I had one day to myself to spend if Fort Myers, Florida this January. My hotel was ten minutes from the Edison Ford Winter Estates, so I decided to do some solo exploring there!
I opted for the self-guided tour ticket, which for an adult ticket cost me $25. They do have various guided-tour tickets available, but I decided that I wanted to go at my own pace. Especially since I was without kiddos, because they have a tendency to rush through museums at lightning speed 🙂
The self-guided tour ticket gives you access to the museum, the Edison Botanical Research Laboratory, and the Edison and Ford winter homes and gardens. There is an “Edison Ford” app available for the self-guided tour of the homes and gardens, that you can download onto your phone at any time. It offers an option for an adult tour, or a family tour if your family is listening together.
You can find all of the information you need on the Edison Ford Winter Estates website at: https://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/
I started my tour in the museum. The museum has various examples of Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s inventions. I didn’t realize just how many inventions Thomas Edison was responsible for, so I found it quite interesting to learn about them. It was amazing to be surrounded by the ideas and inventions of these great minds.
The museum exits out to a small outdoor area where the entrance to the Edison Botanical Research Laboratory is located. There are informational plaques inside the lab and office area describing how Edison used the lab to research botanical alternatives for making rubber during times of war. They have the lab set up just as if Edison and his crew were in conducting experiments that day.
After exploring the botanical lab, I took a stroll along the pathways outside of the lab and museum. I gazed in awe at the enormous Banya tree just outside the museum. I also strolled through the plant nursery, to look at all of the plants that are native to the area.
Next, I headed across the street to the Edison and Ford winter homes and gardens. When I first walked onto the estate my eye was drawn to the water where there once stood a pier. I walked down by it passing a fountain in the pathway that was under construction, but I could see it in all of it’s glory in a picture on the Edison Ford app. At the water, I enjoyed the peaceful sound of lapping water, while looking out at where a long pier once stood.
I took the pathway to my right from the water and explored the pool area, the care taker’s house, Edison’s study and the reflection pond and gardens.
I then strolled down the main pathway and explored around the Edison’s main house, guest house and Henry Ford’s house. They have half partitions in the doorways, so you can look into the houses without going into them. The rooms are staged with actual pieces from the estate. I really enjoyed seeing Edison’s library, the kitchen wing, and large porches.
Henry Ford’s house was next, and is not as large, but still interesting to see. Ford of course has a garage where they have examples of his cars. There is a giant Mysore Fig tree near the water on Ford’s side that I found fun to photograph.
It was such a nice day out that I took a few minutes to relax on one of the many benches along the pathways and look out onto the water. All I was missing was a glass of iced tea and a good book!
I recommend visiting the Edison Ford Winter Estates to take a journey back in time and enjoy this beautiful property. I plan to visit again with my family, as there is a lot to learn and see there!
Do you have a place you have visited that takes you back in time, that you really enjoy visiting? Please share in the comments below!