Fort Myers - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Other Florida
Fort Myers is located in Lee County (named after General Robert E Lee) on the south east coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Myers is generally low-lying terrain bounded on the north by the Caloosahatchee River. It is approximately a 3-hour drive from Orlando. We have found that generally it is a couple of degrees warmer than most other locations in SW Florida. It does not seem to rain as much either!!!!
Fort Myers is serviced by South Florida International Airport (RSW). Although currently no direct flights from the UK land here, flights from other destinations in the US land daily and flights from Germany land thrice weekly. RSW is currently undergoing a huge upgrade to accommodate more traffic from the US and Europe and more information can be found on the airport website www.swfia.com. In the last 3 years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people using RSW but it is still nowhere near as busy as Orlando International or Tampa.
Fort Myers is famous for its sandy beaches, which can become very busy during vacation periods; especially Spring Break, the Christmas period and weekends. The diversity of water sports, fishing, bars, restaurants and shops galore to meet all budgets, combines to make it a very popular destination indeed. You can catch a boat from Fort Myers to various places; the most popular being Key West. Fort Myers beach did take a battering recently during Hurricane Charley and was closed for 7 days after the hurricane struck.
10 miles east of the beaches is Fort Myers City, a peaceful, mainly residential community. Shopping in Fort Myers is the same as every major city, with large Malls and privately owned shops offering all sorts. The beach shops cater for the tourist market. Edison Mall, Bell Tower shops and Royal Palm Square feature all the usual stores. Downtown Fort Myers features a cluster of antique stores, with lots of art deco and 1950’s memorabilia. We have picked up some lovely collectables from here. There are also flea markets, craft shops, souvenirs, and farm produce to be found.
Nightlife is the same as most cities - bars and restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets – and cinemas, theatres and even a casino. Fort Myers is also the home of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Fort Myers is famous for Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, both whom lived here at some time in their lives. They were great friends. Both their winter estates/museums are still in Fort Myers. It is also the place where the surrender of the last Seminole Chief Holatt-Micco took place in 1858.
To the north lies North Fort Myers, a more rural community with woodlands and farm land, and to where we normally head. In the past 5 years it has been increasingly developed. The quieter North West end is a popular place for anglers. Having stayed in the Best Western Waterfront (on at least 5 occasions) in North Fort Myers, whilst fighting off the jet lag, I have been up at the crack of dawn and seen many an angler waiting for a bite down at the end of the pier! Unfortunately I was denied the experience recently as the hotel was shut down for 2 weeks after Hurricane Charley.
Both Fort Myers and North Fort Myers are definitely worth a visit to escape the hustle and bustle of Orlando. We normally spend at least a week of our vacation in the area of Fort Myers/Naples and can highly recommend it.
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Page added on: 6 September 2004
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