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History and Historic Attractions

Explore the rich history of Fort Myers at engaging museums, attractions and parks. Get to know the people, cultures and traditions of this unique region of Southwest Florida.

Did you know? The Indigenous Calusa people were the first permanent inhabitants of Southwest Florida. Not only were they keen fishers but they were also avid seashell collectors who forged tools from scavenged shells. Visit the Mound House museum on Fort Myers Beach, part of an archaeological dig where you can view artifacts and exhibits that have been excavated from the site. Artifacts are also on display at the Museum of the Islands in the heart of Pine Island. The Randell Research Center on Pine Island celebrates both archaeology and ecology and is home to the Calusa Heritage Trail.

Nineteenth-century lifestyles and stories of innovation are celebrated at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Expansive gardens, a state-of-the-art-museum and a botanic research laboratory invite you to step into worlds of big ideas and great discoveries.

Enjoy a similar glimpse into the past on a docent-led tour of Burroughs Home & Gardens. This stately 20th-century mansion in downtown Fort Myers is an authentic Georgian revival filled with beautiful antique furnishings.

Gain insight into Black stories in Southwest Florida at the Williams Academy Black History Museum, a 1942 addition to the first government-funded, wood-frame school for Black students. Schedule a tour of this historic building that showcases exhibits of influential figures, Black inventors and a replica of the original 1912 schoolhouse.

From fossil hunting to shipwrecks, IMAG History & Science Center puts a distinctive Fort Myers spin on events that shaped the history of Southwest Florida while providing hands-on fun for kids of all ages.

Even our outdoor spaces have unique stories from the past. At Koreshan State Park, find 11 buildings and gardens  that were created by the utopia-seeking community of Koreshans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Learn about notable figures, natural history and major events throughout our neighborhoods. Visit the Cape Coral Historical Museum and the Bonita Springs Historical Society. Take a stroll in the historic River District, or book a guided walking tour.

Ready for more? Browse around to find more historic sites and attractions in and around Fort Myers.