One defining characteristic of Fort Myers is being the winter destinations of two prominent figures in the United States. Famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison and industrialist Henry Ford both spend time here due to the beauty of the surroundings. Nature tours and beach trips make up the range of fun activities in this southwestern part of Florida, due to its location on the side of Caloosahatchee river.
Once built as a military fort against the Seminole Indians in the American Indian Wars, it also served as an outpost for the Floridian Confederacy during the Civil War. This changed, however, in 1866 when Manuel Gonzalez and his family settled here to build a trading post with the Seminoles. A period of development followed when Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia connected Lake Okeechobee with Caloosahatchee river. This opened the way for steamboats, as well the construction of other infrastructure, which heralded the growth of the city.
What to see & do
Travelers going to Fort Myers will find the area a delightful experience. One could start with the Edison and Ford winter estates which feature 20 acres of historic buildings and gardens. Those visiting Dr. Edison's place will find restored buildings with modern facilities. The Edison Botanic Research Lab Is particularly a revelation, as this is where the remarkable genius of Dr. Edison and his staff discovered how useful goldenrod can be in the production of natural rubber. One should also visit the estates' museum which gathers quite a breathtaking collection of inventions and special exhibits of the two major personalities.
After a tour of the amazing contributions of Dr. Edison and Mr. Ford, one can visit the Burroughs home and gardens. The Georgian Revival mansion houses a variety of antique furnishings and historical artifacts, as well as a look in the life of the Floridian elite in the early 20th century. Those who want to learn more about the events that shaped the life in Fort Myers can turn to the Southwest Florida Museum of History. The exhibits trace the roots of the city from the precolonial period when the Native Americans roam the countryside freely to the first foray of Spanish explorers and early settlers. Displays such as the first Pullman rail car can also be found here, which can excite those interested in the background of the city.
Those visiting Fort Myers with children can venture to the Imaginarium Science Center. The little ones will have fun with the interactive displays which lets them have fun while learning about various sea creatures and other topics. From there, the family can go ice skating in Skatium where one can have fun with the little ones as they learn to slide on ice while keeping their balance.
How to get around within Fort Myers
Those going around the sights of Fort Myers can ride the bus to reach their destination. The fare is relatively cheap, which allow one to stretch their budget for their stay. Those going on intercity travel can also rely on Greyhound buses which leave for the surrounding cities near the area. One can also rent a car for those who are dissatisfied with the local transport. Taxis are also available for those looking for a fast and convenient commute.
How to get there
Tourists going to Fort Myers will probably land on Southwest Florida International Airport. Those from international locations can board flights on the following airlines: Air Berlin, Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, US Airways Express, and WestJet.
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