Page 1


One Decision. One Move. One Special Place. We face many difficult decisions in life, but opting for a senior living community with multiple lifestyle options needn’t be one of them. Discovery Village At The Forum features delicious, chef-prepared dining, wide-ranging activities and events, the latest in senior-specific health and fitness, and many other, fabulous resort-style amenities. Perhaps most importantly, with four different lifestyle options all situated on one thoughtfully designed campus, you or your loved one may securely “age in place,” knowing that the ability to receive proper, personalized care will remain constant, even if individual needs change or intensify in the future.

Call 239.210.5562 to schedule a personalized tour! Active Independent Living Supervised Independent Living Assisted Living SHINE Memory Care SM

DiscoveryVillages.com I 2645 Forum Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33905 Prices, plans and programs are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Owned and operated by Discovery Senior Living Void where prohibited by law. Assisted Living Facility License #12420. ©2019, Discovery Senior Living, DVF-0040 11/19.

LET’S CONNECT!


We can help‌ WITH ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

That begins with selling your house and buying another. After all, we are the leaders in sales across multiple markets because of our carefully selected team of top-performing Realtors.ÂŽ Turn your investment property into an income stream. Relocate here from anywhere in the world. And even book sumptuous private accommodations when you travel. Explore all your options with us.

Helping Sellers

Helping Buyers

Global Relocation Services

Helping Owners

Helping Renters/Guests

Annual/Seasonal/Vacation Rentals

RoyalShellRealEstate.com | 239.309.1821 Florida Locations: Bonita Springs/Estero, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Fort Myers, Naples/Marco Island, Ocala and Sanibel Island fortmyers.org | 1 North Carolina Locations: Cashiers, Highlands and Sapphire Valley/Lake Toxaway


CONTENTS 4 Meet the Chamber

48-49 Begin a Lifelong Love Affair Along Our Shores Local beaches and islands are romantic sanctuaries for weddings, honeymoons and anniversary getaways.

6 Welcome to Fort Myers Gateway to Southwest Florida

8-9 Getting There: Finding Your Way A quick guide for navigating your way around town

50-55 Customize Your Getaway Finding the right accommodations that fit your desires or your family’s needs is the key ingredient in a memorable getaway.

10-13 Diggin’ Downtown

10

Embark on an interactive excursion—no matter your speed and interests—in the historic Fort Myers River District.

14-19 Attractions &

Entertainment Day or night, laid-back or fast-action, the Fort Myers region is brimming with excitement.

20-23 Along the Coast: Beachcombing & Cruising Romantic sunsets, shelling and watersports, wildlife encounters and premier golf courses—create lasting memories during your time in paradise.

50

24-26 Wild About Nature

76

Discover the area’s unparalleled natural amenities.

27-29 Get in the Game Strike out for an invigorating trek on land or on the water, and then settle back at a local stadium or arena.

The Fort Myers area boasts a rich diversity of housing options located in a range of unique communities that can fit your budget and fulfill your lifestyle.

62-65 A Growing Market What’s creating strong business and commercial opportunities in the Fort Myers metropolitan area?

66-67 Business Assistance Resources Resources for expanding, relocating or launching a new business

68-69 A Symbol of

Explore more of the good life at local shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.

Sustainability The new Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory is a lab for collaboration.

37-39 Maps

70-75 Community

30-36 Browse & Feast

Arts, theater and cultural offerings provide indelible experiences for visitors and residents of all ages.

Overview New in town? Here’s a handy primer with key resources to get started.

46-47 The Edison & Ford

76-79 Make a Date

Winter Estates Explore science, history, botany and culture at this National Register Historic Site.

From festivals to fairs to unique cultural events, discover special delights in Fort Myers.

42-45 Entertain Your Senses

2 | fortmyers.org

56-61 Welcome Home


PUBLISHED BY

SOUTH OFFICE 2164-A W First St. Fort Myers,FL 33901 239-337-0999

NORTH OFFICE 211 Pioneer Drive Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 608-254-8770

VECTORANDINK.COM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Dan Marsich EDITOR & PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

Lydell Capritta ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT General Manager - Alejandra Bustamante Account Executive - Eric Graff Account Executive - Katunyuta “Kate” Schmiedicke Account Executive - Jackie Rodriguez DESIGN Stefanie Leon Tiffany Hilliard WRITER Seth Soffian PRINTER Interprint Web Printing - Clearwater, FL

Cover Photo by Alejandra Bustamante ©2020 Vector & Ink All effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein; however, neither the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and its members nor Vector & Ink shall be held liable for any errors or omissions. Vector images designed by freepik

fortmyers.org | 3


Meet the Chamber Southwest Florida is a favorite visitor destination—with many distinct communities, there is something for everyone. We have a wide range of ecological, historical and cultural attractions brimming with activities and amenities for all ages. The Greater Fort Myers community embraces a dedicated commitment to quality of life. Our business culture is supportive, strong and diverse—an ideal place to relocate or start a business. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is a full-service organization representing 800 businesses and professionals throughout Lee County. We provide opportunities for members to network, participate in strategic planning, boost their knowledge and expertise through Chamber programs, and communicate with community leaders. We commit 10% of the base membership dues to the Chamber’s Foundation, which since 2004, has supported our education-guided directives in myriad ways. When you need the services of a local business, contact our high-caliber partners in the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce network. Our members give back to the community, and they are influential players in the success of Southwest Florida. They have the commitment and knowledge to serve first-time visitors and long-time business owners and residents. In person or online, remember to make the Chamber your first stop for visitor or relocation assistance and information:

Main Office: 2310 Edwards Dr., Fort Myers River District Call: 239 332-2930 Email: info@fortmyers.org Online: FortMyers.org

2019-2020 CHAMBER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bryan Blackwell Chair of the Board (Molloy Financial Group)

Jim Larkin First Vice Chair (Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower)

Angela Schivinski Second Vice Chair (Florida Weekly)

DIRECTORS Dan Adams Mark Blust Suzanne Boy Jeff Brown Michael L. Cannington Ryan Carter Dan Detrick David Douglas Phil Gaylor Lee Golden Randall P. Henderson Michele Hoover Tommy Heuther Jay Johnson Cheryl F. Komnick Heather Langdale Chris Lopez Kim McCartney

Eddie Metzger III Melissa Mitchell Randy Mitchelson Dean Piccirillo Connie RamosWilliams Keith Ruebeling Samantha Scott Aaron Selka Christopher T. Spiro Philip Stalnaker Doug Stevens Kelly Talamo Melissa Vogt Mark Weber Andrew Williams Jeff Mielke (ex officio)

HONORARY DIRECTORS William Fricke Treasurer (Enterprise Holdings)

Joe Mitchell Immediate Past Chair (Pool Pros, Inc/ Aqua Illusions)

Colleen DePasquale President & CEO

CHAMBER STAFF Colleen DePasquale President & CEO Colleen@fortmyers.org

Linda Onorevole Director of Operations Linda@fortmyers.org

Tammy Bennett Information Specialist info@fortmyers.org

Laurie Stanley Director of Member Services Laurie@fortmyers.org

Debra DeHaven Events Coordinator Debra@fortmyers.org

Marcia Davis Information Specialist info@fortmyers.org

4 | fortmyers.org

Richard C. Ackert Burnett Bloodworth Ben Few III Allan E. Fox Sam Galloway Jr. Thomas B. Hart Robert Kaye

Marietta Mudgett Marvin Metheny Allen Prather Bill Smith Bruce Strayhorn Gay R. Thompson William Valenti


WELCOME

HOME

fortmyers.org | 5


Welcome to

FORT MYERS Gateway to Southwest Florida

W

hether you’ve come to the Fort Myers region to spend a vacation relaxing and exploring, or have decided to make this slice of paradise your new home, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will find unique history and architecture, abundant natural amenities, never-ending options for dining, shopping and entertainment, and, most of all, a friendly, small-town charm that’s become a hallmark of the region’s diverse communities. The remarkable inventor (and our most famous seasonal resident) Thomas A. Edison memorably remarked, “There is only one Fort Myers in the United States, and there are 90 million people who are going to find it out.” A visionary he was: the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metropolitan area continues to be among the top 10 fastest-growing in the nation. Take your time to explore our ever-expanding options in residential communities, entertainment, dining and night-life opportunities, recreational and sports facilities, and cultural amenities. Look around and discover the magic of the Greater Fort Myers area, a place where tradition, nature, and urban sensibilities blend seamlessly.

Wilkommen!

Wilkommen in Fort Myers— da Kronjuwel lunter den Schmuckstucken der Golf-Kuste-hat seine eignen kostbaren Schatze, von glizernden Wasserstrasen, romantischen Inseln un einem von der Sonne gekussten Strand biz zu taumhaft schoen topischen Garent und Palmen die im der sanften-Brise flustern. Wir wünschen Ihren Aufenthalt so angenehm sein, wie möglich.

6 | | fortmyers.org fortmyers.org 6

Bienvenidos!

Bienvenidos a la ciudad de Fort Myers, la joya en la costa del Golfo de la Florida, lleva las riquezas mismas, los canales, las islas, las playas de oro, jardiness tropicales, y palmas que bailan en las brisas. Queremos que su estancia con nosotros sea muy agradable.

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis


ACTIVE 55+ RESORTST YLE R E N TA L C O M M U N I T Y

Luxury Apartments starting at $1,995/mo Waterview starting at $2,550/mo!

All-Inclusive! Live like every day is vacation! » » » »

No buy-in Valet parking and concierge Weekly housekeeping Riverfront bar and gourmet restaurants » Fitness and wellness center with instructor lead classes » Resort-style pool and spa » 24-hour on-site security

» » » » » » » »

Billiard and game room Library and media center Cinema Salon and spa Art studio with classes Covered parking Pet friendly Award-winning activity “SUN©” Program

C a l l ( 2 3 9 ) 9 3 5 - 5141 t o s c h e d u l e y o u r complimentar y LUNCH and TOUR

Located at: 2500 Edwards Drive • Fort Myers, FL 33901 For more info: www.CampoSeniorLiving.com or

www.fortmyers.org fortmyers.org | | 7 7


GETTING THERE FINDING YOUR WAY

It’s fairly easy to get from Point A to Point B in Southwest Florida, but it’s always nice to have a little assistance with navigation—and we have you covered. Stop into the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions.

BY AIR Southwest Florida International Airport 239-590-4800 I-75 Exit 128/Alico Road FlyLCPAa.com Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is operated by the Lee County Port Authority and has become one of the top 50 airports for passenger traffic. Airlines Serving Southwest Florida International Airport: Air Canada..................888-247-2262 American Airlines/ American Eagle….…800-433-7300 Delta Air Lines/ Delta Connection......800-221-1212 Eurowings...................845-709-8332 Frontier Airlines..........801-401-9000 JetBlue Airways..........800-538-2583 Silver Airways..............801-401-9100 Southwest Airlines.....800-435-9792 Spirit Airlines...............800-772-7117 Sun Country Airlines.........................651-905-2737 United Airlines/ United Express...........800-241-6522 WestJet.......................888-937-8538 8 | fortmyers.org

Page Field General Aviation Airport 5200 Captain Channing Page Dr Fort Myers 239-590-6600 www.flyfmy.com Page Field (FMY) is the FAA-designated reliever airport for Southwest Florida International Airport RSW). It is home to more than 300 aircraft and multiple aviation businesses including flight schools, charter operators and repair facilities. While no commercial service is offered at Page Field, it provides convenient access to Southwest Florida for general aviation operators while reducing congestion at RSW. Page Field has Foreign Trade Zone status and participates in the DASSP, which allows the origination of general aviation flights to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. Aeronautical Charters, Inc. 325 Danley Dr, Fort Myers 239-278-0101 or 888-781-0101 GoFlyACI.com Charter a flight at your own convenience.

BY LAND AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION Dolphin Transportation 239-530-0100 DolphinTransportation.com Enterprise 1-800-Rent-a-Car (National) / 239-561-2227 (onsite at airport) Enterprise.com BUS SERVICE Lee County Transit (LeeTran) 239-533-8726 (LEE-TRAN) RideLeeTran.com Local routes, plus downtown trolley and beach shuttles. Check website for schedules. Fort Myers Beach Park & Ride: 11101 Summerlin Square Dr. Greyhound 2250 Widman Way, Fort Myers 239-334-1011 Greyhound.com


BY WATER KeyWest Express 1200 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach 888-539-2628 / 239-463-5733 KeyWestExpress.net Skip the hassle and zip to Key West—because getting there should be half the fun. TRAVEL SERVICE AAA Travel Service 2516 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers 239-939-6500 AutoClubSouth.AAA.com Smooth Travels LLC 13051 Silver Sands Dr., Fort Myers 239-209-2440 SmoothTravelsLLC.com

Chamber members save at Enterprise. enterprise.com • 1 800 rent-a-car Reference Account #L351106

Pick-up and delivery is subject to geographic and other restrictions. ©2018 Enterprise Rent-A-Car. J01675 11.21

fortmyers.org | 9


Diggin’Downtown Embark on an interactive excursion—no matter your speed and interests—in the historic Fort Myers River District.

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

10 || fortmyers.org fortmyers.org 10


Did you know that Fort Myers has the largest concentration of historic buildings in Southwest Florida—the core of the city’s original business district? This is a special place where Old Florida charm meets modern sensibilities. The elegance is aglow in the daytime: Stroll through the streets once travelled by Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and turn-of-the-century town founders. It remains a thriving community hub with 60 restaurants and bars, unique galleries and shops, a modern library, and government and professional offices. At night, it comes alive and crackles with excitement with more than 52 events a year organized by the River District Alliance, including the monthly ArtWalk and MusicWalk.

Why wait? Jumpstart your

spacious shop, where cool music and endless eye candy—clothes, shoes, accessories, soaps and jewelry—transfix shoppers and browsers.

Feast Your Eyes

Other shops worth hunting for great finds: The Goodwill Boutique on First (2401 First St.) for the best of the best fashions and home goods at hard-tobeat prices, and Joe’s Record Exchange (2439 First St.) for an endless selection of vinyl, CDs, and vintage movies and posters. Create your own, all-natural spa by selecting the products and scents you like at Naples Soap Company (2273 First St.).

itinerary today for exploring the endless opportunities that await you in the Fort Myers River District. Downtown is home to art galore. Start your journey at Arts for ACT Gallery & Boutique (2265 First St.), where you will find realism, surrealism, impressionism, abstraction, whimsical and pop art created by some 75 artists. The gallery features guest artists each month. Purchases here do double-duty: supporting local artists and funding the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center for victims of domestic violence. Head over to The Franklin Shops (2200 First St.), bustling with 100 boutiques and an upstairs gallery featuring an unexpected mix of talent and genres. In addition to the gallery, at least 20 artists have mini-shops in the store. You will likely meander the

An antique picker? Oh,

there’s plenty of places to sate your passion. Get lost in decades past at iconic shops such as Remedies Parlor (2541 Thompson St.), The Open Door Shoppes on Hendry Street (1615 Hendry St.) and Ivy Cottage Antiques & Treasures (2259 Widman Way).

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

fortmyers.org | 11


Photo Credit: Chris Shimp/ Photo Sell Florida

Are you an aspiring or professional artist? Drop into the Art League of Fort Myers (1451 Monroe St.), where artists meet every Wednesday morning to create works and discuss technique. If you join the League, established in 1956, you also become a member of the Art Council of Southwest Florida.

What are you cooking tonight? Browse veggies, fruits, flowers and more at the River District Farmers Market (Broadway between Main & 2nd Streets). This is the longest-running farmers market in Lee County, and it is open year-round, every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 12 | fortmyers.org

Get Social You don’t really have to cook tonight, given the diversity of dining options in downtown Fort Myers. From hearty Italian to robust Mexican to sushi and locally fresh seafood, you will quickly discover the variety of restaurants downtown. If you are an artisanal beer aficionado, Millennial Brewing Company (1811 Royal Palm Ave.) is a must-not-miss stop for its tap selection. Even if you aren’t a beer drinker, there is always something interesting happening like Trivia Night, Millennial Game Night, college football, or food trucks. Coastal Dayz Brewery (2161 McGregor Blvd.) is all about the chill vibe and fresh brews, mostly its own but rotating guest taps, too. It also has music, games and a full calendar of events, along with guest food purveyors from area restaurants.

Downtown Social House (1406 Hendry St.) flashes the hashtag #EatDrinkGetSocial with its craft cocktails and food and “unique SoHo NYC-inspired” garden bar atmosphere. The nearby Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro (2214 Bay St.) marries the delicacies of the adjacent, award-winning Twisted Vine Bistro with more than 40 hard-tofind bourbons, a thoughtful tap selection, Sunday Jazz Brunch, and live music on most evenings. The Standard Restaurant (1520 Broadway) is open seven days a week for from-scratch American cuisine for lunch and dinner, indoors or outdoors, and Saturday and Sunday brunch, with bottomless mimosas! Stop by for Drag Queen Bingo or Drag Queen Karaoke.


Come make waves with us!

Cruises the Whole Family Will Love: • Cabbage Key or Useppa Island • Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island • Beach & Shelling to Cayo Costa State Park • Tarpon Lodge & Randell Research Center • Dolphin & Wildlife • Sailing Catamaran • Sunset Cruises

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

Cruise the River Enjoy a 90-minute river cruise with Pure Florida (2360 W. First St. at Pincher’s Crab Shack). See downtown Fort Myers, bird rookeries, mangroves and islands while learning about the river’s history and ecology from their certified captains. You may spot a dolphin or manatee along the way. Check out The Capt. JP and J.C. Cruises at the Fort Myers Yacht Club (1300 Hendry St.). The Capt. JP is a triple-deck paddle-wheeler that can carry 300 passengers on its two enclosed decks for in-depth river cruises and unique event experiences for individuals and groups.

Explore on Terra Firma Cruise around the waterfront and historic neighborhoods along McGregor Boulevard on a rented

CaptivaCruises.com 239-472-5300 electric bike from Pedego Fort Myers (Legacy Harbour Marina, 2030 W. First St., Suite E). The bikes offer a pedal/no pedal alternative so you can cover a lot of ground without a lot of effort. Pedego Fort Myers also sells 20 models – including a tandem bike and a tricycle with rear storage bin – and provides customer service and technical support.

Are you a walker? Serendipitously discover the public murals and sculptures throughout the River District and in Centennial Park. Visit the Palm Garden near the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, get an interesting, entertaining guided tour by True Tours (Franklin Shops, 2200 First St.), or amble around the historic Fort Myers Yacht Basin (1300 Lee St.) to see a variety of yachts and live-aboard vessels.

Celebrate the Sunset Bid farewell to an invigorating day by watching the sun set from the River District’s advantageous location. You will not be disappointed with any perch along the Caloosahatchee River, though there are a few other places to enjoy a toast from a different perspective. Pinchers Crab Shack at the Marina at Edison Ford (2360 W. First St.) is a convivial locale for mingling at sunset. Take the elevator to the Skybar at The Firestone Grill Room and Martini Bar (2224 Bay St.) or the rooftop bar of the Indigo Hotel (1520 Broadway) for a breathtaking panorama to toast adieu to the day and salut to the night.

fortmyers.org | 13


Things to Do

ATTRACTIONS & ENTERTAINMENT

Oh, the places you’ll go! And the things you can do! Day or night, laid-back or fast-action, the Fort

Myers region is brimming with excitement for residents and visitors throughout the year. Here is a select list of popular attractions and entertainment destinations that provide fun for all ages.

Alliance for the Arts

239-939-2787 ArtInLee.org 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers Art workshops and exhibitions, and theater and music performances on a 10-acre campus.

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall Photo Credit: Chris Shimp- PhotoSell Florida

239-481-4849 or 800-440-7469 BBMannpah.com 8099 College Pkwy., Fort Myers World-class entertainment. Broadway musicals, ballet, concerts, plus art on exhibit.

Bay Water Boat Rentals

239-495-0455 BayWaterBoatRentals.com 5020 Bonita Beach Road Bonita Springs Rent a quality fishing or tour boat for your next sea adventure.

Boston Red Sox

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

239-334-4799 MLB.com/redsox JetBlue Park at Fenway South, 11581 Daniels Pkwy., Fort Myers

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

239-278-4422 BroadwayPalm.com Royal Palm Square, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers Matinee and dinner theater fare with Broadway flair.

Captiva Cruises

239-472-5300 CaptivaCruises.com 11401 Andy Rosse Lane Captiva Island Island hopping, and dolphin, sunset and shelling cruises. Photo Credit: Edison Ford Winter Estates

14 | fortmyers.org

Edison Festival of Light

239-334-2999 EdisonFord.org 2310 Edwards Dr, Fort Myers A top national event that honors Thomas Edison. Annual lighted parade, concerts, junior events, 5K run, and Science & Inventor Fair.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

239-334-7419 EdisonFord.org 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers The historic winter homes of inventor Thomas Edison and his neighbor, auto magnate Henry Ford. Historic buildings, a museum, plus acres of gardens.

Everglades Day Safari

239-472-1559 or 800-472-3069 EcoSafari.com All-day adventure in the magnificent Everglades. Airboat and conventional boat ride, nature walk and drive, plus lunch.

Florida Everblades

239-948-7825 FloridaEverblades.com Hertz Arena 11000 Everblades Pkwy., Estero

Florida Repertory Theatre 239-332-4488 or 877-787-805 FloridaRep.org 2267 First St., Fort Myers Professional theatre production company staging a wide range of performances.


...

ADULTS & SENIORS

SAVE $5.00

PER PERSON WITH PROMO CODE: GRTFMCH Not valid with any other offers. Roundtrip Fort Myers Beach Only. Expires December 31, 2020.

Enjoy a tropical drink from the bar or bite to eat from the galley as your adventure begins. Sit back and relax within one of the air conditioned cabins or take in the sun and soft ocean breezes from the sun decks. You’ll arrive in comfort and luxury within walking distance of all there is to see and do on this idyllic palm lined island surrounded by crystal blue waters.

Book Your TripToday!

239-463-5733 keywestexpress.net

fortmyers.org | 15


239-768-4210 MightyMussels.com CenturyLink Sports Complex 14400 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. Fort Myers

GameTime

Laboratory Theater of Florida

239-218-0481 LaboratoryTheaterFlorida.com 1634 Woodford Ave., Fort Myers Featuring ensemble productions, classic and contemporary works and projects by local playwrights.

239-204-5964 GameTimePlayers.com Gulf Coast Town Center 10037 Gulf Center Dr., Estero The ultimate experience combining the best indoor amusements with food, full liquor sports bar, party facilities, and loads of entertainment for the family.

Minnesota Twins

HeadPinz Entertainment Center

239-992-2411 NaplesFortMyersDogs.com 10601 Bonita Beach Road S.E. Bonita Springs A pari-mutuel venue with greyhound racing and trackside dining.

239-302-2155 HeadPinz.com 14513 Global Pkwy., Fort Myers State-of-the art bowling, laser tag, aerial ropes course, giant game zone, exclusive VIP lanes, and Nemo’s Sports Bistro await you.

Hertz Arena

239-948-7825 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero HertzArena.com Elton John, Alan Jackson, Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil are just a few of the major acts who have performed at the arena. It also is home to the Florida Everblades ice hockey team.

IMAG History & Science Center

239-321-7420 TheIMAG.org 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers Live animal programs, virtual reality experience, weather forecasting, 3D theater shows, touch tanks, and more.

JC Cruises

239-334-7474 JCCruises.com

Key West Express

239-463-5733 or 800-593-7260 KeyWestExpress.net 2200 Main St., Fort Myers Beach Travel to Key West aboard jetpowered catamarans. Satellite TV, tropical drinks and food. 16 | fortmyers.org

239-768-4278 MLB.com/twins CenturyLink Sports Complex 14100 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. Fort Myers

Naples/Fort Myers Greyhound Track

Pure Florida

239-919-2965 (Fort Myers) PureFortMyers.com 2360 West First St., Fort Myers 239-263-4949 (Naples) PureNaples.com 1200 Fifth Ave. S., Naples

The Ranch Concert Hall and Saloon 239-985-9839 TheRanchFortMyers.com 2158 Colonial Blvd, #4, Fort Myers

Roy Hobbs Baseball 330-923-3400 RoyHobbs.com

Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventure 239-463-7333 PiecesOfEight.com 2500 Main St. Fort Myers Beach

Seminole Casino

239-658-1313 800-218-0007 TheSeminoleCasino.com 506 S. First St., Immokalee Open 24-7. High-paying gaming machines, live action poker, restaurant and bar.

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Baseball Club

Seminole Gulf Railway

239-275-6060 SemGulf.com 2805 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers “Murder Mystery” fun and dining aboard vintage railroad cars. Scenic day excursions.

Shell Factory & Nature Park 239-995-2141 TheShellFactory.com 2787 N. Tamiami Trail North Fort Myers

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center 239-333-1933 SBDAC.com 2301 First St., Fort Myers

Sky Zone Ft Myers 239-313-5448 SkyZone.com/fortmyers 14181 South Tamiami Trail Fort Myers


fortmyers.org | 17


Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Civic Center

239-543-8364 LeeCivicCenter.com 11831 Bayshore Road. North Fort Myers Quality entertainment throughout the entire year, including trade shows, expos, agricultural and horticultural showcases, the state fair, and much more.

Southwest Florida Symphony

239-418-1500 swflso.org 8290 College Pkwy, Fort Myers This professional symphony orchestra, led by internationally acclaimed Maestro Nir Kabaretti, and its youth orchestra, performs classical and pops concerts at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and other venues in Southwest Florida.

Sun Harvest Citrus

800-768-2686 SunHarvestCitrus.com 14810 Metro Pkwy., Fort Myers Citrus packing house and gift store. Fresh citrus, juices, ice cream, gourmet foods, gifts.

Symphonic Chorale of SWFL

239-560-5695 SymphonicChorale.org A highly select, auditioned professional core chorus under the artistic direction of conductor Dr. Trent Brown. Call or visit their website for performance dates and venues.

Zoomers Amusement Park 239-481-9666 ZoomersAmusementPark.com 17455 Summerlin Road. Fort Myers An 18-acre indoor/outdoor assortment of rides, games and attractions.

18 | fortmyers.org


Discover Your Fun

SPECIAL IMAG ATTRACTIONS

Science on a Sphere Google Earth Wall SEA-to-SEE Touch Tank Virtual Reality Fort Myers USS Mohawk Aquarium 3D Movie Theater Living Lab Animal Displays Mini Museum Imagination Playground Science in Motion Engineering Lab A Walk Through History Florida Fossils Fisheye Lagoon Caloosahatchee Exhibit Solar Pavilions SWFL Watershed Sandbox WWII in SWFL IMAG TV Studio Water Works Lake Okeechobee Aquarium Whisper Dishes Aquaponics Display Fort Myers Local History Underwater Invaders Electricity Exhibits Archaelogoical Artifacts Calusa History The Weather Experience Hands-On Hall Museum Store Backyard Nature SWFL Fishing & Wildlife Traveling Exhibits & More

New at the IMAG

S C I E N C E O N A S P H E R E* Illustrating the Science of the Earth

HUMANITIES

SCIENCE

ENGINEERING

HISTORY

TECHNOLOGY

M AT H E M AT I C S

Summer Camp Day Camps Boy Scout Programs Girl Scout Programs Homeschool Programs Birthday Parties Science Assemblies Field Trips & Workshops History Outreaches Family Nights & More

ART

History & Science Center 2000 Cranford Avenue | Fort Myers, FL 33916 | 239.243.0043 | theIMAG.org Tuesday - Saturday 10AM - 5PM | Sunday 12PM - 5PM | Closed Monday * Thank you to our sponsors

SPECIAL IMAG PROGRAMS

$5 OFF

Regular Admission for a Party of 3 or More Guests 1 Coupon per Party EXPIRES: 12/31/2020

"

CODE: FMC 20 © the IMAG 2019 | 19 fortmyers.org


Things to Do

ALONG THE COAST: BEACHCOMBING & CRUISING The beaches of Lee County are some of the most picturesque destinations in Southwest

Photo Credit: Paradise Parasail

Florida, where the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow, gentle slopes provide ease of access. Choose your beach, and plan an adventure-filled day or pure relaxation as you sink into the soft, warm sand or dip your toes into the Gulf. Lee County’s coastline is an ideal atmosphere for families and friends to reconnect along the tropical coast. From romantic sunsets to shelling adventures, from trying out a new water sport to wildlife encounters, you will take home lasting memories of your time in paradise.

Bonita Beach Park

Fort Myers Beach

27954 Hickory Blvd. Fort Myers Beach This beautiful beachfront park is the southernmost stop on Bonita Beach Road before it turns inland. Amenities include shelters, tables, grills, sand volleyball court, a playground and restrooms. Parking - $2 per hour.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach maintains 25 public beach access points on the Gulf side of the island. They are marked with bright orange-and-blue signs and are easily accessed from Estero Boulevard. Many have public metered parking - $3 per hour. Two family-friendly locations that offer restrooms and outdoors showers, picnic tables and other amenities are:

Bowman Beach 1700 Bowman’s Beach Road Sanibel Island Pristine and quiet even while popular for shelling, swimming and picnics with boardwalks and restrooms. Parking - $5 per hour.

Dog Beach 8800 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach Near New Pass Bridge, Bonita Beach Lee County’s only off-leash beach. Dogs must be kept under voice command. Plastic bags and disposal stations are available. Proof of license and immunizations required. No glass containers or alcohol allowed. Free parking, portable restrooms, and canine shower stations.

20 | fortmyers.org

Lynn Hall Memorial Park 950 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach Parking - $2 per hour, next to shops and restaurants in “Times Square” and the 560-foot-long pier.

Newton Beach Cottage 4650 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach Metered parking – so bring quarters.

Lovers Key State Park 8700 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach The two-mile stretch of beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking and sunbathing. Black Island has more than five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Onsite concessionaire rents kayaks, bikes, beach umbrellas, chairs and paddleboards.


Fun Fact:

The beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are officially the Guinness World Record holder for the largest human image of a seashell. A crowd of 1,093 got together to break the record on Fort Myers Beach.

Sanibel, Captiva Beaches Great shelling and a historic lighthouse distinguish Sanibel beaches, a 30 to 45 minute drive from downtown Fort Myers. Facilities (restrooms, showers, concessions) with parking fees based on location. A little farther on Captiva Island, Turner Beach (17200 Captiva Dr.) is located on the Captiva side of Blind Pass Bridge with limited parking - $5 per hour, a white-sand beach, toilets, fishing and canoe/kayak launch.

Photo Credit: Alejandra Bustamante

Come to Live Here At Thrive at Beachwalk we’ve dedicated our lives to ensure there is purpose in every breath of each resident we are honored to serve, with the understanding that older adults and their loved ones depend on us not only to live, but to live well. It’s a challenge we welcome - every day. Come visit. Learn what it means to thrive.

Thrive at Beachwalk 15800 Beachwalk Boulevard | Fort Myers, FL 33908 239.349.3769 | Hello@ThriveAtBeachwalk.com ThriveSL.com/Beachwalk Assisted Living Facility #13074

fortmyers.org | 21


BOATS- CHARTERS/CRUISES/FISHING Bay Water Boat Club

Marine Max

Tow Boat US Cape Coral

239-495-0455

239-481-8200 MarineMax.com

239-945-1664 TowBoatUSCapeCoral.com

Pirate Cruise at Salty Sam’s Marina

Walker’s Yacht Sales

Boat Rentals BaywaterBoatRentals.com 5020 Bonita Beach Road, SW Bonita Springs

Boat Club BWBoatClub.com 5124 Bonita Beach Road, SW Bonita Springs

Captiva Cruises 239-472-5300 CaptivaCruises.com 11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Nature, shelling and out-island cruises; private charters.

Capt. J.P/J.C. Cruises 239-334-7474 JCCruises.com 2313 Edwards Dr. Yacht Basin Downtown Fort Myers

239-463-3257/ 239-463-7333 MyParrotKey.com 2500 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach Pieces of Eight, an authentic pirate-themed cruise, is looking for buccaneers young and old to experience a real life pirate voyage back through the Golden Age of Piracy.

239-481-5083 WalkersMarine.com

Pure Florida 239-919-2965 PureFortMyers.com 2360 West 1st St., Fort Myers 239-263-4949 PureNaples.com 1200 5th Ave. S. Naples

Carefree Boat Club SW Florida 888-505-2582 CarefreeBoats.com

Photo Credit: Chris Shimp/PhotoSell Florida

Photo Credit: Chris Shimp/PhotoSell Florida

22 | fortmyers.org


GOLF Southwest Florida is known as the “Golf Course Capital of the World,” with courses designed by the country’s leading golf course architects. Many are open for public play year-round or during the summer months. Call ahead to reserve tee times and check greens and cart fees. Eastwood Golf Course 321-7487 4600 Bruce Herd Lane, Fort Myers Cityftmyers.com/225/EastwoodGolf-Course Owned and operated by the City of Fort Myers, and designed by Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin, Eastwood sits on the old city well field and comprises over 150 acres. Eastwood plays to a par 72 layout, possesses 87 strategically placed bunkers, and water comes into play on 10 of the 18 holes, with a recently renovated front 9.

Fort Myers Country Club 936-3126 3591 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers Cityftmyers.com/227/Fort-MyersCountry-Club Owned and operated by the City of Fort Myers and located on historic palm tree lined McGregor Boulevard in the City of Fort Myers. The course opened for play in 1917 and was designed in 1916 by the great Donald Ross. Located only one mile south of the Edison/Ford Winter Estates, Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford frequently played the course during the 1920’s. Golf architect Steve Smyers transformed the course during a renovation in 2014 that included elevated bunkers and greens, the addition of six new water hazards in the form of filter marshes and lakes, and increased accessibility for players with disabilities.

Pelican Preserve Golf Club 985-8650 10662 Pelican Preserve Blvd., Fort Myers PelicanPreserveLifestyles.com Pelican Preserve’s 27 holes of championship golf offer pristine greens and natural preserve surroundings. Abounding water, sand and grass hollow hazards are perfectly complemented by generous landing areas and the gentle contours of Tifeagle “Ultradwarf” greens. Striking fairways weave through the 1,100acre community. The course was designed by Lewis C. “Chip” Powell.

Plantation Golf & Country Club 561-8650 10500 Dartington Drive, Fort Myers PlantationGolfCC.com

Photo Credit: Robin Albright

Designed by the award-winning partnership of Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, and Dana Fry, The Plantation Golf Course provides a perfect mix of rigor and elegance that allow players to witness the game at its pinnacle. While there are no great elevation changes, the fairways have numerous rolls and dips to create definite target areas. The greens are highlighted with many chipping areas contoured to truly test each player’s short game skills. The bunkering is in the “Pinehurst” style - not overly deep, but steep faces. 18 holes, par 72. Photo Credit: Robin Albright

fortmyers.org | 23


Things to Do WILD ABOUT NATURE

Southwest Florida enjoys unparalleled natural amenities that draw visitors from around the world. Lee County has taken preservation of wild spaces seriously through tax-payer-approved funding to conserve and protect pine, hardwood and cypress forests, marshes, shorelines and islands. Whether you’re headed to the unique beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, urban-area parks or into the lush interior, you will discover a variety of eco-adventures, educational programs and wildlife-encounter opportunities that explore the natural history of this region.

NATURE CENTERS, PARKS & PRESERVES

Bowditch Point Regional Park 239-765-6794

50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach The 17.5-acre park at the northern tip of Estero Island is the only undeveloped property with a shoreline on both the Gulf of Mexico and Matanzas Pass. There are tables and grills, shaded shelters, benches, food and gift concessions, restrooms and changing facilities, butterfly gardens, canoe launch, and plenty of parking - $2 per hour.

Caloosahatchee Regional Park 239-694-0398

19130 N. River Road, Alva Hiking, biking and equestrian trails crisscross this scenic park overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. Picnic pavilions.

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium 239-275-3435

CalusaNature.com 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers This 105-acre facility features a natural history museum, live plants and animals, nature trails, planetarium, butterfly house and aviary with rehabilitated birds of prey. There’s also a gift shop and picnic areas. All Photos Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

24 | fortmyers.org

Centennial Park 239-321-7524

2000 W. First St. Downtown Fort Myers This 10-acre city park in the heart of the River District overlooks the Caloosahatchee River and hosts community festivities and art shows. Picnic areas, playground, paved riverside promenade, pavilion, an array of public sculptures, volleyball court and a pier make this an urban oasis.

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) 239-472-2334

CrowClinic.org 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel This nonprofit is a working wildlife clinic and educational center that teaches visitors about native and migratory wildlife.

ECHO Global Farm 239-543-3246

ECHOnet.org 17391 Durrance Road North Fort Myers ECHO’s Global Farm Tour is a guided, walking tour of a creative and fascinating working farm. Learn about unique demonstrations, plants, and techniques useful to farmers and urban gardeners in developing countries.


Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park

Judd Community Park 239-357-5443

1297 Parkview Court North Fort Myers This 14-acre facility offers a lighted softball field with clay infield as well as a dog park.

239-694-0398

17980 Palm Beach Blvd East Fort Myers Nature preserve includes five miles of nature trails, gopher tortoise and Florida Scrub-Jay habitat, canoe/ kayak landing, amphitheater, boardwalk and fishing pier.

Lakes Regional Park 239-533-7575

7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers This 279-acre gem offers nature trails for walking or biking, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, picnicking, bird watching and gardens. Lakes Park offers two playgrounds and water parks, a miniature train, railroad museum, concessions for food, and bike and watercraft rentals.

J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge 239-472-1100

FWS.gov/dingdarling 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel “Ding” Darling is a world-class destination for birding. Spend a day walking, biking or riding a tram on Wildlife Drive, visiting the education center and getting on the water through Tarpon Bay Explorers.

Manatee Park 239-690-5030

All Photos Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

10901 Palm Beach Blvd. Fort Myers See manatees on the Orange River when they congregate here November through March. The park, located across from the FPL power plant, is open year-round and has family amenities and picnic facilities.

AIRBOAT RIDES Ride with the oldest airboat tour family in South Florida. For more information call

1-800-368-0065 Reservations Accepted FREE Wi-Fi Available www.CaptainMitchs.com

PleAse give us A Review on

CaptMitch'sAirboat_7.125x4.875.indd 1

fortmyers.org 25 12/12/17 11:24| AM


Matanzas Pass Preserve 239-229-1610

199 Bay Road Fort Myers Beach This 60-acre preserve includes 1.25 miles of trails with interpretive signs that explain the importance of the marine ecosystem—the last maritime tropical hammock on Estero Island. The site is home to the Estero Island Historical Society headquartered in the 1921 Davison Cottage.

Rotary Park Environmental Center 239-549-4606

5505 Rose Garden Road Cape Coral Boasting 97 preserved acres, this park showcases salt marsh and uplands ecosystems, as well as a native plant garden and butterfly house. There are nature trails, an observation tower, bike path, a dog park, and gardening workshops. It is home to the annual Burrowing Owl Festival.

Rutenberg Community Park 239-432-2154

6500 South Point Blvd. Fort Myers A 40-acre property offering footbal fields, baseball/softball fields, basketball courts and playground.

Six Mile Cypress Slough 239-533-7550

7751 Penzance Blvd., Fort Myers SloughPreserve.org A mile-long boardwalk with interpretative signage winds through cypress and hardwood forests while introducing visitors to some of our “neighbors”: American alligators, freshwater turtles, wading birds, otters and others.

All Photos on this page Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

All Photos on this page Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

26 | fortmyers.org


Get in the Game Strike out on an invigorating trek on land or water, then settle back at a local stadium or arena.

HIT THE TRAILS

Following is a list of popular and scenic places to stroll, jog, skate or cycle. For more options, maps and resources: BikeWalkLee.org or TrailLink.com. Photo Credit: Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

McGregor Boulevard: This stately, palm-lined thoroughfare is flanked by parallel pathways for exercisers of all types. Stay on the sidewalk of the 14.6-mile-long road that runs parallel to the Caloosahatchee River from downtown Fort Myers to Sanibel Causeway. Or venture into the beautiful riverfront neighborhoods for stops along the water and to see an assortment of architecture spanning a century. Just be sure to watch for cars exiting neighborhoods. John Yarbrough Linear Park Trail: Stretching from Colonial Boulevard to Six Mile Cypress Parkway, this 6-mile paved trail can be used for walking, hiking, bicycling, rollerblading and onleash dog walking. You’ll likely spot numerous bird species, including egrets, herons, eagles and hawks. The trail is well-shaded on the southern-most section. Covered picnic tables provide shelter.

The trail is accessible by sidewalks or paths at multiple locations. Parking also is available at various locations. Sanibel Island: This world-class island is revered almost as much for its safe, spacious, scenic bike and exercise paths as it is for its famed beaches and shelling. Periwinkle Way is the main road entering the island from the causeway, offering access to the Sanibel Lighthouse, restaurants and shops. At Tarpon Bay Road, turn right and you’ll begin the pathway paralleling Sanibel-Captiva Road, leading to Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and other places of interest. Parking: Shortly after arriving on the island, look for the brightly colored Sanibel Island Visitors Center (1159 Causeway Road). Pick up trip-planning information and park here or at a public beach. Billy’s Rentals (1509 Periwinkle Way) has Segways and a variety of bicycles.

Pine Island Bike Path: This 13.7mile path spans the island along Stringfellow Road from St. James City at the southern tip to Bokeelia to the north. Consider stopping at Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve to explore marshland and forests. Parking: Phillips Park (5675 Sesame Drive) at Pine Island Center. Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva: This 768-acre park (19130 North River Road) along the Caloosahatchee River has 3.4 miles of interconnecting hiking trails. Bicycles are permitted on many of them. The Overlook Trail is wheelchair-accessible. The park also is home to the more rugged and adventurous North Side Mountain Bike & Equestrian Trails (Parking lot 3). Parking - $1 per hour or $5 per day.

fortmyers.org | 27


PLAN A PADDLE No doubt there are many places to launch a paddle craft, and many outfitters to choose from, but the easiest way to begin exploring local waterways and back bays is on the Great Calusa Blueway.

• E ST

D

LIS HE

ISHE

“We had an awesome week! I really did not think I could do it honestly…but I MADE IT! And it was due to the knowledge and patience of both instructors. I really can’t explain how grateful I am that they were as patient as they were.”

BL

AB

• E S TA

The trail is ideal for novices and avid back-country paddlers alike. Meander through the coastal waters of Lee County from the Pine Island Sound to Estero Bay, up the Caloosahatchee River and through its tributaries. Get up-close to many of our local residents: herons, bald eagles, osprey, anhinga, frigate birds, dolphins, manatee, sea turtles and, of course, a wide variety of fish.

The Greatest Classroom in the World!®

D

This 190-mile paddling trail guides canoeists and kayakers via easy-to-identify brown-and-white signs through shallow areas (and away from powerboat traffic).

Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

Michele Maynard, Myrtle Beach, SC Fast Track to Cruising® course Captiva Island, FL

The Blueway is named for a native local people called the Calusa. The Calusa were seafaring Native Americans who thrived for centuries in Southwest Florida before the arrival of the Spaniards. The annual Battle on the Blueway is held at Fort Myers Beach. This sanctioned World Paddling Association event has a family-friendly festival atmosphere that celebrates paddling, Florida’s native wildlife and Calusa heritage. Download free maps and GPS coordinates, find put-in sites, boat rentals, guided tours, and what to expect along the trail: FortMyers-Sanibel.com/ CalusaBlueway

28 | fortmyers.org

Since 1964, Offshore Sailing School has provided freedom on the water through courses with the most skilled and professional instructors on the horizon. Call or visit us online to start your adventure. British Virgin Islands

OffshoreSailing.com

Florida’s Gulf Coast •

888-385-6859


SPORTS GALORE

Photo Credit: Minnesota Twins

BATTER UP! In 1925, the Philadelphia Athletics became the first major league club to train in Fort Myers. The team was managed by Cornelius McGillicuddy—better known as Connie Mack—a professional baseball catcher who became Major League Baseball’s longest-serving manager. Today, two American League teams—the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins— play spring training games here in February and March.

Lee County hosts several professional events and over 150 amateur events each year. Sports opportunities for golf, sailing, pickleball, swimming and paddling – to name a few – are drawn here for the weather, water and premier facilities. Lee County has recently become a destination for premier basketball tournaments, with the nationally-recognized City of Palms Basketball Classic (high school) being joined by two Thanksgiving week NCAA tournaments – the Fort Myers Tip Off and the Gulf Coast Showcase. Events take place almost weekly throughout the year, and the best place to find a calendar of sports events is the Lee County Sports Development website: LeeGov.com/Sports/ Events.

Florida Everblades Boston Red Sox

JetBlue Park 11500 Fenway South Drive Fort Myers Some characteristics of the ballpark are taken from Fenway Park, including a 37-foot-high Green Monster in left field, featuring seating both on top of and behind the wall, and a manual scoreboard. To Order Tickets by Phone: Toll Free 877-REDSOX9 (877-733-7699) For Tickets and Other Information: 239-226-4700 MLB.com/RedSox

Minnesota Twins

Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway Fort Myers The Twins are spending their 30th spring training season at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in 2020. Tickets: At the stadium box office, by phone at 800-33-TWINS MLB.com/Twins

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels

Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers Hammond Stadium is also the home of this minor league baseball team, which has been affiliated with the Twins since 1992. This will be their first season as the Mighty Mussels. They were formerly known as the Fort Myers Miracle, before changing their name this past December. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels games are all about affordable family fun, featuring nightly themes, fireworks, and giveaways. Tickets: 239-768-4210 MightyMussels.com.

Hertz Arena 11000 Everblades Parkway Estero (I-75 exit 123) Based in Estero, this professional hockey team is a member of the ECHL, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, and plays in the newly remodeled Hertz Arena. The Everblades are affiliated with the NHL’s Nashville Predators and have had more than 30 players go onto careers in the NHL. The Everblades play 36 home games from October through early April. Tickets: 239-948-7825 or floridaeverblades.com.

Photo Credit: Florida Everblades

fortmyers.org | 29


Browse & Feast Photo Credit: Miromar Outlets

Photo Credit: Lee County VCB/ FortMyers-Sanibel.com

Enjoy the good life at shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.

W

hen you’ve set down the golf clubs and beach umbrella, Fort Myers has plenty of hotspots that combine two other popular pursuits—shopping and dining. Outdoor lifestyle centers and other locales mix high-end retail shops and eclectic boutiques with plentiful fine and casual dining options. Enjoy live entertainment, holiday happenings and other special events with a great meal and cocktail amid lush landscaping, cooling fountains and open courtyards, day and night. Shopping aficionados won’t want to miss two terrific outlet malls featuring leading designer and brand names, with dining options and family-friendly attractions. If you’re on the hunt for luxury goods, a special find or a memorable outing with friends, Southwest Florida offers it all.

30 | fortmyers.org


fortmyers.org | 31


Foodies’ Paradise Dig in!

What’s your taste? American, Italian, Greek, Asian, South American, Middle Eastern? Fort Myers of course has those and more. What really sets Fort Myers apart though is the quality of local cuisine. Southwest Florida’s ever-growing size and affluence brings demand for great dining. Top chefs and restaurateurs flock here - or are groomed here. Everyone loves dining in paradise! Our coastal location and year-round growing conditions provide another huge benefit: freshness. Organic, locally farm-to-table options and the day’s seafood catch has always been what Fort Myers is all about. Want more? The richly varied food truck scene is robust here, as are breweries and food festivals. Whether casual or dressed up, on the water or overlooking the skyline, Fort Myers offers the best eats. Dig in!

32 | fortmyers.org

Something’s Brewin’ If you like some brew with your grub, Southwest Florida has dozens of breweries. From quaint start-ups to some of the area’s most established and sought-after, brewers like these are offering up wonderfully drinkable IPAs, stouts, sours, and more. Here’s just a small sampling.

Eight-Foot Brewing

Millennial Brewing

4417 SE 16th Pl., Unit 11 Cape Coral 239-984-2655 Eightfootbrewing.com

1811 Royal Palm Ave. Fort Myers 239-271-2255 Millennialbrewing.com

A small-batch brewery dedicated to producing high-quality beer and fermented beverages paired with small-plate, home-made food.

Millennial Brewing Company is the first crowd-funded brewery concept to come to Southwest Florida. Food trucks every day, live music, family and pet friendly!

Fort Myers Brewing Company 12811 Commerce Lake Drive, Suite #28 Fort Myers 239-313-6576 Fmbrew.com Over 25 beers on tap plus at least one food truck onsite every day! Food trucks rotate, so visit their website or give them a call to find out who’s on-site. Want to bring your own food, that’s fine too! Grills, tailgate, tents, are all welcome in their parking lot. Tours by reservation. Always family and pup friendly.

Palm City Brewing 7887 Drew Circle #130 Fort Myers 239-362-2862 Palmcitybeer.com Award winning beer & family fun! Palm City Brewing welcomes everyone from the seasoned beer drinkers, to the lovers of craft beer to the novice and “non beer drinkers” alike.


Yucatan Shrimp! The Original

Award Winning Flavors from the Caribbean Rim!

Lunch & Dinner www.DocFords.com

Sanibel Island 2500 Island Inn Rd. 239.472.8311

Ft. Myers Beach 708 Fisherman’s Wharf. 239.765.9660

Captiva Island

South Seas Island Resort 239.312.4275

fortmyers.org | 33


THE PURCHASE OF $30 Expires 12/31/20

SWFLD

Expires 12/31/20

SWFLD

SWFLD

Expires 12/31/20

THE PURCHASE OF $30

34 | fortmyers.org

SWFLD

Expires 12/31/20


FUN FACT Did you know many of our local restaurants are pet-friendly? That’s right - various local restaurants offer outdoor seating where you can enjoy the beautiful SWFL weather in the company of your best friend! You are welcome, Fido!

fortmyers.org | 35


AWARD WINNING DINING DESTINATIONS 8 RESTAURANTS & BARS TO SERVE YOU FOR LUNCH, DINNER, HAPPY HOUR & NIGHTLIFE

WATERFRONT CASUAL DINING & NIGHTLIFE

MODERN MEXICAN SCRATCH KITCHEN

2224 BAY STREET DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS FIRESTONEFL.COM

2226 FIRST STREET DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS CABOSCANTINAFL.COM

FRESH SEAFOOD & 2282 FIRST STREET, OYSTER BAR WITH A DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS FISH & OYSTER NEW ENGLAND FLAIR IZZYSFTMYERS.COM

SPORTS BREWS & BARBEQUES

2278 FIRST STREET DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS THELODGEFL.COM

COAL FIRED PIZZAS & PASTAS

2225 FIRST STREET DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS CAPONESCOALFIREDPIZZA.COM

DOWNTOWN’S FIRST & ONLY GARDEN BAR

1406 HENDRY ST DOWNOWN FORT MYERS DOWNTOWNSOHO.COM

LIVE MUSIC DAILY!

WATERFRONT TIKI 17101 ST RD 31, BAR & GRILL WITH NORTH FORT MYERS DAY RESORT VIBES THEBOATHOUSEUSA.COM

36 | fortmyers.org

WATERFRONT TIKI BAR & GRILL WITH PRIVATE BEACH

WWW.KRGDINING.COM

5819 DRIFTWOOD PKWY, CAPE CORAL YATCH CLUB THEBOATHOUSEUSA.COM


Dr rds a Edw 9

Alicia Ave

Union St Liberty

Fowler St

Broadway

Monroe St

Cottage St

Heitman St

To I-75 Exit 137

10. Lee County Courthouse 11. Library - Downtown, public 12. Police Department 13. Sheriff’s Department 14. Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center 15. Transportation Terminal 16. Yacht Basin Lorem ipsum 17. Legacy Harbour Marina 18. Collaboratory

Ave

Franklin St

South St Jeffcott St Stella St

Evans Ave

Palm

Dora St

Royal

o wt Ne

Central

Edison Ave Grand Ave

Congress St

Columbus

15

Crawford St

Fort Myers River District 1. Arcade Theater/ Florida Repertory Theatre/ Arts For ACT Gallery 2. Burroughs Home 3. Centennial Park 4. City Hall 5. The Franklin Shops 6. Constitution Complex 7. Downtown Post Office 8. Edison and Ford Winter Estates 9. Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce - Downtown Visitor information Center

SR 82

Ave“A”

Hoople St

n

Cortez Blv d

6

18

Jackson St

Altamonte Ave

Ca lo

os

Llewe llyn

uth So t S

Mo nte Vista

e Av

r a D els nu Ma

San dr

d n R y l r Ma

n St pso m Tho

US

Lafayette St.

Edison Ave Euclis Ave

16

Widman Way

12

d St Thir St rth Fou

m Pal

Jo hn To so ur n na St me nt Victoria Ave

lid Av Lar e chm 8 on tA ve

4

10

St ond Sec

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

ey

Clifford St.

or eg r G Mc Euc

d. Blv

ond hm R ic

St Lee

Av e

11

t 5 t S Firs 13

Cli ffo rd

Av e

14

St son Jack St dry Hen y wa ad Bro

Vir gin ia

et Stre t s Fir

Henl

Alt am on t

st We

7

an Heitm

17

3

1

yal Ro

e he atc sah e loo ridg Ca B

ah

iver R ee h c at

lvd 0 SR8 ch B ea B Palm 2

16

Bay

lon Ava ve kA a Par i ett n ins iso Ed ge Po d d for Bri od Wo Ave

n iso Ed ge d Bri

I-75 To it 141 Ex

Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce For more information, please contact us at:

2310 Edwards Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33901 (239) 332-2930 E-mail: info@fortmyers.org Website: www.fortmyers.org

fortmyers.org | 37


Fort Myers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

ATTRACTIONS/PLACES OF INTEREST Alliance for the Arts Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall Broadway Palm Theatre Calusa Nature Center & Plantetarium City of Palms Stadium Florida Everblades/Hertz Arena Florida Repertory Theatre/Arcade Theater Fort Myers Beaches Hickey’s Creek Miligation Park IMAG History & Science Center J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Lakes Park Lee Civic Center Centurylink Sports Complex Riverside Community Center Six Miles Cypress Slough Sun Splash Family Fun Park Legacy Harbour Marina Edison & Ford Winter Estates JetBlue Park COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES Barry University Florida SouthWestern State College Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers Technical College Hodges University Keiser University Nova Southeastern University Rasmussen College HOSPITALS Gulf Coast Medical Center HealthPark Medical Center/Golisano Children’s Hospital of SWFL Lee Memorial Hospital SHOPPING CENTERS Bell Tower Shops Edison Mall Gulf Coast Town Center Miromar Outlets Sanibel Outlet

18

WELCOME CENTER Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce 2310 Edwards Drive

37 JOHN MORRIS RD.

12

9 2 9 38 | fortmyers.org


14 10

16

6

FD SW

19

PM

25

8 11

20 32 4

34

26

FORUM BLVD.

28

17

22

22 23 3

5

29

PAGE FIELD

1

29 27

21

33 13

30 15

RED SOX

MIRACLE

31

E OA

THRE

35

AY ARKW KS P

24 7 36

fortmyers.org | 39


The Best of Flo s e l p m a FREE S WITH OUR COMPLIMENTS

Enjoy free samples of our delicious, fresh-squeezed juice and our scrumptious citrus. You’ll have a clear view of our pristine juice room where you can watch us squeeze the most refreshing juice you’ve ever tasted.

o G o T s Citru GRAB A BAG!

Once you’ve tasted our fresh picked fruit, you’ll have to get some to go. Take it home to family and friends in an easy-to-carry mesh bag. Fresh citrus to go, November through April

Freshly Squeezed Florida Juice

s Pkwy .

Soft Serve Ice Cream

Fort Myers

Gladiolus Dr.

Naples

40 | fortmyers.org

75

Mi

le C ypres

Tampa

Si

x

41

Michael G Rippe Pkwy

Sanibel

Metro Pkwy.

Daniels Pkwy.

Cypress Lake Dr.

EXIT 131

Southwest Florida International Airport

Six Mile Cypress and Metro Pkwy 14601 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Ft Myers Monday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 800-743-1480 • SunHarvestCitrus.com


lorida is Here! s t f i G Unique

g n i p p i h S s u r t i C

Browse our store for the perfect gift from Florida, including a wide variety of specialty foods, tropical candy and premium fruit wines.

We ship our fresh picked oranges, grapefruit and Honeybells throughout the United States. FREE Shipping.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

SEND A TASTE OF FLORIDA

Citrus Shipping, November through April

Just Made Key Lime Pies We

Ship

Premium Fruit Wines Located Inside!

#SunHarvestCitrus

ne O t e G , e Buy On

E E R F Ice Cream

with this coupon

Take this coupon to Sun Harvest Citrus and try one of our soft serve cones (Orange, Vanilla, Chocolate or Key lime) Valid through January 2021. GFTMCR&VG

Mon-Sat 8-7 / Sun 10-6 800-743-1480 Six Mile Cypress and Metro 14601 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Fort Myers

fortmyers.org | 41


Entertain Your Senses Arts, theater and cultural offerings provide indelible experiences for visitors and residents of all ages.

What will it be

tonight? A laughout-loud comedy or a dazzling Broadway spectacular? Maybe you’re in the mood to two-step to country music, stroll art galleries or become immersed in the fascinating history of this region. Begin mapping your adventures around the greater Fort Myers area today. 42 | fortmyers.org

ARTS AND CULTURE Alliance for the Arts,

Bob Rauschenberg Gallery,

239-939-2787 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers ArtInLee.org

239-489-9313 Florida SouthWestern State College, Edison Campus, 8099 College Pkwy Bldg. L, Fort Myers RauschenbergGallery.com

Art workshops, exhibits, theater and music performances are staged in the Foulds Theatre, outdoor amphitheater and three art galleries on this 10-acre campus.

This gallery hosts and curates collaborative and site-specific exhibitions that connect to its world-renowned namesake.

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall,

239-481-4849, 800-440-7469 Florida SouthWestern State College, Edison Campus, 13350 FSW Parkway, Fort Myers BBMannPAH.com Broadway musicals, classical and popular concerts—this 1,874-seat performance hall is a regular venue for national and international acts.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre,

239-278-4422 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers BroadwayPalm.com Professional actors, singers and dancers perform favorite musicals of the past and present on the main stage of this popular dinner theater. The intimate, 98-seat Off-Broadway Palm Theatre features comedies and musical revues.


Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

Florida Repertory Theatre,

239-332-4488, 877-787-8053 2267 Bay St., Fort Myers FloridaRep.org Housed in the historic Arcade Theatre in downtown Fort Myers, Florida Rep features Equity actors in classic comedies and dramas as well as local premieres. Workshops and children’s programs are also offered.

Gulf Coast Symphony,

239-277-1700 6314 Corporate Court, Ste. #100 Fort Myers GulfCoastSymphony.org The Gulf Coast Symphony is the premier community orchestra of Southwest Florida, recognized for its symphonic performances conducted by Maestro Andrew M. Kurtz at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

Gulfshore Opera

239-529-3925 GulfshoreOpera.org Regional opera company serving Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties presenting high-quality opera theater and classical vocal music. Call or visit their website for performance dates and venues.

Laboratory Theater of Florida,

239-218-0481 1634 Woodford Ave., Fort Myers LaboratoryTheaterFlorida.com

Players Circle Theatre at the Shell Factory Box Office: 239-800-3292 16554 N Cleveland Ave North Fort Myers Playerscircle.org

Lee County’s newest professional Theatre presents five exciting productions, seven performances a week. Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM and Wednesday and Sunday at 2 PM through May 2020.

Celebrating its 10th season, Laboratory Theater of Florida features ensemble productions, produces classic works and takes artistic risks. It is located at the Historic Kiwanis Hall in the Gardner’s Park neighborhood in Fort Myers. Photo Credit: Player’s Circle Theater

fortmyers.org | 43


Seminole Gulf Railway Murder Mystery Dinner Train,

239-275-6060 4110 Center Point Dr., Ste. 207 Fort Myers SemGulf.com Who dunnit? Hop aboard the Seminole Gulf Railway to find out. Unravel a comical mystery when you follow the clues to decide who the culprit is and why they would do such a dastardly deed. The price includes a five-course dinner aboard the moving train. There are also holiday-themed plays, events for families, and day excursions.

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 239-333-1933 2301 First St., Fort Myers SBDAC.com

Photo Credit: Edison & Ford Winter Estates

The renovated historic Federal Building is the cultural center of downtown Fort Myers, hosting art exhibitions, theater and music performances, social events and the ever-popular Fort Myers Film Festival. In the evening, its enigmatic lighted sculpture transforms into an intriguing mystery.

Southwest Florida Symphony,

239-418-1500 8290 College Pkwy., Ste. 103 Fort Myers SWFLSO.org This professional symphony orchestra, led by internationally acclaimed Maestro Nir Kabaretti, and its youth orchestra, performs classical and pops concerts at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and other venues in Southwest Florida.

The Ranch Concert Hall and Saloon, 239-985-9839 2158 Colonial Blvd., #4 Fort Myers TheRanchFortMyers.com

Kick up your boots and two-step over to this 25,000-square-foot Western-style saloon that boasts a 4,500-square-foot dance floor for showcasing country’s best entertainment. Catch live acts such as the Fabulous Thunderbirds or Moonshine Bandits, or learn how to line dance (and couples line dance) with professional instruction.

Unit A,

239-240-1053 2633 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers UnitASpace.com We had the late Robert Rauschenberg in our midst, and today, we have Marcus Jensen. This globally acclaimed artist has a studio and gallery in a historic warehouse in the Dunbar community—one with 20-foot ceilings to accommodate his large-scale works.

44 | fortmyers.org


STEP BACK IN TIME Burroughs Home & Gardens, 239-337-9505 2505 First St., Fort Myers BurroughsHome.com

Built in 1901, this Georgian Revival Mansion was the scene of many social events that hosted Fort Myers’ elite including the Edisons, Fords, and Firestones. Harken back to a simpler time as you explore this architectural treasure and its lush gardens (popular for weddings). Docent-led and group tours are available October through June.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates,

239-334-7419 2350 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers EdisonFordWinterEstates.org Explore the winter homes of iconic inventors Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford, who had neighboring winter homes in Fort Myers. Guided and self-guided audio tours take visitors through the museum, botanical gardens, homes and laboratory.

IMAG History and Science Center,

239-243-0043 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers TheIMAG.org

Mound House,

239-765-0865 451 Connecticut St. Fort Myers Beach MoundHouse.org

Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, 239-541-8704 4820 Leonard St., Cape Coral SWFLMM.org

Explore the history of the 2,000-yearold Calusa Indian shell mound, Estero Island’s oldest house, and the surrounding natural environment through tours, beach walks and kayaking excursions.

This Cape Coral museum honors America’s military spanning from the Revolutionary War through the Afghanistan conflict.

Randell Research Center,

239-945-0405 Franklin Shops, 2200 First St. Fort Myers TrueTours.net

239-283-2157 13810 Waterfront Dr. Pine Island FLMNH.ufl.edu/rrc

Learn about the environment and the mighty Calusa culture at this Pine Island site, where the region’s first natives thrived for centuries, and explore the Calusa Heritage Trail.

True Tours,

Delve deeper into the history of Fort Myers with a variety of extensively researched and enlightening guided tours.

THIS IS YOUR TICKET

to Escape!

Kids of all ages love this educational playground featuring more than 60 interactive science and history exhibits, including a 3,200-gallon aquarium and a 3D virtual reality tour of the city’s original fort.

Koreshan State Historic Site, 239-992-0311 U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road Estero FloridaStateParks.org

The Koreshan Unity, a Utopian sect, established a village at the turn of the 20th century to accommodate their earthly, spiritual and intellectual needs. Take a ranger-led or self-guided tour of the site along the Estero River or rent a canoe.

For Broadway caliber performances and dining options you’ll applaud, look no further than Broadway Palm! 1380 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers

239.278.4422 • BroadwayPalm.com

fortmyers.org | 45


THE EDISON AND FORD WINTER ESTATES ...A must see!

This National Register Historic Site—the home to famous friends Thomas Edison and Henry Ford—offers visitors of all ages a unique opportunity to explore science, history, botany, and culture in an Old Florida setting. Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

A

t the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, visitors will enjoy more than 20 acres of historical buildings and gardens, including the Edison Botanical Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum. Site historians offer guided tours throughout the day or visitors may choose to take a self-guided audio tour available in English, German, French and Spanish. The Edison main house, guesthouse and caretaker’s house, as well as the Ford main house, caretaker’s cottage and the Edison Laboratory have been restored to the 1929 time period. The 15,000-squarefoot museum has an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts, special exhibits and archives, including Edison’s personal vehicle. New to the museum is the Smithsonian Spark!Lab and the Timeline of Innovation. The Spark!Lab consists of five interactive stations where children and adults alike can learn how to be an inventor. The Timeline of Innovation is a chronological timeline of both Edison’s and Ford’s inventions, including some that will surprise many visitors. 46 | fortmyers.org

Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com


Edison Ford offers education programs for both children and adults, including summer and day camps, emerging inventors and homeschool classes. Adult programs include painting, gardening talks and classes, yoga and more. Throughout the month of December, the estates are open nightly for Southwest Florida’s spectacular annual Holiday Nights. Special events such as antique car shows, garden festivals, film festivals and quilt shows entice young and old alike. The site offers opportunities for the public to enjoy its stunning park-like environment for weddings, corporate events and meetings. Families are encouraged to purchase Edison Ford memberships for year-long free admission to Edison Ford, as well as reciprocal admission to many gardens and museums throughout the nation. Members also receive discounts in the Edison Ford retail shops, camps, classes and special events.

Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

Tour the historic homes and gardens of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford

The National Register Historic Site offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to step back into “Old Florida” and learn more about the world through unique historical, scientific and cultural experiences. Edison Ford is a Florida Historic Landmark, the winner of a top National Trust for Historic Preservation award, and the Edison Botanical Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark (the first in Florida).

Ÿ Historic Homes Ÿ Botanical Gardens Ÿ Thomas Edison’s Laboratory Ÿ Inventions Museum

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. Hours: open daily, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during Holiday Nights. For more information: 239-334-7419 EdisonFord.org

Ÿ Smithsonian Spark!Lab Ÿ Holiday Nights (in December) OPEN DAILY 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

$1.00 OFF Admission Exp. Jan 2021

2350 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33901 239.334.7419 • EdisonFord.org

GFMCham

fortmyers.org | 47


Begin a lifelong love affair with the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. Every day is the perfect day for love in this romantic sanctuary. Weddings, honeymoons or weekends away, all who come to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel find something to have and hold forever. Maybe it’s the way we look at life, the spectacular sunsets, white sand beaches and warm, Gulf waters. Or maybe there’s just something in the air. Regardless, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel were made for romance, just as you were made for each other.

Find your Place. For those seeking a secluded spot in paradise, literally hundreds of islands dot the sun splashed coastline like tiny jewels – some rustic, uninhabited and accessible only by boat or seaplane, others filled with restaurants, galleries and activities that effortlessly and idyllically blend the best of Old Florida with modern comfort and luxury. Among these islands 48 | fortmyers.org

is the appropriately named Lovers Key, a preferred site for brides dreaming of a beachside wedding and the party that follows. Named one of Florida’s Top 10 beaches by The Travel Channel and one of the Top 10 romantic beaches by Coastal Living magazine, it’s as far from the crowds as you can get. Hop to other islands for even more alone time. Book a cabin on Cayo Costa and walk on pristine shell-lined beaches. Escape all ties to the mainland and cruise to Cabbage Key or Useppa Island for lunch. Kayak through the heart of Buck Key at sunrise. Hide the day away on Bowman’s Beach, recently named the #1 Secluded Beach by Shermans Travel. All of it, each of these incredible experiences exists mere minutes from Southwest Florida International Airport.

It’s only natural. Beyond the perfect setting for romance, these islands also provide sanctuary to an amazing collection of wildlife. Witness

dolphins playing in the wake of your charter boat. Paddle inches from friendly manatee lazily swimming throughout part of the Great Calusa Blueway. Spy over 300 species of birds in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. Besides the natural beauty of the landscape, your experiences here are the true gifts of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, and the reason Southwest Florida is the place for nature lovers to travel. No matter the occasion, the ways to find romance here are as endless as the horizon. From a simple sunset ceremony on the beach to honeymoons at a luxury resort to a weekend spent on the water, all brides to be should follow their hearts to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. Visit FortMyers.org to start planning your vacation today or call 239-332-3624. This article is courtesy of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau/The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.


Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

1619 Periwinkle Way, Suite 104 Sanibel Island, FL 33957 239-395-7671 We cover Lee and Collier counties.

fortmyers.org | 49


Customize Your Getaway

The right accommodations are key to a great vacation. Are you looking for a cozy room steps from the beach? A luxury suite with full kitchen and modern amenities? An intimate bed and breakfast? Hospitality is the hallmark of the greater Fort Myers area. Whether near the airport or entertainment districts, or in a private resort away from the commotion with on-site spa, golf, dining and more, Fort Myers has something perfect for all budgets and vacation dreams! 50 | fortmyers.org 50 | fortmyers.org

Photo Credit Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com


Best Western Ft. MyersWaterfront 13021 N. Cleveland Ave. North Fort Myers, FL 33903 239-997-5511 bestwesternwaterfront.com

Candlewood Suites Fort Myers Sanibel Gateway

9740 Commerce Center Court Fort Myers, FL 33908 239-244-5770 ftmyerscandlewood.com

Captiva Island Inn B&B 11508 Andy Rosse Lane Captiva, FL 33924 239-395-0882 captivaislandinn.com

Casa Ybel Resort 2255 West Gulf Drive Sanibel, FL 33957 239-472-3145 CasaYbelResort.com

Courtyard by Marriott 4455 Metro Parkway Fort Myers, FL 33916 239-275-8600 marriott.com/rswch

Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at The Bell Tower Shops

13051 Bell Tower Dr. Fort Myers, FL 33907 239-482-2900 crowneplaza.com/ftmyersfl

Embassy Suites Fort MyersEstero 10450 Corkscrew Commons Drive Estero, FL 33928 239-444-5486 fortmyers.embassysuites.com

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Fort Myers / Cape Coral 7090 Cypress Terrace Fort Myers, FL 33907 239-437-5600 marriott.com/rswfi

Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers Colonial Blvd. 4350 Executive Circle Fort Myers, FL 33916 239-931-5300 fortmyerscolonialsuites. hamptoninn.com

Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Myers Beach/Sanibel

11281 Summerlin Square Blvd. Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 239-437-8888 FtMyersbeachsuites.hamptoninn. com

Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast, The

2135 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33901 239-332-2651 TheHibiscusHouseBnB.com

Hilton Garden Inn Airport FGCU

16410 Corporate Commerce Way Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-210-7200 fortmyersairportfgcu.hgi.com

Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers 12600 University Drive Fort Myers, FL 33907-5670 239-790-3500 fortmyers.StayHGI.com

Hyatt Place is the perfect place to stay when work takes you on the road. With free WI-FI, roomy rooms and our Gallery Kitchen Breakfast, we make travel a whole lot easier on you.

HYATT PLACE FORT MYERS/AT FORUM 2600 Champion Ring Road Fort Myers, Florida 33905 +1 239 419 1944

fortmyers.org | 51


Holiday Inn Express & Suites at the Forum

3427 Forum Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33905 239-936-0410 Ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/ ftmyersforum

Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center

Hotel Indigo Fort Myers

Pelicans Roost

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa

Residence Inn Fort Myers

2115 Main St. Fort Myers, FL 33901 239-337-3446 indigoftmyers.com

9931 Interstate Commerce Drive Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-561-1550 hiftmyersairport.com

5001 Coconut Road Bonita Springs, FL 34134 239-444-1234 coconutpoint.hyatt.com

Homewood Suites by Hilton Bell Tower

Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites

5255 Big Pine Way Fort Myers, FL 33907 239-275-6000 homewoodsuitesftmyers.com

Homewood Suites by Hilton Fort Myers Airport/ FGCU

16450 Corporate Commerce Way Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-210-7300 fortmyersairportfgcu. homewoodsuites.com

2038 West First Street Fort Myers, FL 33901 239-332-2048 legacyharbourhotel.com

Outrigger Beach Resort, The 6200 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931-1281 239-463-3131 outriggerfmb.com

605 Donax Street Sanibel, FL 33957 239-472-2996 pelicansroost.com 2960 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers FL 33966 239-936 0110 Marriott.com/RSWRI

Rock Lake Resort

2937 Palm Beach Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33916 239-332-4080 rocklakeresort.com

Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa

17260 Harbour Pointe Dr. Fort Myers, FL 33908 239-466-4000 marriot.com/hotels/travel/ rswsb-marriot-sanibel-harbourresort-and-spa

Photo Credit: Crowne Plaza

Photo Credit: Crowne Plaza

Photo Credit: Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast

52 | fortmyers.org


Sanibel Moorings Resort

Legacy Harbour

845 East Gulf Drive Sanibel, FL 33957 239-472-4119 sanibelmoorings.com

Marina • Hotel • Suites

Seminole Casino Hotel

Waterfront Suites

506 S. First St. Immokalee, FL 34143 239-658-1313 seminoleimmokaleecasino.com

Springhill Suites by Marriott Fort Myers Airport

9501 Market Place Road Fort Myers, FL 33912 239-561-1803 springhillsuitesfortmyers.com

Sundial Beach Resort & Spa 1451 Middle Gulf Drive Sanibel, FL 33957 239-472-4151 sundialresort.com

Close to Downtown River District

Tarpon Lodge

legacyharbour.com • Fort Myers, FL Marina 239.461.0775 • Hotel 239.332.2048

13771 Waterfront Dr. Bokeelia, FL 33922 239-283-3999 tarponlodge.com

TownePlace Suites

23161 Via Coconut Point Estero, FL 33928 239-317-3200 marriott.com/RSWCO

Westin Cape Coral, The 5951 Silver King Boulevard Cape Coral, FL 33914 239-541-5000 westincapecoral.com

VACATION RENTALS Malt Realty & Development Co. 1614 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33907 239-936-1320 maltrealty.com

Top Florida Properties 2270 First Street Fort Myers, FL 33901 239-690-2030 topfla.com

Vacasa Vacation Property Management Vacasa LLC 15050 Elderberry Ln. Fort Myers, FL. 33907 888-521-9798 vacasa.com

fortmyers.org | 53


Pelicans Roost Condos

Sanibel Island | (833) 777-1789 www.sanibelislandgulffront.com

Today's Moments...

Tomorrow's Memories! R ESORT

YOUR Island Playground

Where Gardens & Sea Unite

Sanibel’s Only Botanical Gardens · One of Sanibel’s Top Wedding Venues Beach Front Resort · Two Pools · 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Suites · Business Center · Free WiFi Butterfly Garden · Tennis & Pickleball Courts · Boat Dock & Dockage Available Bicycle, Kayak, Canoe, Paddleboard & Boat Rentals

845 East Gulf Drive | Sanibel Island | 239-472-4119 | SanibelMoorings.com 54 | fortmyers.org


Experience The

Redefined Cooper Hotels of Fort Myers Hotels At The Bell Tower Shops

Adjacent to upscale stores, shops, great restaurants, Dave & Busters, and a 20-screen movie theater. Convenient to all area attractions. Both hotels offer complimentary Wi-Fi and local area transportation, outdoor pools, fitness centers, business centers and meeting facilities.

Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops

Homewood Suites by Hilton at Bell Tower Shops

Enter the Remodeled Crowne Plaza Fort Myers and you will experience what a multi-million dollar renovation looks like. All newly-furnished guest rooms that feature 50” HD TVs, walk-in showers, microwaves, refrigerators, a Club Level Lounge and Shoeless Joe’s Sports Café located on the lobby level.

Transformation Complete! The totally remodeled Homewood Suites by Hilton features all new two-room suites with fully-equipped kitchens, a Suite Start® hot breakfast daily and a complimentary Evening Social featuring fresh, light, healthy “small plate”options with beverages served Monday – Thursday. Ask about our extended stay rates!

13051 Bell Tower Drive Fort Myers, Florida 33907 239-482-2900 • 1-877-2CROWNE crowneplaza.com/ftmyersfl

5255 Big Pine Way Fort Myers, FL 33907 239-275-6000 • 1-800-CALL-HOME fortmyers.homewoodsuites.com

FORT MYERS AT BELL TOWER SHOPS

Hotels Across From Gulf Coast Town Center

Located one mile from Southwest Florida International Airport, next to Gulf Coast Town Center and two miles from FGCU. Both hotels offer complimentary Wi-Fi and airport /local shuttle, outdoor pools, fitness centers, business centers and meeting facilities.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Airport/FGCU

Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers Airport/FGCU

Experience the modernized Homewood Suites by Hilton. Accommodations include two-room suites with fully-equipped kitchens, a Suite Start® hot breakfast daily and a complimentary Evening Social featuring fresh, light, healthy “small plate” options with beverages served Monday – Thursday in our Lodge. Come check out our brand-new Outdoor Pergola. Ask about our extended stay rates!

Brand New – The Shop! The Shop is a 24/7 “grab & go” offering an upscale mixture of crafted and fresh options, including barista-style coffee. Experience a peaceful night’s sleep, with all new mattresses. Amenities for your convenience including a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker. Unwind with a flat screen, LCD TV featuring complimentary cable with HBO. Catch up with work at the large desk with complimentary Wi-Fi.

16450 Corporate Commerce Way Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-210-7300 • 1-800-CALL-HOME fortmyersairportfgcu.homewoodsuites.com

16410 Corporate Commerce Way Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-210-7200 • 1-877-STAY-HGI fortmyersairportfgcu.hgi.com

fortmyers.org | 55


WELCOME

home

Fort Myers boasts a rich diversity of housing options in a range of unique communities to fit your budget and fulfill your lifestyle. 56 | www.fortmyers.org fortmyers.org

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis


Y

ear-round sunshine, sparkling waters and white-sand beaches help make Fort Myers one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. That translates into a healthy, robust real estate market. There are countless waterfront options along the Caloosahatchee River, Gulf of Mexico, bays and lakes, as well as historic neighborhoods, condos, gated communities and rural estate properties. Region-wide price points, locations and amenities have to be diverse to suit a range of homebuyers. Those include millennials starting careers, young families, established professionals, well-heeled seasonal residents and retirees hanging up their snow shovels.

Following multiple years of recovery in the housing market, Fort Myers has settled into a steady balance, including through the first half of 2019. That is proving healthy for both buyers and sellers locally, as well as continuing to provide great value to those relocating to Southwest Florida in large numbers. “You’re still getting a lot for your money in Southwest Florida,” said Josh Burdine, president of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association. “We have a lot to offer. I think people are going to continue to come here.” The median sale price for a singlefamily home in the Fort Myers metropolitan area in August 2019 was $255,000, compared to the national median price of $278,200, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Fort Myers’ median single-family home list price has remained fairly steady for at least three years, rising from $234,900 in August 2016 to $244,000 in July 2019, according to Realtor.com. While actual sales prices had some catching up to do – rising from a median of $184,950 in August 2016 to $227,500 in July 2019 – the inventory of homes for sale has helped keep the market healthy. In July 2019, that figure was 5.2 months of availability. Experts generally consider more than six months inventory to be a buyer’s market, and less than five months to be a seller’s market. With new construction helping address what experts say will be about 20,000 to 25,000 people moving to Lee County each year, the local real estate market is one more reason the Fort Myers area is a great place to call home.

The builder you desire in a setting that inspires. Stock has had an amazing response to its initial release in this one-of-kind resort-inspired community with over 800 acres of freshwater lakes. Offering a collection of single-family homes from 2,500 to over 4,000 square feet.

Discover luxury lakefront living at StockDevelopment.com/WildBlue

from the $600s to over $4 million Visit our Sales Center: 18133 WildBlue Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33913 | Estero, FL 33913 | 239.249.6250 BROKER PARTICIPATION WELCOMED. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. NOT AN OFFERING WHERE PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW. PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

FLStockDevelopment

StockDevelopment

fortmyers.org | 57


WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR YOUR MONEY IN THE

FORT MYERS AREA $199,000 2/2, 1,190-sqft home halfway between downtown and Fort Myers Beach. Built in 1980.

$250,000 3/2, 1,628-sqft detached villa condo home with two-car garage, oversized lanai and private back yard in gated golf-course community. $300,000 3/3, 2,035-sqft redesigned open floor plan with two-car garage, lake views and Gulf access via community boat ramp in gated golf-course community. $400,000 2/2, 2,025-sqft ultra luxury condo overlooking Caloosahatchee River near downtown.

Photo Credit: Chris Shimp/PhotoSellFlorida

$749,000 4 bed, plus den, 3 ½ bath, 4,125-sqft pristine home built in 2005 with pool overlooking lake in gated golf-course community convenient to I-75 and airport. $1,195,000 A 5,138-square-foot, old Fort Myers historic gem. Built in the 1930s near Fort Myers Country Club and Edison-Ford Estates, meticulously updated with no elegance spared. $2,289,000 Long-range Caloosahatchee River views from five-bedroom, seven-bath, 5,102-square-foot stunning estate on Riverside Drive. With 115-foot private dock. Courtesy: Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association

58 | fortmyers.org

Photo Credit: Chris Shimp/PhotoSellFlorida


Own an original. After all, all of Don Koogler’s extraordinary homes are masterpieces, custom-crafted for home buyers who want the very best. Experience the irresistible allure of a custom Koogler home in its handcrafted wood-paneled walls with leather inlays, European Oak plank f loors, natural cypress wood ceilings, Italian porcelain, marble and stone, and a professional-grade gourmet kitchen. Discover how originality helped create our nearly 20-year legacy.

KooglerHomes.com | 239.542.4540 CBC058219

fortmyers.org | 59


LOCAL COMMUNITIES LOCAL COMMUNITIES CAPE CORAL: City of Canals West of Fort Myers, Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and Miami with a population reaching 200,000 in 2019. Developed in the late 1950s, Cape Coral is the third largest city in Florida by land mass, at 120 square miles, and one of the largest master-planned communities in the nation. It is known as the City of Canals for its 400 miles of navigable salt- and freshwater waterways, most of any city in the world. Not quite halfway to its expected population of 400,000, it still has plenty of room to grow.

BONITA SPRINGS: Along the Coast Bonita Springs is an incorporated city in south Lee County with a population of 57,000-plus. It is home to the 1,616-acre Lover’s Key State Park and its four barrier islands, as well as stunning beachfront homes, plenty of public access to its Gulf shoreline, a large community park on the Imperial River and historic downtown. The median home price in August 2019 was $304,000, according to Bonita Springs-Estero Realtors.

VILLAGE OF ESTERO: A River Runs Through It Estero is a small, 25-square-mile village nestled between Fort Myers and Bonita Springs that incorporated in 2014. It is known for the Koreshan State Historic Site and paddling on the Estero River. It is next to Florida Gulf Coast University and home to 60 | fortmyers.org

Hertz corporate headquarters, Coconut Point Mall and Hertz Arena. The 7,000-plus seat venue draws national concerts and hosts the Florida Everblades hockey team. The monthly supply of homes was at 4.6 in August 2019, down from 5.9 a year prior, according to Bonita SpringsEstero Realtors.

TOWN OF FORT MYERS BEACH: Casual Community At 6 square miles, Fort Myers Beach’s year-round population is a little more than 7,000, though it soars with seasonal visitors in the winter and spring. Beachfront lovers can find a bungalow, condo or a multi-level mansion for

full- or part-time living. Investors can get into the market through condotels, or invest in vacation rental properties on the Gulf or back bay. The island lifestyle is typically casual and laid back, with plenty of dining and live music, community activities and events that draw visitors from throughout Southwest Florida. Expect easily over $400,000 for single-family homes of at least 1,000 square feet and $250,000plus to start for most condos.

SANIBEL AND CAPTIVA ISLANDS: Rare Gems Sanibel and Captiva Islands have a unique natural beauty and commitment to environmental stewardship that has restricted


both commercial and residential development. Due to limited inventory, these island gems boast the highest price tags in the county. The median home listing price is $749,000, according to Realtor.com.

LEHIGH ACRES: Opportunities Abound Nearly 100 square miles in size, Lehigh Acres is 12 miles east of Fort Myers and boasts 16 stocked lakes, 175 miles of canals and four championship golf courses. With a population of 100,000, Lehigh Acres is an affordable place to purchase an existing residence or build a new home. Vacant land is available by the half or quarter acre. The median home price is $188,900, according to Century 21 Realty, with plentiful choices.

More than 20 Years of Professional Service in Florida...

...over 40 Years of Experience in Real Estate, New Construction & Property Management. BMI International Am HĂźssberg 31 63639 FlĂśrsbachtal Germany Phone: (+49) 06057- 9000 0

BMI of Southwest Florida LLC, BMI Florida Real Estate LLC 1323 Cape Coral Parkway East Cape Coral, FL 33904, USA Phone: +1 (239) 549-5400

E-Mail: Info@BMI-Homes.com

VACATION HOMES

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

REAL ESTATE

NEW CONSTRUCTION

We take pride in knowing that our vacation guests, home owners, real estate and new construction clients have trust in us. Along with our well trained team we take care of all of our customers and offer an outstanding service. Angelika Berger-Meins Hartmut O.E. Meins

W W W. B M I - H O M E S . C O M S I N C E 19 9 5 25 year anniversary

Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

fortmyers.org | 61


A GROWING

MARKET

Move your business into a dynamic market. What’s creating strong business and commercial opportunities in the Fort Myers metropolitan area? Plenty of strengths and consistent gains in population.

Businesses in greater Fort Myers are growing

and thriving, buoyed by an expanding market fueled by annual residential growth. The year-round, ideal climate and 50 miles of pristine beaches are consistent draws—but more importantly, the region and the state boast impressive accolades that create a strong business and commercial environment.

62 | fortmyers.org fortmyers.org


S N A P S H OT O F BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL HIGHLIGHTS Midtown Fort Myers: Planners are honing in on the future of Fort Myers’ Midtown, which could include 4,000-plus residential units, 650,000plus square feet of commercial office space, a town center, and more than five acres of green space with interconnected pedestrian and bike paths. It will attract private and public long-term investment to 243 acres bounded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the north, Edison Avenue to the south, U.S. 41 to the west and Evans Avenue to the east.

Continuing Population Growth:

U.S. News & World Report ranked Lee County second nationwide on its list of “The Best 25 Places People Are Moving to in 2019.” The county’s population spiked more than 14 percent from 2013 to 2017. A U.S. Census Bureau report issued in 2019 revealed the county ranked seventh nationally in population growth from 2010 to 2018, growing 22 percent to 754,610 people. The University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research estimates the county’s population will increase to more than 1 million residents by 2040.

Education Spectrum:

There are plenty of education and training options in the region for employers and their

staffs to upgrade professional certifications and meet families’ needs. Ten colleges, a state university, two technical institutes and an array of choices for K-12 education in public, private and charter schools offer a range of curricula and customized programs. Florida SouthWestern State College has four local campuses, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees, plus technical training in fields such as allied health, computer networking and programming, business administration, criminal justice and fire science. Florida Gulf Coast University, a four-year state university, ranks among the top public schools in the South. Florida’s high schools ranked No. 6 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd, STE 337 Fort Myers, FL 33907

fortmyers.org | 63


Photo Credit: Rob Hoovis

Strategic Location:

Florida is the third most populous state in the nation, and the Fort Myers metropolitan area is a short drive or convenient flight to the majority of the state’s biggest cities, including Miami, Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg.

Business-Friendly Tax Environment:

Florida does not levy personal income tax; corporate income tax on subchapter S-corporations and limited partnerships; inventory tax; or property, among other incentives. For the seventh consecutive year, Florida ranked second or better in “Best States for Business” by Chief Executive magazine. Low taxes, light regulatory burdens, high-quality workforces and healthy lifestyles continue to attract business investment and jobs. 64 | fortmyers.org

Transportation Systems:

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) serves more than 8.8 million passengers annually, and is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic. Page Field in Fort Myers is a general aviation airport. Both airports are Foreign Trade Zones, sheltering businesses with international ties from additional taxes on goods shipped and received. New, quality infrastructure is in place. Lee County offers expanding transportation networks, including the Interstate 75 corridor connecting Lee County and Tampa to the north, and Miami to the east.

Women Entrepreneurs: Florida leads the nation in the growth of women-owned businesses, according to the

2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express.

Military Veterans:

Florida consistently ranks No. 1 as “Best State for Military Retirees” based on 27 key indicators, including tax-friendliness, job opportunities, VA facilities and veterans per capita, according to WalletHub.

GROWING RESIDENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES: New communities are being developed throughout Lee County and condominiums are rising on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers. These new developments will provide an array of options for new homebuyers.


REAL ESTATE

LUXURY CUSTOM AUBUCHON HOMES

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & RENTALS

As Southwest Florida’s most reliable and comprehensive Real Estate firm, our team of agents offers diverse solutions for every real estate interest. Visit our Real Estate Information Center located at15661 San Carlos Boulevard, Suite 1,less than 2 miles from Gulf Harbour.

Let’s Get Moving. MiloffAubuchonRealty.com 239.689.5143

fortmyers.org | 65


BUSINESS ASSISTANCE RESOURCES Are you an entrepreneur planning to launch a new business or an established business executive or owner planning to expand or relocate? There are many resources in the community ready to assist in your success.

LOCAL Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency 239-321-7100 CityFtMyers.com 1400 Jackson St., Ste. 102 Fort Myers The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency oversees 14 redevelopment districts within the city’s limits. Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce 239-332-2930 FortMyers.org 2310 Edwards Dr. Fort Myers The Chamber offers a wealth of relocation and start-up information, and provides marketing support, networking and educational opportunities for its members. Lee County Economic Development Office 239-533-6800 or 800-338-3161 LeeCountyBusiness.com 2201 Second St., Ste. 500 Fort Myers The Lee County Economic Development Office (EDO) works with companies and offers incentives to help businesses relocate to Lee County and help existing businesses grow and expand. 66 | fortmyers.org

The Lee County EDO staff provides support to the 80-member Horizon Council—a consortium of municipalities, Chambers, economic development and trade organizations; community, business, and education organizations. It also provides support for the Horizon Foundation and Industrial Development Authority. The EDO is an excellent resource for demographic and statistical information, site selection, workforce recruitment, training, financial resources, and more. Southwest Florida Enterprise Center 239-321-7085 CityFtMyers.com/416/ SWFL-Enterprise-Center 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers The Southwest Florida Enterprise Center Business (SWEC) is a 40,000-squarefoot facility with leasable office space and light industrial/ warehouse space, commercial kitchen, and training and conference facilities. It is a business incubator dedicated to assisting start-up and early-stage businesses to succeed, providing consultation for all aspects of operating a business.

STATE Enterprise Florida (Coral Gables/Miami) 305-808-3660 EnterpriseFlorida.com The official economic development organization for the state of Florida offers a variety of services to help businesses locate, expand and export. Florida Small Business Development Center @ Florida Gulf Coast University 239-745-3700 FSBDCSWFL.org The Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University is a dynamic communitybased resource, which helps small business owners take advantage of new opportunities to grow their business through a diverse collection of programs and services. It provides free, confidential one-onone counseling, seminars, workshops and assistance for start-up, existing and expanding small businesses and new and established entrepreneurs. Operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, it is based at FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business.


LICENSES, REGULATIONS & PERMITS Fort Myers Building Permits & Inspections CityFtMyers.com 239-321-7925 (Permitting) and 239-321-7920 (Inspections) 1825 Hendry St., Fort Myers Fort Myers Community Development Department 239-321-7900 1825 Hendry St., Fort Myers Lee County Department of Community Development 239-533-8585 Lee County Building, Permitting & Zoning 239-533-8329 1500 Monroe Street Fort Myers

Lee County Business Tax Receipt LeeTC.com 239-533-6000

Florida’s official business entity index and commercial activity website. Go online, or pick up information at the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office, 2480 Thompson St., Fort Myers.

STATE Florida Dept. of Professional Regulation 850-487-1395 MyFloridaLicense.com/ DBPR/ The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Tallahassee issues business licenses within the state. Fictitious Name Registration 850-245-6058 DOS.MyFlorida.com/sunbiz Through the Florida State Division of Corporations. The Division of Corporations is

Our family tree was planted here over 40 years ago.

Since 1973, we’ve grown into one of the oldest and most experienced independent real estate companies in Cape Coral. Our team is ready to help you with your next home sale or purchase right here in Southwest Florida’s fastest growing city.

Results. Attitude. Service. Options.

That’s Raso Realty.

RasoRealty.com | 239.542.2254 4812 Cape Coral St., Cape Coral, FL 33904

Buyers Representation | Sellers Representation | Property Management | Foreclosures | Waterfront Golf Course | Gated Communities | Vacation Rentals | New Construction | Commercial

fortmyers.org | 67


DOWNTOWN TRAIN DEPOT REOPENS: A SYMBOL OF SUSTAINABILITY The new Collaboratory, a space created by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, serves as a lab for collaboration to explore regional challenges and sustainable opportunities. by Tessa LeSage

Sustainability is about endurance.

Endurance is exemplified by not giving up, even in the most unpleasant or challenging situations. From a community perspective, sustainability requires the ability to continuously improve in order to be resilient through any storm, whether environmental (hurricanes and algal blooms), economic, or social inequities that ultimately threaten justice for all. Complex challenges require sustainable and enduring change that can only be accomplished through true collaboration. In other words, we all have a role in sustainability.

Photo Credit: American-rails.com

68 | fortmyers.org

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s mission to cultivate regional change for common good is rooted in supporting a more resilient and sustainable region. The Foundation aligned its 10 “cause areas” with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to connect philanthropy and grantmaking with convening cross-sector groups and citizens to achieve consistent goals. To begin to measure the impact of activities and actions taking place across our region, the Foundation uses the STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities) System. This is how the Foundation organizes and frames its work in order to create measurable change in the areas that will make the region stronger in the face of complex challenges and ready to take advantage of new opportunities. It also allows everyone/residents/Southwest Floridians to understand their role in, and connection to, global systems and challenges. Standing the test of time, the historic Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot has reopened in much the same spirit as it originally did in 1924, focused on bringing people together. Through a public-private partnership with the City of Fort Myers, the Community Foundation embarked on a $10.5 million New Markets Tax Credit deal to renovate this antique jewel in downtown Fort Myers and add a 12,000-square-foot building called Collaboratory. Collaboratory provides robust space designed


for planned and organic collaboration amplified with the best available technology for nonprofits, groups, organizations and businesses. Centrally located within the Foundation’s five-county service area, Collaboratory serves as a community hub for diverse networks of stakeholders to explore regional challenges and opportunities and then design, fund and execute innovative initiatives and projects with nonprofit partners that bring needed change to our region. The location of Collaboratory allows the Foundation to be part of redevelopment intended to create equitable access and social mobility in an area within the City of Fort Myers. Renovating a building with rich history, located between Dunbar and the River District of Fort Myers, allows the Foundation to be part of something bigger – part of a larger and more inclusive conversation about the future of the area and our region, cultivating change for the common good. Collaboratory is the embodiment of sustainability and with a vision for a more resilient Southwest Florida. The Foundation achieved LEED Gold Certification positioning Collaboratory as a role model for other builders, designers and developers to find ways to contribute to a more sustainable region through thoughtful planning and construction. These are a few of the key design features:

Stormwater runoff:

99.45 percent of runoff will be retained onsite through permeable pavers and low-impact design features, such as raingardens, which allow water to filtrate rather than run off the site and into water systems.

Energy footprint and operating costs:

These features, in conjunction with a variety of other design techniques, provide ongoing reduced operating costs allowing the Foundation to focus resources on achieving its mission; significantly lower impacts on the environment, including fragile water systems; and provide a living example for all who work, visit, entertain, learn, share, and create change in Southwest Florida.

Indoor air quality: The health

Visit the Collaboratory at 2031 Jackson St., in Midtown Fort Myers or visit online at Floridacollaboratory.com

Collaboratory’s operating costs are expected to be one-half of a conventional office building in Southwest Florida because of its highly efficient air-conditioning system coupled with an outdoor air scrubber system. The reopened depot archways maximize daylighting, and the lighting system is 100 percent LED. and well-being of occupants is supported through superior indoor air quality provided by the outdoor air scrubber system combined with an interior living wall.

Water efficiency: A 45 percent reduction in indoor potable water use will be achieved through water-efficient plumbing features.

Tessa LeSage is director of social innovation and sustainability for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

Whether you’re coming for vacation or making Southwest Florida your new home, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is delighted to serve as your guide to a world-class experience. Our high-caliber business members will help you explore the natural beauty of our destination and the many opportunities for fun and adventure, including shopping, dining, history, art, music and culture.

Explore and connect with us today! (239) 332-2930 • www.fortmyers.org

fortmyers.org | 69


COMMUNITY OVERVIEW

When you relocate to a new community, there’s so much you want to know. Here is a handy primer with key resources to get started.

Information Directory Emergency Emergency Medical, Fire, Police: 911

Police & Sheriff’s Office Fort Myers Police Department 2210 Widman Way 239-321-7700 FMPolice.com Lee County Sheriff’s Office 14750 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. 239-477-1000 SheriffLeeFL.org 70 | fortmyers.org

Government Services Local Government Offices City of Fort Myers City Hall, 2200 Second St. 239-321-7000 CityFtMyers.com The City of Fort Myers is governed by a mayor, elected at large, and a five-member city council representing five wards of the city. Council members and the mayor are elected by registered voters and serve a four-year term.

Lee County Board of Commissioners Old Lee County Courthouse 2120 Main St. 239-533-2259 Leegov.com The Lee County Board of County Commissioners are elected by all voters while representing the districts in which they live. Lee County Clerk of Courts Justice Center 2075 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./1700 Monroe St. 1st Floor. 239-533-5000 LeeClerk.org

Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency 1400 Jackson St., Ste. 102 239-321-7100 CityFtMyers.com

All court-related matters: traffic fines; foreclosure/tenant eviction; probate information; simplified divorce; small claims. Jury duty: 239-533-9153

Oversees downtown redevelopment and other districts throughout the city.

Recording Office 2115 Second St. 2nd Floor Deed recording, Land records, Passports, Historic Document Library.


Licenses Driver Licenses 239-533-6000 FLHSMV.gov Lee County Tax Collector 2480 Thompson St. 239-533-6000 LeeTC.com The Lee County Tax Collector has several satellite offices throughout Lee County. Check website for locations and hours and information for obtaining a driver license and registering your vehicle or boat. Fort Myers Housing & Real Estate Division 1825 Hendry St. 239-321-7970 CityFtMyers.com Fishing/Hunting License LeeTC.com Instant License Line 888-347-4356 Most visitors and residents need a license for saltwater and freshwater fishing, available through the Lee County Tax Collector Office and authorized marinas and bait and tackle shops.

The Tax Collector website lists freshwater and saltwater regulations and provides an online link to apply for a license. Marriage License Lee County Clerk of Court 2115 Second St., 2nd Floor 239-533-5007 LeeClerk.org The Clerk of the Court issues marriage licenses. Both parties must apply in person. Call or check online for a list of accepted ID’s and other requirements. Occupational Licenses Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation 850-487-1395 MyFloridaLicense.com /dbpr/ Many professions and occupations have their own examination licensing boards in the state, but this department has overall jurisdiction.

Lee County Property Appraiser/ Homestead Exemption Lee County Government Complex 2480 Thompson St., Fourth Floor 239-533-6100 LeePA.org Homeowners who live in their homes full-time (six months and a day each year) qualify for a Homestead Exemption, a sizable deduction from a home’s taxable, assessed value. Apply in person or with an online application.

Library - Public Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library 2450 First St. 239-533-4600 Leegov.com/library Library cards are free for anyone who resides, is employed, owns property or a business, or attends school in Lee County and can show acceptable proof. The library offers numerous programs for adults, teens and children.

fortmyers.org | 71


Pets Lee County Animal Services 5600 Banner Dr. 239-533-7387 Leegov.com/animalservices LCDAS has four divisions: lost & found pet center, pet adoption center, veterinary services & pet licensing center, field operations. Call or visit the website for more information on each division. Animal Refuge Center 18011 Old Bayshore Road N. Fort Myers 239-731-0235 AnimalRefugeCenter.com The largest no-kill sanctuary in Florida whose philosophy avows that once an animal is accepted for adoption, it will not be destroyed to make room for another. Gulf Coast Humane Society 20110 Arcadia St. 239-332-0364 GulfCoastHumaneSociety.org A nonprofit, no-kill animal welfare organization that cares for companion pets until they find their forever home.

Residency

To establish your residency in Lee County, you need to submit a notarized Declaration of Domicile to the Lee County Clerk of Court. Find out more: LeeClerk. org.

Social Security

Social Security Office 3650 Colonial Blvd., Ste. 101 800-772-1213 SSA.gov

Taxes Florida has no state personal income tax and no inheritance tax. For details, exemptions and online forms: MyFlorida.com. 72 | fortmyers.org

U.S. Postal Service Fort Myers Main Post Office 1350 Monroe St. 800-275-8777 USPS.com Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Vehicle Registration Lee County Tax Collector 2480 Thompson St. 239-533-6000 LeeTC.com New residents must register vehicles and obtain Florida plates within 10 days of accepting employment, engaging in an occupation, or enrolling a child in public school. Call or go online to find office locations.

Voter Registration Supervisor of Elections Office 2480 Thompson St. 239-533-8683 LeeElections.com Voter registration applications are available online and at the election office. Call for additional locations. Registration closes 29 days before each election. Anyone over age 18 can register. Proof of residency required.

Healthcare Assisted Living/Adult Day Care Visit the Chamber’s online directory at FortMyers.org or call 239-332-2930 for a list of facilities and organizations. Veterans Lee County VA Healthcare Center 2489 Diplomat Pkwy. East, Cape Coral 652-1800 VA.gov

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; extended hours on Wednesday; Saturday, 8 a.m.4:30 p.m. This is a full-service health care center that is part of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. To transfer your health care enrollment from another VA or to become established, call 727-398-6661 or 888-820-0230, ext. 15684. Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida Downtown Fort Myers Health Center 2232 Grand Ave. 844-FHC-SWFL (844-342-7935) FHCSWF.org Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida serves all patients regardless of their inability to pay or type of insurance coverage. Discounts for essential services are offered based on family size and income. It has medical, pediatric and dental offices throughout Lee County and accepts First Choice Kidcare. Call the toll-free number for all locations and services. Lee Health Lee Health is the largest healthcare system in Southwest Florida with more than 100 locations, offering doctors and medical services throughout Lee County. Learn more: LeeHealth.org. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida 9981 S. HealthPark Dr. 239-343-KIDS (5437) State-of-the-art, familycentered, full-service hospital dedicated to the unique health care needs of children, including pediatric acute care and specialty medical care, emergency care, inpatient and outpatient services, and child advocacy program.


fortmyers.org | 73


Gulf Coast Medical Center 13681 Doctor’s Way 239-343-1000 This full-service, 356-bed acute care hospital includes 43 emergency department beds, kidney transplant center, Neuroscience Institute and Comprehensive Stroke Center. HealthPark Medical Center 9981 S. HealthPark Dr. 239-343-5000 A 270-bed state-of-the-art hospital offering a full range of medical care, including emergency care, cardiac care, high-risk obstetrics, inpatient and outpatient services, and surgery. It’s also home to the Shipley Cardiothoracic Center. Lee Memorial Hospital 2776 Cleveland Ave. 239-343-2000 Lee Health’s flagship hospital is a 355-bed acute care facility that provides a wide range of services including orthopedics, neurology, skilled nursing and a Level II Trauma Center. It also houses the Rehabilitation Hospital, a 60-bed comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation facility. Lee Health’s Convenient Care Clinics Walk-in medical facilities are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week. Learn more: LeeHealth.org/urgent. Metro Parkway 13340 Metro Pkwy. 239-343-0490 Page Field 4771 S. Cleveland Ave. 239 343-9800 Summerlin 16230 Summerlin Road 239-343-7454 Pine Island Road 1682 NE Pine Island Road, Cape Coral 239-424-1655 74 | fortmyers.org

Millennium Physicians Group Millennium Physician Group has more than 300 health care providers throughout Florida. With corporate headquarters in Fort Myers, Millennium Physician Group consists of primary care offices, imaging centers, lab services and wellness programs. Learn more: MillenniumPhysician.com. Fort Myers Primary Care Locations: 393214 Palm Beach Blvd. 239-694-7887 9400 Gladiolus Dr., Ste. 50 239-437-7070 9671 Gladiolus Dr., Ste. 109&110 239-362-1450 13774 Plantation Road, Unit 101 239-939-2200 4881 Palm Beach Blvd., Ste. 100 239-693-9191 4755 Summerlin Road, Ste. 8 239-275-5339 13691 Metro Pkwy. 239-561-8033 13440 Parker Commons Blvd. Ste. 101 239-432-9383 Walk-In Medical Center 13831 Metro Pkwy. 239-308-0005

Information Sources Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce 2310 Edwards Dr. 332-2930 info@fortmyers.org The Chamber’s River District Welcome Center is a comprehensive source for visitor and newcomer information. Our welcoming, helpful staff is always on hand to assist you in planning your stay or to help by providing relocation information.

Local Media WINK-TV (CBS) 2824 Palm Beach Blvd. 239-334-1111 WINKNews.com Florida Weekly 239-333-2135 FloridaWeekly.com Fort Myers Magazine 516-652-6072 FtMyersMagazine.com Gulfshore Business 239-449-4106 GulfshoreBusiness.com Fox 4 WFTX-TV 239-574-6397 Fox4Now.com The Breeze Newspaper 239-574-1110 BreezeNewspapers.com Southwest Florida Business Today 239-770-7527 SWFLBusinessToday.com The News-Press (daily) 239-335-0335 News-Press.com Waterman Broadcasting (NBC and ABC) 239-939-2020 Water.net


Utilities Florida Power & Light (FPL) 334-7754 FPL.com Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) 656-2300 LCEC.net Garbage & Recycling City of Fort Myers 321-8050

EDUCATION The Lee County School District has more than 95,120 students in 120 schools—and many have won state and national awards for excellence. The public school system is administered by an elected board and an appointed superintendent. Magnet schools concentrate on such areas as science, computer software and performing arts; the county also provides a diverse gifted student program, two technical institutes and a virtual, online school. LeeSchools.net

Lee County Solid Waste (Unincorporated areas) 533-8000 For recycling information, call or visit Leegov.com. TECO Peoples Gas 877-832-6747 Tecoenergy.com CenturyLink 866-642-0444 Centurylink.com Xfinity/Comcast 800-266-2278 Xfinity.com

• • •

Are you Afraid to Smile? Have you noticed a Bad Odor or Bad Taste in your Mouth? Are Dentures or Partials interfering with Eating? Speaking? Intimacy?

WHY NOT LET US HELP YOU?

Comcast Business 877-289-8849 Business.comcast.com DirectTV & ATT 800-531-5000 Att.com/directv Dish 800-333-3474 Dish.com Water & Sewer City of Fort Myers 321-8100 Lee County Utilities 533-8845

IV SEDATION AVAILABLE

Visit Us At Our Beautiful New Location!

1519 SE 47th St.

Cape Coral, FL 33904

(Just West of Del Prado Blvd.)

COSMETIC AND IMPLANT DENTISTRY

fortmyers.org | 75


MAKE A DATE

Photo Credit: Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center

From festivals to fairs to unique cultural events, the whole family will discover special delights in Fort Myers. Here’s a sampling of what’s happening. (Unless noted, area code is 239 and events are held in Fort Myers.)

ONGOING • Showcasing the works of 75 local artists, Arts for ACT Gallery features exhibitions that change monthly. The gallery is located on First Street in the historic Arcade Building and is a “must-see” destination for art lovers. (337-5050 or ArtsForACTGallery.com) • For Broadway musicals, celebrity performers and more, check out the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall (481-4849 or BBMannPAH. com) and Artis-Naples. (597-1900 or ArtisNaples.org) • Performances take center stage at Florida Repertory Theater in the River District’s historic Arcade Theater (332-4488 or FloridaRep.org) and at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre (278-4422 or BroadwayPalm.com) at Royal Palm Square. Both theaters also offer performances for families. 76 | fortmyers.org

• The Southwest Florida Symphony offers concerts, holiday pops and small-stage symphonies at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. (418-1500 or SWFLSO.org) • Visit the Art League of Fort Myers for outdoor shows, gallery exhibits and art sales. (275-3970 or ArtLeagueofFortMyers.org) • Programs for adults, kids and families include changing exhibits, book discussions, guest lectures, reading sessions, puppet shows and more through the Lee County Library System. (533-4441 or LeeGov.com/ library) • The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (333-1933 or SBDAC.com), located in a Neoclassic Revival landmark on First Street in the River District, hosts art exhibitions, orchestral and dramatic performances, special events and film screenings.


• On the third Friday of each month, enjoy free Music Walk performances throughout the downtown River District, 6 to 10 p.m. fortmyersriverdistrictalliance.com • The Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium (275-3435 or CalusaNature.org) offers wildlife education and nature programs, and regular yoga, bluegrass and planetary events for visitors of all ages. • Buy fresh fruits, flowers, native plants, baked goods and more at the year-round Downtown Fort Myers Farmers’ Market (Broadway between Main & Second Streets) ; Thursdays beginning at 9 AM. • Interactive science, virtual history experiences, native wildlife exhibits and 3D movies are the main attraction at IMAG History & Science Center. (243-0043 or theIMAG.org)

• Shell Factory & Nature Park in North Fort Myers is fun for the whole family with 400 mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, a fun park, dining, events and 68,000 square feet of shopping. (995-2141 or ShellFactory.com) • Alliance for the Arts (939-2787 or ArtinLee.org) holds art workshops, exhibitions and theater and music performances in the Foulds Theatre, outdoor amphitheater and three art galleries on its 10-acre campus. • Fast-paced professional hockey action cuts the ice at Hertz Arena when the Florida Everblades play home games from October through April. (948-7825 or FloridaEverblades.com) • Take yourself out to spring training ball games in March, when the Minnesota Twins go to bat at Hammond Stadium (1-800-338-9467 or MLB.com/Twins) and the Boston Red Sox show their skills at JetBlue Park at Fenway South (226-4700 or MLB. com/RedSox). Photo Credit: Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

• On the first Friday of each month, browse River District galleries and venues while enjoying refreshments and music during Art Walk, 6 to 10 p.m. fortmyersriverdistrictalliance.com

• The Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles (590-7145, FGCUAthletics.com), known as Dunk City ever since the men’s basketball team’s famous March Madness NCAA tournament debut in 2013, are perennial winners at the top level of college sports, Division-I, in most of their 15 sports. • The 3,500-seat, $28 million Suncoast Credit Union Arena is the centerpiece of the reborn athletics program at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers. The Buccaneers (FSWBucs.com) have quickly built legitimate contenders for junior college national titles in several of their five relaunched sports. • Downtown Fort Myers streets are lined with show cars on the fourth Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m., October to May. • Bluegrass Concerts, January through May: A fusion of American country music; Irish, Scottish and English ballads and traditional dance music; with a heaping helping of jazz influence at the Alliance for the Arts. (939-2787 or ArtinLee.org)

JANUARY • Watch Fort Myers Film Festival submissions Jan. 6 (and Feb. 3 and March 2) at 7 p.m. during Thank God for Indie Mondays (TGIM) at the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Center. (333-1933 or SBDAC.com) • Visit Lee County Manatee Park to learn about endangered manatees and their habitat; these gentle mammals are most active at the park during cold, winter months. (481-4600) • Saturday Art Fair: Skilled artists and crafters show creations along First Street. From jewelry and art to soaps and ceramics, the relaxing event is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com) • The 17th Annual Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival is Jan. 24 (5-10 p.m.) and Jan. 25 (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) at Centennial Park in partnership with Fort Myers Parks & Recreation. (321-7530 or CelticHeritageProductions.com)

fortmyers.org | 77


• The annual Edison Festival of Light kicks off in late January (see February listing). For a complete schedule: 334-2999 or EdisonFestival.org

• Greek Fest Fort Myers is a cultural sampler of food, dance and family entertainment, Feb. 21-23. (481-2099 or GreekFestFortMyers.com)

• ArtFest Fort Myers, an annual, two-day-plus juried fine arts festival, draws more than 200 professional artists to downtown Fort Myers, along with great food, entertainment and activities for attendees of all ages. Opening Night is Jan. 31. (768-3602 or ArtFestFortMyers.com)

• Celebrate Florida heritage at the annual Swamp Cabbage Festival at Barron Park, State Road 29 and Park Avenue, in Labelle. A parade, pageant, rodeo, 5K and bass tournament are part of the events, culminating Saturday, Feb. 22 (863-675-2995 or labelleswampcabbagefestival.org).

FEBRUARY • ArtFest Fort Myers, a two-dayplus juried fine arts festival, draws more than 200 professional artists to downtown Fort Myers, along with great food, entertainment and activities for all ages. Feb. 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening night is Friday, Jan. 31. (768-3602 or ArtFestFortMyers.com) • Jewish Film Festival of Southwest Florida features 10 films total from Feb. 2 to March 1 at Bell Tower Regal Cinemas (481-4449, ext. 4 or jewishfederationlcc.org) • Watch Fort Myers Film Festival submissions Feb. 3 (and March 2) at 7 p.m. during Thank God for Indie Mondays (TGIM) at the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Center. (333-1933 or SBDAC.com) • 16th Annual AsiaFest 2020 “Year of the Rat” Celebration, Feb. 8, at Alliance for the Arts, to benefit Asian Professionals Association of Southwest Florida. (771-9911 or facebook.com/ asiafestswfl) • The Edison Festival of Light is a month-long celebration of inventor Thomas Alva Edison and Southwest Florida’s quality of life. It is headlined by the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade, founded in 1938 and one of the largest night parades in the Southeast. More than 200,000 participants and attendees enjoy a day with music, a popular 5K race and the parade and fireworks, Feb. 15. For a complete schedule and parade route map: 334-2999 or EdisonFestival.org 78 | fortmyers.org

• Agriculture, livestock, carnival games and rides highlight the annual Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair, Feb. 27 to March 8, at the Lee Civic Center. (543-8368 or swflcfair.com) • Saturday Art Fair: Skilled artists and crafters show their one-of-akind creations along First Street. From jewelry and art to soaps and ceramics, the relaxing event is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com)

MARCH • Watch Fort Myers Film Festival submissions March 2 at 7 p.m. during Thank God for Indie Mondays (TGIM) at the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Center. (333-1933 or SBDAC.com) • The 83nd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival, March 5-7, features judged art and science entries, live marine displays and more. (SanibelShellClub.com) • Bestselling authors take to multiple stages at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival, the area’s premier, free literary festival for all ages and genres. March 7 at the Fort Myers Regional Library. (ReadFest.org) • The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair continues through March 8 with plenty of family fun and exhibits (see February listing). • Bring your appetite to the 62nd annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival, March 14-15. (FortMyersBeachShrimpFestival.com)

APRIL • 11th annual BBQ, Bands & Brews, Sunday, April 5, at Centennial Park, to benefit Lee Builders Care (938-0056 or leebuilderscare.com/bbq-bands-andbrew/) • Cook teams from across the South compete in the annual Smoke on the Water craft barbecue, beer and musical festival at Centennial Park. (333-1933 or SBDAC.com) • Southwest Florida March for Babies 3-mile walk to benefit March of Dimes, April 25, at Centennial Park. (271-2565, marchforbabies.org) • Children up to 6 years old are invited to enjoy the free Centennial Park Spring Egg Hunt. (FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com) • Saturday Art Fair: Skilled artists and crafters show their one-of-akind creations along First Street. From jewelry and art to soaps and ceramics, the relaxing event is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com)

MAY • Holocaust Memorial services and events are organized by Florida SouthWestern State College, the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida and the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties. • Get a taste of the islands during the Taste of the Beach at Fort Myers Beach. (454-7500 or FortMyersBeach.org) • The Fort Myers Film Festival runs May 6-10 at the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Center. (333-1933 or fortmyersfilmfestival.com)

JUNE • A riot of take-home color is on display and for sale at the annual James E. Hendry Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society Show & Plant Sale at the Araba Shrine Temple in Fort Myers. (HendryChapterHibiscus.com)

JULY • Celebrate Independence Day at Freedom Fest along the Caloosahatchee River on Edwards


Photo Credit: Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

• On Fort Myers Beach, sculptors carve spectacular critters and castles during the annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival. (454-7500 or SandFestival.com) Photo Credit: Lee County VCB/FortMyers-Sanibel.com

Drive with a live DJ and musical performances, kids’ activities, and food, drink and trinket vendors. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Bring blankets or folding chairs. (FortMyersRiverDistrictAlliance.com) • Sample delectable tropical fruit in dishes, drinks and desserts at MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair on Pine Island. (283-0888 or MangoManiaFL.net) • Fourth of July on the Beach is celebrated at the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier and Time Square.

AUGUST • Enjoy nightly themes and special events at Fort Myers Mighty Mussels baseball games at Hammond Stadium. (226-4700 or MILB.com/Fort-Myers)

SEPTEMBER • Island Hopper Songwriter Festival. (Island-Hopper.FortMyers-Sanibel.com) • Watch and judge Fort Myers Film Festival submissions each week September through December during Thank God for Indie Mondays (TGIM). (333-1933 or SBDAC.com)

OCTOBER • Chamber members swing for a chosen cause at the annual Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament held at Fort Myers Country Club. (332-3624 or FortMyers.org) • Gentle Halloween spirits converge during the Haunted Walk at Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium. (275-3435 or CalusaNature.org) • An extensive menu of German specialties, biergartens, live music and dancing are the hallmark of the annual Cape Coral OktoberFest at the German-American Social Club on Pine Island Road. (283-1400 or capecoraloktoberfest.com) • Mangia! Mangia! The Italian Fest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers is held at the Alliance for the Arts in late October or early November. (ArtinLee.org)

• The four-day Fort Myers Boat Show takes place at Centennial Park and the Fort Myers Yacht Basin.

DECEMBER • Be dazzled by uniquely decorated Christmas trees at the Festival of Trees at the Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center. • Spend an enchanted evening strolling the annual Holiday Lights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. (EdisonFordWinterEstates.org) • Holiday boat parades throughout Southwest Florida are magical delights you won’t want to miss. Contact the Chamber for details. (332-3624 or FortMyers.org) • Twinkling lights along the trails herald the holidays during the Calusa Nature Center’s Holiday Lights.

NOVEMBER

• Ring in the New Year with live music, delicious food and family entertainment at the New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown beginning at 8 p.m. in downtown Fort Myers.

• Taste of the Town is hosted by the Junior League of Fort Myers at Alliance for the Arts. (JLFMTaste.com)

For more information, contact the Chamber at 239-332-2930 or FortMyers.org.

fortmyers.org | 79


80 | fortmyers.org


THE BUILDER YOU ADMIRE IN THE COMMUNITIES YOU DESIRE From quality-built Classic Homes to masterfully crafted Signature Residences and uniquely inspired Custom Estates, Stock offers the widest collection of award-winning floor plans in the most sought-after lifestyle communities in Southwest Florida, all beautifully designed and created by the region’s leading luxury homebuilder for close to 20 years. Wherever you want to live, there’s a Stock home waiting for you. Tour our luxury models and move-in-ready homes today and find the home of your dreams.

B A B C O C K R A N C H | F O R T M Y E R S | M A R C O I S L A N D | N A P L E S | P A L M B E A C H | S A R A S O TA

from the $400s to over $7 million

| StockDevelopment.com | 239.592.7344

BROKER PARTICIPATION WELCOMED. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. NOT AN OFFERING WHERE PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW. PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

FLStockDevelopment

StockDevelopment


Profile for Vector & Ink

2020 Fort Myers Relocation & Visitors Guide  

2020 Fort Myers Relocation & Visitors Guide  

Profile for adlit