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Neighborhood Spotlight: Estero

Just south of Fort Myers is the village of Estero. Bringing together historical attractions,  outdoor exploration and high-end shopping, Estero is a place not to miss on your next visit.

With history reaching back to its original Calusa inhabitants, Estero still holds remnants of the past. Rising 30+ feet above Estero Bay and surrounded by mangroves, Mound Key Archaeological State Park is believed to have been the ceremonial center for the indigenous Calusa people. This area is only accessible by boat — but it’s well worth the excursion.

For another glimpse into the past, Koreshan State Park contains a collection of restored and preserved buildings left by a religious sect that settled the area. Walk among the oak trees and peer into the settlement to see how these communal pioneers once lived. You can fully immerse yourself in this beautiful setting as you kayak on the Estero River along mangrove-lined shores, and even spend a night at one of the 60 campsites fitted with electricity and water hookups.

Nearby is Estero Bay Preserve State Park, a pristine stretch of land with miles of dog-friendly trails that take you through coastal marshes and maritime hammocks. To get out on the water, Estero River Outfitters can provide the equipment to paddle alongside mangroves and scrub forests that line the scenic Estero River. 

Learn more about this corner of Southwest Florida at the Estero Historical Society’s One-Room Schoolhouse and Cottage Museum. Learn more about life in Estero during the early 1900s, and then visit the adjacent gift shop for crafts, artwork and other artisan-made goods.

Miromar Outlets Fountain Woman Shopping

For a day of fun, head to Miromar Outlets for shopping and dining. Wander through premier outlet shops and restaurants, and take a family break in the outdoor play area, equipped with climbing walls and a hands-on STEMLab.

Also within Estero is Hertz Arena, home to the Florida Everblades AA hockey team between October and April as well as a host of lively events and concerts throughout the year.

On Saturdays, the weekly farmers market brings a buzz of activity that’s perfect for sipping a fresh lemonade while picking out baked goods and locally made crafts.

See what Estero has waiting for you, and pay a visit to its neighbor, Bonita Springs, to explore more history and outdoor adventures.