Located near the coast on the southwestern side of Florida, Fort Meyers welcomes visitors all year round due to its moderate temperatures during the fall and winter months. This bustling city offers a variety of Fort Myers vacation rentals including water-front offerings along the Caloosahatchee River. The area also has a rich history including the fact that both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford kept winter homes in the area. While spending a long weekend or extended break, you and your family will have your choice of fun activities. Here’s your quick guide to the top 10 things to do with your kids while staying in Fort Meyers Vacation Rentals.
1. Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Enjoy the chance to view the winter homes of two of history’s greatest inventors at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. You and your kids will learn more about the achievements of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison as you tour the homes they visited during the colder months. After you finish touring the beautiful homes, wander around the 21-acre botanical gardens on the grounds to see the gorgeous flowers and soak up that Florida sunshine.
2. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
Take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk through the wetlands at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. This 3,500-acre park offers you the chance to view the delicate ecosystem of the wetlands, including wildlife and unique plant life. Bring your binoculars from your vacation rental to get an up close look at the birds, since this is a hot spot for birdwatchers. Watch as your kids squeal in delight when a butterfly lands on them in the butterfly garden.
3. Estero Bay Preserve State Park
Feel like you’re stepping back in time at Florida’s first aquatic nature preserve, the Estero Bay Preserve State Park. Fill your day at the park walking along the trails or bring your kayaks and explore the waterways. Pack a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation rental and make a day of it. Inside this park, you’ll find five unique habitats, including seagrass beds, mangrove islands, salt marshes, tidal flats and oyster bars. Get your kids excited in learning more about the environment by enlisting their help in identifying the habitats.
4. Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium
If you end up with a rainy day on your trip, take the kids indoors for an exciting day of learning while having fun at the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium. Your kids will love all the hands-on exhibits along with the dinosaur bones and fossils from various animals. After they’ve mastered all the science exhibits, take them to the aquarium for an up close look at both native and non-native sea creatures. There’s even a touch tank for your kids to pet turtles and other animals.
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5. Centennial Park
In the historic section of Fort Myers, spend the entire day at Centennial Park. You can take your bikes or roller skates and wheel your way along the walking paths or just wander on your feet. You and the kids can play on the beach or take fishing poles and fish off the pier. Toss a blanket out on the grass and enjoy a picnic meal you packed back at your vacation rental and let the kids enjoy the playground until dark.
6. Murphy-Burroughs House
If you find yourself with a day without sunshine, take the family to the Murphy-Burroughs House to learn more about life in Florida at the beginning of the 20th century. Take a tour of this stunning home that dates back to 1901. The home sits on over 2-acres of land, and you’ll find plenty of shade underneath the gigantic oak trees that tower over the property as you walk through the gardens behind the home.
7. Lee County Manatee Park
Open from dawn to dusk, Lee County Manatee Park is a great way to pass the day. You and your family can visit the park to see the manatees that make their home in the warm waters in the winter months. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, rent kayaks from Calusa Blueway Outfitters in the park and see the manatees from the water. This park offers several ideal locations for a family picnic or to relax on dry land while eating a snack.
8. Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
Grab your good walking shoes and take the family to the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. This area is a brackish water wetland and it’s highly likely you’ll see eagles, ibis, herons and other migrating birds during the spring. From November to May, you can rent kayaks from the Kayak Shack and travel through the park along the kayak trail; although, children under the age of six aren’t allowed out on the kayaks because the water flow isn’t suitable for beginners.
9. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
See who in your family can jump the highest at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park. At this indoor park, you and the kids can take part in a rousing game of dodge ball as you jump and flip out of the way of rogue balls. While the kids practice their jump shots from the trampolines to the basketball hoop, you and your husband can take an exciting fitness class that builds muscle and burns a lot of your vacation calories.
10. Fishing Charter
With a river running along the town limits, Fort Myers is a great place to enjoy a fishing charter. Several companies in town, including Good Times Charter and FishSkinner Fishing Charters, will take you and your family out on the Caloosahatchee River. If you’re looking for a larger catch, it’s just a short trip to the Gulf of Mexico, where you can do some deep-sea fishing. Take home your catch to your vacation rental and enjoy a sea-to-table dinner.
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