Southwest Florida Museum of History
The Southwest Florida Museum of History tells the story of southwest Florida, from the area’s first Paleolithic fauna (think towering giant sloth to the arrival of settlers and modern railroads. Highlights of the collection, housed in a former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot, include a replica “cracker” house, and a 1929 Pullman rail car.
A visit to the Southwest Florida Museum of History offers an excellent introduction to the history and culture of the Fort Myers area, including the Calusa, Seminole, and Spanish populations that have called it home over the centuries. Museum admission includes an audio tour of the collection to help visitors learn more about the artifacts on display.
Things to know before you go
- The Southwest Florida Museum of History offers an engaging way for kids to learn more about the region.
- Give yourself 1–2 hours to explore the collection, especially if you plan to take advantage of the audio guide.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.
How to get there
The museum is on Jackson Street in the heart of Fort Myers River District. Visitors with a car will find paid parking at garages on Main Street and Bay Street. On-street parking is free on weekends and holidays.
When to get there
The museum is open throughout the year. Plan to visit early in your trip, or save the museum as a rainy day activity or way to cool down on a hot Florida afternoon.
Fort Myers River District
Downtown Fort Myers—also known as the River District—is home to some of the city’s top attractions. Combine your visit to the museum with a stop at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, or if you have kids in tow, the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum & Aquarium. The neighborhood is also packed with restaurants, shops, and art galleries—perfect for a full day of exploration.
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- IMAG History and Science Center
- Burroughs Home & Gardens
- Edison and Ford Winter Estates
- Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium
- Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
- Manatee Park
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- Zoomers Amusement Park
- Fort Myers Beach
- Sanibel Island
- J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
- Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve