Posts Tagged ‘Southwest Florida’

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.

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.

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