City Profile: Fort Myers


Dubbed 'The City of Palms,' Fort Myers has a mix of great beaches and educational outings.

Called the "City of Palms" because of its palm-lined avenues, Fort Myers is a hub of activity. Shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs offer an alternative to the nearby beaches and more than 100 coastal islands. Inventor Thomas Edison and his friend automobile-maker Henry Ford made their winter homes in Fort Myers. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are separated by a fence, which both families named "The Friendship Gate," and today their estates, including Edison's laboratory, are open for tours.

During nearly 45 years of wintering here, Edison had many well-known house guests including Harvey Firestone and President Hoover. Today, each January and February, the city celebrates its most famous resident with three weeks of events, called the Edison Festival of Light, culminating with a nighttime parade through the center of town.

Other attractions in Fort Myers include the Southwest Florida Museum of History, cruises operating from the downtown yacht basin, the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, and the Shell Factory in North Fort Myers. For the sports-minded, public golf courses and tennis courts make this some of the best playing turf in the state.

Fort Myers Beach is a refreshing change from the upscale beaches of Naples, Marco Island and Sanibel. More typical of many southern beaches along the Eastern Seaboard, Fort Myers Beach is lined with t-shirt shops, indoor and outdoor dining and souvenir shops. Its casual appeal attracts a younger, lively crowd.

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1 comment
Bob Lawrence
Bob Lawrence May 2, 2014 9:12 AM
Going to spend next winter in Fort Myers and looking for a free map that we can get to be able to sit down and read..
Do you have such maps?