First “discovered” by Spanish explorers the history of Southwest Florida is quite interesting and visitors can take it in at the Southwest Florida Museum of History . The museum is located in the former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot in downtown Fort Myers. Exhibits include a collection of artifacts that date to the earliest Paleo-Indian natives, as well as the later Calusa and Seminole tribes. Displays of Spanish and early American settler’s items are also included within the collection, as is a replica of a pioneer “cracker” house.

As the museum is housed in a former railway building, it is no surprise that the turn of the century Pullman railway car is among the other items that can be seen by visitors. The Southwest Florida Museum of History is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 5pm, and closed Sundays and Mondays.

Among the earliest snowbirds to call Fort Myers home (at least in the winter) were Thomas Edison and his friend Henry Ford. Vistors can take in the Edison and Ford estates, which are now open to the public, and these include a tour of the homes, the laboratory that Edison set up, as well as the gardens and even a museum to see. There are even cruises available on weekends! Open daily 9am until 5:30pm,