Once the balmy winter retreat of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates now lets visitors roam through 20 acres of gorgeous gardens, historical buildings, and fascinating scientific exhibits. In the course of an hour, a fact-filled science sherpa will lead groups through the environment that incubated some of America's greatest inventions, including the light bulb, the modern automobile, and the fruit tree. Hands-on exhibits spark wide-eyed excitement in adults and offspring and grand-offspring alike as they hear the ghostly sounds of an original phonograph, pick up a short shift on a Model T assembly line, or create a bouncy, stretchable polymer to take home and use to cover the sinkhole in the kitchen. Finally, each party will be set loose with an orientation session, map, and self-guided audio tour to explore the entirety of both homes, the gardens, and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory at its own pace.
Father-and-son duo Captains Lance and Harry Julian founded Pure Naples in 2009 to introduce landlubbers to the pristine waterways that surround Naples. No strangers to the waters, the Julians draw on five generations of maritime business and 25 years of maritime-tourism experience to make their tours as fun and informative as possible. Together they introduce tourists to picturesque views of dolphins, bald eagles, and nature?s cutest cow, the manatee, with cruises, or they facilitate individual exploring with Jet Ski and boat rentals. They even take their boats out on regular deep-sea or bay fishing trips and private charters for the serious angler.
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.