Historic River District
In the early days of downtown Fort Myers, herds of cattle often paraded down First Street as ranchers guided their livestock from the fields far east of town to the Punta Rassa shipping port located a few miles west of town. Today, many of the old buildings the cattle passed by still stand, although the dirt roads have been replaced with brick pavers.
Downtown Fort Myers, which is located on the Caloosahatchee River, is steeped in history. And although much of it was once left vacant and neglected, years of revitalization has again made it a cultural, social, shopping, dining and recreational nexus featuring more than 70 fun and unique businesses, all within walking distance of each other.
Several noted hotels including Hotel Indigo and the Marriott Autograph, as well as the Harborside Convention Center attract residents and visitors to the downtown area, while the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center hosts exhibitions, performances and educational events. Just a short drive away is the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater which puts on wonderful shows year- round. Visit Fort Myers Historic River District day or night. But be forewarned. After one visit, you just might decide it’s the perfect place to live – as well as play.
Sports & Activities
Fort Myers has been a sports mecca since its earliest days. Originally it was sports fishermen that were looking for something to catch. By the 1920’s, locals and visitors alike discovered something else to catch – a baseball.
It all started with Terry Park, located about one mile east of downtown Fort Myers. The four lighted fields attracted some of the best baseball teams and players of their era and put Southwest Florida on the map as a sports destination.
Today, two major league baseball teams conduct their spring training in Fort Myers – the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox practice and play at JetBlue Park, also known as Fenway South. It has a capacity of approximately 11,000 fans. Just a few miles away is Hammond Stadium, home of the Twins. The recently refurbished park has a capacity of about 9,300.
Hockey is also big in Southwest Florida. Germain Arena, which has a seating capacity of around 7,000, is home to the Florida Everblades, a minor league hockey team associated with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Basketball enthusiasts have two college teams to cheer on. The first is the Eagles at Florida Gulf Coast University, the first 15 seed team in the March Madness tournament to make it to the Sweet 16 round. There is also the Buccaneers of Florida Southwestern State College, which started playing in its new arena in 2016.
Growth & Jobs
Fort Myers is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the county. That’s according to 24/7 Wall Street, who used U.S. Census Bureau data to create its list of the Top 20 cities in the nation with the biggest population growth in the past five years. The Fort Myers area ranked #5 on that list.
Another recent survey released by 24/7 Wall Street, revealed the cities in the country with the highest increase in job opportunities. Once again, Fort Myers ranked #5 nationally.
Growth and jobs go hand in hand. For example, a shortage of medical professionals in the Fort Myers’ area is often reported. But, there’s also great opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to make their mark – and live in a tropical paradise at the same time.
Downtown Fort Myers has become the epicenter for such entrepreneurs. Doctors. Lawyers. Restaurateurs. Business Owners. Tech Wizards. Innovators. Dreamers. They all work here. Many live here.
The growth in population and jobs has been extremely beneficial to downtown Fort Myers. It has become the place to live. To work. To play. And, it’s all on the river.