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Living in the Naples Florida Area-Cities
 

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Area Cities

Naples Fl

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Naples is a unique area in Paradise. Imagine, a small town atmosphere with elegant stores, art galleries and first class restaurants – all fronting one of the nicest, old residential beaches in Florida. To the South a few miles lies the unique Marco Island, Florida’s Venice at the gateway to the fabled 10,000 Islands fishing and recreation area.

As a collection of beautiful places, Naples-Marco-Vanderbilt Beach offer some of the nicest beaches in all of Florida, including Tigertail on Marco and Delnor-Wiggins Pass to the north. But what really sets this area apart from all of the rest of Florida is its easy access by boat to one of the world’s great Mangrove estuaries, stretching all the way to the remote Shark River in Everglades National Park on Florida’s far southwest coast. There’s fishing, exploring, secret rivers, dolphin, rays, incredible bird life, eagles – you name it. Few places in America can rival this.
If boating is not your thing, there’s world class golf, tennis, or trail walking. Or swimming in your pool.

And then, as I’ve mentioned, you come home at the end of the day to a sophisticated – you can go formal or informal – late afternoon of shopping, antiqueing, gallery hopping, dining out, and perhaps a concert or play. Naples, as the center of this Collier County southwest Florida area, is rivaled by few other places in Florida for these upscale activities, not even by the bigger metropolitan cities.

Yes, it is an expensive area, in fact it’s rated cost of living index is 104.8 or number one in the state. However compared to New York with a CGI of 364 it is affordable, especially if you’d like to be in an area of soft ocean breezes and palm trees, perhaps with your own boat moored at your back door. And for those who covet this life style, there are wonderful neighborhoods and condominium complexes to choose among.

There are definitely a couple of drawbacks, as there are everywhere. The road infrastructure is still struggling to catch up with the area’s explosive growth, and can be problematic during snowbird and tourist season (the winter months). And there aren’t a lot of options for inexpensive living; even inland several miles homes, condos, and apartments can be expensive. Public beach parking is also limited in most areas, not nearly as user-friendly as Lee County to the north.

General Information.

Located in the southwest portion of Collier County, 102 miles west of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and 165 miles southwest of Orlando. Florida’s lower east coast is easily accessible, not even a two hour drive.
2025 square miles
Average Temperature 75°F-lots of sun and great weather
Average Annual Precipitation 51 in
Average Rain Days 131
Population projection 2005 -251,000-Collier County
Naples population-25,000
Average home cost-June 2005-$491,000
Cost of Living-almost 105-1st in the state
Median age-44 for Collier county and 60 years old for Naples.
It has good health and education options in nearby Ft Myers.
Major jobs Employment By Industry in order of numbers

Trade, transportation and utilities
Education, Health, Social Services
Leisure and hospitality
Construction
Professional and business service
Natural resources
Financing
What this list suggests is that even if you’re not a retiree, the Collier county area has something to offer you. Homes in the outlying areas and north towards Ft. Myers are significantly less money and the available skilled labor jobs can pay very well. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between the coastal and other areas, and it’s important to be aware of this if you are considering a move to Naples.

For specifics in general categories please see the links to the left. See the google map to the upper right.

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

 

Marco Island

A few miles south of Naples lies the unique community of Marco Island, a thoroughly American (and to its critics, charmless) version of Venice, Italy, with a zillion mansions on a zillion canals. The picture is completed with a dense tourist quarter of very high-rise hotels and condos along much of the beach.

But: Marco Island stands at the gateway to the fabled 10,000 Islands fishing and recreation area, the northern gateway to Everglades National Park. And that is what makes Marco unique. (More on that shortly.) This duality is part of what defines Marco Island today.
Marco “on land”
Marco “on land” is a mix of ultra-modern beachside resort hotels and condominium complexes with a lot of seasonal English, German, and wealthy Northeastern visitors, and single-family homes on all those canals, owned partly by full-time retiree residents or Northeastern snowbirds. Apart from the usual resort hotel offerings, Marco basically rolls up its sidewalks at night, but nearby Naples provides an active, upscale social and entertainment venue.
So: boating or golf by day, Naples or stay home at night. All in a place that wears the mantle “paradise” quite comfortably. If you fit the description, and like a relaxed and Palm Beach-like lifestyle, Marco Island is heaven.

In between
As a collection of beautiful places, the Naples-Marco area offers some of the nicest beaches in all of Florida, one of which is Tigertail on Marco Island. My close friend who partly grew up on Marco tells me that you haven’t lived until you’ve gazed at a full moon from this magical spot. In fact the whole western coast of the island, called Crescent Beach, is pretty nice. There’s a good public beach at the southern tip of the island, adjacent to Caxambas Pass, with a jetty straight out of the movie “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”.

You can easily find other landside or land-based water diversions, of course; this is Florida. Resort hotels offer the usual tropical playthings, from SCUBA to windsurfing, and lots of residents (of all ages) partake. It’s an important part of the mix. Tennis is an important part of many residents’ lifestyle, and it’s everywhere. Just off island there are several good golf courses, and golf is big here.

Marco “on the water”
But what really sets this area apart from all of the rest of Florida is its easy access by boat to one of the world’s great Mangrove estuaries, stretching all the way to the remote Shark River in Everglades National Park on Florida’s far southwest coast. There’s fishing, exploring, secret rivers, dolphin, rays, incredible bird life, eagles – you name it. Few places in America can rival this.

With a backcountry boat you can be in some of the remotest waters in North America in ten minutes. South and east of Cape Romano is a whole different world.
This is surprisingly wild country even if you have to stay offshore the very shallow inland waters. (There are deep channels in some places, but captains beware.) With a big yacht you can still cruise, if a bit offshore, the remote mangrove islands that harbor all that backcountry and still be virtually alone. (Why? Because, as we all know, most boats always seem to stay in port. Why is that? If all Marco’s boats went out at once, it would be unfortunate.) And then you swim or fish off your boat in beautiful Gulf waters.

Or – and here is that duality of Marco again – you can cruise north to Naples and enjoy both amazingly wild islands (Little Marco, Keewaydin) along the way and then another version of mansions on the water (Port Royal), not to mention the delights of Naples Bay.

Some Basic Facts
Where
Marco Island is located at the southernmost tip of mainland Florida’s west coast about 100 miles from Miami via the Tamiami Trail highway (US Hwy 1, in the 1930’s a great engineering feat across the Everglades). Marco is the largest inhabited isle of the "Ten Thousand Islands."
Demographics
It has a year-round population just over 15,000 (seasonal 2-3x) and an average median age of 60 (which would be lower if you factored in seasonal visitors, many of whom are future buyers; like many of Florida’s wealthy formerly retirement communities, Marco Island is evolving towards a more eclectic mix).

Character
Basically this is a resort area which attracts tourists looking for the good life and residents who want elegance on a small island lifestyle with all the amenities. Mixed in with both of these are those looking for, and finding, one of the world’s great outdoor adventures.
Beaches
Marco Island includes four miles of beach, and most of the resorts and condominiums are located directly on the beach.
Climate
The climate is (sort of) subtropical with nice breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. It is blessed with spectacular sunsets and Gulf sea breezes. The island’s natural rainfall is fairly sparse; it is actually somewhat dry, and was partially desert before developers and homeowners started watering it extensively – and then, presto, it looked subtropical like the rest of South Florida. Temperatures can be a lot more pleasant than other more humid areas of South Florida

Average Annual High Temperature: 85F (29 C)
Average Annual Low 65F (18 C)
Employment
One does not live and work on Marco Island – not often, anyway. The workforce is mostly off-island dayworkers, with some exceptions, who more frequent as you go up the income scale.

Here’s the mix:

Tourist-related services (21.5%),
Finance, insurance, real Estate and rental and leasing (17.6%),
Retail trade (12.1%),
Educational, health and social services (11.4%),
Professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management services (10.7%)
[Above info from http://www.city-data.com/city/Marco-Island-Florida.html]

Recreation

Fishing
Incredible backcountry fishing among mangrove islands for redfish, snook, tarpon, and sea trout.
Surf casting for black drum and sheepshead.
Offshore fishing on reefs for grouper, king mackerel, amberjack and snapper.
Golf is a major attraction here
Ecotours and sightseeing
Historical Sites (Indian and pioneer Florida, mostly off Island)
Island-type Shopping: Resort boutiques and specialty shops feature everything from bathing suits and designer wear to sandals and sunglasses.
Dining: Numerous restaurants and eateries renowned for straight-from-the-docks seafood specialties.
Housing

Yes, this is an expensive area, in fact its rated cost of living index is 104.8 or number one in the state. However compared to New York with a CGI of 364 it’s affordable, especially if you’d like to be in an area of soft ocean breezes and palm trees, perhaps with your own boat moored at your back door. And for those who covet this life style, there are wonderful neighborhoods and condominium complexes to choose among.

As of September 2005, the least expensive home was $445,000.

In conclusion
This is a little like Palm Beach, except in a more laid back atmosphere. If you can afford it and want some privacy and refrain from traffic of the larger cities, Marco Island is it.
If you want more affordable homes, they can be found just west in Everglades City. But then you’re talking about a whole different world.
To see more information about the area, look at the Naples links.

.©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.