Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Two of the most famous American inventors made Fort Myers their home in the early part of the twentieth century. They were the legendary Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. They were close friends and shared a love for scenic Fort Myers, nestled along the scenic shoreline of the Caloosahatchee River.

Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers Beach welcome sign greets tourists as they reach Estero Island on the west coast of Florida, a popular tourist location. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

About the Community

Edison was responsible for much of Fort Myers’ growth and development and he did his pioneering work in Seminole Lodge his home and laboratory. The city pays him its tribute with its annual Edison Festival of Light in February to commemorate his birthday. This is a great tourist attraction with its fortnight of citywide events, culminating in the Grand Parade of Light. Street dances, contests ranging from fishing to shuffleboard are some of the attractions through the brightest is the coronation ball where the King and Queen of Light are crowned.


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Henry Ford sitting, Harvey Firestone kneeling and Thomas Edison reclining around a campfire on an island within a fountain.
“Uncommon Friends” by D.J. Wilkins depicts Henry Ford sitting, Harvey Firestone kneeling and Thomas Edison reclining around a campfire on an island within a fountain. Fort Myers, FL – March 15, 2017. Editorial credit: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

Henry Ford spent his winters in his property adjoining Edison’s estate and two would go on a camping trip or a drive to Estero. Soon after the success of Ford’s Model T, the first Ford Car Dealership was opened in Fort Myers in 1914.

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Vicinity of Fort Myers



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Established in 1886, Fort Myers was built for defense during the Seminole Indian Wars. It is the governmental hub of Lee County in Southwest Florida and is an interesting blend of historic and modern trends. The southernmost battle in the Civil War was fought here, across the river, in 1865. It is still enacted at the annual North Fort Myers Cracker Festival. The fort has been disassembled, and some of its wood has been to construct early buildings in downtown Fort Myers.

Two bicycles in the sand at sunset at Fort Myers beach in Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

The city has a young population and the city has grown in all directions over the years. The older downtown area and historic districts have retained much of their charm, and extensive renovation of the downtown waterfront is underway. Much of the activities of Fort Myers are around Centennial Park and the Fort Myers Yacht Basin. Restaurants, nightclubs, dinner theaters, jazz, symphony orchestra, and outdoor concerts as well as art festivals provide cultural outlets throughout the year.

Landscape of City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin and the Yacht Basin Ship and Convenience Store between the Edison Bridges and the Caloosahatchee Bridge in downtown Fort Myers.
Landscape of City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin and the Yacht Basin Ship and Convenience Store between the Edison Bridges and the Caloosahatchee Bridge in downtown Fort Myers. Editorial credit: John Mantell / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

Many winter residents charmed by the excellent weather and quality of life in Fort Myers are now permanent residents. Many others were servicemen based here during World War II who returned to make it their home.

Some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts in the world are within minutes of downtown Fort Myers. Sports fans revel in professional and semi-professional Hockey, Baseball, and Basketball Teams and Arena 2 Football. Fort Myers is the winter training grounds for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Caloosahatchee River is popular with sailing, powerboating, fishing, and water-skiing enthusiasts. If you are lucky, you will share the waters with the manatee. Ice-skating, golfing, in-line roller-skating, and skateboarding are other popular sports.

View of the Manatee Park in Lee County, Florida, next to the Florida Power and Light power plant. Fort Myers, Florida, January 20, 2020.
View of the Manatee Park in Lee County, Florida, next to the Florida Power and Light power plant. Fort Myers, Florida, January 20, 2020. Editorial credit: EQ Roy / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

Ecotourism is gaining importance with nature walks, canoeing, camping, swimming, hiking happening year-round. The hands-on museum, Water Park, planetarium, and other family outing venues make Fort Myers the ideal place for all ages and seasons!

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