Skip to main content

What to Do in Southwest Florida in May & June 2019

May 06, 2019 06:46PM ● By Patricia Letakis

 Events You Don't Want to Miss - May & June 2019

WATERCOLOR ARTISTS     May 3-30 Moving Toward Abstract, Fort Myers

The JoAnn LaPadula & Sue Pink: Moving Toward Abstract exhibition features artwork with a focus on watercolors. LaPadula describes herself as a “colorful” abstract/realist and several of her paintings feature underwater scenes. The main elements in Pink’s work are color and texture along with her signature muted pallet. The exhibition is at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.

CLASSIC & POP     May 4 Beethoven V. Coldplay, Fort Myers

Catch this end-of-season performance by the Southwest Florida Symphony. Beethoven V. Coldplay is a powerful production by the energetic composer Steve Hackman. He weaves Coldplay’s lyrics and melodies into the symphony via a trio of miked vocal soloists, combining the musical strands to provide a kind of dialogue and commentary on Beethoven’s original score. Happy hour is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.

BRING YOUR APPETITE      May 5 Taste of the Beach, Fort Myers Beach 

Come out and sample the culinary offerings from some of the top restaurants on Fort Myers Beach. The 24th Annual Taste of the Beach takes place on Old San Carlos Boulevard in downtown Fort Myers Beach. Spend the afternoon shopping the vendors, listening to live music and satisfying your taste buds.

FOOD & FUN     May 5 Taste of Collier, Naples 

A foodie fest for the family, the Taste of Collier is an afternoon event filled with savory samples from some 30 local restaurants in Collier County. Besides sating your appetite, you can enjoy live music by area musicians, and watch ice-carving demonstrations and cooking competitions with local chefs. It all happens at Bayfront.                        

CREATIVITY ON DISPLAY     May 6-21 Land, Sea and Air, Cape Coral

Local artists take on the challenge of creating a piece of art around the theme of land, sea and air. The show, sponsored by the Cape Coral Art League, is a colorful display of paintings and other mediums depicting landscapes, seascapes and skyscapes, as well as the natural home or environment of an animal or plant. Awards range from Best of Show to People’s Choice. View the artwork at the Cape Coral Art League’s gallery.

 READY, SET, GO     May 11 Great Dock Canoe Race, Naples

The 43rd annual Great Dock Canoe Race’s theme this year is Heroes and Villains. A prize is awarded for the best theme interpretation, and a parade of decorated canoes delights the rowdy spectators who drink, hoot and holler as they cheer on the competitors paddling the 3-mile course through Naples Bay. There’s a separate division for paddleboards. A trolley is available to transport spectators from designated parking pickup points to the City Dock in Crayton Cove.

DAY TRIP     May 11 Key Lime Festival, Punta Gorda

Consider a day trip up I-75 to Punta Gorda for the Key Lime Festival at Fisherman’s Village. Music, dancing and sampling of Key lime specialties from gelato and fudge to taffy and cookies are all part of the fun. Just don’t leave without indulging in a slice of Key lime pie and a Lime-A-Rita. If shopping is more your thing, then be sure to take home some Key lime-scented sea salts and soap.

MORE FOOTBALL     May 12, 26 & June 2, 16 Gulf Coast Fire, Estero

The Hertz Arena is the new home for the Gulf Coast Fire. The arena football team is part of the sport’s A-League. Watch the players take on the Manatee Neptunes on May 12, the Lakeland Tarpons on May 26 and June 16, and the Sarasota Big Cats on June 2. Get ready for a rousing game and plenty of entertainment. On July 29, the league championship will be held at the Hertz Arena in Estero. 

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING     May 17-18 Art Walks the Runway, Fort Myers

Fashionistas gather at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center for Fort Myers’ Art Walks the Runway. You don’t want to miss Fort Myers’ version of Fashion Week—two days of exquisite fashions parading down the catwalk, plus body art, dance and musical performances. Expect couture designs ranging from trending jumpsuits to jeweled evening gowns. Cocktails are served at 6 p.m., followed by the show at 7 p.m. 

 ORCHID FEVER     Through May 19 Native Gardens, Fort Myers

Any orchid lover would understand. Native Gardens, a comedy about one neighbor threatening another’s prize-winning orchids, is sure to hit a button, a hot button, with anyone who’s had the pleasure of watching these ethereal beauties grow. When new neighbors move in next door to a well-established D.C. couple, a disagreement over a long-standing fence line ignites a feud that challenges more than flower petals. Differences of taste, class, privilege and more play out on stage at the Florida Repertory Theatre.

TIME TO DINE OUT     May 30-June 12 Summer Sizzle, Southwest Florida

Ready to eat your way from Cape Coral down to Marco Island without breaking the bank? That’s what Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week is all about: 14 days of affordable dining. Participating restaurants offer special menus that feature two-course lunches and three-course dinners at reduced prices. Visit the website to find the restaurant you want to try.

 MUSICAL MOMENTS     June 2 Classical Jazz, Bonita Springs

Whether you’re a fan of classical music or jazz, this concert is an interpretation of both genres. Gerhard Samide on the flute and Pat Bracy on the piano make beautiful music together, creating a wonderful repertoire of classical jazz. The Sunday afternoon performance takes place at the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs.

 SWEET & JUICY     June 2-4 Watermelon Festival, Fort Myers

A summertime treat, watermelon is in the spotlight at this annual festival held at the Fleamasters Fleamarket in Fort Myers. For some good old-fashioned fun, consider entering the speed eating or seed spitting competitions. Live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, skill games and pony rides for the kids round out the offerings. But no doubt, sinking your teeth into the freshest and sweetest watermelon is reason enough to come out for this summer harvest celebration.

 PLAY LIKE A CHAMP     June 7 Swing Into Summer, Estero

The Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce welcomes summer with its annual Swing Into Summer Golf Tournament held at the Spring Run Golf Club in Estero. Consider it a fun way to network and enjoy a day on the fairways. You can enter a foursome, or enter individually and be paired with other golfers.

 SEASHELL BASH     June 21 National Seashell Day, Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach

A visit to Sanibel Island, where the beaches are laden with seashells, is a great place to celebrate National Seashell Day, which is celebrated on the first day of summer. The island is also home to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, which offers shell exhibitions as well as daily guided beach walks. Visit the museum’s website for more information and to book a beach walk. To find out about shell-inspired celebrations held on Fort Myers Beach, visit

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU     June 23 Star Wars, Fort Myers

A concert for the whole family, Star Wars is a full orchestra performance of the music surrounding the pop culture phenomenon. The goal of the Gulf Coast Symphony is to introduce children to the symphony through music from the Star Warsfilms. At 1 p.m., kids are invited to try out musical instruments and meet the musicians; at 2 p.m., the family-friendly concert takes place at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Warscharacter.


TOTI Media, Inc. does its best to ensure that information in this calendar is up to date. However, we still encourage our readers to call ahead for detailed information before attending these local events.