Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

A- Overview:
Fort Myers, a tranquil town located on Florida’s west coast, is known the world over for the Festival of Lights that celebrates its famous resident, Thomas Edison. It is even better known for the fact that visitors can experience some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches just minutes from downtown.

The city is one of the most frequented winter destinations as people from the north escape the cold for the warm, tropical breezes of south Florida. Winter is by far the busiest season as many visitors from the cold north come to visit this tranquil Florida paradise. Any time of year is good for golf. With a variety of challenging public courses available, there is one to fit any level and with the beautiful scenery of the area, it’s a wonderful experience, regardless of the score.

With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, one “must do” sport is the art of “shelling”. Picture a warm breeze, soft sand, the Gulf waters gently rolling onto the beach, while walking right at the water’s edge searching for that perfect shell that is about to roll in with the tide.

Of course there are many attractions, museums, restaurants, sports opportunities, and shopping available as well. Of particular interest to anyone visiting the area, is the Edison & Ford Winter Estate. As one of the nation’s most visited historic homes, the Estate includes 20 acres of historic buildings and gardens, Edison’s original rubber lab, a large museum, food and retail areas, and river cruises on a replica of his electric launch. It’s truly electrifying!

For a unique experience, the Imaginarium is the place to visit. Conveniently located in town,

the Imaginarium is a hands on museum that offers exciting interactive exhibits for all ages including live animals, a hurricane simulator, wide-screen movie theater, dino dig, and an early-childhood exploration area.

To enjoy a variety of attractions in one venue, be sure to visit The Shell Factory and Nature Park

to enjoy nature, ride the rides, ‘shop til you drop,’ or see some of Mother Nature’s finest creations.. Not only does the Shell Factory include a collection of common and rare shells, sponges, coral, fossils and sea life specimens; there are a host of other things to do and see. For the fun seeker, there are arcade games, miniature golf, and even a radar gun to test the speed of a pitch. If you want to get bumped around a little, bumper boats are available. In addition, the Nature Park features a petting zoo, environmental education center, and a botanical trail and garden. It’s a day of education and fun for the entire family.

And what visit to south Florida would be complete without seeing an alligator or two? The Everglades Day Safari offers daily departures from town to the famous Florida Everglades.

It’s an exciting adventure through the different kingdoms that make up the “Everglades.” Guests are accompanied by highly trained guides who discuss the past, present and future of this truly unique area. You’ll want to bring your camera for this one.

After a visit to this wonderfully tranquil, yet exciting Florida City, you’ll know why Thomas Edison made it his home and why Henry Ford personally opened the first Ford dealership here. It is a vacation destination you will love to visit and that you won’t want to leave.

B- City Information:
Population: 48,208

Elevation: 10 feet above sea level

Location: Located very near the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern Florida, near Interstate 75

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Fort Myers, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Fort Myers observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October.

Land Area: 31.8 square miles

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
64.8
66.0
69.9
73.5
78.7
82.2
83.0
83.1
82.1
77.5
71.6
66.3

High temperature (°F)
75.3
76.5
80.5
84.5
89.1
91.2
91.7
91.7
90.3
86.3
81.3
76.6

Low temperature (°F)
54.4
55.3
59.2
62.6
68.3
73.0
74.1
74.4
73.8
68.5
62.0
56.1

Precipitation (in)
2.2
2.1
2.7
1.7
3.4
9.7
8.9
9.5
7.8
2.6
1.7
1.6

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
6
5
6
4
8
15
18
18
16
8
4
5

Wind speed (mph)
8.3
8.9
9.3
8.8
8.0
7.2
6.6
6.7
7.4
8.4
8.1
7.9

Morning humidity (%)
89
88
89
88
88
89
89
91
92
90
90
89

Afternoon humidity (%)
57
54
52
48
50
58
60
60
61
57
56
57

Sunshine (%)
65
67
73
76
74
68
68
67
66
68
66
63

Days clear of clouds
11
10
11
11
10
5
2
2
4
11
11
11

Partly cloudy days
12
11
12
13
15
16
18
19
16
13
12
12

Cloudy days
9
7
8
6
6
10
11
10
11
8
7
8

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

Winter is by far the busiest season as many visitors from the cold north come to visit this tranquil Florida paradise. With its numerous golf courses, proximity to the beach as well as closeness to other major Florida cities including Miami and Orlando, Fort Myers has become a haven for winter “escapees” desiring a warm beautiful day with a tropical breeze. With high temperatures near 80 F and low temperatures still in the mid-high 50’s F, this time of year allows the visitor to experience virtually anything, from a day at the beach for that perfect tan, to visiting many of the areas fine attractions. After all, Thomas Edison chose Fort Myers as home. Spring and fall are less crowded with temperatures approaching 90 F. Late spring and early fall allow visitors to enjoy many of the outdoor activities. Of particular interest is shell hunting along the beautiful nearby beaches. Summers can be hot and humid but with a breeze from the Gulf of Mexico, it tends to be a good time for shopping, and partaking of the many indoor activities available while still spending time out of doors.

How to Get There:

By Car:

Easily accessible by car from Interstate 75 from the north (Tampa) or south (Miami) to Route 80 West.

By Air:

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)

16000 Chamberlin Parkway

Fort Myers, FL 33913

941-768-1000

Southwest Florida International Airport’s 381,000-square-foot, two-level terminal complex is designed for passenger comfort and convenience. Many of the national airlines as well as certain regional carriers serve the airport. During the winter season, there are additional flights available.

By Train:

Amtrak

6050 Plaza Drive
Fort Myers Travel Plaza
Fort Myers, FL 33906

800-USA-RAIL

By Bus:

Greyhound

2250 Peck Street
Ft Myers, FL 33901

239-334-1011

How to Get Around:

The easiest way to get around town and visit all of the nearby towns is by either personal or rental car. Taxis are also available.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Edison & Ford Winter Estates

2350 McGregor Blvd.

Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-334-7419

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, noon – 5pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Admission Charged

As one of the nation’s most visited historic homes, the Estates includes 20 acres of historic buildings and gardens, Edison’s original rubber lab, a large museum, food and retail areas, and river cruises on a replica electric launch.

Fort Myers Historical Museum
2300 Peck Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-332-5955

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday, noon – 4pm

Admission Charged

Ever wonder where the old fort was in Downtown Fort Myers? What was the first hotel? When did the train depot become a museum? Learn all this, and more.

Imaginarium

2000 Cranford Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33916

239-337-3332

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday, noon – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Imaginarium hands on museum offers exciting interactive exhibits for all ages including live animals, a hurricane simulator, wide-screen movie theater, dino dig, and an early-childhood area. There are daily hands-on fun shows and 3-D presentations.

Fort Myers Country Club
3591 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-936-3126

Hours: Call for tee times and additional information

Admission Charged

Located on scenic McGregor Boulevard, the Fort Myers Country Club offers the public a challenging par 71 round. The course was built in 1916 by architect Donald Ross and opened in 1917, and the clubhouse has been rebuilt on the original site.

Eastwood Golf Course
4600 Bruce Herd Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33994

239-275-4848

Hours: Call for tee times and additional information

Admission Charged

Rated as one of the top 50 municipal courses in the country by Golf Digest, Eastwood is located off Ortiz Avenue near Colonial Blvd in Fort Myers, Florida. This challenging course is open to the public year round. A full service Pro Shop is available.

Fort Myers Yacht Basin
1300 Lee Street
Fort Myers, FL 339013

239-334-8271

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged for Dockage

Located at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City of Fort Myers. There are 10 feet of water in the channel and 8 feet of water at some docks. The docks are in excellent condition and the staff is competent, professional, friendly and helpful.

Harborside Event Center
1375 Monroe Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-332-7600

Hours: Call for schedule and additional information

Admission Charged for events

Located next to Centennial Park at the corner of Bay and Monroe Streets in beautiful downtown Fort Myers, this elegant structure provides a state of the art venue for both conventions and concerts.

Burroughs Home

2505 First Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-332-6125

Hours: The Home is open to the public for guided tours, Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 3pm, on the hour, mid-October through mid-May.

Admission Charged

The Burroughs Home is a Georgian Revival Mansion built in 1901. Located in downtown Fort Myers next to the Edison Bridge overlooking the Caloosahatchee River; it was considered a prestigious area at the turn of the century.

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

3450 Ortiz Avenue
Fort Myers, FL. 33905

239- 275-3435

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 11am – 5pm

Admission Charged

Various amphibians and arthropods are waiting. The museum’s interpretive displays address many issues affecting the area, from water resources to the plight of the endangered manatee. The stars are also always out in the planetarium.

The Shell Factory and Nature Park

2785 N. Tamiami Trail
N. Ft. Myers, FL. 33903

239-995-2142

Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 10am-9pm

Admission Charged

If you are in the mood to enjoy nature, ride the rides, ‘shop til you drop,’ or see some of Mother Nature’s finest creations, then you’ve certainly come to the right place! Not only does the Shell Factory include a collection of common and rare shells, sponges, coral, fossils and sea life specimens; there are a host of other things to do and see as well. For the fun seeker, there are arcade games, miniature golf, and even a radar gun to test the speed of a pitch at the pitching cage or perhaps bump into friends at the Bumper Boat lagoon. The Nature Park features a petting zoo, environmental education center, and a botanical trail and garden. It’s a day of education and fun for the entire family.

Historic Downtown Walking Tours

2300 Peck St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
239-332-5955

Hours: Saturdays at 10am, January – April

Admission Charged

Highlights many historic points of interest in the Downtown area.

Day Trip

Everglades Day Safari

239-472-1559 or 800-472-3069

Hours: Safaris depart each morning at 7:45am and return about 5:30pm, call for location of pickup

Admission Charged

An Everglades Day Safari will be an exciting adventure through the different kingdoms that make up the “Everglades.” Guests are accompanied by highly trained guides who discuss the past, present and future of this truly unique area.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Edison & Ford Winter Estates

2350 McGregor Blvd.

Fort Myers, FL 33901

239-334-7419

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, noon – 5pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Admission Charged

As one of the nation’s most visited historic homes, the Estates includes 20 acres of historic buildings and gardens, Edison’s original rubber lab, a large museum, food and retail areas, and river cruises on a replica electric launch.

Imaginarium

2000 Cranford Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33916

239-337-3332

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday, noon – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Imaginarium hands-on museum offers exciting interactive exhibits for all ages including live animals, a hurricane simulator, wide-screen movie theater, dino dig, and an early-childhood area. There are daily hands-on fun shows and 3-D presentations.

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

3450 Ortiz Ave.
Fort Myers, FL. 33905

239- 275-3435

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 11am – 5pm

Admission Charged

Various amphibians and arthropods are waiting. The museum’s interpretive displays address many issues affecting the area, from water resources to the plight of the endangered manatee. The stars are also always out in the planetarium.

The Shell Factory and Nature Park

2785 N. Tamiami Trail
N. Ft. Myers, FL. 33903

239-995-2142

Hours: Sunday-Saturday, 10am-9pm

Admission Charged

If you are in the mood to enjoy nature, ride the rides, ‘shop til you drop,’ or see some of Mother Nature’s finest creations, then you’ve certainly come to the right place! Not only does the Shell Factory include a collection of common and rare shells, sponges, coral, fossils and sea life specimens, there are a host of other things to do and see as well. For the fun seeker, there are arcade games, miniature golf, or even a radar gun to test the speed of a pitch at the pitching cage or perhaps bump into friends at the Bumper Boat lagoon. The Nature Park features a petting zoo, environmental education center, and a botanical trail and garden. It’s a day of education and fun for the entire family.

Day Trip

Everglades Day Safari

239-472-1559 or 800-472-3069

Hours: Safaris depart each morning at 7:45am and return about 5:30pm, call for location of pickup

Admission Charged

An Everglades Day Safari will be an exciting adventure through the different kingdoms that make up the “Everglades.” Guests are accompanied by highly trained guides who discuss the past, present and future of this truly unique area.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fair

Harborside Convention Center

Usually held late January

239-334-2999

Call for additional information

Showcases over 750 student finalists from elementary, middle and high schools in the surrounding four counties. Some of the previous invention and science projects included the waistband threader, mosquito trapper, wet awake, sleep safe couch belt, ants-b-gone dog dish and manatee locator. Children get the opportunity to be creative and to work through problems and resolve them. Exhibits range from botany, computers, math, engineering, zoology, earth and space sciences, environmental sciences, medicine, health and physics.

February

City of Palms Block Party

Edwards Drive, Downtown Fort Myers

Usually held early February

239-334-2999

Admission Charged, children 12 and under free

Call for additional information

The opening ceremonies to the Edison Festival of Light are in honor of Thomas Alva Edison’s birthday with continuous musical entertainment on three stages. An expanded kids area offers rides, games and fun for all ages. Various food and beverages help round out this fun evening under the stars.

Edison Festival of Light Crafts on the River

Centennial Park

Edwards Drive

Usually held mid-February

239-334-2999

Admission Free

Call for additional information
Centennial Park is transformed into a craft lovers dream with over 100 exhibitors displaying their goods during the three-day event. Exhibitors come from throughout Southwest Florida and the entire country for an opportunity to sell their wares. Items range from jewelry, quilts, handmade crafts, paintings, ceramics, pottery and more.

Edison Festival of Lights Fireworks and Stadium Show

Edison Stadium

Fort Myers High School

Usually held mid-February

239-334-2999

Admission Charged for reserved seating

Call for additional information

This event features big band music, fireworks and a parade with floats and marching bands.

March

Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival

Usually held early March

239-463-9738

Call for additional information

Festivities include a traditional shrimp boil, parade, and the 5K Treasure Run

April

Fort Myers Beach Film Festival

Usually held end of April

239-765-0202

Call for additional information

The four-day festival provides film buffs the opportunity to see quality independent films and participate in events designed to cultivate the spirit of creativity and promote the talents of local and upcoming filmmakers. The schedule includes filmmaker panel discussions, student filmmaking workshops, and an elegant celebrity gala in addition to the film screenings at Beach Theater.

July

Fort Myers Beach Fireworks

Held on July 4th

239-454-7500

Call for additional information

One of the region’s most spectacular fireworks shows begins at dusk, accompanied by music and activity in the Times Square area.

October

Fort Myers Beach Air Show

Usually held mid-October

239-477-1820

Call for additional information

Enjoy two afternoons of stunning aerobatics and military demonstrations from one of the area’s liveliest beaches.

November

Buckler Craft Fair

Usually held early November

239-543-8368

Admission Charged, children 12 and younger free

Call for additional information

Over 200 professional, award-winning craftspeople from across the country exhibit and sell items including Country, Victorian, folk art, primitive, and wood items; furniture, miniatures, toys, dolls, bears, gourmet delights, homemade fudge, Christmas items, and more.

Taste of the Town

Usually held early November

239-277-1197

Admission Charged, children 9 and younger free

Call for additional information

The Annual Taste of the Town features samplings from more than 40 local restaurants. One of the largest food and entertainment festivals in Southwest Florida, it also features live music and children’s entertainment.

Fort Myers Beach Sandsculpting Festival

Usually held mid-November

239-454-7500

Call for additional information

Join artists from around the world as they create amazing works of art on Fort Myers Beach. This annual Gulf-front competition draws thousands of spectators to Fort Myers Beach each year.

Fiesta Latino

Usually held mid-November

239-418-1441

Admission Free

Call for additional information

Party Latino style with local salsa, meringue, and other Latin bands. Enjoy Latino food, a talent show, and children’s activities.

December

Holiday House

Usually held early December through the end of the month

239-334-7419

Admission Charged, children 5 and younger are free

More than 90,000 lights celebrate Thomas Edison’s contribution to modern life and the festivity of the season enjoyed by more than 35,000 visitors each year. Besides the miles and miles of lights, decorated trees and artistic holiday scenes decorate the former winter homes of neighbors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Fort Myers Beach Boat Parade

Fort Myers Beach

Usually held mid-December

239-454-7500

Call for additional information

Boats decked out in holiday array depart from Pink Shell Beach Resort and parade beneath the high bridge and through the canals of Siesta Isles.

Winter Wonderland

Usually held the last 2 weeks of December

239-432-2034

Admission Free

Call for additional information

Join in every evening for a children’s carnival, holiday music, craft-making, food and beverages, and pictures with Santa. Carriage rides and a village train travel through the magically decorated park.

Performing Arts

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

8099 College Pkwy, SW
Fort Myers, FL. 33919

489-3033

Admission Charged

Call for performance schedule

Past productions have included performances of Riverdance, Phantom of the Opera and Evita as well as musical shows with stars such as Wynonna Judd, Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka, just to name a few.

Florida Repertory Theatre

2267 First St. (Arcade Theatre)
Fort Myers, FL. 33901

239-332-4665

Admission Charged

Call for schedule

Florida Repertory Theatre has a year-round season, and many education and outreach programs which benefit both the theatre and the community.

Southwest Florida Symphony and Chorus Association

4560 Via Royale Suite 2
Fort Myers, FL. 33919

239-418-1500

Admission Charged

Call for additional information

The season includes both classical and pops concerts performed in the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located on the Edison Community College Campus in Fort Myers. The Symphony on Sanibel Chamber Orchestra Series performs at BIG Arts (Schein Hall) on Sanibel Island and the Stained Glass Choral Series are held at area churches. Overall, there are 26 performances to choose from. The organization boasts a force of over 200 strong, with 75 professional musicians, a 100-voice Adult Chorus, the Children’s Chorus and the area’s premier Youth Orchestra.