Fort Myers is known as the City of Palms, but the majestic array of palm trees that line city streets only tells a piece of the overall story; Fort Myers has a unique vantage as the commercial and creative center of Southwest Florida by thriving on its storied history, all while building toward an exciting and prosperous future.
It’s this eclectic vision that has drawn people to Fort Myers over the years. Whether it’s sports, ecological activities, shopping, worldclass dining, fun in the sun, artistic expression, or peace and quiet, there is truly something for everyone, every dream, every interest.
Alliance for the Arts
Event, education, fairs, exhibit and theater and arts, green market and other cultural activities. Nonprofit and user funded. artinlee.org
Barbara B. Mann
Performing Arts Hall
Off-Broadway, live performances, holiday events. bbmannpah.com
Nestled in downtown Fort Myers, several blocks of fun and exciting activities and opportunities are available: The Harborside Event Center, ArtWalk/MusicWalk (check schedules), the Fort Myers yacht basin, Florida Rep Theatre, Burroughs Home & Gardens, the Fort Myers Film Festival/Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, ArtFest Fort Myers, Southwest Florida Reading Festival, Lab Theater of Florida, the Butterfly Estates, Fort Myers Skatium, the Edison Sailing Center, river/evening walks, shopping, a new Lee County library, dozens of dining and entertainment options. myriverdistrict.com
Florida Repertory Theater
Downtown Fort Myers is home to the Florida Repertory Theater. Founded in 1998, the venue and troupe has become a perennial favorite among art and theater lovers, blending humor, drama, dance, with productions of classics alongside the newest voices of modern play writing.
Edison Festival of Light
The idea of a celebration to commemorate Edison’s life of achievement evolved into the Edison Pageant of Light in 1938, with a Coronation Ball, a parade, a band concert and a memorial service. The successful three-day event grew, and later increased to a week-long festival, and finally to two full weeks. The event is in February. edisonfestival.org
Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
The Off-Broadway theatre entertains over 170,000 annual guests. The facility includes a 450-seat dinner theatre, a 100-seat “black-box” theatre called The Off Broadway Palm Theatre, a 120-seat dining room and a 30-seat space just off the main lobby.
broadwaypalm.com (239) 278-4422
Fort Myers Historical Museum
The Fort Myers Historical Museum is housed in the former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot on Peck Street in downtown Fort Myers. Find information on early settlers of southwest Florida including the Calusa, Paleo and Seminole Indians and an extensive artifacts collection. Exhibits include a private Pullman rail car and an authentic replica of a pioneer “cracker” house. Browse the exhibits, or take part in a group tour.
swflmuseumofhistory.com (239) 321-7430
Imaginarium Hands-On Museum
This science museum features more than 60 interactive exhibits. Fun and educational exhibits allow children to learn about the environment, weather physics and other topics. Attractions include animals, aquariums displaying marine life, a touch pool, hurricane simulator, puppet theatre and interactive areas for preschoolers.
Calusa Nature Center
The Calusa Nature Center has a museum, nature trails, aviary and planetarium. Visit the museum to learn more about southwest Florida’s natural history. Calusa’s 105-acre site has plenty of picnic areas in the grounds.
calusanature.org (239) 275-3435
Cruise the Caloosahatchee River/Intercoastal Waterway to
Lake Okeechobee from the Yacht Basin in downtown Fort Myers. Alternatively head out towards the Gulf of Mexico on cruises which depart either from the Yacht Basin, from the Marina at Fort Myers Beach, or from Port Sanibel Marina. Take in the views of southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast with its many islands, watch dolphins swimming alongside the boat, or just sunbathe on deck and relax.
For those who would rather venture alone, rent a sailboat. There are plenty of boat rental companies, some of which offer sailing classes to the novice; rent a kayak or a canoe. Plan your own route or take an excursion with a naturalist guide. There are hundreds of miles of back bays, aquatic preserves, estuaries, creeks and rivers to explore. Start at cityftmyers.com.
Pick up a week’s supply of fresh produce, and stroll through the hundreds of bargain-packed/covered booths. Along every aisle, discover small owner-operated shops specializing in unique items — new and old, arts and crafts, antiques and collectibles, several food courts. New stores open weekly.
Fleamall.com (239) 334-7001