Things to do
Those who want to experience a bit of Fort Myers' history can visit the winter home of Thomas Edison, who is considered one of the most famous inventors who ever lived. Edison, who held 1,097 patents on items including light bulbs, phonographs, movie cameras and a kind of rubber made from goldenrod, spent 46 winters on his estate at 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Visitors to the estate can see antique cars, phonographs and tropical gardens. While you're there, check out the popular banyan tree. It's the largest one in the United States; its roots have a circumference of more than 400 feet.
Edison's home is next to the home of automobile industrialist Henry Ford. Visitors to his home can see a 1914 Model T, a 1917 Ford truck and a 1929 Model A.
For more information call (941) 334-7419 or visit the Web site at http://www.edison-ford-estate.com
The Burroughs Home (2505 First St., (941) 332-6125) is Fort Myers' first luxury home. Built at the turn of the century, the restored house is open to the public. Costumed guides give a Living History Tour about the Georgian revival home and the family who once lived there.
To learn about the history of Fort Myers, take a tour through the Fort Myers Historical Museum (2300 Peck St., (941) 332-5955). The museum has exhibitions about the native Calusa and Seminole Indians, Spanish explorers and aircraft such as a recently excavated P-39 bomber, which crashed in nearby Estero Bay during World War II.
Science meets the undersea world at the Imaginarium: Hands-On Museum and Aquarium (2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers, (941) 337-3332). Visitors to the interactive learning center can witness a thunderstorm without getting wet, experience hurricane winds, touch live conchs and walk through a maze.
At Manatee Park (State Road 80, 1 1/2 miles east of Interstate 75 in Fort Myers, (941) 694-3537), fans of the slow-moving, endangered sea animals can see them in their natural habitat. The park has three observation decks open between November and March. The facility also offers year-round picnicking, canoeing and fishing facilities.