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In 1894, Cyrus Teed founded a self-sufficient utopian religious community along the banks of the Estero River. The community created a colony called the Koreshan Unity based on the ideas of immortality through celibacy and the idea of a Hollow Earth. Although the colony disbanded in the early 1960's, the colonists left behind many well-preserved buildings (eleven in all) which include a machinery, art hall, and the founder's house. In addition to historic architecture, the complex provides natural beauty along the Estero River and is a great place to see some of Florida's diverse wildlife.
Matanzas Pass Preserve is located on Estero Island and offers visitors a more rugged, non-traditional beach experience. Guests can see mangrove forests, tidal swamps and coastal grasslands as well as birds, snakes, fish and many other animal species. The highlight is the 1.25-mile boardwalk which allows guests to traverse the swamp/beach without getting their feet wet.
There's something for all nature lovers at Lover's Key State Recreation Area, whether its hiking, boating, fishing or swimming, Lover's Key has you covered. Its located south of Fort Myers on highway 865 near the Estero Bay Aquatic Reserve and is comprised of four islands that cover 712-acres. Wildlife includes exotic birds, dolphins, manatees, raccoon and sea turtles as well as plenty of insects. Collecting live shells or native artifacts is prohibited and leashed dogs are allowed on the trails, but not the beach. There are grills, picnic tables, a concession stand and a wedding gazebo as well.