A mix of live entertainment, classical art and cultural experiences, the arts scene in Southwest Florida is nothing if not unique. But with so many places to see, navigating the area can get a little overwhelming for new visitors.
That’s why our two-day arts and culture itinerary was born – to bring you a diverse range of Fort Myers and Sanibel Island activities to help make the most of your time with us.
Southwest Florida Museum of History
Open Tuesday–Saturday at 10 a.m.
Immerse yourself in local culture and take a step back in time to explore the area as it once was. This historic train depot features exhibits and artifacts chronicling pre-historic Florida to present day – including a replica Cracker House, a 1929 Pullman train car and more.
Painting with a Twist
Many classes are offered at 1 or 2 p.m.
After lunch, let your creativity flow as freely as the pint of beer in your hand – because it’s pretty amazing how artistic one becomes when you can BYOB. So make a stop for beverages before unleashing your inner Rembrandt at this afternoon painting session.
Fort Myers’ Art Walk
6–10 p.m. | First Friday of Every Month
What’s an arts itinerary without a little gallery hopping? Peruse more than a dozen distinctive galleries in the River District, where you can meet local artists, watch live art demonstrations and pick out a piece to bring home. Even if your visit doesn’t include a Friday, you’re still welcome to explore the area.
Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
5:30 dinner and 7:30 show
As an evening alternative, wind down – and indulge in a decadent meal – in the comfortable and luxurious ambience of Southwest Florida’s premier dinner theater. Shows for the 2016/2017 season include Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz, Evita and more. Tickets for dinner and a show start at $59 per person.
Open daily at 10 am
Your second day begins on island time – at what looks like a lovely beach house on Sanibel. In reality, it’s a 1915 cottage that now serves as Tower Gallery, displaying the fine work of 24 local artists. You can check out hand-crafted jewelry, sculptures, original prints and photography among other unique pieces.
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
Open Tuesday–Saturday at hours vary by season
Visit the tiny coastal community made up of structures dating to the 1800s – where you’ll encounter stories of adventurers, farmers, fishermen and the pioneer families who settled the island. This destination doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to sharing Sanibel’s history in a way that feels extremely real.
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Open daily at 10 a.m.
From shells found around the world to intricate works of art, get inspired by your seaside surroundings at the country’s only shell museum. Enjoy daily tank talks, marine-themed arts and crafts, and other activities in addition to visiting more than 30 permanent exhibits. Hitting the beach afterward isn’t a bad idea, either.
Live Music at Pete’s Time Out
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from spending a day in the sun, head to Times Square on Fort Myers Beach – where live performances complement the mouthwatering menu at Pete’s Time Out every night. Then venture onto the pier or take a stroll down the beach to cap off two days well-spent in Southwest Florida.
To learn more about The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel arts and culture scene, visit our Arts & Entertainment page.
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