You want to admire thousands of butterflies in a lush, tropical environment? Then, the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates are perfect for you. Here, colorful pollinators flutter about – and you can walk freely amongst them. Conversationists will tell you more about butterfly breeding, the gift shop offers useful utensils for your garden, and thanks to a café, visitors do not have to go hungry. Interested? Then, read on and learn everything you need to know about this hidden gem in Fort Myers.
Fort Myers Butterfly Estates in a Nutshell
The history of Fort Myers´ Butterfly Estates is inseparable from the Florida Native Butterfly Society: an NGO that works tirelessly to protect Florida´s butterfly species. Everything started in 2009: Then, Estate owner Rob Johnson and co-owner Matthew Hoover renovated three old houses to make room for a café, a book shop and a restaurant called “The Gathering Place”. In addition, a greenhouse was installed, so visitors could study butterflies in their natural habitat.
Location and Directions
The Butterfly Estates are located in Downtown Fort Myers, just 0.4 miles from the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and the Edison Bridge. Motorists starting in central Cape Coral should account for 20 minutes of driving. Free parking is available.
There are several buses like the numbers 10, 70, 120 and 140 that connect Cape Coral with the Butterfly Estates, and the next bus stop Rosa Parks is a 10-minute walk away. However, due to a shortage of direct connections, most visitors have to change buses. Therefore, it can take 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the Butterfly Estates.
At the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates, the following opening hours apply:
- November to May: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am–3 pm
- June to October: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am–2 pm
On holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Easter and the 4th of July, the Butterfly Estates are closed. In addition, opening hours can be shorter on particularly hot days.
Tickets and Prices
Tickets to the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates can be purchased on-site. The following prices apply:
- Visitors aged 16 or older: 10 USD
- Children from 3 to 12 years: 7 USD
- Children under 3 years: free
- Senior citizens (65+): 9 USD
- College/university students: 8 USD
- Active Military personnel and Veterans: free
If you want to visit the Butterfly Estates regularly, you can purchase annual membership, which comes in 3 variants:
- 1 person: 30 USD
- 2 persons: 45 USD
- Families with 4 persons: 75 USD
Fort Myers Butterfly Estates – Attractions
Peaceful nature, shopping, dining and butterflies galore – the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates offer a wide variety of attractions.
The main focal point of the Estates is the Butterfly House: a 3617 square ft. green house with lush, tropical plants. This vegetation provides food for monarchs, longwings, peacocks and other native species – and you do not have to search for them: The insects flutter freely in the green house and come close to visitors, especially to those with brightly colored clothes. No question: There is something deeply relaxing about sitting on the benches, listening to New Age music and admiring butterflies in all their splendor. Adding to the peaceful vibes are ponds where you can watch turtles and koi carps.
If you are looking for an extraordinary experience, 10:30 am is the perfect time to visit the Butterfly House. Then, you will witness the newly hatched butterflies take their maiden flight.
Since its beginnings, the Florida Native Butterfly Society has strived to educate visitors on the ecological importance of butterflies. Thus, guided tours are a main focus of this NGO. In 30 minutes, you will get valuable insights into the life of these insects and learn, among other things, how to make your garden butterfly-friendly. In addition, the guides will show you how butterflies are bred at the Estates.
Not surprisingly, everything revolves around butterflies at the Estates´ gift shop: There are books for children and adults, plants, gardening utensils and grow kids for breeding your own caterpillars. In addition, you can buy organic honey, and if you are looking for a souvenir, the artfully crafted deco items are ideal for you.
Bullig Coffee & Bites
No trip to the Butterfly Estates would be complete without visiting Bullig Coffee & Bites: This café offers pies and waffles, whose recipes trace back to the owner´s German grandmother. Thanks to sweet and savory variants, you are guaranteed to find something for your taste. Equally popular are the coffee specialties and the homemade frozen yoghurt.
Fort Myers Butterfly Estates – Events
The Butterfly Estates are a popular venue for wedding receptions – but these are not the only events here. During workshops, you can learn how to attract butterflies in your garden. Guided walks will teach you everything about wild herbs, and every other Sunday, children can have their faces painted. In addition, lectures, talks and cooking courses are often held at the gift shop. If you want to know more about these events, you should check the Facebook page of the Butterfly Estates.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the opening hours of the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates?
The Butterfly Estates are open every day except Monday: from 10 am to 3 pm between November and May, and from 9 am to 2 pm between June and October. On Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Ester and 4th of July ,the Estates are closed. .
How much is admission to the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates?
Tickets cost 10 USD for guests aged 16 or older, 7 USD for children between 3 and 12, 8 USD for college/university students and 9 USD for senior citizens (65+). Children under 3 years, active Military personnel and Veterans visit the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates for free.
Which animals can I see at the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates?
The Estates focus on butterflies that are native to Florida – among them species like monarchs, peacocks and longwings. In addition, koi carps and turtles populate the ponds in the Butterfly House.
Can I book the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates for my wedding?
Thanks to their idyllic surroundings, the Butterfly Estates are a popular place for wedding photos. In addition, you can hold wedding receptions here. However, please note that the restaurant “The Gathering Place” with room for 40–50 guests is no longer located at the Estates.