The Butterfly Estates should be high on your list for things to do in Ft Myers, you will see beautiful butterflies and gardens.
The estates are in a glassed-in conservatory with a botanical garden, shops and cafe in historic homes from the early 1900's.
We had a lovely afternoon walking around the lush gardens with cute little bridges spanning babbling brooks and waterfalls, watching butterflies flit around flowers, plantings, and tropical trees.
Plan to have lunch at the estate's cafe ....... or at least a snack of some ice cream, which your kids will really love!
It's especially nice to go on a sunny winter's day, because it's lovely and warm in the conservatory.
Learn more about butterflies by seeing exhibits, collecting their information, or watching their presentations.
We found out that the Zebra Longwing was declared in 1966 to be the official butterfly of Florida.
They are easy to observe because they fly slowly and aren't easily startled. You can even get them to climb onto your finger if they are resting at dusktime.
Most butterflies live for about 1 month, but Zebra Longwings live about 6 months as long as they eat pollen, the only butterflies known to do so .......... they also love the nectar of Verbena plants.
Zebra Longwings roost in groups of up to around 70 butterflies and return to the same place each night.
Another interesting thing about these butterflies is that they lay their eggs on a plant that has toxins, the Passion Vine. The larvae feed on it which make them poisonous to prey.
I'm not sure what kind of caterpillar is in the photo above, but the larvae pf the Zebra Flywing becomes a yellow caterpillar, goes through 4-5
moltings, then becomes white with black spots, and finally turns into a chrysalis that looks
like a leaf and will make a rasping noise if disturbed.
Other kinds of butterflies in the conservatory are various kinds of Skippers, Swallow-tails, Gossamer-wings, Whites and Sulphurs, Brush-footeds, and Metalmarks.
You can take home a souvenir made from butterfly wings from the estate's Mother Nature Gift Shop, enjoy lunch or tea at Flutterby's Cafe, or have ice cream and fudge at Caterpillar's.
Seating is available inside or out ....... consider them for parties, weddings, and meetings.
Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 9AM-3PM. They are closed on Sunday and Monday except when they have Sunday Brunch on 2nd Sunday of the month during summer.
Have a delightful Breakfast with the Butterflies every 3rd Saturday at 8AM in the Conservatory, or go to the Butterfly Release every Friday at 1:30PM.
Kids will love Storytime at Caterpillars on the 1st Saturday of the month at 11AM with pizza and ice cream afterwards!
Adults pay $15 and kids 2-16 pay $9. Also ........ become a member, get gift certificates, discounts for seniors and Florida residents, children up to 2 years old get in free.
1815 Fowler Street
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