Fort Myers is the commercial center and county seat of Lee County, Florida. After last year’s census, the population was 62,298 – an increase of almost 30% in comparison to the 2000 census. Fort Myers is one of the two important cities that make up the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area, along with Cape Coral. The metropolitan area had a population last year of 618,754. The city was established back in 1886 and is the historical and governmental hub of the aforementioned Lee County. Fort Myers is the gateway to the southwest region of Florida, a very important tourist destination in the state. Here in the city, the winter homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are very important tourist attractions and they are located on McGregor Boulevard. It was one of the very first forts that were constructed along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians. After a devastating hurricane in 1841, the military had to look for a site that was less exposed to the storms coming from the Gulf of Mexico. After research, Fort Harvie was built on the grounds which we now know as downtown Fort Myers.
Starting with 1898, the city became a nationally winter resort after the Royal Palm Hotel was built. The access was significantly improved thanks to the 28-mile extension of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad on May 10, 1904, giving Lee County passenger as well as freight service. In 1924, the city’s growth began thanks to the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge across the Caloosahatchee River. After the construction was finished, Fort Myers experienced its very first real estate boom. Looking at the figures published by the United States Census Bureau, we find out that the city has a total area of 40.4 square miles: 31.8 – land; 8.6 – water. The city has a year-round warm, monsoon climate that is classified as either tropical savanna or subtropical. The winters there are short and mild, while the summers are hot, long and humid. The year’s rainfall is from June until September. The monthly averages range from 64.9 F (in January) to 83.1 F (in August), while the annual average is 74.9. The city is governed by a 6-member city council and each is chosen from a single member ward.
A citywide vote selects the mayor while the policing of the city are by the local Fort Myers Police Department. As far as the sports domain is concerned, the city of Fort Myers, Florida is the current spring training home of the popular Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox baseball clubs. Some of the most important points of interest of the city include: the Edison and Ford Winter Estates which we have mentioned at the beginning of the article, Historic Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk, Historic Downtown, waterfront entertainment district and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, set on a 105-acre site, featuring three nature trails, a museum, bird aviaries, gift shop, picnic areas and a planetarium.