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seaside scholars welcome

fort myers & sanibel museums and galleries

@Katie Bray

Our rich culture, storied past and unmatched nature have all been recorded historically and creatively for generations. Our local museums and galleries display an array of exhibits that entice history buffs, science lovers and art enthusiasts alike.

The natural gifts and beauty nestled in our destination have always propelled creative minds to greatness. Our local museums and galleries reflect the work of those who came before us and are easily worth the price of admission – if there is one.

At the Southwest Florida Museum of History in downtown Fort Myers, exhibits tell the story of how time shaped our area through the centuries. You’ll learn about the dinosaurs that once roamed prehistoric Florida, the native Americans who first laid their roots in the region, and the Spanish explorers who later colonized these fabled shores. Just up the street is the Edison and Ford Winters Estates which gives you a glimpse of the expansive grounds and homes where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters, which also includes an onsite museum and laboratory. 

Meanwhile, many local nature-centric attractions offer science and wildlife lovers an up-close look at the unique plants and animals that thrive by the seaside. Downtown Fort Myers’ IMAG History and Science Center, for instance, features interactive exhibits that fuse education and fun. Here, kids (and adults) can feel the force of a hurricane, dig for dinosaur fossils, and learn how science impacts their favorite sport. Or, if you’re curious about the collection of shells you’ve found on our beaches, Sanibel Island’s Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum hosts a massive wealth of specimens and information on the subject. Kids can even earn a prize for completing a shell scavenger hunt or explore the aquarium gallery where they can engage with animals in two touch pools.

In addition to Southwest Florida’s fascinating history and diverse biology, you’ll find the area’s booming art scene manifested in countless museums and galleries. With art hubs like The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and lots of tiny galleries housing handmade treasures, you’re likely to discover your new favorite interpretation from a local perspective.

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