Naples Day Trips Part 11: Fort Myers

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Naples Day Trips Part 11: Fort Myers


Naples, Florida, is renowned for its beautiful beaches and upscale living, but sometimes, a day trip to explore neighboring towns can add a refreshing twist to your routine. Just a short drive away, Fort Myers offers a blend of historical charm, outdoor adventures, and vibrant cultural experiences. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick escape or a visitor wanting to expand your Florida itinerary, a day trip to Fort Myers is a fantastic choice. Here’s a guide to making the most of your trip.

Getting There

The drive from Naples to Fort Myers is approximately 45 miles and takes about an hour via I-75 North. The journey is straightforward and offers scenic views of Southwest Florida’s natural beauty.


Morning: Historical Exploration

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Start your day with a visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. This 21-acre historical site offers a glimpse into the lives of two of America’s greatest inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Explore their beautifully restored homes, lush gardens, and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory. The museum is filled with fascinating exhibits, including original inventions and artifacts.


IMAG History & Science Center

Just a short drive from the estates, the IMAG History & Science Center is a great spot for families and science enthusiasts. Engage with interactive exhibits, a 3D theater, and live animal encounters. The center’s focus on both history and science makes it a fun and educational experience for all ages.

Lunch: Waterfront Dining

Oasis Restaurant

Head downtown to the Oasis Restaurant for a delightful lunch. This local favorite offers a variety of dishes, from fresh seafood to classic American fare. The waterfront location provides a relaxing atmosphere with beautiful views of the Caloosahatchee River.

Afternoon: Nature and Relaxation

Manatee Park

After lunch, visit Manatee Park to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat. The park is a warm-water refuge for manatees during the colder months (November to March), but it’s a beautiful spot year-round. Enjoy the walking trails, butterfly garden, and kayak rentals if you’re feeling adventurous. 

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Next, head to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve for a peaceful nature walk. This 3,500-acre wetland preserve is home to diverse wildlife, including birds, alligators, and turtles. The raised boardwalk trail makes it easy to explore and offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting and photography.

Late Afternoon: Art and Culture

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

As the day winds down, visit the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the River District. This cultural hub hosts rotating art exhibits, live performances, and special events. The historic building itself is an architectural gem worth exploring. 

Evening: Sunset and Dinner

Fort Myers Beach

No trip to Fort Myers is complete without a visit to the beach. Head to Fort Myers Beach to catch a stunning Gulf Coast sunset. Walk along the shore, dip your toes in the water, and soak in the serene evening ambiance. To read more about Fort Myers Beach, check out our in-depth blog here.

Dinner at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

End your day with a delicious dinner at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. Located near Fort Myers Beach, this restaurant offers a laid-back vibe with a menu featuring Caribbean-inspired dishes and refreshing cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to relax and reflect on your day’s adventures.


A day trip from Naples to Fort Myers offers a delightful mix of history, nature, culture, and cuisine. Whether you're exploring historical estates, enjoying the natural beauty of the parks, or savoring a meal with a view, Fort Myers has something for everyone. As always, when you stay in one of our luxury Naples Florida rentals, we will be happy to help you with customized recommendations on dining and activities.