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Edison and Ford Winter Estates Accepting Reservations for First VIP Tour of the Season

FORT MYERS, Fla. (September 14, 2022) – Edison and Ford Winter Estates offers several private VIP Tours to other tourist destinations throughout the year. The tours are open to both Edison Ford members and the general public. Transportation is included in the ticket cost and offers visitors the opportunity to tour other museums and gardens with a group of often like-minded individuals and share unique behind-the-scenes experiences that they would not be able to participate in on their own.

The next scheduled VIP tour is going to Dade City on October 29. Guests will tour the Heritage and Cultural Museum, the historic downtown area, and the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village. Participants will also have lunch together. This is an all-day tour, leaving Edison Ford at 7 a.m. and returning at 7:30 p.m. The tour cost is $175 for non-members or $155 for Edison Ford members and includes bus transportation and lunch.

Guests will experience authentic Dade City within the rolling hills of Florida as the group travels back to the pioneer times of the 1880s. Prior to 1880, Dade City was known as Fort Dade and was an Army Post during the second Seminole War. When the railroad bypassed Fort Dade by a few miles to the east, the residents packed up and moved east to be near the railroad. In 1884, the new town was incorporated as Dade City.

The first stop will be at the Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum and the 1912 train depot. Guests will learn about early train travel, view related artifacts and see the model train room. After that, guests will take a historic walking tour with Pasco County experts to learn about early Dade City historic landmarks, including the Pasco County Courthouse in the downtown area.

Lunch will be provided in a private dining room at Kafe Kokopelli. This restaurant is housed in a building that was built in 1916 by the Ford Motor Company for Model T sales and service. Ford built a new location in the late 1970s, which hosted multiple businesses until 1996 when it was renovated to a 150-seat restaurant. The rooms have murals depicting Florida life in East Pasco County and many photos from the dealership. The name Kafe Kokopelli comes from the name of a Southwest Native American Indian god.

The final destination of the day will be to the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, with 16 acres of land and many historic buildings including a train depot, locomotive, schoolhouse, church and the Overstreet House. In Pioneer times, People sought shelter, food and to improve their way of life. The slogan at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village is “through history we can better understand where we have been, where we are now and how we can do better.” Visitors will get a glimpse at what life was like in the late 1800s.

There also will be a special presentation on Florida’s Seminole Wars. This living history presentation will include a battle and skirmish, primitive skills demonstrations and a private talk and tour to round out the day. Guests may bring a foldable lawn chair or towel to sit on during the outdoor presentation.

Times are approximate and are at the discretion of staff. All tours include a lot of walking, bus stairs and sometimes maneuvering in tight spaces. COVID protocol at each location will be followed.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made 14 days prior to the tour date to receive a full refund, unless the vacancy can be filled. Cancellations made by Edison Ford due to unforeseen circumstances will warrant a full refund or credit for another tour in the same season.

For questions or to make a reservation, contact Sherri Muske at 239-335-3677 or [email protected]. Tours fill up quickly; early registration is recommended.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 220,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.

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