2017-07-12 / Outdoors

Music, mangoes and markets part of five top summer pleasures

EXPLORE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA


The annual MangoMania fair offers not just the luscious fruit, but games, rides, entertainment and plenty of food. The annual MangoMania fair offers not just the luscious fruit, but games, rides, entertainment and plenty of food. Summer is in full swing, bringing seasonal opportunities along the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. An abundance of fruit, flowers, fish, music and special events characterizes this time of year. Temperatures beckon us outdoors in the morning and evening hours, while indoor shopping and entertainment venues allow us a cooling-off period during the heat of the day.

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau recommends you indulge in these top five summer pleasures.

¦ Mangoes. Summer is the season for tropical fruits such as pineapple, lychees, passion fruit and most popularly, mangoes. We love our mangoes so much we celebrate them each summer with MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair. The Pine Island-sponsored event, in its 21st year, takes place July 15-16 at the German-American Social Club. Relish two days of mango tastings, baking contests, a pie-eating contest, kids’ rides and activities, live entertainment and gardening and other vendors. 283-0888, www.mangomaniafl.net.


COURTESY PHOTO COURTESY PHOTO ¦ Farmers markets. While most local farmers markets shut down by the end of May, two Lee County venues run year-round, offering special attractions besides summer crops and locally made products. At Alliance for the Arts’ Saturday morning GreenMarket (939-2787, www.artinlee.org), for instance, you can participate in yoga classes and urban farming workshops on topics such as “An Introduction to Cheese-Making” (July 22) and “Backyard Beekeeping” (July 29). Koreshan State Historic Site (992-0311, www.floridastateparks.org/ park-events/Koreshan) hosts an intimate market experience every Sunday morning.

¦ Bell Tower Shops Summer Concert Series. Every Thursday from 5-7 p.m. through August, the alfresco shopping center hosts musical artists in the courtyard. Bring your own chair and enjoy beverages from Bell Tower restaurants and bars. A highlight of upcoming concerts is a performance by Sheena Brook, from Season 12 of “The Voice,” on Aug. 10. 489-1221, www.thebelltowershops.com.

¦ Blossoms, music, and a birthday celebration at Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Showy fragrant plants from crinum lilies and frangipani to orchids and bougainvillea are in bloom during the summer months, and the gardens at Edison & Ford Estates are the best place to see a vast variety and impressive show. The free summer monthly concert series Rhythm on the River continues on the back deck of the marina at Edison Ford this month on Friday, July 14. And on Sunday, July 30, don’t miss the 154th birthday celebration for Henry Ford. 334-7419, www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

¦ Outdoor sporting. Catch-and-release fishing comes into its finest during the warm summer months, when snook, redfish, tarpon and other coveted catches are biting. Head to the beach, fishing piers, backwaters and passes for some great action. Golf enthusiasts also appreciate the summer months for the lack of crowds and reasonable greens fees on local courses. Now’s the time to book that golfing clinic or private lesson at the pro shop — and look for sales on equipment and apparel while you’re there. ¦

— For more information about summer activities and events along The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, visit www.FortMyersSanibel.com.

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