Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cruising With Edison

Yesterday, I joined Thomas and Mina Edison themselves, on the inaugural boat cruise of a new Southwest Florida tourism enterprise called Partners On The River. The couple held onto their hats as we left McCarthy's Marina on Captiva, took the old mailboat route, and headed to their winter home in Fort Myers.

Every Wednesday Captiva Cruises sets sail from the barrier island, through Pine Island Sound and up the Caloosahatchee on a beautiful and educational ride to Southwest Florida's most famous tourist attraction, aside from the beach. Knowledgable guides point out the fascinating history of the waterways and tell the tales of the pirates, native Americans and entrepreneurs who made the area what it is today.

While Captiva passengers tour the estates, other Edison and Ford ticket holders can hop on board for brief river tours. Daily boat tours from the museum property are part of the master plan. Over the last few months, new investors have taken over an old yacht club adjacent to the historic homes and renamed it The Marina at Edison Ford, thus completing the new partnership.

The Marina not only has a large dock, but lots of party space to aid with events at the Edison & Ford Estates. Perhaps the best part is the new restaurant going in the Marina. Pincher's Crab Shack, part of a well established, local restaurant group, is scheduled to open in about a week.

A back entrance has been added to the public building just for the estate tourists, so they can rest their feet and feed their belly in between inspecting antique cars and exotic flora. Pincher's deck has seating for more than 200, with fantastic views of the water and sunsets.

The three businesses have big plans to offer more and more options to tourists on land and on sea; a winning combination for everyone.

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