Tropical Hotel Minutes from Beach and Fort Myers Landmarks
Shortly after arriving to Fort Myers in 1885, Thomas Edison vitalized the sleepy village when he purchased a home site and planted hundreds of royal palms along the town’s dirt roads. Now more than 2,000 trees line a 14-mile stretch of McGregor Boulevard, and Edison’s estate-turned-museum draws scores of visitors. Edison and other distinguished residents such as Henry Ford helped establish what would become a thriving tourist destination. A gateway to the sunny landscape that inspired these men, the Clarion Hotel Fort Myers sits about 6 miles south of the Edison and Ford winter homes and 9 miles from Fort Myers beach.
An array of potted ferns and vibrant flowers lend the Clarion's lobby a tropical feel. Outside on the patio, clusters of wicker chairs surround a tiki hut, which stands beside the pool. Guest rooms overlook the palm-studded sundeck, and some boast an exterior corridor for easy pool access. The onsite restaurant, Sam Seltzers Steakhouse, serves juicy prime rib, fresh caesar salads, and fillets tender enough to cut with a firm gaze.
Fort Myers, Florida: Historic Town Minutes from the Gulf and Scenic Rivers
Fort Myers sits on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico on roughly the same parallel as Palm Beach. Sections of the downtown are lined with restored, historical buildings and play host to a series of celebrations. Outdoor pursuits center on the slow-moving rivers that border the city and make for pleasant canoeing and kayaking excursions. About 20 miles south of Fort Myers, the Estero River winds 3.5 miles toward Mound Key State Archaeological Park—a massive, centuries-old complex of hills piled high with shells and said to have formed by Calusa Indians as a ceremonial center.
A short drive south, Fort Myers Beach occupies a sandy stretch along the Gulf, dotted with fishing piers. Views of nearby Sanibel Island and dolphins Estero Bay compete for attention with street performers juggling and demonstrating feats of speed reading. Appropriately dubbed “Times Square,” this tightly packed shopping district features alfresco restaurants and beach-apparel boutiques.