General Information About Fort Myers
For many travelers, Fort Myers proper is the hub of Southwest Florida: logistical base, culinary corner and, as a bonus, a historically preserved center dripping with atmosphere and Spanish Colonial romance. The city of Fort Myers goes by many names: Downtown Fort Myers, The Historic River District, and the City of Palms are just a few.
Southwest Florida, a late bloomer, was frontier long after the West was won. Because of this, many places in Lee County remain pristine and undiscovered. In many ways, the county is still backcountry and hometown. Its early discoverers recognized the region’s special qualities and had the foresight and wherewithal to preserve its treasures, while developing the land into wildlife-compatible communities and resorts where residents and visitors could enjoy the rampant nature. Where they can experience the full effect of Lee County Beaches.
Downtown Fort Myers forms the core of a city that stretches for miles south along the Caloosahatchee River and east to the rural interior. Named for a Civil War-era army colonel, Fort Myers’ history parallels that of Florida itself. Indigenous peoples, the Calusa Indians, inhabited the islands nearby. Later, pioneers settled the pine flatwoods, and cattle drivers escorted their charges down what is now McGregor Boulevard to ships docked at Punta Rassa. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford put the town on the proverbial map when they chose the City of Palms as their winter getaway. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s estates still bring in thousands of visitors each year.
Today, Fort Myers is full of ecological, historical and cultural attractions, as well as shopping across the spectrum – high-end outlets, antiques, boutiques, and outdoor malls. Dining and nightlife entertain when the sun goes down – watch a spectacular “show” as it sinks over the Caloosahatchee.