The city of Fort Myers, Florida is considered the gateway to the Southwestern Florida coast and is a world-class vacation destination affectionately known as “Palm City”. However, there is much more to this place than merely palm trees, beaches, and resorts. If you find yourself looking for something a little more entertaining than check out this list of the best-recommended activities and museums in Fort Myers.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are easily one of the biggest attractions in the area, besides the obvious Southern Florida charm. These historical buildings were the winter residents of the famous inventors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who were an integral part of Fort Myers’ early days. The grounds include the houses themselves, along with award-winning gardens, the Edison Botanic Research Lab, and the Inventors Museum, which holds hundreds of inventions, artifacts, and special exhibits. You can tour them all at your pace with the audio guide, but the historian guided tours are definitely worthwhile with additional tidbits and tales to help you absorb the full effect of this well-preserved place.

If you’re looking to commune with the natural landscape and get a little healthy exercise, then a visit to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve will strike your interest. Take a stroll along their two-mile boardwalk as you soak in the unique Florida wetlands, foliage and, keep an eye out for the wildlife too! You can spot multiple species of birds, along with wild pigs, alligators, turtles, fish, and more – but, all from a safe distance. Guided tours with certified naturalists will give you a better understanding of the ecosystems at work, or, you can enjoy it on your own.

For the sports fans out there who happen to be in town between April and September, be sure to check out the Fort Myers Miracles at Hammond Stadium. This Class A minor league baseball team has qualified for the Florida State League Playoffs eight times since 1992 and won the Championship in 2014. Home games are played every week at the CenturyLink Sports Complex and are a fun way to support local sports.

Don’t forget to drive down the famous McGregor Boulevard to take in the gorgeous Royal Palms that line it, courtesy of Thomas Edison’s research in the area. It’s always a picturesque view, with plenty of high-quality restaurants and shopping nearby to maximize the experience.

During the winter months, a visit to Manatee Park is truly a treat for families and individuals alike. Drawn to the warmer waters, the ‘Cows of the Sea’ gather here with their young to graze and lounge about in full view in the crystal clear water. Rent some kayaks and float amongst them for a more up close and personal look, or observe from the shore – either way is an absolute delight.

Whether you are a full-time resident or a visitor, don’t forget to appreciate the more natural and historic elements that make Fort Myers so great.

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