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40 minutes south of Punta Gorda are the two homes of Thomas Edison and
Henry Ford. The furnishings and architecture of these gracious buildings are
reminiscent of a bygone era, yet there are many innovations which we do not
have in our homes today. he three and one half acre winter estate of Henry Ford was built
in 1911. It faces the palm lined McGregor Blvd. The Edison Winter Estate is
located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Throughout the Estate are
many examples of Edison's inventions, his laboratory and workshop, vast gardens
and how he and his wife, Mina, lived in their well-preserved home.
40 minutes north of Punta Gorda in Sarasota is the waterfront home of John and Mabel Ringling. The grounds contains a museum with Renaissance Art, traveling Art, a Circus museum, and the wonderfully restored Estate home of the Circus man turned Florida Realestate Developer Ca'D'Zan. This is one of my favorite places to visit where you could easily spend several days. Memberships are available for residents that want to visit often. Don't miss the mansion tour for an insight to SWF life during the Roaring 20s. The Rubens collection is exceptional. There is a Theater on site that was built in Italy in 1798 and was taken apart piece by piece and reassembled on-site.
Right in Punta Gorda in a converted Wall Mart is the ultimate 'man cave" over 200 classic cars on display. Almost half of them are Vettes. There is a diner, gift shop, speed shop, and an area of consignment cars. The collection includes trucks and even a heritage "Miss Budweiser" hydroplane race boat. I am sure this contributes to the advertised 65,000 HP on display. Monthly there are charity events, car shows, and swap meets in the parking lot. This is a must see for the motor head or just someone who loves old cars.
A short boat ride from Punta Gorda either in your boat or one of the Fisherman's Village tour boats is Cabbage Key. One hundred acres of tropical vegetation surround our historic restaurant, inn and cottages. A panoramic view of Pine Island Sound is provided from the front porch of our open-air restaurant situated atop a thirty-eight foot Indian shell mound. There are no cars here, not even a paved road. You will find winding nature trails, picturesque views and relaxation.
Key West in a day! The Key West Express sails out of Ft Myers Beach and Marco Island (Seasonally). The Key West Express is a modern high speed catamaran which will whisk you to Key West in comfort. You can go for the day or stay for a week for one low price. I leaves at 8:30AM and in roughly 3.5 hours you are tasting the Key Lime Pie. You can return the same day or after a brief island stay for the same fare.