles along the island and affords gorgeous views of the Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Fort Myers Beach offers a wide range of accommodation options that range from luxurious resort properties to well priced discount hotels and budget accommodations. The Fort Myers Beach area offers a whole host of water based recreational activities like jet-skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing, which are immensely popular with more than 1.8 million visitors who choose to vacation and stay in the area annually. Aside from these water based activities, the area also offers various other entertainment options like movie theatres, bowling alleys, marinas and casino boats.
Captiva Island is a barrier island that is located offshore of Fort Myers and connected to the mainland via the Sanibal Causeway. Captiva Island also offers a wide range of accommodation options that include resort hotels, spa hotels, extended- stay hotels and discount hotels and budget accommodations. The Captiva Island area also offers a whole host of activities like golfing, fishing, tennis and boating which are popular with vacationers who choose to stay on Captiva island.
Sanibel Island is yet another barrier island, which located off the Florida coast and is connected to the Fort Myers city area via the Sanibal causeway. Sanibal is equipped with a wide range of accommodation options like luxury hotels, spa hotels, resort hotels and extended-stay hotels. Further the area is known for its shell filled beaches and is also equipped with excellent restaurants, the renowned J.N. ‘Ding Darling’ National Wildlife Refuge and Bird sanctuary’ and facilities for golfing, fishing, biking, shopping and more.
Places to see in Fort Myers
If you are on vacation in Fort Myers with your kids, you should make a plan a visit to the Imaginarium. The Imaginarium is an interactive museum housed in the old city water plant that features 60 hands-on exhibits like a TV studio, a stimulated hurricane, a hot air balloon launch along with a marine touch tank and fresh and saltwater aquariums. The Imaginarium promises to provide hours of fun for all the family.
Seminole Gulf Railway
The Seminole Gulf railway is the original railroad that operated between Fort Myers and Naples. Today it is used only for sight-seeing trips and excursions around the area.
Southwest Florida Museum of History
This museum is housed in a restored Spanish style depot and was served by the Atlantic Coast Line. It offers exhibits that chronicle the rich history of Fort Myers. The museum also offers guided walking tours in the winter.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The Thomas Edison and Ford Winter Estates are the most prominent attractions in Fort Myers. Thomas Edison moved to Fort Myers in 1886 and used the home as a winter retreat until 1931. His good friend Henry Ford moved here in 1915. Both the estates are now owned by the City of Fort Myers and they are open to the public.
Both these house-museums are filled with rich memorabilia and definitely worth visiting. On the tour you can even explore the 14-acre tropical botanical garden that was developed by Edison and his wife and features plants, flowers and trees imported from all over the world including a huge banyan tree from India.
The Fort Myers area is known for its many simmering sand beaches like Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Capitva , Bonita Springs, Naples, Bowman’s Beach and Lovers Key State Park. All these gorgeous beaches offer numerous attractions as well as stunningly pretty shells.
Best time to visit Fort Myers
Fort Myers is known to be a year round destination as it experiences warm, balmy weather for nearly 300 days of the year. The weather in Fort Myers features long, hot, humid summers and mild winters though the area also experiences a rainy season that lasts from June to September. The average temperatures in the month of January in Fort Myers usually register approximately 64.9 °F (18.3 °C) while during the month of August the average temperatures in Fort Myers usually hover around 83.1 °F (28.4 °C). The city experiences an annual average temperature of 74.9 °F (23.8 °C), which renders it an all weather destination that can be visited at any time of the year.
Fare Buzz, in fact, routinely offers attractive flight deals for Fort Myers, so if you are planning a fun in the sun getaway, to this historic city of Lee County and are desirous of finding cheap air flights for your trip, you should check back with Fare Buzz often to snag your cheap air tickets to Fort Myers.
Getting around in Fort Myers
Fort Myers is served by Southwest Florida International Airport. The Fort Myers airport welcomes a whole host of full service and low cost domestic carriers that make the perennially sunny vacation destination of Fort Myers extremely easy to access.
Public transport in the Fort Myers region is provided by a network of public buses, which are operated by Lee Tran. The area is also served by taxis that are operated by private taxi companies. If you are staying within the Fort Myers beach area on Estero Island you can also use the Fort Myers Beach trolley to get around.
However most visitors to Fort Myers elect to rent a car for the duration of their stay in Fort Myers for public transportation doesn’t serve all areas of the city. If you need to rent a car for your Fort Myers vacation, you should contact Fare Buzz with your requirements as we offer an assortment of affordable car rentals for Fort Myers which can be booked via our usual booking platforms.
Where to shop in Fort Myers
The vacation paradise, Fort Meyers, surprisingly offers excellent shopping options. This City of Palms, hosts a plethora of malls and shopping centers like the Bell Tower Shops, the Gulf Coast Town Center, Edison Mall and Coconut Point. These varied shopping destinations host outlets of well-known American brands like Banana Republic, Gap, Ulta, Apple along with outposts of popular department stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sears and JC Penney that usually serve as anchor tenants at malls.
If however you want a ‘local’ shopping experience in Fort Meyers then a stroll around the River district in downtown Fort Meyers is definitely recommended. Located here are various interesting shopping locales, which offer countless options for souvenir shopping. A recommended stop is the Franklin Shops on First Street, a two-storey building that hosts a selection of chic boutiques, art galleries and even cafes. Other stores worth a visit include Arts for ACT Gallery, where proceeds from the sales of artifacts goes to aid victims of domestic abuse and Main Street Antiques and Collectibles which offers a treasure trove of antiques, vintage items and other curiosities.
Bailey’s General Store, a family-run enterprise, situated on Sanibel Island that offers everything you probably ‘need’ whilst on vacation is also worth a visit as is the Island Style Gallery, an institution that has been in existence for several years and offers an eclectic collection of furniture, hand-crafted decorative accents, soft furnishings, pottery, jewelry and more. Items perfect to bring back as souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.
If however, you rather have shopping options that are easy on your wallet, then you will be delighted to learn Fort Meyers also offers much opportunity to shop for bargains at its Tanger and Miromar outlet malls.
Where to eat in Fort Myers
While the dining scene in Fort Meyers is not quite eclectic, the city offers a sufficiently diverse mix of independent restaurants and cafes which are not part of a chain. Popular dining spots in this Florida beach town include eateries like Clam Bake (seafood), Fancy’s Southern Café, Cibo (Mediterranean), Sweet Melissa’s Café( New American), Crave(French), Austrian-German Restaurant(German), Grimaldi’s Brick Oven Pizza and Blue Windows Bistro (French).
Nightlife in Fort Myers
Fort Meyers like various beach towns offers a lively nightlife scene. Thumping dance clubs, bars, cocktail lounges and live-music venues abound in downtown Fort Meyers and on Sanibel Island. Popular nightlife haunts in and around Fort Meyers currently includes joints like Lush (wine bar), The Firestone (bar and nightclub), Indigo Room, Sandy Parrot Tiki Bar and Grille and Blush (all dance clubs), Fuel Tap and Tavern, Beached Whale and Ford’s Garage (bars).