Fort Myers Region Offers ‘Warmth and Tranquility’

Harriet has her haven.

The manatee mascot for Florida’s The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel put in a Toronto appearance last night, saying her Gulf of Mexico destination offers “warmth and tranquility,” with Gulf of Mexico waters warmer than those found on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

“It’s a great place when it comes to nature. That’s why my friends chose to live there,” she said.

“Our waters are really nice and warm… all year-round.”

Tourism authorities are eager to promote the region’s natural side, citing the likes of manatees, dolphins and other creatures that are found there.

Indeed, the area has the highest concentration of bottlenose dolphins found anywhere.

Among activities are kayaking in a part of the world that has 190 miles of paddling trails, more canals than Venice and more than 100 barrier islands.

It is also promoted as the “world’s top shelling destination.”

Stefanie Zinke, international sales manager for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, said the county is a “different alternative” to a traditional Florida vacation.

Zinke added that Pine Island is the “fruit bowl of southwest Florida,” among other things having a mango festival. “You can eat anything mango…,” she said of MangoMania. “We even crown a mango queen.”

Automobile magnate Henry Ford and inventor Thomas Edison had winter retreats in Lee County, with the bordering homes now open to tourists.

Meanwhile, tourism authorities note golfers will be in their element in a Lee County vacation, with the jurisdiction having nearly 100 golf courses.

Pictured are Harriett and Jeanette Faria, the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s Canadian representative.