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(2020 - Winter/Spring Issue)


For over a century, this legendary winter escape hatch along Florida’s sun-kissed southwestern shores has welcomed a pilgrimage of sun seekers to this pocket of paradise.

For starters, did you know that within the city limits of Fort Myers you can view manatees at Manatee Park or witness a special butterfly phenomenon? The Butterfly Estates has been established to encourage the development of native butterflies at its butterfly conservatory.

The centre, which is home to the Florida Native Butterfly Society, incubates and hatches thousands of native butterflies each year. For a small fee, visitors can be enchanted by a butterfly release ceremony held daily. Watch butterflies flutter to the tune of New Age music. Later, grab a lunch or stroll through Fort Myers River District with restaurants, bars, galleries and colour-ful unique shops.

For a fun hands-on sea critter encounter, the IMAG History and Science Center is a funky place to visit in Fort Myers. See bamboo sharks, angelfish, rock groupers and zebra moray eels swim around a sunken World War II warship replica at the venue’s popular family-fun aquarium.

Not only can you find a hurricane simulator where you can run through an indoor rainstorm but the facility also has a “SEA-to-See” touch tank for more fun close encounters with sea critters like horseshoe crabs and sea stars.

Now no visit to the area is complete without a stay at Sanibel Island. Take the causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel—it’s like crossing a portal into another world.

This year, the beloved J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge celebrates its 75th anniversary. Located on Sanibel Island, this large mangrove sanctuary is part of a popular bird migratory route. Peak season for birdwatching runs from March through April. Not yet a birder? Well, you just might become one!

Two thirds of the island will never be developed due to the protected wildlife reserve, and no building is higher than the highest palm tree.

Sanibel Island is a true, old style, natural paradise.

Travel Planner

Discover the wondrous beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel at FortMyers-Sanibel.com.

Fort Myers River District myriverdistrict.com

IMAG History & Science Center theimag.org

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge fws.gov/refuge/jn_ding_darling

The Butterfly Estates thebutterflyestates.com

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