Ft Myers cities

Living in the Fort Myers Area Cities

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Area Cities

Fort Myers


Ft. Myers is a complex area, even more than the rest of Florida, because it encompasses such a wide variety of towns and natural areas. Even first impressions depend on where you are. Let’s say you fly into Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), which serves Naples-Marco Island as well as Greater Ft. Myers. RSW is a beautiful, modern, busy facility, excelently sited at the intersection of I-75 and Ft. Myers’ Daniels Parkway. From here it’s but a short drive to anywhere in Southwest Florida. Downtown Ft. Myers is a half hour away; Sanibel-Captiva or Bonita Springs about 30-40 minutes; and Naples about 50 minutes. Your first impressions will be how easy everything is. Infrastructure appears to be excelent, even though you realize you’re in at least a medium-sized metropolitan area. It’s no problem finding your way around, it’s clean, streets are wide and well-groomed. There seem to be parks everywhere.

And in fact, to hear some people, you’ve just stumbled onto the perfect city. Though summers can be hot, the rest of the year is mild, warm, and sunny; and much of the year it hardly rains, other than late afternoons (a Florida standard). There are lots of beaches serving the public’s need to escape, there are lots of canals for those buyers who want to live waterside, and there’s lots of green spaces and watery preserves in the Big Cypress area that defines the inland section beyond residential LeHigh Acres.

Ft. Myers, an early fort and commercial center in colonial Florida, has emerged as one of the State’s foremost centers, with a proud array of financial, educational, cultural, and medical facilities that have made it a favorite for both retirees and an increasingly youthful population. And housing ranges from old Florida through every kind of modern; there is something for everybody.

The greater Ft. Myers region consists of several distinct areas: Ft. Myers itself; Sanibel and Captiva Islands; Ft. Myers Beach; Bonita Springs and its beaches; Cape Coral and adjacent Pine Island; and nearby, more rural areas extending north (Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and up towards Arcadia; and east along Rte 80 and the Coloosahatchee River towards La Belle). Here’s a few of them:

Quick statistics-2005

Ft Meyers pop-58,000
Ft Myers beach-6900
Average home price $281,000 (June 2005)
Price index-100.25 or 10th in the state (100 is average statewide and nationally)
About Ft Myers:

Fort Meyers and its neighboring areas offer up a great mix of culture, business, and lifestyles. Enjoy water sports, museums, walks on the beach, loys of sun, golfing, tennis, shopping till you drop, baseball spring training, restaurants, world class resorts and much more-almost too much to list.

From the modern business environment of Fort Meyers, to the laid back atmosphere of Sanibel or the neighboring Pine Island (reminiscent of small fishing villages in New England) to the incredibly fast expanding Cape Coral area, there is something here for every lifestyle and pocketbook.

A few endorsements

Inc Magazine ranked Fort Meyers 9th among the top 25 medium metropolitan cities for entrepreneurs.(2005
US Housing markets ranked Ft Meyers Cape Coral as the number one housing market in a metropolitan market in the US for the 2nd year in a row. (2004)
Expansion magazine named Lee County a four-star community in its annual quality of life scorecard for 2003.
Money magazine ranked Fort Myers-Cape Coral as one of the "Best Place to Live in America."
Self magazine ranked the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metropolitan area "No. 1 in the nation for working women." (2003)
Forbes magazine ranked the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area 37th among the top 200 best metro areas for business and careers
There’s definitely a reason this area is expanding and booming.. and the reason is simple---people want to live here!

So, If you think palm trees, sun and beaches should be in your future, you have to check Ft Meyers/Lee County out.

See the links to the left for more specific information. See the google map of the areas to the right.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved


Bonita Springs

A new business transfer from Michigan was quoted recently in the local paper saying she thought she’d died and gone to heaven. It’s easy to see why. Bonita lies midway on the busy I-75corridor from Naples to Ft. Myers, between the Big Cypress and the Gulf of Mexico, sprawled along the narrow, beautiful tropical Imperial River.

It has an old downtown, modern shopping, good schools, a diversity of excelent housing options, a decent infrastructure, and more than its fair share of great beaches. It shares a rich and beautiful natural resource, the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, home to Lee County’s recently established “Great Calusa Blueway,” an excelent trail for paddlecraft.

And the fishing is outstanding. Some 60 years ago the tiny hamlet of Bonita Springs already promoted itself as the home of the best snook, redfish, and trout fishing on Florida’s West Coast.

More about the Beaches. First of all, it’s not walled off by massive high rises. Bonita Beach is almost entirely low-rise, single family homes. But the county and city authorities wanted to guarantee public access to the beach, so long ago they established adequate parking where Bonita Beach Road meets the Gulf of Mexico, and then added 12-car minilots every couple of hundred feet the entire length of the beach.

There are miles of sand and excelent shelling stretching from New Pass on the north to Wiggins Pass on the south. And there’s more: on Lovers Key the county has established Carl Johnson Park, another excelent Gulf beach you reach by a wheeled tram that runs constantly. Again, there’s plenty of parking.

This beach, just south of Estero Island (Ft. Myers Beach) also serves the metro area to the north, but it’s not used much.

And no quick overview of Bonita Springs would be complete without mentioning Everglades Wonder Gardens.

Some 50 years ago Bill and Les Piper established this uniquely Florida zoo to provide a permanent home for endangered black bear, panthers, and giant alligators. It lies in Old Town at the Imperial River, and is well worth a stop.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

Cape Coral

What Ft. Myers is to one side of the great Caloosahatchee River, Cape Coral is to the other. Cape Coral is not a beach community, nor yet an old place name. It’s been around since the Army Corps of Engineers dug hundreds of miles of canals as a mosquito control project in the 1940’s (one theory), or at least since two brothers figured out how to do the same thing and began selling cheap lots (often sight unseen) to dreamers up north in the 1950’s (the other theory). But the city really did not take off – almost nobody lived there – until about 15 or 20 years ago.

Now Cape Coral is bigger than Ft. Myers. It’s a completely modern residential community with a diverse array of commercial areas, and a well laid out infrastructure of roads, canals, and bridges. The overwhelming impression one has of Cape Coral is that it’s big and substantial; it’s part of what lends greater Ft. Myers its busy metropolitan feel.

My European friends tell me they’ve never heard of Cape Coral and can’t find out anything about it in their guide books. Well, that’s about to change. Cape Coral is the largest city by area between Tampa and Miami, 114 square miles. It boasts a population of 150,000 full-time residents and another 25,000 snowbirds, or seasonal residents; the projected 2010 combination of the two will be almost a quarter million. The median age is just over 40, so it’s a young, dynamic population, and pretty self-contained: two-thirds of Cape Coral residents spend more than half their money in the city.

The city is built on a long fat peninsula bounded by the Caloosahatchee on the East and South, and the long, narrow Matlacha Pass and its estuary on the West, which separates intensely developed Cape Coral from totally undeveloped Pine Island. The Gulf of Mexico Beaches – Sanibel-Captiva, Ft. Myers Beach, Lovers Key, Bonita Beach – are 40 minutes or more away. (And traffic, especially in season, can be brutal.)

Pine Island, reachable by a short bridge across Matlacha Pass, is Cape Coral’s secret resource. Pine Island is a world away, though but a few minutes, from Cape Coral, and truly, for now at least, a remaining piece of very old Florida. The surrounding Pine Island Aquatic Preserve covers almost 100 square miles with more than 60 miles of coastline consisting of shallow bays and lagoons, islands, and mangrove isles. There is world-class kayaking, boating and fishing access to Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay.

Pine Island also provides Cape Coral residents with some funky restaurants clustered mostly at Matlacha, a tiny fishing village on the pass. If you want to go out for fresh seafood, it doesn’t get any better than this! Cape Coral residents also have choices in the opposite direction:

To the East, across the bridges over the Caloosahatchee, lies Ft. Myers, with all the things you’d expect to find in an older, established city, with museums, the arts, music, and restaurants.
What Cape Coral does have in abundance is excelent, unusually wide canals with easy access to the Caloosahatchee. Not all 400 miles of canals are born equal: it can be a long haul, ½ hr to the River, and 1 hour to the Gulf by boat, if you’re back deep inside the city. But in general, this is still largely affordable waterfront in a terrific part of the state of Florida, in a terrific city nobody will have trouble finding in the future.

For more information see the links to the left or the map to the right.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

Punta Gorda

Charlotte County
Population 16,343

Punta Gorda juts out into Charlotte Harbor, one of the United States biggest natural harbors. This quaint little town is an undiscovered treasure, centrally located between the cities of Sarasota and Fort Myers. Punta Gorda is also an easy drive to Miami or Orlando and only 100 miles south of Tampa, which makes living here a great choice for weekend trips to bigger cities.

Sunshine reigns all year in this historic village and offers many enticing amenities to locals as well as tourists. Whether you like to shop, sun bathe, enjoy sailing and fishing, or want to simply relax and do nothing, Punta Gorda offers something for everyone. You will be impressed with the friendly and welcome environment that encircles the downtown businesses and shops.

Everywhere you go in Florida has the reputation of tropical paradise and Punta Gorda is no exception! Residents delight in acres and acres of waterfront property while they bask in unending sunshine. Intertwined within the landscape is over 70 miles of canals, all fronted by the prestigious Charlotte Harbor.

As of 2007, over 17,000 residents make Charlotte County their home. The average value of owned homes is $97,000.
Voted the best place to live in the south, Charlotte County boasts unlimited opportunity for living the dream of a lifetime! Pristine beaches connect major cities to Punta Gorda, including Interstate 75 north to Tampa and east to Miami.

General Information
· 14.2 square miles with a population density of 1154 people per square mile
· Average summer temperature 92 degrees
· Average winter temperature 52 degrees
· Average annual precipitation 48 inches
· Population 16,343 with a growth of 13.9% since 2000
· Median household income $62,396, up from $48, 916 in 2000
· Median house or condo value in 2008 $406,494
· Average cost of a house $97,000 in Charlotte County
· Average cost to rent $677
· Median age is 63
· Average travel time to work between 10 and 20 minutes
· 3 hospital and medical centers within easy and a quick driving distance

Employment Industry Opportunities

• Construction (13%)
• Accommodation and food services (8%)
• Professional, scientific, and technical services (7%)
• Arts, entertainment, and recreation (7%)
• Finance and insurance (7%)
• Health care (6%)
• Real estate and rental and leasing (5%)

In conclusion, Punta Gorda is a great place to live, work, and play. Close to larger cities, but far enough away for peace and seclusion, this small, best-kept secret of southern Florida is the perfect town to enjoy life to the fullest!

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Sanibel and Captiva Islands lie just across a bridge from Ft Myers. They are unique – really two islands now connected by a sandbar/bridge and a closed pass – and definitely a place that has its own character.
Both of these legendary islands are known the world over. They’re perceived as hard to buy into (nobody wants to leave, and Real Estate can be very expensive), but they are in fact accessible to all.

In Florida the beaches belong to everybody, so beach access is always the real issue. The Town of Sanibel has made a point of supporting a number of limited-parking access points, and two big ones at Bowman’s Beach and the Lighthouse.
And there is also great parking for the shopping and galleries and restaurants, and for the world class andworld-renowned wildlife refuge, Ding Darling. Sanibel-Captiva should be on everybody’s list of why to go to Southwest Florida, and what to do when you get there.

Sanibel means shelling, beaching and swimming in the totally placid waters of the Gulf of Mexico, birding trails and drives, great golfing and tennis and biking, incredibly diverse dining and shopping, and terrific galleries. There’s even decent theater. It can also mean kayaking, motor boating, tarpon fishing, and exploring the myriad islands of Pine Island Sound. There are lots of places to rent a boat or kayak.
The Sanibel experience, whether in private quarters, the large number of timeshares, or an excelent choice of hotels, tends to be a resort experience, albeit a very laid-back one.
There is also a quiet, very upscale residential experience, that features good government, great small town amenities, good schools, easy access to excelent health care and off-island shopping, etc.; but relatively few people see that side of it. Which is too bad—some parts of Sanibel are more affordable than people realize.

A few statistics

Population: 6000 plus, and 3-4x seasonally
Median age: 60, younger with seasonal population
Median income: $80,000

As of Sept 2005, per an MLS search, a 2/2 home in Sanibel starts at $495,000. The same 2/2 in Captiva starts at $549,000.


Sanibel, like the mainland, is chiefly if not exclusively a services economy.
Many employed residents work on the island, since there is a reasonably good local economic base on Sanibel.
But obviously there is a much deeper job market and broader range of potential employment on the mainland, and that’s where most employed Sanibel residents work
More people come to Sanibel from Ft. Myers to work, than the other way round, so a lot of the service folks you encounter in the stores, etc., are not actually residents
Industries providing employment on Sanibel
· Tourist related (21.2%),
· Retail trade (13.9%),
· Business, Real Estate (13.5%),
· Professional, management services (12.6%).
In conclusion
if you can afford it, and love nature and yet want the additional amenities of a big city just a bridge away, this would be an incredible place to live. Here you really can have your cake and eat it too.

Here’s a suggestion for you. If you think you would be interested in relocating to Sanibel-Captiva, either full-time or seasonally, or perhaps opening a shop on the islands, try renting one of the many beautiful timeshare properties for a week. They are very reasonable, and it’s a terrific way to learn about the island, the world of real Estate there, and what it would be like to live there. My wife and I stayed with friends in the relaxed Sanibel Beach Club 1 this past June, and I can definitely recommend this approach.

For more information see the general info links at Ft Myers to the left.

.©2006. Florida Real Estate Network Inc. All Rights Reserved

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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.