Estero lies between Fort Myers and Naples and besides having long, white sand beaches, it is home to two major attractions: the Germain Arena, home of the Florida Everblades hockey team and, nearby, Miromar Outlets, one of the largest, most elegant and upscale outdoor shopping centers in the state.
Estero was established and incorporated by the followers of Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed, who proposed a theory of that we live on the inside of the Earth’s outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth. This theory, which he called Koreshan Unity, drew followers to purchase and occupy a 320-acre tract in 1894. They were business-oriented and lived communally, prospering enough to incorporate the town in 1904 as Estero.
The 1908 death of Dr. Teed (who claimed to be immortal) was a critical blow to the group’s faith, whose membership dwindled into the 1960s. The Koreshans’ original tract is now owned by Florida as the Koreshan State Park and its gardens and historic buildings are open to the public.
The community name derives from Spanish for “estuary.” The heart of Estero is the spring-fed Estero River, which flows to Estero Bay. Until the 1970s, most settlement and development in Estero was near the river.
One way to see Estero is to take a kayak on the Imperial River. Estero River Outfitters, Inc., which has been in business since April 1977, has over 300 canoes and kayaks on site available for rent.