Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Downtown Fort Myers, FL

  • Published 2022/04/06

Downtown Fort Myers is found on the Southwestern end of Florida, characterized by paved brick streets and vibrant culture with a lot of rich history.

From the simple cafés to waterfront parks, museums, and everything in between, there’s always something for you to do in this historic district!

They also host some of the most entertaining and lively events that showcase the passion this community has for their diverse art scenes.

Its location next to the Floridian river of Caloosahatchee makes this city the ideal getaway for those who enjoy water sports and activities.

Make the most out of your trip to Downtown Fort Myers by visiting the list of tourist attractions created just for you!

Admire Wildlife at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

An alligator at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Amanda Feltz /

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is an outdoor facility that gives visitors a chance to reconnect with nature, admiring the natural beauty of the wetlands of Southwestern Florida.

This preserve in Downtown Fort Myers covers 3,500 acres of land, which you can explore by yourself or on a guided tour along with a group!

The Slough consists of upland ecosystems that are home to a variety of animals and plants species.

Anhinga swimming on the water at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Pierre Williot /

Keep an eye out for alligators and turtles in their natural habitat and the migrating birds that fly overhead!

Their Boardwalk trail allows you to follow a walkway that takes you to the sites of the homes of a myriad of animals.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is packed with a lot of wonderful things to see and do in the outdoors, so check it out!

Great Egret on a tree branch at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Pierre Williot /

Have Breakfast at Green Cup Café

Bringing organic and sustainable meals to Downtown Fort Myers, the Green Cup Café caters to all visitors, especially those with special dietary preferences.

Using only fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, this café aims to serve only the best salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more!

Matched with refreshing boba teas, refreshers, smoothies, and coffee, you can’t go wrong at this little café!

To make things even better, guests also have the option to customize their drinks.

Visitors can also select from their vegan, gluten-free, and paleo menu that is just as tasty!

Start your day right by grabbing breakfast at Green Cup Café.

Travel Back in Time at Burroughs Home & Gardens

Exterior and name sign of Burroughs Home & Gardens

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In addition to being a renowned wedding venue in Downtown Fort Myers, Burroughs Home & Gardens is packed with preserved artifacts and furnishings from its establishment in the early 1900s!

Located right in the heart of this commercial district, this historical venue lets you travel back in time, learning all about the history of the only home that stands in its original location.

Side exterior of Burroughs Home & Gardens

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Iconic American figures such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and more often visited this home back in their time for its relaxing atmosphere topped with live oaks and lush garden views.

This venue also has tours open to the public where they’ll tell you all the wonderful tales of this home and its cultural and historical significance while taking you around the entire mansion!

Burroughs Home & Gardens is a “must-see” for everyone visiting Downtown Fort Myers, so be sure to book a reservation ahead of time!

Grab a Cup of Tea at Wisteria Tea Room & Café

Known for serving “English tea with a Southern flair,” Wisteria Tea Room & Café has been open to the community for over a decade since 2011!

All the meals and dishes that exit their kitchen have been freshly prepared to ensure the best quality, with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation!

This little eatery in the city center has perfected its craft after years of honing its skills to create the best menu that’s suitable for a light lunch.

The relaxed aura at this tea room and café, combined with their tea and coffee selection, will definitely provide a unique dining experience for you!

This tourist hotspot attracts a lot of customers daily, so be sure to book a reservation ahead of time to ensure a table.

Catch a Theatre Show at Florida Repertory Theatre

Exterior and name sign of the Florida Repertory Theatre

Felix Mizioznikov /

Originally built in 1915, this theatre home seats almost 400 people with the mission to make performing arts accessible to all.

Florida Repertory Theatre, also known as The Florida Rep, has been serving the community with its world-class theatrical shows and performances since 1998, winning multiple awards and receiving recognition for their craft both on national and international scales.

Having been deemed one of the best organizations in performing arts in all of Southwest Florida, Florida Repertory Theatre has produced several successful shows throughout the years.

Exterior and entrance doors of Florida Repertory Theatre

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For their 25th Silver Jubilee season, this performing arts company has a lot of surprises in store for you!

With their wide range of genres, from musical to drama, there’s a production for everyone of all ages to enjoy!

Buy a ticket to secure your seat at this theatre!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Gulf Coast Fudge Co

Family-owned and operated for over 40 years, Gulf Coast Fudge Co has been serving the community of Downtown Fort Myers with some of the best desserts, more specifically their fudge!

This fudge business has been part of a family tradition that began as early as 1994.

Handcrafted and fresh, Gulf Coast Fudge Co prides itself on using only the finest and highest quality of ingredients that ensure pure decadence!

This dessert shop sells over 40 different flavors of fudge, among other delicious treats, with a recipe dating back to the 1800s.

Locals and tourists alike flock to this confectionery just to try out the various flavors of fudge combined with the best toppings to satisfy their sweet tooth!

Check out what the fuss is about at Gulf Coast Fudge Co, found at the heart of Downtown Fort Myers.

Do Some Outdoor Activities at Lakes Regional Park

Entrance and welcome sign of Lakes Regional Park

John Mantell /

Also known as Lakes Park, this outdoor recreational facility is a short 20-minute drive away from the heart of the city and offers a variety of outdoor activities perfect for the entire family!

Featuring water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, guests can get out into the open water and soak up the sun.

Other amenities you can do on land include hiking and biking on the 1.5-mile stretch of land at this park, or keep an eye out for rare species of birds while birdwatching!

A bird at Lakes Regional Park

David Spates /

Guests are more than welcome to play on the 279-acre space of land that’s perfect for volleyball and other sports.

On the first Saturday of every month, you can join a group of avid bird watchers along with a patrol guide as they take a stroll through the park and admire the wildlife and natural terrain.

Lakes Regional Park is complete with a lot of fun activities for everyone, so be sure to drop by!

Children's garden area at Lakes Regional Park

John Mantell /

Play Golf at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf gives you brand new, unique, and thrilling experiences of golfing by combining this classic sport with live alligators!

With over 18 holes and various layouts, this golf course is sure to challenge your skills.

In addition to polishing your golfing abilities, this establishment also lets you feed the alligators using a fishing pole to ensure safety.

This one-of-a-kind golf course has been voted Best Mini Golf in Florida with its unique amenities topped off with a stunning landscape of rough and fairway surfaces.

Think you’re brave enough to face a live gator? Add Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf to your list of must-visit attractions in Downtown Fort Myers!

Stop by Manatee Park

Welcome sign and manatee statue of Manatee Park

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Manatee Park houses the Floridan manatees that often show up between the months of December to February when the waters are on the cooler side.

Named for being a well-known refuge for these aquatic animals, this facility also allows open-water activities such as kayaking and canoeing.

A manatee underwater at Manatee Park

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Since its opening to the public in 1996, this park isn’t limited to manatee sightseeings but also a wide variety of outdoor and recreational sports within the 17-acre space.

You may also choose to simply wind down and relax in the pavilion, have a lovely picnic with friends and family on their picnic tables, or go fishing!

This park is sure to give you unforgettable memories with up close and personal views of magnificent manatees in addition to your quality family time at Manatee Park!

Boardwalk leading to Manatee Park

SunflowerMomma /

Enjoy the Live Music at The Lucky Screw

One of the newest additions to Downtown Fort Myers is The Lucky Screw, a full-blast bar that combines drinks, live music, and good food!

This bar is also known for its various entertainment, whether it’s karaoke, a live music band, sports, and more!

You can enjoy a tasty meal from their menu or socialize and interact with the community members of this district over a refreshing cocktail, beer, or seltzer.

You may also make the most out of their Happy Hour deals from 4 pm to 9 pm by availing discounts on some of their best-selling drinks!

Spend some quality time with friends and family at The Lucky Screw!

Go On a Haunted History Tour with True Tours

If you would like to uncover the haunted side of Downtown Fort Myers, True Tours will test your bravery every night on their haunted tour of this city!

Lasting about 90 minutes, an experienced tour guide will take you to some of the allegedly most haunted buildings and streets in the district.

Don’t forget to bring your phone or camera; you never know what will appear in your photos in the background!

If a haunted tour isn’t for you, True Tours also offers an educational walking tour of Downtown Fort Myers during the day.

Featuring some of the loveliest historical districts this city has to offer, you’ll get the chance to see unique architecture and art all over!

To commemorate this trip, they’ll even give you a free souvenir!

Learn about History and Science at IMAG History & Science Center

Exterior of IMAG History & Science Center

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This museum in Southwest Florida is one of the more popular attractions for families, especially those with young children!

IMAG History & Science Center provides a fun yet educational experience for all through its interactive exhibits, displays, and programs.

The main focus of this establishment is to advance the knowledge on STEM topics that inspire children to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math.

Welcome sign of IMAG History & Science Center

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In addition to this, they also provide a rich background on the arts and culture of this district with their featured attractions and displays.

Guests can also visit their STEMLab, where they can fully experience and immerse themselves in a world of innovation and invention.

Conveniently located in the city center, this museum has a lot of things for you to see and do, including a viewing of live animals in their aquariums.

With activities that are suitable for all ages, you’re bound to have a great time at IMAG History & Science Center!

Dinosaur statue at IMAG History & Science Center

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Get Closer to Nature at Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is a non-profit environmental organization with a mission to inspire everyone to cherish and care for our environment!

With over 105 acres in space, this establishment has been part of the community of Downtown Fort Myers since its founding in 1970.

They host a variety of programs and events throughout the day, ranging from a guided walking tour around the facility to planetarium shows and animal talks!

Inside this center, you can also find the Natural Living History Museum, where they’ll immerse you in the Southwestern Florida environment through live and interactive talks and exhibits.

Their aviary and planetarium are also a major hit with younger audiences who will be mesmerized by the sights and amenities!

Connect with nature yourself here at Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium!

See World-Class Artworks on Display at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

Exterior of the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center

Felix Mizioznikov /

Downtown Fort Myers has some of the best, most lively art cultures in the entire state, and Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center can give you a taste of just that!

Dedicated to bringing only the highest quality, world-class, and creative artworks right to this historic district, you can find a wide variety of exhibits across different styles and mediums at this art center.

Not limited to displays of artworks, this establishment regularly hosts concerts and events and other live entertainment to instill a passion and appreciation for the different genres of art, whether on canvas or not.

A water fountain in front of Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center

SR Productions /

The land on which this building stands also has a colorful history that dates back as far as the 1800s, making this an iconic structure that has become part of the local heritage of Downtown Fort Myers.

After several renovations, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center officially began its operations in 2013 and has been open to the public since then.

This prestigious venue is a destination you wouldn’t want to miss while going to Downtown Fort Myers!

Name sign of Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center

Andriy Blokhin /

Visit Downtown Fort Myer’s Butterfly Garden at The Butterfly Estates

The Butterfly Estates features a breathtaking glass conservatory full of different species of butterflies with a small waterfall and various greens scattered throughout the venue.

Interested guests can take a walk around or visit the Nature Interpretive Center, where they can learn more about the butterflies’ life processes, starting from egg to caterpillar and to their metamorphosis stage.

Since its establishment in 2009, The Butterfly Estates has been dedicated to preserving and protecting the native species that have called this state their home.

Guests can also learn about the various ways to plant butterfly gardens within the space of their own home or backyard and attract these beautiful creatures on their own.

Be mesmerized by the sight of hundreds of butterflies flying overhead at The Butterfly Estates and add this destination to your itinerary.

Final Thoughts

Adventure awaits all who visit this historic gem in Southwest Florida!

Whether you’re looking to learn more about the history and culture of Downtown Fort Myers, partake in some outdoor recreational activities, or admire the natural terrain, wildlife, and ecosystems that thrive here, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and unforgettable experience!

This city prides itself on being a family-friendly place and tourist attraction with a long list of activities that are suitable for everyone of all ages.

Their lively art scene and thriving nightlife are sure to pique the interest of extroverted personalities who aren’t going to shy away from a party or two.

Visit the trendy restaurants and newest bars, appreciate the surrounding environment and its wildlife, or simply lounge back at the waterfront parks of Downtown Fort Myers by booking a trip now!

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