1815 Fowler Street, Fort Myers
The Butterfly Estates is a serene, peaceful place that gives visitors the opportunity to get closer to nature.
Combining a butterfly conservatory and botanical gardens, this eco-friendly attraction is a one of a kind experience housed right in downtown Fort Myers.
Guests can also visit Flutterby's Cafe, an open air dining experience, and shop at the Caterpillar Fudge Factory, where guests are lured by sweet aromas of homemade fudge. Or visitors can shop at Mother Nature's Gift shop, which offers fun, nature themed gifts.
The Butterfly Estates is located in the downtown Fort Myers River District at 1815 Fowler Street. To learn more about this exciting experience, call 239-690-2359 or visit www.thebutterflyestates.com
Calusa Nature Center
3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers
Learn about the night sky, feed snakes and witness a live reptile presentation at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. The 105-acre facility not only has a museum, but also a Planetarium, three nature trails and a Butterfly Aviary. Florida Monthly Magazine named the Calusa Nature Center the Best Nature Center in Florida in 2004. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 3450 Ortiz Avenue in Fort Myers. For more information, visit www.calusanature.com.
Thomas Edison and
Henry Ford Winter Estates
2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers
Fort Myers' best-known attractions stand along the city's avenue of palms in memory of two of the city's most famous residents. When Thomas Edison first visited Florida in 1885, he bought property along the Caloosahatchee River and built a vacation home and winter retreat, as well as a laboratory.
Henry Ford joined his friend in purchasing the neighboring property in 1915, and built his winter getaway, known as "The Mangoes."
In February, the Edison Estate holds the Edison Festival of Light, with events such as the annual City of Palms Block Party, the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fairs, the Junior Events, the three-day Crafts on the River, the Edison Festival of Light 5K Race, the Stadium and Fireworks Shows and the SunTrust Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade, one of the largest night-time parades in the country. Edison/Ford Winter Estates is located at 2350 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. For more information call 239-334-3614.
Museum & Aquarium
2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers
Take an interactive voyage into the world of science at the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum & Aquarium. Families have the chance to see animals in a lab with daily live shows, explore an underwater touch tank and a lagoon to watch live sharks and stingrays. Sport fans can play in the Sporty Science Arena and aspiring archeologists can dig for dinosaur fossils. The Imaginarium is located at 2000 Cranford Avenue in Fort Myers. It is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Adults are $12, Children are $8, Children under 3 are free and Seniors are $10. For more information, visit www.imaginariumfortmyers.com.
Lee Civic Center
11831 Bayshore Rd, North Fort Myers
The Lee Civic Center is known as the host of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair as well as other events. Monthly bluegrass concerts, craft fairs, top area dog and cat shows and an annual Halloween event are just some of the activities held there.
It is the largest indoor/outdoor event complex between Tampa and Miami, located on 100 acres in North Fort Myers near 1-75. The venue has parking for 2,500 vehicles to accommodate numerous event attendees.
For information, call 543-8368 or view leeciviccenter.com.
2805 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers
Solve a mystery aboard the Seminole Railroad Mystery Train. It has nightly rides through Southwest Florida where guests are expected to solve a murder while they dine on a five course meal aboard the train.
Train themes change on a regular basis and celebrate special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and other holidays. Couples can also enjoy get-away-packages. Tickets range from $50 to $150 depending on the package purchased. The train leaves from Colonial Station at 2805 Colonial Boulevard. For more information, call 800-SEM-GULF or www.semgulf.com.
Museum of History
2031 Jackson Street., Fort Myers
Learn this region's unique history at the Southwest Florida Museum of History. Visitors learn about the reign of the dinosaurs in prehistoric Florida, the Calusa Indians who transformed the local landscape, the Spanish conquistadors who settled in Southwest Florida, as well as modern history in Fort Myers and surrounding communities. The museum also features traveling exhibits, escorted day trips and downtown walking tours. It is located at 2031 Jackson Street and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults are $9.50, seniors are $8.50, children under 12 are $5 and students with identification are $5. For more information, visit www.swflmuseumofhistory.com.