When you’re thinking about going on a Florida vacation, you might be considering heading to popular destinations like Orlando, Saint Augustine, or Panama City Beach. But Florida still has plenty of underrated destinations for you to check out! Fort Myers Beach, for instance, offers world-class beaches, mouthwatering local seafood, plenty of history, and comfortable Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals that allow you to have the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank.
There are all kinds of Fort Myers Beach attractions to satisfy guests of any interest, but there is one destination that you and your family simply won’t want to miss. While you’re in town, be sure to plan a trip to the Mound House in Fort Myers Beach. This destination is not only beautiful, but it’s also full of fascinating history that will give you more of a background on the area. Here’s everything you’ll need to know before you go!
What and Where is the Mound House?
The Mound House dubs itself as “a cultural and environmental learning experience,” and that’s the perfect way to describe this experience! The Mound House is an active archaeological dig site; in fact, the Mound House was the first preservation effort that the town of Fort Myers Beach took on after it was incorporated in 1995! But the Mound House is so much more than just that. You’ll also discover the William H. Case House, a historical structure dating back to 1898, making it the oldest structure that still’s standing on Estero Bay in Fort Myers Beach. Over the years, the house itself has served several different roles, becoming everything from a home to a post office and even an R&R facility for military troops during World War II. From history to nature and everything in between, the Mound House has it all!
The Mound House is located at 451 Connecticut Street in Fort Myers Beach. To get there, you’ll first want to make your way to Estero Boulevard heading south, then turn left on Voohis Street. Continue onto Shell Mound Boulevard for 0.1 miles before turning left onto Madison Court. Turn right back onto Shell Mound Boulevard, then turn left onto Connecticut Street, and you’ve made it! The convenient location of the Mound House makes it easy to reach from anywhere in town since it’s just a couple of minutes off the main road.
History of the Native Calusa People
The first people to live in this area were the native Calusa people, whose influence can still be felt today. These people first inhabited Southwest Florida more than 2,000 years ago, and they mostly lived in small villages throughout the various barrier islands. Often, the Calusa people used this area for fishing. These groups were incredibly knowledgeable about fishing, and they were able to build their canoes and protect themselves from threats like hurricanes.
The Calusa people used shells to create many of their tools and weapons, granting them the nickname “The Shell Indians.” They would discard these shells once they were done using them, creating the Calusa Indian Shell Mound, where Mound House stands today.
The Calusa people lived all on their own here for centuries and wouldn’t encounter newcomers until the 16th century. Ponce de Leon was the first European explorer to contact the Calusa people when he came to the area in 1513. The Calusa people would continue to live in and around Fort Myers Beach until the 1750s.
Visiting Mound House
While you’re visiting the Fort Myers Beach Mound House, you can experience all kinds of fun things to do in Fort Myers Beach. Of course, you can learn about the local history and see the tales of the Calusa people come to life. The William H. Case house has been completely restored and looks nearly identical to how it would’ve appeared during its heyday a century ago. There are also interesting exhibits about the early days of Estero Island after the Calusa people no longer lived there.
In addition to all the fun exhibits inside the William H. Case House and the other museums on the property, the Mound House also offers tons of interesting outdoor attractions. Take a stroll along the Observation Pier to see the beautiful nature around you or, if you want to get close to the action, the Mound House offers some of the best kayak tours in Fort Myers Beach! Have a picnic near the water, stroll through the breathtaking gardens, or cast your line and try to catch an impressive fish.
Tours and Programs
You’re welcome to explore the Mound House and all it has to offer on your own. However, if you want to take your experience to the next level, consider going on a tour! Their kayak tours in Fort Myers Beach are some of the best things to do in the area. If you’ve never been on a kayak before, don’t worry; your experienced guide will show you the ropes before you take off. As you paddle throughout the mangrove, your guide will point out some of the gorgeous nature in the area, as well as magnificent animal species like birds, manatees, and dolphins!
The Mound House also offers several tours of the facility that keep you on dry land. The Untold Stories Tour tells you some fascinating behind-the-scenes tales of the farmers, scientists, and others who have lived here. On the Shell Mound Tour, you’ll learn about the Calusa Indian Shell Mound Site and the work that archaeologists have done to uncover the entire story behind this fantastic structure. The Mound House offers other popular tours include the Beachwalk, the Latino History Outside Guided Tour, and the Gardens Outside Guided Tour.
The Mound House also offers some fun programs that invite you to be a bit more hands-on with your experience. One of their most popular programs is the Build and Brew event. You’ll receive one complimentary glass of wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice to enjoy while you participate in a one-hour art class! You could be making pottery, designing a wreath, or creating a unique bee hotel! The subjects of the Build and Brew class constantly change so that you can attend again and again.
Plan Your Next Visit
So, what are you waiting for? Contact Distinctive today to start planning the Fort Myers Beach vacation of your dreams!
Stay with Distinctive
To be close to the Mound House and all the other awesome things to do in Fort Myers Beach, stay with us at Distinctive Rentals! We are proud to be your premier resource for Fort Myers Beach home rentals, offering something from the individual or couple to the whole extended family. Not only are our rentals spacious and full of luxurious amenities like fully equipped kitchens and high-speed WiFi, but they are also conveniently located near all the best things to do in the area.