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Edison & Ford Estates & Military Museums Naples Trip

Hello All, This is Grumpy.

We have another road trip adventure that Supports Veterans (tax deductible), and has destinations that are interesting and unique to Florida. I propose we ride south, before it gets too hot to go south.  The plan is to do an overnighter to see two military museums and the Henry Ford / Thomas Edison Estates.  To my knowledge, these are “firsts” for the Patriotic Riders.

Lets meet Saturday morning at the Family Diner on HWY 301 at 9:00am (arrive earlier if you want to eat breakfast).  We will have a head count, safety briefing and a KSU at 9:15am. We will travel to I-4 and head to I-75 south. Our first gas/rest stop will be Fruitville Road in Sarasota (50 miles). We can gas up, relax and break there for 20 minutes or so. Then back on I-75 south to Exit 164 (HWY 17/Duncan Rd). We will stay on Duncan Rd (now turns into E. Marion Ave) and follow that to Maud St. onto Fisherman’s Village (51 miles).  This is our first museum (Military Heritage Museum), FREE admission.

After an hour or so, we will depart back the way we came to I-75 and head south again. We will travel 61 miles to Naples Airport. We will take exit 105 (Golden Gate Pkwy) west to Livingston Rd, turn left on Livingston (south) to a right turn on Radio Rd, and follow to a left turn Airport Pulling Rd.  We will follow this road to a right turn on N Road to another right turn on Terminal Road to our second Museum (Museum of Military Memorabilia), FREE admission. 

After an hour or so, we will depart on Airport Pulling Rd south to the Tamiami Trail. We will follow the Tamiami Trail to Barefoot Williams Rd and on to our overnight stop - the KOA Campground (9 miles). 

Naples / Marco Island KOA

1700 Barefoot Williams Road

Naples, FL 34113

Reserve: (800)[masked]

The KOA offers tent camping and cabins. This will be a lot cheaper overnight stay than any hotel in the area. Tent camping goes for around $25 and cabins range from $50-$120. Star and I will be staying in the deluxe cabins. They have A/C, a full kitchen and a BBQ outside. We can purchase some chow and cook ourselves dinner at the KOA (saving money). Please use the link below and check out the cabins. Most cabins sleep up to four, so sharing a cabin will make the trip even cheaper.

Sunday morning, we will leave the KOA at 9:00am and follow Collier Blvd north until it merges with I-75. We will stay on I-75 to exit 138 (MLK Blvd). We will follow MLK to a left on McGregor Blvd to our third stop the Edison Ford Estates (50 miles).  Plan on spending a couple of hours there enjoying the displays.  Once we have seen all there is to see, we will follow the same route back to I-75 and head north back to Tampa.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy Florida’s uniqueness on a budget.  Cost for this trip is simply gas, food, museum entrance and lodging.  All stops are non-profits, on your 2014 taxes you can deduct charitable expenses for all of your mileage (.14 per mile),  lodging costs and up to $35 per day for food; so basically in the long run, this trip will cost you nothing.  Remember to bring Rain Gear!

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers is 20 acres of historical buildings, historic gardens, the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Edison Ford Museum. The buildings include the Edison Main House, Guest House, and Caretaker’s House and the Ford House. The Edison Ford Museum has hundreds of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates Lab and Museum Tour admission offers a great opportunity to see and learn the vastness of Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s genius.  A self-guided tour of the Edison Ford 15,000 square foot Museum has an impressive collection of inventions and artifacts, special exhibitions and archives.  You can also enjoy several different documentaries on the lives of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford.  Museum invention demonstrations throughout the day include the Edison phonograph every half hour. 

Adults: $12.00


The Military Heritage Museum goal is to ensure that future generations continue to express that gratitude. Their mission is to promote an understanding and respect for the rich military heritage of the United States and the sacrifices made by our country's veterans, living and dead, emphasizing that freedom is not free. The Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corp. that has been in existence for almost ten years.

They currently display more than 30,000 military artefacts from as far back as the Spanish-American War to the current conflicts. This is the only military museum on the southwest coast of Florida displaying actual military artefacts that tell the history of America's role in past and present conflicts, representing all branches of the service and all wars from the Spanish-American War forward. 

Entrance is free

The Museum of Military Memorabilia is a Southwest Florida, 501(c)(3), military memorabilia museum with over 10,000 artifacts available for public viewing. The museum houses artifacts from World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and there is a display of uniforms worn. They present exhibits of these treasures to local area groups and the general public. Their goal is 1) to create a full service museum to honor the veterans who have in the past, and are now protecting the cause of freedom, 2) to preserve the artifacts associated with the military history and 3) to present information that will create greater understanding of these conflicts among present and future generations.

Hours are 10AM-4PM, Monday to Saturday, Noon to 4PM on Sunday. The Museum of Military Memorabilia is housed in the Commercial Airlines Terminal of Naples Municipal Airport, 500 Terminal Drive, Naples, FL, 34104. Easily accessible from Airport Pulling Road, turn at North Rd., right on Terminal Dr., to the entrance of the terminal building.

Entry to the museum is free.



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  • Star

    What a wonderful weekend. Time well spent with good friends. Thanks to everybody that went on the ride, both first and second portion. The good food and shared friendship made a good day even better. Loved it!

    April 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member


      1 · April 15, 2014

  • Jim C.

    Things I learned this trip:
    1. Rich does a great job of planning routes.
    2. If we do this again, I ain't camping in a dang tent.
    3. I don't care if is IS Naples - it gets cold at night in April.
    4. Edison and Ford were really remarkable men. My compliments to Rich for doing a really great job, to Shane for grilling our food, to Star for her personality and to the kids for being impressive.

    1 · April 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We are heading down now, should be in fisherman's village around 1p. Let us know where you are around that time, we can meet you somewhere else.

    April 12, 2014

  • Linda

    Toshiko is going to be mad, but I am leaving her at home!!

    April 11, 2014

  • Star

    By request: we will be taking 301 South from our meetup point to the first museum so a few additional members can join us for that part of the trip!

    1 · April 5, 2014

    • Star


      April 9, 2014

    • Star

      Shane, plan is to hop off 301 at Parrish and take a variety of back roads south that connect 64, 70 and 72. They will connect back on Hwy 41 just north of Punta Gorda. After that it is either I-75 or HWY 41, you simply run out of back roads going north and south.

      April 9, 2014

  • TomCat

    Great Trip Grumpy! I'll meet you Sat in Naples since I will come from Ft Lauderdale.

    February 12, 2014

    • TomCat

      I am not able to make it this weekend! Sounds FUN!

      April 8, 2014

  • alan m.

    sounds like a great trip but will be out of town on business in Savannah, GA this week. join u next time

    April 7, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    Oops. Already booked that weekend. Nancy really wanted to go too. :(

    March 17, 2014

  • Jim C.

    I reserved a tent site if anybody with a tent wants to share the space.

    March 2, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Man, would like to take advantage of that opportunity Jim. Will Be in DC this weekend.

      March 6, 2014

    • Jim C.

      It turns out that KOA only allows one tent per site, so unfortunately, there is no share available.

      March 6, 2014

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