We escaped for a night to Ft. Myers, Florida. The city is only an hour and a half south of Sarasota but it may as well be hours away for as often as we have visited. The city is along the Caloosahatchee River and is well known for being the former winter home of Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford. Today it is best known for being the spring training home for the Boston Red Sox. The city has grown as most have in Florida , sprawling out in all directions with little planning, but its roots, its downtown called the River District is quite special. It’s a visual treat – very picturesque. The brick streets are lined with the city’s original buildings preserved and for the most part, filled with independent retailers, offices, bars and restaurants.First Street, Ft. Myers photo credit: Credit: Tom Hall, 2011
We stayed at the Hotel Indigo on Broadway. It’s a boutique size, new hotel cleverly blended into the old 1925 United States Post Office Arcade. We dined at the Twisted Vine Bistro and paired our beef entrees with a bottle of 2007 O’Brien Estate – Seduction, a very good Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. It’s a nice restaurant with a small menu and a good wine list. After dinner the streets were alive with music and crowds. On the third Saturday of each month Ft. Myers has a Music Walk featuring live music at over a dozen venues, including restaurants, galleries and bars, plus a variety of street performances from 7-10.
Sunday morning, on a tip from contributors to yelp.com we tried Bennett’s Fresh Roast for breakfast. I’d drive back to Ft. Myers for their donuts alone!Edison Winter Residence
We walked off our donut splurge with a trip to the Edison & Ford Estates. I’d never been. I’d heard it wasn’t that great and rather worn out. Well, the millions invested recently in restoration and renovation have paid off. The buildings are in great shape and the grounds are wonderful to wander through to view the amazing array of tropical and unusual trees and plantings.Pin Cushion Tree