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The name Roy Hobbs conjures up a few different things for people.

If you’re a resident of Fort Myers in Southwest Florida, the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series is probably the first thing that comes to mind. If you are an avid baseball lover, your focus is probably on Roy Hobbs, the fictitious baseball player. You know, the one played by Robert Redford in the 1980s movie, “The Natural.”

Each year, baseball players arrive in Fort Myers with their families to play in the annual Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series, which accommodates amateur players 35 years old and older. Baseball is our national pastime and the game of baseball holds a special place in the hearts of many. Whether you’re here for the weather, tagging along with one of the players, or for the game itself, the Roy Hobbs baseball tournament is one of the most popular annual events in Southwest Florida.

The Roy Hobbs annual world series tournament also helps boost Southwest Florida’s economy. People here for the tournament tend to spend more money on restaurants, things to do and places to stay while they’re in town. In 1993, 54 teams competed in the tournament. Now five times as many teams compete. It’s safe to say the Roy Hobbs World Series won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Roy Hobbs World Series Schedule

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Play in the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series and Enjoy a Fort Myers Vacation

If you are planning on playing in the tournament, why not bring the whole family along for the ride? After all, it is the perfect reason to plan a vacation. And with so many nearby cities to explore, from downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, you’ll always be able to find something to do. 

Inside Look at the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series

Those participating in the World Series tournament can sign up for a locker room instead of changing into their uniforms at the hotel and driving to games in uniforms like many did back in Little League. With the choice to change in the locker room, players can really feel and play like big-leaguers. And if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, this will be extra special. Those participating in the tournament who opt for the locker room can suit up and prepare for the game in the same place the Boston Red Sox used not long ago. Those players will also gain access to undeniable perks including professional trainers and professional baseball veterans who know how to prevent and treat injuries. Shoes will be shined and uniforms will be laundered and placed in players’ lockers for the next day. Players who choose the locker room perk will also be treated to a continental breakfast, post-game refreshments and between-game snacks. There is also a clubhouse for players’ companions.

How the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series Impacts Southwest Florida

The 2019 Roy Hobbs World Series will be the 31st overall Roy Hobbs World Series and the 27th held in Lee County. Each year the World Series continues to bring money into Southwest Florida’s economy. In 2005, its economic impact was $8 million. In 2010, it increased to $10.5 million and $15 million five years later in 2015.

There are a lot of factors that go into the economic boost. In 2017, 809 games were played in 28 days, and more than 4,000 baseballs were used. It’s also significant that the tournament is held in the months leading up to tourist season before Southwest Florida sees the tourism boom associated with the seasonal months of January to May.

The Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series helps people from all over get to know Fort Myers. And maybe they’ll tell a friend or two or five how much they love it.

History of the Roy Hobbs Baseball Tournament

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Roy Hobbs Baseball began in California in 1988. In 1993, the organization was turned over to Ellen and Tom Giffen, who moved the event to Fort Myers—where it’s been ever since.

Players get to play in impressive venues, from the historic Terry Park to JetBlue Park, also known as Fenway South, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. Terry Park boasts four fields and a significant history. At various times throughout the years, from 1925 through 1987, the park was the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia A’s. Legends such as Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, George Brett, Roberto Clemente and Bob Feller once played here. 

Where is the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series Played?

The newest venue is Fenway South, where the Red Sox have practiced since 2012. It has the same dimensions as the Sox’s Boston home, Fenway Park, and it even features a replica of the Green Monster. 

Players will also get to play at the City of Palms Park in downtown Fort Myers, along with Terry Park and Fenway South. Greats like Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn have played here. It has a bit of superstitious luck associated with it, as it was the Red Sox’s spring training home when they broke the alleged Curse of the Bambino in 2004, winning the championship for the first time in 86 years.

Royal Shell Vacation Rentals in Fort Myers

If a trip to Fort Myers and some good old fashioned baseball sound like the ultimate vacation, we can help you plan and make lasting memories for years to come. Whether you know someone participating in the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series or you just love baseball and warm weather, we invite you to check out the popular annual event. If you have any questions about the tournament or about Fort Myers, our Vacation Planning Advisors can help you out. Let us know what your favorite part of the Roy Hobbs World Series is in the comments below. Or connect with us on social media!

One of Southwest Florida’s hidden gems is the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival.

The 10-day event honors songwriters and crooners with impressive talent and features low-key music with a country vibe. The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is spread out over three different locations and it’s not like other music festivals that last longer than a few days. It’s comfortable, affordable and rejuvenating. Explore this beautiful slice of paradise while discovering tons of new music. A vacation doesn’t get much better than this.

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The annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is also the biggest festival in Southwest Florida that’s dedicated to all things songwriters. The best part? The event is mostly free, save for a few performances that require tickets.

Island Hopper began in 2014 and it continues to grow each year. With venues in downtown Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Island, the sixth annual Island Hopper Festival gives everyone a chance to catch a variety of musical acts. 

The festival, held from Sept. 20 to Sept. 29, also helps boost the local economy. Each year local shops and restaurants see an uptick in business during the event, and it gives Southwest Florida visitors a chance to see what this part of the Sunshine State is all about.

The festival is produced by the Lee County Tourist Development Council, iHeartMedia, BMI and Cat Country 107.1. It’s meant to bring people together through music while shining a spotlight on area bars and restaurants. Attendees will be able to enjoy 80-plus artists and 100-plus shows, most of which are free and in small, intimate venues across Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach and in downtown Fort Myers. 

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest 2019 Music Lineup

Featured 2019 artists include Gone West, Jerrod Niemann, Kristian Bush, Rodney Atkins and Ryan Hurd.

Kristian Bush will play with the Gulf Coast Symphony on Sept. 22. The Grammy-winning vocalist and songwriter will perform at 7 p.m. at the Florida Repertory Theatre. The event requires a ticket and VIP tickets with a meet and greet option are available. Bush is half of the popular country duo, Sugarland, and he’s been a part of the music business for more than two decades.

Rodney Atkins will close out the festival on Sept. 29. The country singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album, “Caught Up in the Country,” follows eight top-five singles, more than 13 million units sold and six No. 1 singles. 

Sam Williams, also known as Hank Williams’ grandson, will perform along with season 8 winner of The Voice, Sawyer Fredericks. 

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest 2018

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An article last year from a local newspaper says 2017’s Island Hopper Songwriter Fest resulted in higher attendance figures and an increase in business on Captiva Island. Compared to 14,732 people in 2017, 18,105 people attended in 2018, a 23% increase year-over-year.

As far as Captiva Island goes, 6,130 people attended in 2018 compared to 4,993 in 2017.

Last year, LOCASH headlined the downtown Fort Myers concert and Midland closed out the festival on Fort Myers Beach. 

Royal Shell Vacation Rental Homes – Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers and Captiva Island

Royal Shell has a variety of rental homes available on Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach and in Fort Myers. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Whether you’re coming with a lot of friends and family or you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a low-key retreat with close friends and family, Royal Shell can accommodate any type of vacation. Our Vacation Planning Advisors offer optimal customer service, can help you plan your vacation and can answer any questions you have about Island Hopper Songwriter Fest 2019.

For more information, you can also download the official Island Hopper mobile app for iOS and Android devices. You can use it to purchase tickets for select performances, look up artist information, updates and alerts, and performance times and venues.

Now that Memorial Day and Independence Day are over, there’s only one summer holiday left to enjoy. With a variety of things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend, you should have no problem planning a fun-filled and memorable vacation. The kiddos may be back in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a long weekend romantic getaway or unforgettable time with friends and loved ones. 

Here are 8 things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend:

  1. Have a shell scavenger hunt 
  2. Rent a boat
  3. Visit Sun Splash Family Waterpark
  4. Go to the beach and just relax
  5. Take advantage of the Labor Day sales and go shopping
  6. Visit the Naples Botanical Garden
  7. Check out the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
  8. Stay for a while and enjoy the Sept. 20-29 Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. This isn’t a Labor Day event, but if you plan on taking an extended vacation, you won’t want to miss this free 10-day festival. A few special performances require a ticket. Musicians perform in different locations around Fort Myers. There will also be performances on Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Island. It’s a lot of fun!  

What to do on Labor Day Weekend in Southwest Florida

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There are a variety of events throughout Southwest Florida, so whether you’re staying in Naples to the South or Fort Myers to the North, you should have no problem finding a variety of things to do for Labor Day Weekend.

Spend the day shopping at the Promenade at Bonita Bay, located at 26795 South Bay Drive in Bonita Springs. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, the open air shopping center will host its annual Labor Day Sidewalk Sale. Look for great savings on summer clearance items and get a peek at some of the hottest fall fashions. The covered walkways provide ample shade and the cascading fountains and scenic waterfalls will make you feel at ease. After all, it’s not Labor Day without some shopping! Sanibel Outlets is also having a Labor Day sidewalk sale. Collect $125 in same day receipts from any combination of stores from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, present them at Shopper Services and receive a free tumbler and a voucher for a free drink. There will also be savings of up to 70% off throughout the shopping center.

Celebrate Labor Day at Naples Botanical Garden. It’s normally closed on Mondays, so this is a special treat. The garden is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it’s located at 4820 Bayshore Drive in East Naples. 

Get to know your history at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The homes are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and children 12 and younger get in free for the self-guided audio tour. This is how it works: One child gets free admission per each paid adult ticket. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates are located at 3583 McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Celebrate Labor Day by running a 5K on the beach at Lowdermilk Park in Naples. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. and the kids’ 1k begins at 8:30. There is no registration required. Announcements will be made to line up at the park’s north entrance. There will also be refreshments available after the race. It’s $25 for adults and $12 for students until Sept. 1 and $30 for adults and $15 for students the day of the race. 

Visit the Bass Pro Shops Labor Day Festival at Gulf Coast Town Center. On Sept. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sept. 2, noon to 4 p.m., the retail store hosts a Labor Day celebration. The event features face painting, family activities, an archery challenge, bait toss, duck pond, free hot dogs from noon to 2 p.m. both days, free samples of funnel cake and cotton candy from 1-4 p.m. both days, crafts and workshops for the adults. 

What to do on Labor Day Weekend in Florida

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Luckily, Southwest Florida is so diverse; there are a variety of fun things to do on Labor Day no matter where you end up staying. For a truly Florida-style Labor Day Weekend, embrace the Sunshine State and all that it has to offer.

Look for Seashells Down by the Sea Shore

Is it really a Florida vacation if you don’t go shelling? The types of shells you’ll find depend on the beach’s location, the tide and whether or not there was a storm the night before. You may not be able to find the same shells on the same day at the same beach, but that’s part of the magic and allure of collecting seashells. Sanibel and Captiva Island are some of the best shelling destinations in the world. This is because Sanibel and Captiva’s southern currents help a variety of shells wash up on the shore. Sanibel’s east-west torque of its eastern end also works as a spoon to scoop up shells from deeper Gulf of Mexico waters. The gentle surf then deposits them on Sanibel’s coastline for shellers to find.

Rent a Boat and Enjoy a Gorgeous Sunset

Florida is known for its picturesque sunsets and they are even better when they’re experienced on the water in the company of your loved ones. Any of our Vacation Planning Advisors can tell you where to find Southwest Florida boat rentals. Go on the water for a day and end it with a sunset, explore the islands around you and take in the area’s natural surroundings and breathe a sigh of relief—because you’re on vacation! If you prefer to let someone else take the wheel, you may choose from a variety of cruises leaving the docks of area marinas. Relax while you take in the views and learn about dolphins, manatees, alligators and other denizens of the deep.

Visit a Water Park to Cool Off

If you have younger children and teenagers with you, they’d love a day at the local waterpark. Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, FL is a great family-friendly option if you’re looking for things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend. There is a gift shop, a few options for food, a lazy river, 14 acres of waterslides and a kids’ play area. 

Go to the Beach. Try Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key State Park is more than just a beach. There is a picnic area, canoe and kayak rentals, and restroom facilities. There are also three barrier islands to explore, whether you embark on a tour with a park ranger or you decide to rent a watercraft yourself. Or you can enjoy five miles of trails on your own by bicycle or on foot.  

Have a Great Labor Day Weekend in a Royal Shell Rental Home

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For many people, Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah before fall begins. Visit Southwest Florida and stay in any of our breathtaking vacation rental homes. There are a variety of things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend, and now that you have this guide, we hope you’ll take advantage of as many Labor Day activities as you can. Our Vacation Planning Advisors can help you plan the ultimate vacation so you have the perfect time! Grab a craft beer or a glass of wine and relax. Don’t forget to enjoy the sunset, too.

Leave a comment and let us know what you did. Or comment on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We’d love to see what you did on your Southwest Florida Labor Day adventure!

The Fourth of July is not only a great holiday because it celebrates Independence Day.

It’s a favorite event because it also means soaking up the sun, spending time outside, barbeques, amazing food, fireworks, parades and quality time with loved ones. And spending it in the Sunshine State is extra special. You could say it’s star spangled spectacular. The weather is amazing, the beaches are plentiful, the fireworks shows over the Gulf of Mexico are incredible, and there are a variety of different towns to explore; each with their own Fourth of July 2019 events.

Do you have plans this year? If not, we have all of the Fourth of July 2019 events in Florida in one place to help you plan.

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Fourth of July Events 2019 in Ocala, Florida

If you’ll be in or near Central Florida this year for the Fourth of July, Ocala has a couple of events you won’t want to miss. The weather is also cooler, making outdoor events less of a hassle.

God and Country Day at Golden Ocala Real Estate, 7340 U.S.-27, will host the 50th annual celebration at 2 p.m. Parking entrances are located off 225A, South of U.S.-27. The parking fee is $5.

There will be fresh food, live music, games for the family, water slides, face painting, contests, bounce houses, pony rides, and a 30-minute fireworks display at 9 p.m.

There will also be a Fourth of July celebration on the Town Square at Circle Square Commons, 8405 S.W. 80th Street. There will be bands, food, and of course, fireworks. The event starts at 4 p.m. with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Sanibel Island Fourth of July 2019 Things To Do

Locals enjoy the fireworks display each year, and many come from all over South Florida to see it.

The show begins at 9 p.m. Fireworks are set off from a barge at the end of Bailey Road. To have the best vantage point, find a spot off the Sanibel Island Causeway early. It’s the place to go to watch them. Trust, us, most of Sanibel Island will be there. You never know who you might meet!

Fourth of July 2019 events in Florida don’t have to start at night, either. The Fourth of July parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Make sure you set up your chairs at the beginning of the route off of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road, or at the route’s finish line, Case Ybel Road and Periwinkle Way.

At 10:30 a.m., you can join in the after-parade celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way. The 40th-annual San-Cap Optimist’s Club Road Rally is at Timbers Restaurant and starts at noon. The restaurant is located at 703 Tarpon Bay Road.

Fourth of July 2019 in Cape Coral | Red, White and BOOM

Red, White and BOOM in Cape Coral is one of the most talked about Fourth of July 2019 events in Florida. This year, LOCASH will headline the annual Cape Coral fireworks Independence Day celebration at 8 p.m. Neon Summer comes on at 5 p.m. and Hailey and Michaels follows at 6:30 p.m.

The family friendly event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. There will be vendors, a kids park with rides, kids activities and of course, a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. A wristband is required to enjoy the rides. Each session will end after an hour and 15 minutes. Keep in mind, a limited number of wristbands are available. Red, White and Boom is located at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge, just east of Del Prado Boulevard.

Fourth of July 2019 in Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach

Downtown Fort Myers hosts the annual Freedom Fest. The fireworks display starts at 9:30 p.m. and it’s free for the public to attend. There will also be live entertainment, vendors and food.

Fort Myers Beach, which is about 45 minutes away from the city of Fort Myers, also has a July 4 parade. It starts at the Bay Oaks Recreation Center at 10 a.m. To catch a glimpse, follow the parade along Estero Boulevard to Times Square. The recreation center is located at 2731 Oak Street.

Beginning at noon, Times Square will host a watermelon-eating contest, patriotic arts and crafts and a dunk tank. Parking is limited and the event is free.

Fireworks on Fort Myers Beach begin at 8:45 p.m. at Times Square. Bring your own beach chairs, and remember that the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed for the parade from 9 a.m. to noon and from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the fireworks show.

Naples Fourth of July 2019 | Naples Pier Fireworks and Parade

Fireworks at the Naples Pier are also a popular draw for people all over South Florida. They begin at 9 p.m. and are set off from a barge off the Pier. Special effects are choreographed to the 25-minute show. Get there early. The beach will be crowded, but finding a place to park may take some time. No parking signs are also strictly enforced.

The Fourth of July 2019 parade in downtown Naples starts at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. It will feature school groups, fire engine trucks, floats, dance troupes, bands, civic groups, boy and girl scouts and various organizations.

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Fourth of July 2019 Bonita Springs | Star Spangled Bonita

Head over to Riverside Park at 10451 Old 41 Road in downtown Bonita Springs at 5 p.m. for a Fourth of July celebration featuring live music from the Marc Vee Band, games and activities for the kids and a laser light show. There will also be food and drinks for purchase.

Find a Rental Home Near the Best Fourth of July 2019 Events in Florida

There are so many different Fourth of July 2019 events in Florida,  you can’t go wrong whether you spend the holiday in Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Ocala, Sanibel Island, or Captiva Island. Each area has something unique to offer. Bonita Springs and Cape Coral are located in the middle of everything. Naples is known for its food and arts scenes. It’s also near the Everglades, if you’re looking for an adventure. Sanibel and Captiva Islands have beautiful beaches and the destinations truly feel like you’re on vacation. Let us know what kind of trip you’re thinking about taking and our Royal Shell Vacation Planners will make it happen.

You never know, you might like your Fourth of July 2019 event in Florida so much, you never want to leave.

Let us know what you do. We’d love to hear how you enjoyed your Fourth of July 2019 vacation to the Sunshine State!

Southwest Florida is known for many things, and one of those things are good old-fashioned street tacos. If you’re vacationing in Florida, you can find some of the best tacos in Fort Myers, also known as the City of Palms. In fact, some of the best tacos in Florida are from Southwest Florida.

Tacos joints come in all shapes and sizes. The perfect taco will be different for everyone. In my humble opinion, a good taco is made from five ingredients: a freshly made corn tortilla, your choice of meat, onions, cilantro and a decent squeeze of lime juice.

Taquería San Julian

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If you agree with this statement, you’ll probably enjoy Taquería San Julian. The best part is that there’s one in South Fort Myers and East Naples. If you decide to dine in, they have tortilla chips that taste like they were made that morning, and three mouthwatering hot sauces to choose from at all the right spice levels. In addition to tacos, Taquería San Julian Fort Myers also serves up quesadillas and tostadas de ceviche. Taco and quesadilla options include pork, steak, head, tongue, beef, chicken, sausage, tripe and shrimp. They come with onions and cilantro. Additional toppings include avocado, tomato and cheese.

Tacos & Tequila Cantina

Tacos and Tequila Cantina serves up traditional tacos and then some. The newly opened Fort Myers location has conventional tacos, but they’re also known for putting your favorite entrees into a warm and delicious taco shell. If you’ve ever wanted to try a Philly cheesesteak taco or maybe a cheeseburger taco, Tacos and Tequila Cantina has some of the best tacos in Fort Myers; you’ll want to try them all.  Other popular options include the Baja taco and California taco. The Baja features a favorite Florida fish, mahi mahi, which comes either beer-battered and fried or grilled with jalapeño cilantro slaw and avocado crema. The California also stars grilled chicken, but it comes with tomatoes, bacon, guacamole, cilantro lime ranch dressing and Monterey jack cheese.

Taco Vazquez II

This taco shop is easy to miss at first. It’s a hidden gem located in a Chevron gas station in San Carlos Park. But don’t let that stop you! These tacos are downright delicious. The ingredients are fresh, the tacos are made to order and they’re always good. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the hand-pressed tortillas warming on the griddle when you walk in. That’s always a good sign.

Taquería Celaya

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Just one more gas-station taco spot, we promise. Celaya is off of Crystal Drive in the back of a Discount Tobacco and Beer store in The Villas neighborhood. But, don’t let that deter you. These tacos are worth it. They are some of the best tacos in Fort Myers and they come layered with chopped-up meats and dustings of cilantro and onions. They also serve up steamy and tender tamales.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

This taco shop’s roots are in Fort Worth, Texas, and it’s a much different take on tacos than the counters hidden in gas stations and the hole-in-the-wall restaurants we mentioned earlier. The colors are bold and bright. It almost feels more like a family-friendly bar than a dedicated taco shop, but the fun, light vibe is perfect for south Fort Myers. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop serves breakfast tacos all day, and they’re also known for their margaritas, especially the frozen ones.

Chronic Tacos

This relatively new Fort Myers taco shop shares its space with a beer garden. What better combination is there than tacos and beer? Tacos come in three different styles: street style with cilantro and onions, Baja with cabbage, tomatoes and a spicy cream sauce, and finally, gringo-style with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. They also have potato tacos, which are worth a try. What are they? Picture a deep friend scoop of mashed potatoes and cheese on a flour tortilla. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s simple and delicious and wonderful.

California Burrito’s Food Truck

The California Burrito’s food truck has been a welcome sight on the corner of Colonial Boulevard and U.S. 41 since 2016. According to an article from the local Fort Myers newspaper, the food truck opened partly because its owners missed the types of tacos they were used to getting in California. Tacos are topped with cilantro, onions and your choice of meat. California Burrito’s also offers super tacos. These come with meat, cheese, avocado, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and sour cream. Fillings include steak, al pastor (pork), chorizo, shredded chicken with a chipotle tomato sauce, grilled chicken, chicharron or cecina, a thin marinated steak.

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Featured Royal Shell Vacation Rentals in Fort Myers

It’s not a vacation to Southwest Florida without grabbing some of the best tacos in Fort Myers. Trust us; you can’t go wrong with any of these choices. You can try one a day, if you’d like. There’s something about biting into warm, fresh tortillas full of spicy, tangy goodness. It takes all of your worries away and puts you in vacation mode. Try them all or try a few. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments section!

When you walk into the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

You’ll not only see how people lived in the early 1900s, but you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of two of the country’s most well-known trailblazers, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

This historic home, located on the Caloosahatchee River, is one of the most beloved attractions in the Fort Myers area. Without Edison and his friend, Henry Ford, we wouldn’t have cars, electricity, or a variety of other modern-day conveniences.

If you grew up here, you’ve probably visited this iconic home on a field trip. Or maybe you’ve stumbled on it during a rainy afternoon. If you’re a self-proclaimed history buff, you should make it a point to include the Edison and Ford Winter Estates on your next vacation to Southwest Florida. The famed vacation home and historical buildings are beautifully preserved and one of the area’s most prized treasures. Edison purchased the Edison and Ford Winter Estates land in 1885 and it’s been open to the public since 1947. It’s also a registered National Historic Site.

There is much more to do here than meets the eyes. There is general admission if you want to meander through the grounds yourself. There are also a handful of specific tours that vary by ticket price. Whether you’re more interested in science, home decor or gardening, there’s something here for everyone!

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Edison and Ford Winter Estates Tickets

Edison and Ford Winter Estates Tours

The great thing about the Edison and Ford Winter Estates is there are a variety of tours you can choose from depending on your budget and what your group is interested in.

Edison Ford Guided Tour

Tour the beautiful gardens, homes and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory. The 60-minute tours are run by a site historian and occur every hour. You can start your day off with the 10 a.m. option or end it with the last tour departing at 4 p.m. Historians can provide valuable insight and answer your questions. You can also meander the grounds on your own without a tour guide, too, if that’s more your style.

Edison Ford Audio Tour

This is a great choice if English isn’t your first language, or you just feel comfortable with a different option. Edison Ford Audio Tours come in English, French, German and Spanish. These tours are self-guided, so you can take as long as you want to explore the grounds. Like the Guided Tour, this option will also take you through the gardens, homes and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory. The last audio player is given out at 4:30 p.m.

Edison Ford Automotive Tour

Tickets for this tour are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re an auto enthusiast, this tour will be a special treat. View the historic site’s automobile collection and a handful of antique and historic vehicles. The 90-minute tour is led by an automotive expert who can answer all of your questions and provide some insight.

Inside the Lab Tour

Offered three days a week, this tour lets you explore the laboratory Thomas Edison shared with Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford. What’s different about this tour versus the guided tour is that you get to go behind the barriers and get a closer look at what the three giants were working on. Like the Automotive Tour, the 75-minute Inside the Lab Tour is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Garden Tour

This tour only runs on Wednesday mornings. Explore the propagating nursery and meander through 20 acres of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates’ botanic gardens. The tour is 90 minutes long, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the grounds, too. You’ll also get a 10% discount on purchases at the Garden Shoppe.

Inside the Homes Tour

This tour is offered two days a week. On Thursdays, you’ll need to make reservations by calling 239.334.7419. On Friday, tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis. The 90-minute tour will take you to normally closed off areas of Edison and Ford’s winter homes. Expert historians and curatorial staff can answer your questions and offer additional information about the homes. You’ll see areas of homes not normally visible during other tours. It’s pretty unique and special!

Holiday Nights at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates

This part of the River District is extra special during the holidays. The historic lab, gardens and buildings are decked out in thousands of lights and traditional holiday decor. It’s one of the only times the grounds are open past sunset. This time of year there’s normally live music and you might even get a visit from Santa Claus himself. The gift stores and museums also stay open later, if you need to do some last-minute shopping.

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Plan Your Next Visit

Where: 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, Florida

Hours: Open Monday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Information: 239.334.7419 or http://www.edisonford.org/

Find your Next Royal Shell Rental near the Edison and Ford Winter Estates

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is a great option for a rainy day adventure, and there are always reasons to come back and explore it a second time. There are a variety of different tour options the whole family will love. If you’re here during the holiday season, the home and gardens are lit up and more beautiful than ever, especially during sunset.

Feel free to browse our Fort Myers vacation rentals near the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Give us a call if you see something you like so we can try and secure it for you right away. If you have any questions before you choose a home, our Vacation Planning Specialists are more than happy to help. After all, our No. 1 goal is for you to have a memorable stay and create lasting memories.

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