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Fort Myers Travel Guide, Florida

You can find Fort Myers 148 miles NW of Miami. As any other city it has followed the technological progress trend that brought some changes in the city. These changes are considered by some as unnecessary and even disturbing, but the other half sees things from a different point of view. It has always been like this and debates on the matter are superfluous as there are always going to be conservative people and those who are on the side of modernization.

No question about it, the investments made in the area have brought lots of people who decided to make Fort Myers their home. Among them was Thomas Edison who has also brought his own contribution to the city’s development by introducing the light bulb and building a house on the banks of the Caloosahatchee that is now one of the most visited sights in the city. He also changed in some respect the area around his house by planting royal palms along McGregor Boulevard. This change was for the better as that area was only a cow trail. Now visitors admire the beautiful view the palms offer as they pass by the house and some even called Fort Myers the City of Palms.

There are still areas that were not changed during time and you can have a glimpse of what the area once looked like. You can start with Fort Myers Beach, on Sanibel or Captiva islands and continue inland where many of Southwest Florida's abundant wildlife can be observed in their river and swamp habitats.

There also is plenty of wildlife at the Babcock Ranch. Once only a cattle ranch now is a major game preserve hosting numerous birds and wildlife as well as domesticated bison and quarter horses. The ranch still leads the largest contiguous cattle operation east of the Mississippi River.

For your visit to be easier and more efficient, it is better to have a guided 90-minute tour with experienced naturalists at Babcock Wilderness Adventures. They will lead you through five different ecosystems including cypress swamp and open prairie and invite you to take a three hour off-road bicycle tours.

One of the hottest spots for action and excitement is the Estero River south of Fort Myers. Here you can rent canoes and pursue the trail that leads 3 1/2 miles from U.S. 41 to Estero Bay and visit the Mound Key State Archaeological Park, one of the largest Calusa shell middens. If you don’t feel like going by yourself guided historic and nature tours are also on offer.

Another venue for canoeing and kayaking is the area west of town around Pine Island where the waters and rivers offer a smooth visit and you have the chance to be accompanied in your adventure by birds and manatees. In such atmosphere and surrounding you will forget all about your worries, it will give you the opportunity to relax and have fun.

Another way you can see what was like in the past is by taking an old-fashioned train ride that is just as exciting and fun. The ride will take you on the original railroad that ran between Fort Myers and Naples called Seminole Gulf Railway. Hop up the train that departs from the Colonial Station and you will have a splendid daytime sightseeing trip.

Back in town the Fort Myers Historical Museum offers a 2-hour guided walking tour presenting the city's history from the ancient Calusa peoples and the Spanish conquistadors to the first settlers. Among the exhibits are the remains of a P-39 Aircobra plane used in training fighter pilots in World War II.

The Imaginarium is the perfect place to take the kids on a rainy day to be explained principles such as gravity and the weather in an attractive way.

For the nightlife, either take in a night at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, the best performing-arts venue with world-famous performers and Broadway plays or check into Arcade Theater for a variety of performances.

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