Downtown Fort Myers River District: Things to Do in One Day

Lighted downtown streets pave the way in the Fort Myers River District

From trendy restaurants to historic homes, there’s plenty to enjoy in the Downtown Fort Myers River District. If you’re on a tight schedule but want to get the most out of your visit, consider this one-day itinerary.


First things first – the most important meal of the day: Grab a healthy bite to eat complete with a smoothie or coffee at Green Cup Café. Once you’re energized, head to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. There, you can explore 20 acres of botanical gardens and historic homes, including Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory..

Science lab at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Another stunning site to visit is the Burroughs Home & Gardens, which transports you all the way back to 1901. This Georgian Revival mansion played host to brilliant minds like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other affluent families in its time. More than 100 years later, you can still walk among the gardens or lounge in a rocking chair overlooking the river. The home itself is filled with period furniture and historical artifacts.


When lunchtime rolls around, you’ll find quite an assortment of eateries. Embrace your inner Brit with tea, sandwiches and sweets at the quaint Wisteria Tea Room, or indulge in great beer selection and delicious gastropub fare at 10 Twenty Five.

Downtown Fort Myers

After eating, a few hours of bargain hunting are in store. Echo Vintage mixes vinyl records with memorabilia for the music lover. And browsing a variety of antique shops will yield everything from furniture to one-of-a-kind keepsakes.

For a more outdoorsy alternative, pack a couple fishing poles and head to Centennial Park for the afternoon. Spend some time catching some sun and (hopefully) a bucket of fish.


While the sun is setting, happy hour is in full swing at The Lodge. Its ski cabin décor is an eccentric complement to its down-home, slow-cooked barbecue and infinite drink specials. If you’re feeling a bit more fancy, make your way to The Veranda. Set in two turn-of-the-century homes, this restaurant combines fine Southern cuisine with timeless charm.


Of course, after dinner comes the show – so treat yourself to a delightful night at the Florida Repertory Theatre.

Interior view of Florida Reparatory Theatre

Last Night

What’s a vacation without a bit of bar hopping? Start at Cowboy Up Saloon with great beer and a game of pool. Then pay homage to the prohibition era at The 86 Room, where jazz music and moonshine embody speakeasies in every way. Finally, round off a night well-spent at Los Cabos Cantina, the perfect pit stop for a round (or two) of quesadillas, nachos and guacamole.


Has the Downtown Fort Myers River District piqued your curiosity yet? Uncover other activities by exploring this eclectic community here

Girl examining lighted exhibit in the Fort Myers River District

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