Archive for the ‘Southwest Florida’ Category

Myth Busters

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Myth Buster about Bed and Breakfast Inns
B&Bs are expensive. FALSE.
As with any other lodging category, there is a range among Bed and Breakfast rates. Many innkeepers pride themselves on offering personal service and a good value for the price. When comparison shopping, don’t forget to factor in that breakfast is always included. There’s an entire section of our web site devoted to specials and packages to sweeten the deal.

Boat Parade December 1, 2012

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

The Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade has been a family tradition for 22 years!

Creative boat captains decorate their boats for a two hour tour of Matanzas Pass, Siesta Isles and Ostego Bay as they are cheered by fans along the way.

Led by the Fort Myers Beach Chamber boat sponsored by Fish Tale Marina, creating new experiences in boating for its clients for over 20 years. With Santa & Mrs. Claus and celebrity judges from NBC-2 on board, the parade leaves the mooring field in front of Salty Sam’s Marina at 6:10 and heads northwest rounding the corner in front of Bonita Bills and under the sky bridge heading right side of channel in front of the Coast Guard Station. It continues to the entrance to hurricane bay into to Siesta Isles Channels. Then it will will travel towards Bowditch point to Matanzas Pass passing Pink Shell Resort, Nervous Nellies, Matanzas Inn, Ostego Bay and finishing at Salty Sam’s Marina for the Winners Circle Party between Parrot Key Carribean Grill and Big Game.

Tours & Monthly Events in Downtown Fort Myers: The River District

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Since the 1880s, Fort Myers has been an important commercial hub in Southwest Florida. The city has long seen a great deal of growth and development. The greater metropolitan area is large enough to have several neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive feel. But the core of Fort Myers is its Downtown: The River District.

Ft Myers panorama

There are fun downtown events throughout the year, but Fort Myers’ River District also offers some noteworthy regular events to enjoy all year long:

TrueTours Historical Walking Tours
The River District/Downtown is one of the four designated historic districts of Fort Myers which also include Edison, Dean and Seminole Parks. The entire Fort Myers Downtown Commercial District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with 69 historic buildings including the iconic Fort Myers Edison Theatre. TrueTours explore not only Downtown Fort Myers architecture, but its public art and haunted history.

First Friday Fort Myers Art Walk
Take this self-guided tour of all the Fort Myers downtown art galleries and studios. There are always new exhibits, plus refreshments at the galleries, museums and shops. The Art Walk After Party starts at 10 pm. Drink and be merry with the artists and art enthusiasts who will be out and about downtown until late.

2nd Saturday Antique Market in Fort Myers
During the winter season (January-April) from 9 am to 3 pm, check out the eclectic items and fun collectibles on display along Hendry and Main. About 20-30 vendors offer antiques, memorabilia and vintage wares as well as handmade crafts, indie art and goods.

3rd Saturday Music Walk in Downtown Fort Myers
Over 30 venues in the Fort Myers’ River District feature live music by local and regional musicians. This is a great way to hear live jazz, blues, drumming, cabaret tunes, rock and more while wining and dining the night away.

3rd Saturday Art Fair in Fort Myers River District
This event along the sidewalks of First Street will be starting up again, October-April. From 11 am to 4:30 pm, check out this juried art fair showcasing local artists working in a wide range of media and styles.

Downtown Fort Myers Quarterly Bike Night
Stroll the motorcycle-lined streets of Fort Myers’ Downtown during the Quarterly Bike Night. Live bands on three stages, vendors and a variety of characters strolling the streets make this a favorite Fort Myers River District event.

4th Saturday Car Cruise-Ins
If you love all things cars, especially vintage, modern, arty, or classic ones, then visit the center of Downtown Fort Myers on the 4th Saturday of each month. Talk shop with the owners or simply look longingly at all the beautiful cars.

No matter when you’re visiting Fort Myers, there’s always something fun to enjoy. Book your accommodations in a Southwest Florida B&B when you visit Fort Myers and you’ll be sure to experience the best hospitality around.

Scenic Hikes In Cape Coral

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Koreshan State Park Florida

Historic cottage at the Koreshan Settlement.

Hiking is one of the best ways to get a feel for a place, and scenic hikes in Cape Coral reveal spreading mangroves, winding rivers, and lots of natural beauty.

Perhaps the best way to find good local hikes is to ask the innkeepers of your Cape Coral, Florida Bed and Breakfast. That said, read on for a few trail suggestions.

The trail at Four Mile Ecological Park is easy and well maintained. The loop meanders some 1.3 miles along the Caloosahatchee River, and much of the trail is a boardwalk. Wonderful, large, spreading mangroves along the river offer cooling shade. Wildlife abounds, especially egrets, herons, and migratory birds. Keep an eye out for alligators, which sometimes make an appearance.

Pine Island has a short, pleasant hike through mangroves. St. Jude Trail is perfect for hot afternoons when you feel like stretching your legs but don’t want to get too hot. The path is largely shaded and quite short–just one mile round trip. You should bring bug spray if you plan to make use of the benches.

Koreshan State Park, in Estero, has trails along the river and around the park boundary. Walkers traverse pine woods and have ample opportunities to sit and rest. An interesting stop is ‘New Jerusalem”, a historic site of buildings and gardens created by the community of Koreshans who settled here in the early 20th century.

There may be excellent walking trails close to your SW Florida Bed and Breakfast. Ask around, and bring your walking shoes.

Alligators and Affluence

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Florida can be a study in contrast, as the drive along Alligator Alley reveals. This unique stretch of road leads to alligators and affluence, simplicity and luxury.

Alligator Mississippiensis

The wild Florida Everglades surround much of Alligator Alley.

Alligator Alley is, in fact, I-75. It runs from Fort Lauderdale, in Southeast Florida, to Naples, in Southwest Florida. In between, there isn’t much in the way of “civilization.” The bulk of the road traverses an enormous expanse of Florida Everglades, home to birds and alligators, not shops and eateries.

Alligator Alley isn’t a dirt road, but it feels like one. Your cell phone won’t work on most of Alligator Alley. There aren’t numerous gleaming pit stops. Fill your tank at the Miccosukee Indian Reservation when you get the chance. Take a moment to stop your car, wait for a lull in the traffic, and listen. Imagine what lurks on the other side of the fence.

Flying solo

Sunset in Naples.

A whole different world awaits at the end of the road in Naples–a world of tranquility and luxury. Naples is the kind of place to visit with the person you love. It has restaurants for intimate dinners and beaches for strolling hand in hand. There is affluence here, but little attitude; the atmosphere of Naples is relaxed and welcoming.

Take some time to drive a stretch of Alligator Alley and explore Naples when you next stay in a Southwest Florida Bed and Breakfast. It’s a wonderful study in contrast.

Escape to Pine Island

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
End of the World

Find peace on Southwest Florida's Pine Island.

Florida is a large state with many different personalities. It boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and is home to dynamic, multi-cultural Miami, fun Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Disney, and artsy Sarasota. More than 18 million people call Florida their home, and more than 80 million people visit it each year.

Yet it is still possible to find quiet, secluded areas in Florida, far from the crowds and high rises. Indeed, many Florida Bed and Breakfasts are located in just such places. Pine Island, in Southwest Florida, is a good example. Plan a trip to a Pine Island, Florida Bed and Breakfast and see for yourself. (more…)

Billions of Butterflies

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Butterflies are back

Sit peacefully with the butterflies at the Fort Meyers Butterfly Estates.

There aren’t actually billions of butterflies at The Butterfly Estates, but there certainly are thousands of them. Located in the River District of Fort Meyers, Butterfly Estates is part butterfly conservatory, part botanical gardens, and part historic village. It is a delightful place to visit while vacationing at Southwest Florida Bed and Breakfasts in nearby Bokeelia and Cape Coral.

Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “Happiness is a Butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you!”

A few hours at The Butterfly Estates does calm and refresh the soul. Guests are invited to sit among gorgeous tropical plants and cascading waterfalls and watch butterflies as they flutter about in search of nectar. The Glazed Glass Butterfly Conservatory is over 3,500 square feet of fragrant tranquility. If you sit quietly enough, a butterfly may well rest on your shoulders or head. Take it as a good omen – the happiness Hawthorne thought it to be.

Fort Meyers is perhaps best known as being home to the Winter Estates of American giants Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. A visit to Fort Meyers is a fun break from days spent lounging on beaches, boating up and down the coast, and jumping waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Meyers has several interesting historic sites, art museums, and nature centers. And Fort Meyers has the Butterfly Estates.

Hours and directions are available at The Butterfly Estates.

A list of Florida Bed and Breakfasts in Bokeelia and Cape Coral Florida is available at Southwest Florida Bed and Breakfasts.

 

Experience the Everglades

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Florida Everglades is unlike any other area in this country. It is a vast, mysterious, masterpiece. It’s well worth making yourself comfortable at a SW Florida Bed and Breakfast, so you can explore it at leisure.

It takes time to discover the Everglades. More than one visit is required. It is a place that should be experienced over and over again, like a good novel. The more time you spend there, the more you uncover. The more you see.

The Early Ibis Gets The Crayfish

Experience the Florida Everglades.

Skim over the water in a jet airboat, or bounce across the land in a swamp buggy. Slip silently through the water in a guided Pole Boat, or have your own adventure in a rented canoe. See manatees and alligators, unpopulated beaches and Mangrove Jungles. After you’ve been here once, you’ll want to return again and again.

Make your home in a SW Florida Bed and Breakfast while you explore the Everglades. Sleep in luxurious comfort at night after visiting one of the most untamed parts of the country by day.

 

Paddle Estero Bay

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Estero Bay is a large aquatic preserve south of Fort Myers, in Southwest Florida. The long, shallow waters are clean and clear, making it an ideal place to paddle. Mangrove islands dot the waters, providing habitat for manatee, dolphins, and numerous species of birds. Plan to visit Estero Bay the next time you stay in a Southwest Florida Bed and Breakfast.

The Great Calusa Blueway is a 190-mile long paddling trail in Southwest Florida, and the section through Estero Bay is ideal for experienced and novice paddlers alike.

Estero Bay thrills and delights its visitors. Explore the maze-like mangrove tunnels of Hell Peckney Bay and take moonlight paddles along the Imperial River. Picnic on the beach at Lovers Key State Park and enjoy a drink overlooking the bay at Flippers Grill. You can rough it or indulge in luxury when paddling Estero Bay.

It would be impossible to experience all Estero Bay has to offer in just one day; travelers who lodge at nearby Southwest Florida Bed and Breakfasts in Cape Coral or Bokeelia will have ample time to explore the many cultural, historical, and natural attractions of Estero Bay.

Estero Bay Historic Attractions:

  • Koreshan State Historic Site: location of a former utopian society.
  • Mound House: a Calusa Native American site, and the oldest home in the area.
  • Mound Key: an island with large shell middens.


The Historic Edison and Ford Estate Gardens

Friday, May 20th, 2011

The great inventor Thomas Alva Edison was also an impassioned amateur botanist and enthusiastic gardener. Edison and his wife Mina began gardening soon after arriving in Fort Myers, Florida. Today, gardens at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates encompass 20 acres and contain more than 1,700 plants. The collection includes more than 400 species from six continents. These gardens are on every “must see” list for SW Florida, and a visit is easily incorporated into a stay at a Cape Coral or Bokeelia Bed and Breakfast vacation.

Largest Banyan Tree In The US / Thomas Edisons Estate / Fort Myers / Florida

Banyan Tree at Edison's Winter Estate in Fort Meyers

Edison approached his gardens as he approached his work, methodically and with purpose. Ever the inventor, Edison constantly researched the uses of plants. He used bamboo in his lightbulbs, and by the late 1920′s was known throughout the world for his work with rubber trees. Yet he and his wife also loved nature; many of the flowers were planted to attract birds and butterflies, and many fruit trees were planted for their fruit. (more…)

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