Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Open to the public since 1947, Edison Ford is a National Register Historic Site and is one of the most visited historic home sites in America. Take an inspiring journey back in time and explore the historic winter homes, the Edison Botanical Research Lab and the Edison Ford Museum on more than 20 acres of botanic gardens. Choose between guided and self-guided tours with audio wands. For the ultimate experience, pair your visit with a river cruise to discover the flora and fauna of the Caloosahatchee.
Shell Factory & Nature Park
For more than 80 years, the Shell Factory has been entertaining visitors with a dizzying and constantly changing array of diversions and amusements reminiscent of Florida roadside attractions of yesteryear. Featuring museums, the year ’round Christmas House, a Fun Park, game room, a thrilling zip line and 400 critters, birds, reptiles and fish that are staged in aviaries, a gator slough ecological laboratory, petting farm and all manner of habitats and dwellings. Something for everyone!
J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge
This 7,600-acre wildlife refuge is home to 51 types of reptiles and amphibians, 32 mammal species, more than 230 species of birds. Paddling, hiking/biking trails, observation towers and a four-mile scenic drive all create a perfect opportunity to commune with the area’s natural inhabitants. The free visitor and education center features interactive exhibits, the work of J.N. “Ding” Darling, migratory flyways, a hands-on area for children and gift shop.
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
The Six Mile Cypress Slough (pronounced “sloo”) is over 3,500 acres of wetland ecosystem with a Boardwalk trail and Interpretive Center. The cypress slough catches and slowly filters rainwater on its way towards Estero Bay. A myriad of animals like otters, alligators, turtles, wading birds, and more live at the Slough year-round. Others, like migrating birds and butterflies, use the Slough as a feeding area or a winter home.
An educational facility that hand raises every single butterfly while providing educational tours, classes and outreach programs. The Florida Native Butterfly Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Florida’s native butterfly species. Their Southwest Florida location features a 3,600 sq, ft. glass butterfly conservatory and focuses on helping butterfly populations flourish throughout our state.
The Great Calusa Blueway
The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is a 190-mile marked canoe and kayak trail that meanders through the coastal waters and inland tributaries of Lee County, Florida. It attracts everyone from first-time kayakers to advanced paddlers and is home to abundant marine life, shore birds and crustaceans. Paddlers from around the world gather to explore the fabled bays, rivers, backwaters and shorelines of Southwest Florida – located right in our very own backyard!
America’s Favorite Pastime is alive and well with two major franchises calling Fort Myers their Spring Training headquarters. Boston Red Sox fans can visit JetBlue Park at Fenway South, while The CenturyLink Sports Complex is home to Hammond Stadium where the Minnesota Twins and their two minor league affiliates play. Tours of the facilities can be arranged in advance, while the 7th Inning Stretch is included free with every ticket purchased!
So many beaches and so little time! No need to worry as finding your perfect beach is easy. While sun and surf will be sure to relax and renew the soul, you can also stay active by playing volleyball, cycling, kayaking, paddleboarding and shelling. Shell collecting is one of our most popular beach activities, and aficionados travel from all over the world to explore our shell selection.
Craft beer culture hounds will rejoice with a wonderful selection of local breweries and even a rum distillery to boot. All offer events, tours, tastings and passionate owners who create immersive experiences to keep visiting aficionados enthralled, engaged and asking for more. So pull up a barstool and let’s get this party started!