living in fort myers
 
 
 
 

Fort Myers Area Information

Area Information

FT Myers Arts and Culture

Because of the beach communities, tourist shops, museums and tropical environment, Lee County is a great place to be creative. If you’re a writer, musician, artist, photographer or actor, Fort Meyers and its neighboring communities welcome you.
Listed below are just a few of the over 100 plus galleries/art associations in Lee County.

Alliance for the Arts - Featuring local, regional and nationally known artists and crafts persons.
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall - Performing Arts Center offering Broadway touring theatre, dance and musical performances.
Cape Coral Arts Studio - Enjoy year-round fine arts, crafts classes, and workshops for all ages.
Art League of Bonita Springs
26100 Old 41 Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
239 495-8989
Website: www.artcenterbonita.org
Barrier Island Group for the Arts
900 Dunlop Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
239 395-0900
Website: www.bigarts.org
Lee County Alliance of the Arts
William R. Frizzell Cultural Center
10091 McGregor Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33919
239 939-2787
Website: www.artinlee.org
These are just a few listings. Sanibel island has 24 art galleries. There are currently over120 galleries in Lee County.
Theatre:

Cultural Park Theatre Co., Inc. - Live theatre with local talent.
Florida Repertory Theatre at the Arcade Theatre - Professional, live theatre in historic downtown Fort Myers presenting musical and dance performances.
J. Howard Wood Theatre - Professional theatre offering a variety of entertaining plays with comedy, musical and dramatic performances, year round.
Old Schoolhouse Theater - Topnotch musicals and comedies.
Other;

Best Bets for Arts, Culture and History
Art is as alive today on these shores as it was during prehistoric times.

Small-but-sweet museums chronicle Spanish explorers’ search for eternal youth, pioneers’ hardscrabble lives and the transformation of fishing villages into fashionable resorts that today put on a respectable show of visual and performing arts.
Reproduction of a Calusa artifact
Museum of the Islands

MOTI as it’s known locally, is in the old Pine Island Library building, and tells the story of this mainly agricultural and fishing island from the time of the Calusa Indians through pioneer homesteaders.

Mound Key

Tours of this island, believed to be the ancestral home of the Calusa Indian kings, are available through Koreshan State Historic Site and private tour guide companies.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

The Fort Myers winter homes of good friends Thomas Edison and Henry Ford have recently undergone a $9 million renovation, completed in late 2005.

Williams Academy Black History Museum

Learn about the Fort Myers area’s vibrant African-American community through its people. See a 1940s-era classroom, as well as early household items. Displays include audio biographies of prominent citizens. A separate building houses African artifacts.

Local Theaters

Venues such as the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Florida Rep, Schoolhouse Theater and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall showcase high-caliber talent from near and far. 2007 offerings include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rainmaker, Run for Your Wife and The Producers.

Koreshan State Historic Site

Established in 1893 by Dr. Cyrus Teed, the remnants of this utopian community provide a window into Estero's frontier days. Delight in the sudden expanse of formal gardens and restored buildings – an island of civility pushing back the Florida wilds.

Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum and Whidden’s Marina

Visit this still-working lighthouse built in 1890 and the adjacent assistant keeper's cottage, now a museum of Gasparilla Island's intriguing history. Nearby Whidden's Marina offers a glimpse into the area's seafaring past.

Useppa woman, Barbara Sumwalt Museum
This gem of a museum's star attractions are Useppa Man and Woman. Other topics: the history of tarpon fishing and the use of the island to select CIA Bay of Pigs operatives.

Artifacts at the Southwest Florida Museum of History
Recreations of Florida's prehistoric creatures and peoples segue into Fort Myers' mercantile, citrus and riverfront history.

The Calusa Heritage Trail (Pineland Complex)
Follow the interpretive trail into the past. With the aid of illustrated signs or a guided tour, see how the Calusa lived in this well-preserved coastal complex.
If you go...

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 239-481-4849, 800-440-7469, www.bbmannpah.com/

Barbara Sumwalt Museum, 239-283-9600, www.useppa.com/indexb.html

Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum and Whidden’s Marina, 941-964-0060, barrierislandparkssociety.org/lighthouse.html

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 239-278-4422, 800-475-7256, www.broadwaypalm.com/

The Calusa Heritage Trail (Pineland Complex), 239-283-2062, www.flmnh.ufl.edu/anthro/sflarch/pineland.htm

Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 239-334-7419, 888-377-9475, www.edison-ford-estate.com/

Florida Rep, 239-332-4488, 877-787-8053, www.floridarep.org/

Koreshan State Historic Site, 239-992-0311, www.floridastateparks.org/

Mound Key, 239-992-0311, floridastateparks.org/

Museum of the Islands, 239-283-1525, www.museumoftheislands.com/

Schoolhouse Theater, 239-472-6862, www.theschoolhousetheater.com/

Southwest Florida Museum of History, 239-321-7430, www.cityftmyers.com/museum/index.aspx

Williams Academy Black History Museum, 239-332-8778

Southwest Florida Symphony - Professional symphony orchestra, offering classical and pops series.
For more specific information go to www.fortmyers.org The Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.

 

Cost of Living


The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.

Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 240
San Francisco at 217
Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate 1s 94.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.0 and divide by Portland’s index-120, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,166 which would be required to make in Orlando to have the same quality of life.
See comparable Florida statewide
* Re cost of living--in some areas Real Estate has went up dramatically however costs that factor in such as food, transportation, rents etc have not increased at the same rate-so in some areas, even though housing is expensive, the overall rating may still be low
2007 stats per Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/

Boca Raton-154.74
Bradenton-114
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-108.0
Ft Lauderdale-132.0
Fort Walton-Destin-120
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-168.0
Marathon fl-162.06
Miami metro-138.0
Melbourne-92.72
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-94.0
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Sarasota-108.75
Tampa 94.60
St Pete-Clearwater-91.58
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21
For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/
or Accra's site at http://www.coli.org

Lee County is a great place to live. The cost of living index is 108.0 or just above the national average. See statistics below.
Median home cost, as of mid 2005 $281,000
Lee County offers affordable living with a composite cost of living of 103.0 which is just above the U.S. average.
*The average for all participating places equals 100, and each area/cities index is read as a percentage of the average for all places.
The Index does not measure inflation (price change over time).

For more information about cost of living stats go to http://www.coli.org
For a complete list go to http://verticals.yahoo.com/cities/categories/costofliving.html
In 2005 Ft Meyers has risen to 100.2, mostly due to increased housing costs.
For information regarding deposits and requirements for setting up utilities please go to http://www.lee-county.com/utilities/

Health

The statement below is from the lee County Health Department.
http://www.lee-county.com/healthdept/dir.htm
Over 300 dedicated employees working to assure the health and safety of the more than 500,000 residents and 1.7 million annual visitors to one America's fastest-growing and most beautiful counties.

A joint venture between the State of Florida and the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, the Health Department works in partnership with other health care providers, contractors, law enforcement and social service providers in an integrated and coordinated effort, with the goal of maximizing resources.

WHAT WE DO

We provide services to every individual living in our county, starting at birth with the issuance of Birth Certificates
provide for newborns through our Healthy Start, WIC Nutrition, TB Screening and Immunization Programs
continuing as the child grows, protecting through our inspections of Day Care facilities, our School Health, SafeLee and Bicycle Helmet Programs
Investigations of food-borne outbreaks
ensuring safe drinking water and proper waste disposal through our Environmental Engineering and Environmental Health Programs
as the child becomes a young adult, educating him or her to the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and unplanned pregnancies
providing for primary care through contract, and family planning needs at our clinics
if they become pregnant, we assist through our prenatal Healthy Start Program
with our final service to each and every resident of Lee County being the issuance of the individual's Death Certificate
Some statistics for lee County. As of 2004, there are:

1666 Hospital beds
965 Physicians
261 Dentists
36 assisted living facilities
115 child care facilities
5 major hospitals
6 adult day care centers
29 health care clinics
18 skilled nursing facilities
There are a total of 756 Health care related facilities.
For specific information and address/phone numbers, please go to http://facilitylocator.floridahealthstat.com/

Below are the major hospitals.

CAPE CORAL HOSPITAL
636 DEL PRADO BOULEVARD
CAPE CORAL , FL 33990 TELEPHONE#:239 574-2323
GULF COAST HOSPITAL
13681 DOCTOR'S WAY
FORT MYERS, FL 33912 TELEPHONE#:239 768-8641
HEALTH PARK MEDICAL CENTER
9981 HEALTH PARK CIRCLE
FORT MYERS , FL 33908 TELEPHONE#:239 433-7799
LEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
2776 CLEVELAND AVENUE
FORT MYERS , FL 33901 TELEPHONE#:239 332-1111
LEHIGH REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
1500 LEE BOULEVARD
LEHIGH ACRES , FL 33936 TELEPHONE#:239 369-2101
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
2727 WINKLER AVENUE
FORT MYERS , FL 33901 TELEPHONE#:239 939-1147
For more specific information see the Websites listed above.

Schools

Almost 10,000 employees work for the school system. There are 71,000 students making Lee County the 60th largest school system in the US.
*Below I've listed Web addresses to see addresses and more information.

Schools in Lee County and the greater Ft Myers metro.

42 Elementary schools
12 Middle schools
13 High schools
10 Charter schools
There are also 19 Special center schools—Adult education-to Law enforcement etc.
For specific address and locations of these categories, go to the Lee county School district Web site at http://lee.k12.fl.us/

POST SECONDARY EDUCATION:

COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES:
Univ. of South FL-Ft.Myers
Nova University
International College
Barry University
Southwest FL College of Bus.
JUNIOR OR COMMUNITY COLLEGES (WITHIN 50 MILE RADIUS):
Edison Community College

VO-TECH SCHOOLS (WITHIN 50 MILE RADIUS):
Lee County's two high-tech centers prepare students for employment by providing quality, technology-oriented education
Edison College - offers Associate degree programs to its nearly 16,000 students on four campuses. Edison has been named as one of the top 25 community colleges in the United States by Community College Week magazine.
College Parkway S.W. Ft. Myers, FL 3391
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Florida's tenth state-university opened in August of 1997, and now offers 37 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs in the areas of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health Professions and Professional Studies For more information go to http://www.capolicycenter.org/ct_1096/ctn3_1096.html
Trade Schools
La Baron Hairdressing Academy Ft Myers FL
Lee County High Technical Center-Central Ft Myers FL
Sunstate Academy Of Hair Design Ft Myers FL
The Travel School Of Fort Myers Ft Myers
In conclusion, Lee County has good educationial options. Follow the links above for more information
When you find an area, you like, ask the REALTOR which school district it falls in and also whether they have transportation provided. In the keys, due to distances the children are bussed.

Weather

Ft Myers and Lee County Weather
Lee County and Ft Myers Annual Temperatures and Precipitation Levels
Annual Average: 77.5 F
Fall/Winter Average: 70.8 F
Spring/Summer Average: 84.1 F
Winter Low Average: 66.0 F
Summer High Average: 87.0 F
Annual Average: 74.4 F
High Average: 84.1 F
Low Average: 64.7 F
Weather is what brings a lot of people to Southwest Florida - particularly during the dry, mild winter.

It's also what drives a lot of people away - particularly during the hot, rainy, sweaty, sticky summer.
Welcome to the subtropics, an area just outside the tropics, which lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. GENERAL WEATHER SAFETY
Lightning

• When lightning flashes, count the number of seconds before thunder is heard. Divide the number by five. The answer is the approximate distance in miles from the lightning.
• Never seek refuge from a storm under a tree
• Make sure you are not the highest object around you
• Avoid open fields, open water, beaches
• If you are on the road, stay in your car
Heat

• Avoid heavy exertion during the hottest part of the day - noon to 3 p.m.
• Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Remember, alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration n Wear a hat and sunscreen
Our subtropical weather is marked by two distinct seasons - the rainy season, part of which is hurricane season, and the dry season, part of which is windsurfing season.

During rainy season, May 15 to Oct. 15, Southwest Florida receives 42 of its annual 53 inches of rain.
Rainy season temperatures average highs in the high 80s and low 90s and lows in the 70s.
A typical rainy-season day in Southwest Florida starts with a hot, humid morning, followed by a hotter afternoon, clouds moving in from the east, and sometimes violent thunderstorms.
The frequency of summer thunderstorms has made Southwest Florida the lightning capital of the world, so it's a good idea to seek shelter as the clouds roll in.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30

Emergency managers suggest that residents educate themselves about hurricanes and be prepared, just in case.
In contrast to Southwest Florida's rainy season, dry season is, well, dry.
Eleven inches of rain spread over six months doesn't exactly put us in the same arid league with the Sahara, but the countryside can get pretty parched.
In one of those curious hydrological coincidences, the dry season also happens to be tourist season, so we have all those extra people using up the available water that isn't replenished because it's the dry season.
So water levels in aquifers can drop, and the South Florida Water Management District can impose water-use restrictions.
All this dryness can lead to serious wildfires, and residents are urged to clear vegetation around their homes.
People should never throw cigarette butts from car windows - that practice is bad for the environment at any time - but during dry season, it can easily and quickly spark a major fire.
Dry season temperatures average highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.
But things can get chilly around here.
The big factors are cold fronts that occasionally blast through Southwest Florida, bringing nasty cold rain and leaving behind unsubtropical, cold air.
You can usually tell when a cold front is coming without even looking at a weather map.
Southwest Florida's prevailing winter winds are light and easterly, but a couple of days before a front hits, winds pick up and clock around to the south - the winds are warm and the days sunny.
This is when area windsurfers load up their gear and head to their favorite sailing sites.
As the front approaches, winds shift to the Southwest, then west - winds still warm, days still sunny.
Eventually, the front appears on the horizon like a long, gray wall; when it hits, the wind jerks abruptly around to the north, and the air behind the front feels as if somebody up north left the door open on a giant freezer.
Fortunately, cold temperatures following a front usually don't last long.
Within a few days, skies clear, temperatures warm, and once again, Southwest Florida shows off the weather that attracts all those winter visitors.
Then, within a few weeks, the overall dry, mild dry season gives way to the rainy, sweaty rainy season that drives them all away.
The above article was written by By KEVIN LOLLAR, klollar@news-press.com Published by news-press.com on November 3, 2003. In conjunction with friends of the everglades. http://www.everglades.org/

Hurricane Information

The official Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. The period of greatest hurricane frequency in Southwest Florida is the three-month period from August to October, when 90 percent of all hurricanes passing within 100 nautical miles of Fort Myers (the center point of reference) have historically occurred. September is the worst single-month period for hurricanes in the region. Source: Public Safety, Lee County Government

We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?

 

 

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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.