Discover Florida’s Native Butterflies at the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates

MustDo.com | Must Do Visitor Guides | The Butterfly Estates Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Nature lovers, gardeners, and kids are all in for a treat with a visit to The Butterfly Estates in downtown Fort Myers. The 3600 square foot glass butterfly conservatory is a real surprise to visitors and offers the chance to enjoy an interesting and educational visit in a stunning natural environment.

The eco-friendly attraction is run by the Florida Native Butterfly Society as a nonprofit organization. The center on Fowler Street is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Florida’s native butterflies. Your visit and entrance fee will ensure that butterflies continue to flourish in the rapidly developing state of Florida.

Beautiful Gardens and Tours

Open year-round, The Butterfly Estates includes a Nature Interpretive Center where you can learn more about how butterflies evolve from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and then emerge as beautifully colored butterflies. The exotic butterfly conservatory is truly beautiful, filled with waterfalls and tropical plants.

MustDo.com| Must Do Visitor Guides | The conservatory at the Butterfly Estates Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

There are plenty of ways to enjoy this amazing natural environment. Paved paths wind through the garden of exotic plantings making it a real gardener’s paradise. Take a guided tour with a naturalist so you can ask plenty of questions as you explore the facility. Customized tours are also available, or enjoy a self-guided tour at your own pace.

MustDo.com | The Butterfly Estates conservatory Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

The shops, café and interpretive center and conservatory are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Mondays when they are closed. Inside the huge glass greenhouse, thousands of butterflies flit freely around their favorite plants. The lush greenery is not only a food source but also offers suitable locations for butterflies to lay their eggs on each species’ favorite plants.

Once the butterfly experience is over, linger and support the attraction by enjoying refreshments as part of your visit. The Gathering Place restaurant and ZCrepes Café is part of the Shops at The Butterfly Estates. ZCrepes Cafe and offers crepes, light lunches, and desserts in the beautiful garden setting. They offer a discount for those visiting The Butterfly Estates conservatory.

MustDo.com| Must Do Visitor Guides | The Butterfly Estates fudge shop Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Caterpillars Ice Cream and Fudge Factory is the perfect stop on a hot sunny day. Enjoy an ice cream on site or pick up a tub of ice cream and some fudge as a souvenir of your day with nature. The gift shop offers an array of nature-inspired home and garden accents, cards, candles and more.

There is a charge for entering the conservatory, but you can enjoy the beautiful gardens, shops, and cafés free. Residents and snow birds can take advantage of the annual membership and enjoy for great value return visits.

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Nita Ettinger is the co-publisher for Siesta Publications and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed publications and the website MustDo.com. Must Do Visitor Guides are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County chambers of commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications are found.

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