Crossing the finish line of the Fort Myers Marathon brings ample rewards. Beyond medals?which go to the top finishers by age and gender?runners get the satisfaction of knowing that they've helped a good cause. Or in this case, several good causes. Proceeds from the race go to non-profit organizations including Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
The organizers of Fort Myers Marathon want as many people as possible to get in on the altruism, regardless of how much horsepower their sneakers have. To that end, they let runners register for a full marathon, a half-marathon, and a separate 5K race. Whatever route they choose, racers find ample support along the way. Hydration stations, photographers, and fans line the course.
Outside The Edison Restaurant & Bar, a circular fountain and a thriving, vibrant lawn invite diners to step up to a white-shingled edifice that looks as much like a home as a restaurant. Inside, black brick walls, black-and-white portraiture, and a finished-wood piano bespeak the eatery's elegant yet unpretentious air. Executive chef Stuart Gordon, who has spent time in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Barbados, utilizes years of experience in top restaurants to craft full-flavored dishes. Six dining areas, each with their own ambiance, accommodate private meetings and parties. In the aptly named Chandelier Bar, sports fans can cheer for their team with pints in hand and charbroiled cheeseburger in mouth. And on the terrace bar, patrons can peer across to the Fort Myers Country Club and admire its flourishing palm trees and well-maintained missile defense system.
Haunted Fort Myers introduces tourists and locals alike to the hidden mysteries and haunted locales of southwest Florida, through evening walking tours led by engaging storytellers. Each 70-minute jaunt blends spooky stories with educational tidbits, acquainting guests with the rich past of Fort Myers while sending chills up the spine, like a history class from a teacher wearing a creepy mask.
Depending who you ask, the true history of Fort Myers could be anything from its artistic heritage to its dark underbelly. That?s why the guides at True Tours lead six walking excursions that each focus on a specific aspect of the city?s past. Gaze upon the Justice Center?s beloved _Fire Dance_art panels, discover which buildings house paranormal activity, or learn about the women who shaped the area?s culture history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All treks begin and end at the Franklin Shops on First Street except tours of Matlacha Island, which saunter past the village?s fishing shacks and the renovated houses where the wealthiest sea lions live.
From early lunches to late-night eats, the staff at each of Yo! Taco's three locations pairs fresh guacamole with housemade chips and 1-pound burritos for its crowds. Colorful awnings and umbrellas lure patrons lounging on the beach or hiding in English Tudor sand castles to outdoor dining areas where they sample from the menu of made-to-order tacos piled with sirloin steak, chicken, and pico de gallo. In addition to soda and iced tea, the servers also pour beer, wine, and sangria to accompany homemade queso and chicken quesadillas.
The scope of the Southwest Florida Museum of History is as vast as the ocean that once covered the region. The art, artifacts, and reconstructions that comprise the museum's permanent exhibits and rotating exhibitions explore the period some 40 million years ago, when the giant megalodon swam in the area's shallow seas; the early half of the Common Era, when Calusa Indians occupied the same terrain; and the point in 1904 when railroad tracks reached southwestern Florida for the first time, connecting it to the rest of America. The fossilized remains of a giant ground sloth, a 1920s luxury railcar, and an 1800s cattle driver's cabin are highlights of the museum’s exhibits and displays, which together serve as a humbling reminder of history’s vastness and an indirect reminder to walk your giant ground sloth.