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Layover Ideas Southwest Florida Airport RSW

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Top 5 Layover Ideas for Southwest Florida Airport

Long layovers can be a drag, but not at the Southwest Florida Airport. This airport is located in close proximity to a host of attractions that can turn your layover into a mini-vacation. Here are our top five recommendations for layover activities.

1. Sanibel Lighthouse

Just a short drive from the airport, the historic Sanibel Lighthouse offers a great opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air. Although you can't tour the inside of the lighthouse, the surrounding grounds are open for exploration. Capture some memorable photos at dawn or dusk when the lighthouse is at its most picturesque.

2. Bailey Matthews Shell Museum

For a unique experience, visit the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum. This museum boasts a collection of shells from around the world, with a particular focus on the shells found on the local beaches of Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Islands. It's a great place to learn about the local ecosystem and the fascinating creatures that inhabit it.

3. Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

If you're a nature or science lover, the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is a must-visit. This 100-acre center offers a wealth of information about Southwest Florida’s natural history, with exhibits on indigenous snakes, alligators, and crocodiles. In the planetarium, you can learn about the most visible stellar phenomena each month.

4. Children's Science Center

Traveling with kids? The Children's Science Center is a great place to keep them entertained. This interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits that both educate and entertain, from video-microscopes to 3-D zoology. They also host themed nights like "Astronomy Night" and "Caribbean Night."

5. Edison Laboratory and Museum

Step back in time at the Edison Laboratory and Museum, located on the grounds of the Edison Estate. Here, you can see many of Edison's inventions and learn about his life and work. The estate itself is beautifully landscaped and includes plants that Edison collected from around the world.

Helpful Tips & Resources

Need help navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport? Look no further than iFly.com for expert tips and advice. Here are some helpful tips to help you travel stress-free through RSW Airport:

  • Don't let heavy bags slow you down! Make use of our airport's complimentary baggage carts, available for all travelers in the baggage claim area.
  • If you have some time before your departure, relax, grab a bite at one of RSW's restaurants, peruse the shops, or jump on the free internet and surf galore!
  • If you are flying in business or first class (or are a member), check out where the airline club lounges are located.
  • Once you have passed through security, you can use the airport map to find your gate, as well as the various restaurants and shops that are available on your route.
  • Surf to your heart's content. Jump on Southwest Florida airport's internet (free!)
  • For those (dreaded) early-morning flights, consider one of the airport hotels on or near RSW to spend the night prior to your flight. In many cases your parking for the trip's duration is free!
  • Have a flight arriving and want a fast way to get to your destination? Here are a few taxi and limo airport service providers that service the airport.

Nearby Attractions for an Extended Layover

If you find yourself with an extended layover of 12 to 48 hours at the Southwest Florida Airport, there are plenty of nearby attractions to explore. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or traveling with family, there's something for everyone. Here are our top recommendations for a longer layover.

1. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

Take a trip to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, a historic tropical garden founded in 1919 that's home to a wide variety of animals. From watching the playful primates on Monkey Island to feeding the giraffes, there's plenty to keep you entertained for hours.

2. Downtown Fort Myers

Explore downtown Fort Myers, a vibrant area filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don't miss the historic River District, where you can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, enjoy a meal at a local eatery, or browse through unique boutiques.

3. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

If you're a nature lover, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a must-visit. It's home to the largest remaining stand of bald cypress in North America. Take a walk on the boardwalk, spot local wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this preserved wilderness.

4. The Baker Museum

Art enthusiasts should head to The Baker Museum, known for its modern and contemporary art collection. The museum features 15 galleries, a glass dome conservatory, and an outdoor sculpture garden. It's a cultural feast for art lovers.

5. Everglades National Park

If time allows, make a trip to the Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From hiking and canoeing to wildlife spotting and camping, the park offers numerous outdoor activities. It's a great way to experience Florida's unique ecosystem and biodiversity.

Updated on: November 22, 2023