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Fort Myers, USA: The Gateway to South-west Florida
While it doesn't receive the same amount of attention as larger cities in South Florida, Fort Myers has plenty going for it. This small city of about 75,000 people is away from the bustle of Miami and Orlando, but it is close to numerous beaches and has unique activities to offer guests.
Visitors to Fort Myers will never run out of things to do, whether it involves exploring the city's history or driving a few minutes south to the ocean. Anyone who spends time in this town will quickly realise why it is referred to as south-west Florida's unofficial gateway.
Spring Training Baseball
When visiting Fort Myers in March, there is nothing better than catching some Grapefruit League spring training action. The Boston Red Sox hold their spring training camp in the city and play their home games at JetBlue Park. This stadium has the same dimensions as Boston's famous Fenway Park and even includes some of the same design quirks, such as the Green Monster in left field. Overall, JetBlue Park feels just like Fenway, except it is set in the beautiful weather of Florida. Keep in mind that New England residents flock to the city during spring training and hotels tend to fill up quickly as a result.
The Minnesota Twins also play their spring training games in Fort Myers at Hammond Stadium. While this stadium isn't as new as JetBlue Park, it remains a great place to catch a game and has plenty to do in the surrounding area because it is part of the CenturyLink Sports Complex. The Fort Myers Miracle, a Single-A baseball team, play their games at this stadium, as well.
Beaches and Parks
Visitors to Fort Myers can always find something to do outside, especially since the weather is usually quite warm. Lakes Regional Park is a large public area that features playgrounds, a water park, picnic areas, hiking trails, a farmer’s market, and a train, providing families with a safe and fun place to spend the day outdoors. Other major parks in the area include Manatee Park, Edison Park, Centennial Park, and John Yarbrough Linear Park.
Just south of the city of Fort Myers is Fort Myers Beach, a separate town that is home to countless recreation areas. Some of the more famous beaches in this region include Lovers Key State Park, Bonita Beach Park, Little Hickory Beach Park, and Bowditch Point Beach, each of which is easily accessible from the city's hotels. A little further north on Sanibel Island is Bowman's Beach, which offers outstanding views and some of the area's best swimming.
Historic Winter Estates
Fort Myers, FL was once home to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison during the winter months, as they both purchased vacation homes in the city's downtown area. These two properties, which sit side-by-side, now make up a museum that visitors to the city can explore. Visitors won't have any difficulty getting to these estates, as they are within walking distance of numerous hotels.
The two homes and their surrounding properties make up a 15,000 square-foot museum that holds hundreds of different inventions that were created by the two men while living in Florida. Special exhibits frequently come to these estates, as well, giving guests the opportunity to see different items every time they visit the site.
Shopping is known as one of the more popular pastimes in South Florida, and that is certainly true in Fort Myers. One of the top shopping centres in the area is the Miromar Factory Outlet Mall, which features a wide selection of name-brand outlet stores. A car is necessary when visiting this mall from hotels in the downtown area, as it is located south of the city. Other major malls in the area include Gulf Coast Town Center, Bell Tower, Edison Mall, and Coconut Pointe Town Center.
For a completely different shopping experience, Fleamasters Flea Market is the place to go. This flea market is massive, and guests are easily able to spend an entire day on the property. There is a food court there, as well, making it easy to find a meal while buying local goods or souvenirs.
Waterfront Downtown Area
The downtown waterfront area in Fort Myers, FL is one of the more popular locations in the city. This area features restaurants, a river walk, a convention centre, and plenty of entertainment opportunities. It is also a good place to do some shopping, as lots of boutiques and shops sit along the streets, or to stay since hotels line the nearby streets.
In the same part of downtown is the Fort Myers Downtown Commercial District, which is on the United States National Register of Historic Places. A total of 69 historic buildings are scattered throughout the downtown area and provide places of interest for guests as they wander through the streets during the day.