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County by County Riding Florida…Lee-Home of History and BIG TREES

By Lulu

Every month I find the differences in Florida’s counties so interesting. Often the differences are created by the counties founders, the products the county produces or geography. Some may be pretty roads, some lakes every where you look and in Lee County it is vegetation that catches your eye. And history!

[singlepic id=1498 w=320 h=240 float=left]Being the summer homestead of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford this county has interesting history other counties don’t. We visited the winter estates of Edison & Ford which includes gardens, homes, a laboratory and museum. The Edisons wintered in Ft. Myers from 1886 to 1947 when Mrs. Edison deeded the property to the city of Ft. Myers for $1!

Situated on the Caloosahatchee River it is a beautiful place due to the botanical research lab that Edison and his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone enjoyed and worked in on the property. The estate and Ft. Myers is lush with vegetation. Palm tree lined roads, such as McGregor Blvd., and huge banyan trees simply set this county apart from many.

The city has great nature preserves including the Calusa Nature Center and Six Mile Cypress Slough; which inspite of the county’s large population and heavy traffic, give you a sense of being able to escape the big city.

Calusa Nature Center has a $9 fee which includes a snake room, and caged birds of prey including owls and eagles, but the bargain of the trip was the Six Mile Cypress Slough which was only $1 for parking and had a one mile boardwalk.

[singlepic id=1506 w=320 h=240 float=right]Another wonderful asset of this county is their beaches, Sanibel and Captiva, which are famous for collecting seashells. They have a shell museum although we didn’t get a chance to see it. They have a great old lighthouse too.

We decided to take their dinner theater train which was a bit pricey at $90 per person (bar tabs extra) but it included a gourmet meal, a “Who Done It?” type play and a 3.5 hour train ride.

[singlepic id=1494 w=320 h=240 float=right]Top 3 bars by locals are Ragged Ass Saloon on Stringfellow Rd. in St. James City which sits on a canal and has an outside tiki bar, Crossroads Grill & Lounge on Hancock Bridge Parkway that has a $5 biker breakfast buffet and Buckingham’s Blues bar on Buckingham Rd. that features a Amberbock drinking mule named Bucky and a huge outside bar the site of a blues fest on Saturdays.

Top 3 restaurants are Bubba’s Roadhouse in Cape Coral, Nomiki’s Plakka in Ft. Myers and Green Flash in Captiva. One of our favorites was Edison’s on McGregor. I had a huge BBQ chicken salad and they have “Lunch for 2 deals”.

As far as roads to travel McGregor’s with the palm trees is pretty but has traffic. The beach road out to Captiva is pretty once you get through the developed area. And the locals’ choice is North River Rd of Rt. 31 heading east to Labelle. If your traveling plans include Lee County there is also parasailing, jet ski rentals, putt-putt and pirate cruises, bring your bathing suit and take home a natural treasure or two!

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Ride Lee County Cam

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