North Fort Myers
One doesn’t necessarily have to cross the bridge anymore to find something to do in North Fort Myers. The city, with its country atmosphere and Old Florida feel, has something for everyone, from major attractions to out-of-the-way fun in the country, if you look hard enough.
And because it’s summer, you can usually do them at a discount.
Opened in October, the new recreation center on Old 41 has added another dimension to the recreational activities the area has, as it offers countless programs, from pickleball to ceramics.
At the Community Park there are tons of things to do, such as play shuffleboard, Frisbee golf or catch a ballgame. In June, the park will host a state Babe Ruth baseball tournament
Down the street, at the old drive-in, locals can browse for items at the flea market, which will also host the Redneck Games on Labor Day weekend.
Of course, at the end of the road is the Shell Factory, where you can still see the animals, play the games and find a present for that special someone.
A trip down Bayshore Road produces other obvious places to visit, such as the ECHO farm, an organization devoted to eradicating hunger worldwide. You can take a tour of the farm and see what grows where, buy a tree to plant in the yard, and go through its gift shop for books and other items to help your green thumb.
The Lee Co. Posse Arena is a non-profit organization devoted to helping area youth learn horsemanship. It holds numerous events every month, such as jackpot barrel races, many of which are free to spectators.
At the end of the road is the Lee Civic Center, which holds great events year-round to people of all interests. If you have a large party you want to throw, you can rent out Whaley Hall.
Those who enjoy golf have plenty of places to shoot a round, and offseason is usually the time to go, since courses are less crowded and sharp discounts are offered.
El Rio, Herons Glen, and Sabal Springs, Pine Lakes, Six Lakes, Lochmoor and Lake Fairways, among others, are semi-private courses where you can work on your game.
Do a little digging and you can find the Lee County Archers, as well as places you can go for a canoe ride, horseback riding, hiking and other activities. Just bring plenty of water.
As for area businesses, things calm down for them, which means an opportunity for residents to get to know them again.
“The good thing is we get to enjoy our area as the tourists do without the headaches. We can eat without waiting in line and go to the beaches,” said Chamber of Commerce executive director Chris Jackson. “It’s still vital and active, it’s just a little more relaxed.”