A Night at the Museum, Fort Myers Style

Museums hold the keys to many mysteries and are one of the best ways to really discover any area you visit. The museums you’ll find in Fort Myers vary widely in content and activities. Most are not quiet, buttoned up spaces but more interactive and adventurous.

Take for example the Imaginarium where you can stand in a wind tunnel to see what the area’s tropical weather really feels like, or touch and learn about sea creatures found in local waters.

Perhaps the most famous museum in the Fort Myers area is found at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Hundreds of inventions by Thomas Edison are on display and some may surprise you. A good part of the “museum” is living, the botanical gardens and grounds of the inventor and his friend (car magnate) Henry Ford’s neighboring estate.

Many other museums in the area also have outdoor components. The Calusa Nature Center not only has exhibits but boardwalks through native vegetation where you can often spot wildlife. And the Bailey Mathews Shell Museum hosts beach walks on Sanibel Island; some of the best exhibits are those from Mother Nature herself.

Southwest Florida has a rich history that you are bound to discover at these museum sites.

The Shell Factory & Nature Park

The Shell Factory is known for offering quite the mix of shopping and fun outdoor activities. So one might find it curious to be mentioned in a museum list. We say why not? It certainly has everything else. There are actually four small...  Read More

Mound House
Photo courtesy of The Mound House

The Mound House is Estero Island's (Fort Myers Beach) oldest standing structure and it sits on an ancient Calusa Indian Mound. Guided tours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays, where you'll learn about 2,000 years of history as well as...  Read More

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Photo courtesy of Paul B

This is a museum of seashells, conchology, and malacology. Since shelling is one of the most popular activities on Sanibel Island, it makes the perfect location to house such a comprehensive museum. Exhibits are dedicated exclusively to...  Read More

This space doubles as a nature center and museum, spanning more than 100 acres. Visitors to the museum will mostly discover information about Southwest Florida's natural history, including exhibits on indigenous snakes, alligators and...  Read More

Koreshan State Historic Site and Mound Key State Architectural Site
Photo courtesy of Koreshan State Historic Site

This is a two in one stop for history lovers. Guided tours are available or you can guide yourself around the 125-acre island, formerly housing two unique cultures. Among the exhibits at Mound Key are information panels outlining the history of...  Read More

Sanibel Historical Village and Museum
Photo courtesy of Sanibel Historical Village and Museum

Take a trip from the 1890s to the present when you visit Sanibel's Historical Village, which preserves the area's 100-plus year history. The village's museum is found in the home of the late Mr. Rutland, known to natives as "Uncle Clarence...  Read More

Southwest Florida Military Museum
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch

This 34,000 square foot museum, housed in an old grocery store, is bursting at the seams with fascinating military memorabilia and exhibits. You'll find many one of a kind items in this free museum, from the Revolutionary War through modern...  Read More

Ideal for the whole family, this Fort Myers museum boasts more than 60 interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational. The Imaginarium is the type of place where you can touch a cloud, become a weatherman (and get a souvenir video tape),...  Read More

Southwest Florida Museum of History

Located in what was once the Fort Myers depot of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, this museum is dedicated to preserving not only the history of Fort Myers, but the whole of Southwest Florida as well. Exhibits date back to prehistoric times and...  Read More

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates cover more than 20 acres along the Caloosahatchee River, offering a glimpse into the lives of two of America's greatest inventors, Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford. The estate museum is 15-thousand square feet...  Read More


Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for 22 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. 

Besides brandishing a microphone, Gina...  More About Gina

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