5 Unique Museums in Southwest Florida
The white sandy beaches attract most to Southwest Florida. But did you know we have a handful of specialty museums in our area as well? When (read: if ) you need a break from the beach, check out these unique museums spread throughout Southwest Florida.
#1 Revs Institute
Car enthusiasts will drool. Even those who are less enthusiastic about cars will be impressed with this well-rounded and rare collection of vehicles owned by Miles Collier. Located in Naples, the collection spans more than 100 automobiles built between 1896 and 1995. You’ll find everything from the classic Ford Model T, to Porsche race cars of the 60's, and Bentley luxury cars of the 30’s. The Rev's is a MUST SEE museum in Southwest Florida.
#2 The Railroad Museum of South Florida
If cars didn’t excite you, trains will! Who doesn’t love a good choo-choo train? The Railroad Museum of South Florida is located inside Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers and features restored railroad exhibits including a locomotive, tender and caboose. Ride the 1-mile miniature train trail that takes you through tunnels and bridges and villages that depict Southwest Florida circa 1950.
#3 Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
You read that right. A museum for seashells! The only one in the United States actually, which makes this a special treat for visitors of Sanibel Island. The museum itself is fun to explore, with activities for the kids and a unique gift shop. New! The museum just opened its new aquarium which features 11 tanks of living mollusks, two long touch-tanks for the kids, and a Giant Pacific Octopus!
#4 Edison & Ford Winter Estates
In downtown Fort Myers, you’ll find the beautifully preserved winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Not only can you explore the home estates, but also the 21-acre botanical gardens and the Museum dedicated to Thomas Edison's inventions! Really, you could make multiple visits to the winter estates, experiencing a different part each time. Be sure to visit during the winter for the beautiful display of holiday lights!
#5 Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
Located near the shell museum on Sanibel Island is a living history museum that includes several restored buildings from early pioneers of the islands. The historic buildings include cottages, the post office, a schoolhouse, and the packing company, filled with items you would have found inside back in the day. It’s a truly unique experience to walk through the grounds with your family and experience the early days of island living.
While these are just five of the fantastic museums found in Southwest Florida, there are certainly more sites to explore! You’ll find pieces of history all throughout the area, so get out there and explore!