About the area
To fall in love with the Southwest Florida lifestyle is very easy. Residents and guests enjoy this quality of life every day! Southwest Florida with unspoiled beaches, exotic wildlife and lush subtropical foliage is a combination of the sophistication of a pampered island resort with the relaxed style of Old Florida.
Florida one of the world's favorite vacation destinations. Living in Southwest Florida means more than just beaches, sunsets and beautiful natural surroundings. Those are just a few of the most important things that brought people to SW Florida in the first place. Since not everybody can't live by fun in the sun alone, it might be helpful to remind you that living or being on vacation in Southwest Florida also includes many other exciting venues to experience and explore. There are lots of other activities you and your family may enjoy, plenty to see and do year-round. Beaches, boating, golfing, tennis, kayaking, parks, arts… it's all here. Twins and Boston Red Sox spring training, and more! The Barbara Mann theater has Broadway caliber plays and productions and many other cultural arts abound. Golf courses here are some of the best in the world.
Lee County / Collier County is served by Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, with direct flights from Toronto, Munich, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New York City, Memphis, Dusseldorf, Indianapolis, Washington DC, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boston, Chicago, and many more major cities in North America and Europe. The international airports in Miami and Tampa are just a two hour drive.
Cape Coral is located on Florida's Gulf of Mexico - between Sarasota and Marco Island - and boasts more canals than Venice, Italy. Over 400 miles of canals and 27 miles of shoreline make this truly a waterfront wonderland. Enjoy relaxed tropical lifestyle with year-round sunshine, excellent health services, affordable real estate and competitive cost of living. You will find community activities for all ages. Cape Coral is the ideal place to enjoy leisure activities as well as cultural highlights. Nearby cities include, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Naples, Bonita Springs in Collier County. One of the most attractive features of Cape Coral is the terrific year-round weather. What could be better than 335 days of bright sunshine?!?! The city receives about 53 inches of rain a year, between the months of May through September, and usually the storms are mid to late afternoon, you can still enjoy all outdoor activities in the morning! Many of the houses for rent in Cape Coral are located on a Gulf access canal. In Florida, a special boating license is not required - your regular driver's license is sufficient.
Cape Coral is connected to Fort Myers by two bridges. The 3,400 feet (1,000 m) long Cape Coral Bridge connects Cape Coral Parkway to College Parkway in Fort Myers. The Midpoint Memorial Bridge connects Veterans Parkway to Colonial Boulevard. A number of other bridges span the Caloosahatchee River just east of Cape Coral in adjoining North Fort Myers.
The city features a sandy beach and fishing pier on the Caloosahatchee River at the public Yacht Basin & Club. Cape Coral is home to the SunSplash Water Park, newly opened Tropical Breeze Fun Park, which claims longest mini golf hole in world, more than 30 recreational parks, and seven golf courses. Cape Coral offers a variety of Gulf beaches within 15 miles, such as Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. The area is known by birding enthusiasts for a wide variety of wildlife and the largest population of burrowing owls in the state of Florida.
Several parks and ecological preserves allow observation of the local wildlife. Elevated nature trails wind through the mangroves at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.
The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is held in January every year. The event takes place on Cape Coral Parkway and attracts over 100,000 visitors. Nearly 300 artists and craftspeople from across the nation line the street to make this one of the largest and best attended art festivals in Southwest Florida.
Since 1978 the Cape Coral Christmas Boat Light Parade has been held just before Christmas. The annual event features over 100 boats in all types of lighting decorations. The boats traverse the canals in the lower Cape starting at the Bimini Basin and 4 Freedoms Park.
Since 2001 the annual Southwest Florida Burrowing Owl Festival is held in late February at the Rotary Park Environmental Center in Cape Coral. This event educates attendees of the unique wildlife found here such as the Florida Burrowing Owl, the Gopher Tortoise and the Florida Scrub Jay. The Burrowing Owl is the official city bird.
As of 2010, Cape Coral was the eleventh largest city in Florida by population. In 2016 Forbes Magazine named the City of Cape Coral as # 9 of the "Top 25 Cities To Retire in the United States"
Fort Myers / Fort Myers Beach
The City of Palms is located in Southwestern Florida on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, a gateway to the Southwest Florida region and a major tourist destination within Florida. Ft. Myers is home to a Manatee Park, a Butterfly Estate and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. The city has a total area of 40.4 square miles, of which 31.8 square miles is land and 8.6 square miles is water. Edison and Ford Winter Estates. the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are a primary tourist attraction in the region. Fort Myers is popular for its beaches, fishing & shopping. A renovation of the city's downtown waterfront promises new restaurants, clubs, shops and galleries. Museums and theaters present hands-on and interactive learning experiences for kids, while continuous miles of park trails and beaches give them plenty of room to explore.
Ft. Myers Beach is home to a row of resorts that offer a mix of sun, sand and fun, great Beachfront Condos & Home Vacation Rentals. White sands, blue waters, clear skies and more…. And, there's nothing better than ending your day walking along the shore, as the sun dips brilliantly beyond the glorious Gulf of Mexico. If you're seeking outdoor adventure, the Gulf Coast is known as the "Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World."
Naples is a city in Collier County, Florida and one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the sixth highest per capita income in America, and the second highest proportion of millionaires per capital in the US. Real estate is among the most expensive in the country. Many wealthy international families have homes in Naples.
Sunny Naples is a popular, sophisticated and charming beach destination on the Gulf of Mexico. It offers many world-class hotels and resorts along miles of white sand beaches. Stroll through Naples' quaint downtown area, with its elegant shops and charming boutiques. With its beautiful neighborhoods and grand architecture, the atmosphere is elegant, yet relaxing. Sports enthusiasts spend glorious days pursuing their favorite activity, from golf to tennis to fishing. There are restaurants to suit every taste and budget. Even though it is a busy and cosmopolitan city, Naples offers easy access to secluded islands and the wilderness of the Everglades.
But Naples is also an affordable family destination that appeals to nature lovers and beach aficionados. Enjoy a picnic in the shady areas of the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park or cool off with a dip in the temperate ocean waters. Barefoot Beach, a perfect location for snorkeling, collecting shells or fishing in the nearby mangroves. See the best of nature at the Naples Botanical Garden, which features the sabal palm, Florida's state tree.
Experience the artistic side of Naples with an expressive dance or musical show at the Artist-Naples cultural center. Browse the extensive exhibition halls and the spectacular architectural design of The Baker Museum and then enjoy a lighter moment with stand-up comedy in Daniel's Pavilion. Naples is about a two-hour drive west of Miami. Move quickly around this spread-out city by car and utilize affordable parking wherever you go. On a pleasant Naples evening, find a trendy bar by the beach and plan another exciting day.
Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
Located along the Gulf of Mexico, just a short drive from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island & Captiva Island are justly famed for its sunsets, lighthouse and luxurious resorts. Known for beaches filled with shells that wash ashore from the Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel Island Beaches are some of the most unique barrier islands of the world. USA Today has ranked shelling on Sanibel Island 7th for Best Florida Attractions and Sanibel Island as One of the Ten Top Places to Escape the Snow. The Sanibel Island beaches can also be a romantic place to hold your wedding or another special event with a beautiful landscape. The Causeway Beaches are a water-sports hub and have picnic facilities. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge covers about half of the island. On Sanibel, 25 miles of multi-use paths function as sidewalks, bike paths and recreational trails beside buildings no taller than the tallest palm tree. Residents and visitors alike maintain a healthy commitment to the environment. Half of Sanibel's acreage has been preserved against development.
Visitors to both islands enjoy the languid pace of island life, great restaurants, theater and museums. Education centers introduce visitors to the island's marine, freshwater and hammock habitats where river otters, loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, bald eagles and hundreds of native and migratory birds find refuge.
Art galleries hold an inspiring presence on Sanibel Island, with monthly Art Nights during the winter. Seashell shops, resort clothing boutiques and jewelry stores selling custom, sea-inspired adornments line small shopping centers festooned with bougainvillea, shady ficus trees and swaying palms. Restaurants on both islands excel at seafood succulence, but menus range from Mediterranean to New American.
Between Sanibel and Captiva, find a resort to precisely match your style of vacationing. Small inns provide an intimate experience, Gulf-front resorts cater to beach buffs, cottages have that freeing barefoot feel, and grand destination resorts leave no vacation whim unfulfilled. Local marinas offer plenty of cruises and guided experiences on the water, while resorts and outfitters often stock kayaks, sailboats, paddleboats and an assortment of water toys.
Sanibel Island is home to 6,400 acres of mangrove wilderness. Sit back and watch the flamingos and herons, as they catch fish among the mangroves