Downtown Ft. Meyers, Florida and the Edison Ford Winter Estates

A view from our hotel rooftop.

We recently stayed for two days and one night in Ft. Meyers, Florida.  The downtown is pretty happening with great shops, restaurants, bars, theatre and, of course, the gulf.   There is a large paddle boat at the end of a pier, which is an event unto itself.  There are beautiful old buildings with amazing architecture as well as artist influences everywhere such as a series of metal sculptures.

The influence of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are everywhere.

While we were there, the businesses were busy, but not overcrowded. It seemed to be an older, well-heeled crowd.  It made for a pleasant experience with a great vibe.

Here is a rundown on some of the things we enjoyed:

Cool restaurant with good burgers.
  •  Ford’s Garage.  It is the original location of this chain restaurant that celebrates good food and all things by Ford Motor Company.  There is a Model A or T that is a focal point over the bar in the center of the building.  The hamburgers, which are delicious, come with a Ford brand on the top bun.
Sculptures, such as this one, dot Ft. Meyers downtown.
  • The metal sculptures are really interesting.  Larger than life subjects include a man in a rocker listening to a radio, a group playing dominoes, a man and his dog each using the street sign (if you know what I mean!), etc.   The sculptures are sprinkled around the downtown.
I loved this sign!
  • The architecture of downtown.  The downtown area is very walkable.  Just take a stroll around and see the beautiful detail of the building faces, signs, and stores.
  • Enjoy a latte and croissant at Le Macaron, which is a cute little French bakery with macarons, chocolates, croissants, etc.
  • Have some ice cream.  There are at least three ice cream shops that we noticed.  We did stop in one in the name of research!  It was great.
  • Play drag queen bingo.  We did not get to attend since it was ending by the time we found out what the commotion was about.  There was a large crowd and lots of players gathered at a restaurant located in the arcade which led to our hotel (The Indigo).
A view from the Edison estate. There used to be a long pier here during Edison’s time.
  • Visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates.  Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were friends, with Ford having worked for Edison early in his career.  Eventually, they had homes next to each other on McGregor Boulevard.
A cool tip of the hat to Mr. Edison on the grounds of the museum.

Edison would spend winter months in Ft. Meyers.  Ford, on the other hand, would spend two weeks a year around the time of Edison’s birthday.  The complex is a must-see.  It has gardens, several outbuildings, a swimming pool complex, a museum, a gift shop, and a nursery.  Both of these men were fascinating, and the stories that the guide will tell underscore how progressive their minds and inventions were.

Mr. Edison designed the electric light fixtures. I think a plug hangs from the center.

We only had a chance to scratch the surface of all that Ft. Meyers has to offer.  I do want to go back and try out more of the restaurants and shops.  You may want to consider Ft. Meyers as your next destination for a fun getaway!

Here are a few more shots from downtown:



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