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Considered the main downtown area of Fort Myers, the River District is ranked number one of the best things to do in the city. With buildings dating back to the 1900s, the neighborhood is historic and incredibly amazing. Brimming with beautiful attractions, including outstanding restaurants, bars, shopping, and fantastic nightlife, the list of things to do in the River District is long, and a fascinating vacation experience is a must! Some of the city’s most iconic hotels are located within this neighborhood. Why not visit the River District and tour Fort Myers' most remarkable destination? Here is 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, charming history. Constructed in the early 1900s, the River District boasts Beaux-Arts, Neo-Classical architecture, incredible public artworks, and a historical 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 Fort Myers downtown and the entire city. The royal palms that are beautifully lining the streets are the works of Thomas and Mina Edison.

The historic River District was redeveloped in 1984 with its streets paved with bricks. The huge regeneration project saw the restoration of the shops and office buildings as well as the expansion of the downtown marina. Considering its condition in the early '90s, it's hard to believe that Fort Myers downtown has turned into an urban wasteland, bustling with local visitors and international tourists coming to explore its beauty.

What To Do At Fort Myers’ River District

Dining At Downtown Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers offers an array of top-notch food eateries, cocktails, and nightlife. From breathtaking sunset views, outdoor dining, rooftop drinks, and different foods to choose from, the historic River District will definitely satisfy every craving. The Silver King Ocean Brasserie comes with a coastal, chef-driven menu, offering a fascinating dining experience to travelers. Oxbow Bar & Grill is another restaurant not to miss. It offers coastal cuisine and panoramic riverfront views of the Caloosahatchee. Green Cup Café, on the other hand, serves up smoothies, tea, coffee, sandwiches, salads, wraps, desserts, and more! Other restaurants in the River District to dine at are 3 Pepper Burrito, the Hideaway Bar, and Peter's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop.

Shopping At Fort Myers’ Downtown

Into shopping? With over 55 stores, including colorful boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries, shopping in the historic River District offers an experience every visitor is going to relish. There are also numerous salons and spas for guests looking to pamper themselves. Some of the most remarkable art galleries to explore in the neighborhood are the Florida Mural Society, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, and Grand Illusion Creative Resources. A fun shopping experience is a must, thanks to all kinds of goodies this neighborhood offers. Whether into fashion and seeking the latest must-haves, fascinating souvenirs to take home, or cosmetic products, travelers will find everything here. Before leaving the historic River District, visitors should ensure they stop by Downtown Farmers Market, running every Thursday. The market contains local produce, incredible artwork, fitness centers, and many friendly locals to interact with.

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Events At Fort Myers River District

Several events are running throughout the year in this beautiful neighborhood. Several signature events are held throughout Downtown Fort Myers showcasing music, arts, food, and more. Travel to the neighborhood to enjoy Art Walks during weekends in summer and a downtown Car Cruise-In from May to October, the fourth Saturday of every month. Numerous fashion shows and block parties happen in spring, bringing more fun for families to enjoy in the neighborhood.

Where To Stay In The Neighborhood

With so many things to explore in the historic Downtown Fort Myers, travelers would want a nice place for accommodation throughout their stay. Well, this neighborhood is full of lavish rental vacation homes to offer the best experience. Whether traveling as a group of friends, families, a couple or having a solo getaway, the rental properties have incredible amenities, including private pools to meet every visitor’s needs. There are also numerous hotels, both luxury and budget, offering outstanding accommodation. Some of the lodging options to check are:

  • Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection: Comes with free Wi-Fi, three magnificent restaurants, two bars, an outdoor pool, and a health club. The hotel is 3.5-star rated.
  • Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites: This is a riverfront hotel offering free parking, Wi-Fi, a terrace, and a conference center.

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Must-See Attractions At Fort Myers' River District

Fort Myers River District’s attractions are situated in proximity to one another, and some of them provide amenities to their guests. Travelers who love water shouldn’t miss Legacy Harbor Marina. Science lovers can explore Imaginarium Science Center, where they can have an educative, entertaining, and interactive experience, learning through hands-on exhibits. Don’t leave this historic neighborhood without exploring Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Southwest Florida Museum, Florida Repertory Theater, and Butterfly Estates.

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