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.
Whipping up delicious creations for 37 years, Babbaloo’s Sub & Pub’s taste technicians supply a menu of casual, relaxing American fare in a friendly, homestyle atmosphere. Delve into one of the eatery’s reputable half-pound burger baskets ($6.95), heaped with fresh fixins and destined to make red meat droughts a thing of the past. Take in the big game on one of Babbaloo’s flat-screen televisions while noshing on a pile butterflied shrimp ($7.95) or fried clam strips ($6.95). Trivia cards provide entertainment while customers wait, allowing them to wager a stranger’s car in a competition of wits or simply relax alongside a fresh BLT ($4.50) or grilled chicken salad ($5.75).
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.
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.