Fort Myers – The River District

Fort Myers is a bustling metropolis with ecological, historical and cultural attractions.

Downtown Fort Myers, also known as the River District, forms the core of a city that stretches for miles south along the Caloosahatchee River and east to the rural interior.

Named for a Civil War-era army colonel, Fort Myers’ history parallels that of Florida itself.

Indigenous peoples, the Calusa Indians, inhabited the islands nearby. Later, pioneers settled the pine flatwoods, and cattle drivers escorted their charges down what is now McGregor Boulevard to ships docked at Punta Rassa.

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford put the town on the proverbial map when they chose the City of Palms as their winter getaway.

Dining and nightlife entertain when the sun goes down – watch a spectacular “show” as it sinks over the Caloosahatchee.

With a kids’ museum, a history museum, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and plenty more, Fort Myers offers more than enough fun to fill a day.

Take a historic downtown walking tour (offered at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays from December through April – reservation required) with the Southwest Florida Museum of History or take advantage of ample opportunities for antiques hunting.

Little kids in tow? Head to the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum & Aquarium for an afternoon of hands-on learning and exploration. Budding historians, scientists and inventors will want to take a narrated tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, just south of downtown. While children of all ages will enjoy the indoor/outdoor celebration of the prolific inventors’ and industrialists’ lives, staffers say kids ages 9 and older get the most out of the experience.