Fort Myers

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Like many other similarly sized U.S. cities, Fort Myers (population: 62,298) is mostly unremarkable, full of suburban sprawl, endlessly dotted by shopping plazas. However, the closer you are to the coast (in this case, the Caloosahatchee River, which eventually empties out into the Gulf of Mexico), the more distinct the city is. Above, taken just before sunset is the Caloosahatchee Bridge, which connects Fort Myers to North Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

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Downtown Fort Myers has its share of art deco splendor, at times resembling a much smaller, more restrained Miami Beach.

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The historic Dean Building, home to a restaurant that references Henry Ford (more on him later).

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Sadly, despite the restored exterior, the Edison Theatre hasn’t shown movies in decades, the interior having been converted to office space back in the ’80s.

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A closer look at the Edison’s exterior. Although downtown Fort Myers is far from a ghost town, I can only imagine how much more enticing a destination it would be if the Edison was still a cinema.

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A little post-art deco meets mid-century modern around the corner from the Edison.

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I can’t say I’ve seen another facade quite like this in recent years.

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Unfortunately, we were two weeks too early to see the “Mutt Strutt”.

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I would’ve loved to have seen what was on the inside of this curious storefront (though I’m guessing it would not have lived up to my expectations).

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Beyond downtown, my favorite part of Fort Myers was McGregor Blvd., a charming road lined with tall palms leading into the city.

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McGregor Blvd.’s most popular attractions are the Edison (as in Thomas) and Ford (as in Henry) Winter Estates.

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The Main House of the Edison Estate.

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A nice touch of red amidst all the green.

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The front of the Ford Estate.

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The Ford Estate’s southern side. Love that big stone fireplace.

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A botanical garden surrounds the Estates.

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Apparently, falling figs are a thing to watch out for here.

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I didn’t see any figs, but I did find this split coconut.

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The grounds feature this arbor and pier on the Caloosahatchee River.

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A parting shot of high-rise condos near downtown Fort Myers as sunset nears.

Next week: my Florida photos conclude with a day-trip to Naples.