You can see Fall colors all over Fort Myers Beach – the different-colored license plates from across the nation on cars driven by seasonals and tourists! With visitation rapidly increasing, the iconic Mound House is boosting its hours of operation from three to five days a week, now being open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though it does close on November 25 & 26 to observe Thanksgiving.
One of Southwest Florida’s most-beloved historic attractions, the Mound House traces its roots to the ancient Calusa of over 2,000 years ago. The Town of Fort Myers Beach operates the Mound House as a museum complex and cultural and environmental learning center that offers numerous educational programs each month, including for kids. The oldest standing structure on Estero Island is at 451 Connecticut Street with overflow parking at 216 Connecticut. Admission is $10 for ages 13 & up, $8 for students with IDs, $5 ages 6 to 12, and 5 & under free, with Town residents receiving a 50% discount. The Mound House enforces Social Distancing guidelines at all programs and recommends that all unvaccinated visitors wear masks. For information, reservations, and a monthly programs schedule, call 239-765-0865 or see www.moundhouse.org.
FREE “Newton Beach Park Guided Beach Walk”
For all ages every Tuesday and Thursday weather permitting at 9 a.m.; no program on Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving.
This twice-weekly free outdoor nature program is different every single time, as the “Guided Beach Walks” have a simple premise – the groups walk roughly a half-mile down the beach and back, discussing whatever you find that particular morning. Meet at the thatched hut closest to the beach, with Social Distancing in place. Bring sunscreen, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, and hat. No reservations necessary; while free, parking is $3-per-hour, with one hour generally enough. Newton Beach Park is mid-island at 4650 Estero Boulevard.
For all ages each November Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday at 10 a.m.; no program on November 25 for Thanksgiving.
Stroll through the Mound House gardens to discover how its unique plants conserve water and protect wildlife, while learning how the Calusa and other Native Americans used them in their daily lives. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.
“Shell Mound Tour”
For all ages every Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; no programs on Thursday & Friday, November 25 & 26, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
If you dig archaeology, the Mound House’s signature program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the interpretive staff as you explore the site’s archaeology to unearth clues about this ancient society. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.
“Untold Stories Tour”
For adults on Thursdays, November 4, 11 & 18, all at 2 p.m.
The Mound House is the oldest standing structure on Fort Myers Beach, with an intriguing cast of characters who called it home, from farmers to casino owners; scientists to developers! Learn about their individual stories along with a good dose of island history on this guided tour through the Mound House Museum, native gardens, and majestic grounds. Adults $15; Mound House members free.
“Full Moon Kayak Tour”
For ages 12 & up on Friday, November 19, at 4 p.m.
This unique tour offers kayakers the rare opportunity to experience the backwaters of the Estero Bay in the quiet of twilight by the light of the full moon! Participants explore the estuary’s tidal creeks, winding mangroves, and abundant wildlife illuminated by the full moon. Weather permitting and reservations required at www.moundhouse.org; $45-per-person with Mound House members $15. The Mound House provides all paddling equipment with a maximum of 12 people per tour and Social Distancing in place.
“Archaeology: Can You Dig It?”
For all ages on Tuesday, November 23; Wednesday, November 24; and Saturday, November 27, all at 10 a.m.
Learn what it takes to be an archaeologist! Handle real artifacts and discover how archaeologist study past cultures in a program that is perfect for families. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission, with Mound House members free.
For dates and times for the “Cool Calusa Tools,” “Family Fun Kayak Tour,” “Latino History Tour,” & “Mangroves by Kayak Tour” programs, telephone the Mound House at 239-765-0865 or see