Next stop on my beach road trip through Florida, Fort Myers. Before heading to the main highlight, we walked the streets of Downtown Fort Myers. It has a cozy feel to it with palm trees decorating the streets and shops along the way. I very much enjoyed the center and wished I had a bit more time here. But there was more to be discovered.
What to see?
Another tip we got along the way up to Fort Myers was, besides wandering the streets of Fort Myers Downtown, to definitely not miss the Winter Estates of Edison & Ford. And I have to say, they were not wrong!
Thomas Edison first visited Fort Myers in March 1885 as he wanted to escape during the winter months from his New Jersey home base. Years later he invited his good friend Henry Ford to visit him. (Maybe I wasn`t paying enough attention during my history classes, but I didn`t know they were such good friends.) Henry got the opportunity to buy the property next to Thomas in 1916. Now these estates are one of the nation`s top ten most visited sites.
You can wander on your own through the estate or take one of the tours.
Opening Hours: open daily, year-round from 9 am till 5.30 pm (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Historian Led Guided Tours includes homes, gardens, Lab and Museum of the Edison and Ford families. Tours begin every hour, on the hour, and are led by Edison Ford Site Historians. Price: 25$*
Complete Audio Tour includes homes, gardens, Lab and Museum of the Edison and Ford families. Tours are available in English, German, French and Spanish. Site orientation begins every 15 minutes. Price: 20$*
There are a few other tours available, but I would suggest to include the gardens as well as they`re worth seeing. More info can be found on www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.
What else is there to do?
Of course it wouldn`t be a coastal city if we didn`t visit some beaches. After some history it was time to hit to Sanibel Island, such a lovely place!
Where to eat?
When looking for a quirky place to eat in Downtown Fort Myers, head to Ford`s Garage. It serves good burgers with fries. Try the French Fry Sampler so you can taste their truffle fries and sugared sweet potato fries. And you can`t leave Florida without trying some Key Lime Pie.
Where to stay?
We stayed at Captiva Island, more on that in the Sanibel post.
Did you know?
Fort Myers`nickname is “City of Palms” because of 15 miles of Royal Palms along McGregor Boulevard. Edison brought palms with him when he came over.
If you want to read up on Florida, then check out my other stops on this beach trip: Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola, Cedar Key, St Augustine, St Petersburg & Clearwater, Anna Maria Island and Sarasota.
*Prices were accurate at time of publishing.