Everything you need to experience in Fort Myers’ River District

The River District is considered the main center of downtown Fort Myers and is the number one place to do in the city. With buildings from the 1900s, the neighborhood is historic and incredibly amazing. The list of things to do in the River District is long and a fascinating holiday experience is a must! Some of the city’s most famous hotels are located in this area. Why not visit the River District and see Fort Myers’ most notable destination? Here’s everything you can experience in the neighborhood.


About the historic river district

With the largest number of historic structures in Southwest Florida, the Fort Myers River District has a long, delightful history. Built in the early 1900s, the River District features Beaux-Arts, Neoclassical architecture, incredible public artwork and a historic arcade theater. Some of the city’s legends, including Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, are still remembered for the influence they had on the development of downtown Fort Myers and the city as a whole. The royal palms that line the streets beautifully are the work of Thomas and Mina Edison.

The historic River District was redeveloped in 1984 with the streets being paved with brick. The massive redevelopment project included the restoration of the shops and office buildings and the expansion of the downtown marina. Considering its state in the early ’90s, it’s hard to believe that downtown Fort Myers has transformed into an urban wasteland populated by local visitors and international tourists who come to explore its beauty.

What to do in Fort Myers’ River District

Dining in downtown Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers offers an array of world-class dining, cocktails and nightlife. From stunning sunsets, al fresco dining, rooftop drinks and a variety of food choices, the historic River District will definitely satisfy any hunger pang. The Silver King Ocean Brasserie offers a chef-created coastal menu that offers travelers a fascinating dining experience. Oxbow Bar & Grill is another restaurant not to be missed. It offers coastal cuisine and panoramic views of the Caloosahatchee Riverfront. The Green Cup Café, on the other hand, serves smoothies, tea, coffee, sandwiches, salads, wraps, desserts and more! Other River District restaurants include 3 Pepper Burrito, the Hideaway Bar, and Peter’s Ice Cream and Coffee Shop.

Shopping in downtown Fort Myers

Go shopping? With over 55 shops including colorful boutiques, antique shops and art galleries, shopping in the historic River District offers an experience that will please any visitor. There are also numerous salons and spas for guests looking to pamper themselves. Some of the notable art galleries in the neighborhood include the Florida Mural Society, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, and Grand Illusion Creative Resources. With so many goodies this neighborhood has to offer, a fun shopping experience is a must. Whether you’re a fashion lover looking for the latest must-haves, fascinating souvenirs to take home or cosmetic products, travelers will find it all here. Before leaving the historic River District, visitors should definitely stop by the Downtown Farmers Market, held every Thursday. The market contains local produce, incredible artwork, fitness center and lots of friendly locals to interact with.

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Events in the Fort Myers River District

This beautiful area hosts several events throughout the year. Several events are held throughout downtown Fort Myers showcasing music, art, food and more. Travel to the neighborhood to enjoy Art Walks on weekends in the summer and a drive downtown on the fourth Saturday of each month May through October. In the spring, there are numerous fashion shows and block parties that offer families more fun in the neighborhood.

Where to stay in the neighborhood

With so many things to explore in historic downtown Fort Myers, travelers would want a nice place to stay throughout their stay. Well, this neighborhood is full of lavish vacation rental homes to provide the best experience. Whether you’re traveling as a group of friends, as a family, as a couple, or as a solo traveler, the rentals offer incredible amenities, including private pools, to meet every visitor’s needs. There are also numerous hotels, both luxury and budget, that offer excellent accommodation. Some of the accommodation options to check are:

  • Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection: Comes with free Wi-Fi, three delightful restaurants, two bars, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. The hotel is rated 3.5 stars.
  • Legacy Harbor Hotel & Suites: This is a riverside hotel with free parking, WiFi, a terrace and a conference center.

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Must-see attractions in Fort Myers’ River District

The attractions of the Fort Myers River District are close together and some of them offer amenities to their guests. Water lovers shouldn’t miss Legacy Harbor Marina. Science lovers can explore the Imaginarium Science Center, where they can have an educational, fun, interactive experience and learn through hands-on exhibits. Don’t leave this historic district without exploring the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, the Southwest Florida Museum, the Florida Repertory Theater and the Butterfly Estates.

Fort Myers River District is full of things to see and do, and visitors are sure to have a wonderful vacation experience in the neighborhood.

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