Fort Myers is a city that has seen substantial growth over the years. Aptly known as the “City of Palms,” Fort Myers is widely known for its perpetual warmth, lush vegetation, waterways and proximity to pristine white sand beaches. Notable figures such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone have been among the many seasonal visitors who’ve fallen under its charm. This article explores the city’s lifestyle, neighborhoods, weather, attractions, and more.
The Cost of Living in Fort Myers
The population of Fort Myers swelled by nearly 40% from 2010 to 2020, leading to a competitive real estate market. Housing prices have steadily climbed, but Fort Myers remains more affordable than some other Florida cities. In the rural areas east of the city, you can find homes priced well below state and national averages. Florida’s lack of state income taxes and a below-average sales tax rate in Fort Myers contribute to its affordability. However, it’s worth noting that property taxes in Fort Myers rank among the highest in the state.
People and Lifestyle
Fort Myers is a diverse city, appealing to a wide range of individuals. While the city has a tendency to lean politically conservative, a significant portion of its population, especially among the younger generation, identifies as left-leaning. The majority of residents in Fort Myers identify as Catholic, although other major religious philosophies are well-represented.
The city’s lifestyle is heavily centered around outdoor enjoyment. Stunning beaches are readily accessible, and the downtown area features an array of charming shops and restaurants. Fort Myers offers numerous cultural and dining diversions, from local theater troupes to a variety of cuisine options crafted by renowned chefs.
Top Fort Myers Neighborhoods
Before considering a move to Fort Myers, Florida, it’s essential to explore some of the city’s top neighborhoods. These may include:
Fort Myers River District: Ideal for those who appreciate urban living, the River District boasts shops, restaurants, and frequent activities. Waterfront high-rises cater to young professionals, while the nearby historic district offers restored homes suitable for retirees.
Fort Myers Beach: If you seek a beachfront lifestyle, Fort Myers Beach is the place to be. This neighborhood features beachfront homes and quieter residential areas suitable for families. It’s worth noting that the area can get crowded during the summer tourist season.
Captiva Island: Just off the coast of Fort Myers, Captiva Island offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. With breathtaking ocean views and a walkable environment, Captiva Island is perfect for those who appreciate a serene island lifestyle.
The Food Scene
Fort Myers offers a delectable dining scene, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Residents have discerning tastes when it comes to seafood, and restaurants that serve up fresh fish and lobster thrive. Additionally, the city hosts popular farmers markets, including the Downtown Farmers Market, Southern Fresh Farms, and Health Park Farmers Market, where you can purchase fresh, locally sourced ingredients for your own culinary creations.
Fort Myers is also home to several wineries and top-notch breweries, providing ample opportunities to enjoy a fine selection of wines and craft beers.
Some notable restaurants in Fort Myers are:
- Cape Cod Fish Company: Known for its fresh lobster rolls.
- El Gaucho Inca: A steakhouse offering succulent steaks and Latin-inspired dishes.
- Bennett’s Fresh Roast: A popular doughnut shop with fresh-made treats and coffee.
What’s the Weather Like in Fort Myers?
One of the primary draws of Fort Myers is its abundant sunshine. While the city does experience periodic rainfall, especially in the summer and fall, it is outweighed by nearly nine months of sunshine, allowing residents ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons in Fort Myers:
Winter: Fort Myers experiences mild winters with average temperatures around 64.9 degrees. Precipitation primarily falls as rain, rather than snow, providing a festive atmosphere with colorful holiday lights adorning palm trees.
Spring: Spring is a pleasant season with temperatures averaging around 73 degrees. Rain is infrequent, making it an ideal time to explore the local beaches which are less crowded than during the peak tourist season.
Summer: Summers in Fort Myers are muggy, with average temperatures around 82.5 degrees and more rainfall. However, this season is filled with exciting events, from music performances in the vibrant River District to an array of activities.
Fall: Fall in Fort Myers is comfortable and more akin to spring than the traditional autumn. Balmy temperatures of approximately 76.9 degrees prevail, and it’s the second-wettest season. This season offers various events, including the Cape Coral Annual Oktoberfest for beer enthusiasts.
How to Have Fun in Fort Myers
Fort Myers offers a wide range of opportunities for outdoor and indoor entertainment. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, enjoy cultural experiences, or seek family-friendly activities, life in Fort Myers Florida is never boring.
Get Outdoors: Fort Myers boasts over 600 miles of stunning shoreline, with beaches suited for relaxation and activities. The Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is a popular choice for kayaking and canoeing. This 200-mile trail caters to both novice and expert paddlers, offering scenic views of the coastal waters.
Stay Indoors: For indoor entertainment, Broadway Palm, a renowned dinner theater, is a perfect choice for enjoying a meal and a Broadway-style show. Shopping enthusiasts can explore Sanibel Outlets and Miromar Outlets for great deals. Beach Bowl, a popular bowling alley, offers indoor fun for families and friends.
Fun With Your Kids: Fort Myers is family-friendly, featuring parks for outdoor activities and amusement parks for kids. Zoomers Amusement Park is a top attraction with a variety of rides, a go-kart track, and an arcade. Sun Splash Family Waterpark is another excellent option, especially during the summer, with water slides, splash pools, and a lazy river.
For those seeking cultural experiences, Fort Myers has several institutions to explore:
- Edison & Ford Winter Estates: The historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are significant landmarks for history enthusiasts.
- Fort Myers Beach Art Association and Gallery: This institution showcases masterpieces by local artists and offers workshops for aspiring artists.
- The Imaginarium (IMAG): A world-class museum featuring captivating scientific exhibits and an aquarium with exotic species like sea turtles.
Fort Myers Sports
Fort Myers may not have professional sports teams, but it offers sporting events that cater to various tastes. The Boston Red Sox conduct their spring training at JetBlue Park, known as Fenway South, each year. Basketball enthusiasts can cheer on the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles Basketball team. Additionally, Fort Myers has a semi-professional hockey team, the Florida Everblades, playing at Hertz Arena during the hockey season.
Top Landmarks and Attractions
Just outside of Fort Myers, you can find some of the finest national parks in Florida. Among them are:
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: This 3,500-acre preserve showcases upland and wetland ecology, cypress trees, and a variety of wildlife and bird species.
Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge: This 40-acre refuge offers a stunning coastline with mangroves supporting native wildlife. Visitors might even spot manatees in the waters.
Powell Creek Preserve: A 77-acre waterside preserve with hiking and biking trails, allowing residents to enjoy the local flora and fauna.
Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve: Ideal for observing marine life, this preserve features sea turtles and colorful birds regularly seen in the area.
Schools in Fort Myers
Fort Myers is served by the Lee County school system, with numerous highly-rated schools at every educational level. Some of the top schools include Three Oaks Elementary School, Cypress Lake Middle School, and Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School. Those seeking higher education will find a range of colleges and universities in Fort Myers, including Southwest Florida College, Edison State College, and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Fort Myers boasts a robust job market with a low unemployment rate, making it an attractive place for career opportunities. The region’s primary industries include administrative support, office, sales, and a growing construction sector. Notable employers include Algenol Biofuels, Fox Electronics, and Gartner Inc. The School District of Lee County and Lee Health are also major employers in the area.
The average annual salary in Fort Myers is slightly below the national average, but the absence of state income taxes in Florida makes it an appealing employment destination.
Fort Myers Transportation
While personal automobiles remain the predominant mode of transportation, Fort Myers offers a public transportation system operated by LeeTran. The system provides 24 bus routes servicing the city and surrounding areas. Major roads, including Interstate 75, connect Fort Myers to neighboring communities. The city’s average commute time is about 27 minutes.
Southwest Florida International Airport, just a few miles outside the city, offers easy access to domestic and international travel. LeeTran provides regular routes to and from the airport, ensuring convenient travel options.
Fort Myers offers a lively annual events calendar, guaranteeing a constant stream of excitement in the city. These events are a perfect attraction for both residents and visitors alike:
- River District Holidays: A festive December event featuring holiday decorations and shopping.
- Fort Myers Seafood & Music Festival: An enjoyable festival with fresh seafood and live music.
- Edison Festival of Lights: A February celebration honoring Thomas Edison’s contributions.
- Shrimp Festival Parade: A celebration with arts and crafts, live music, and delectable shrimp dishes.
- Fort Myers Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade: A lively St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
- Fort Myers Beach Film Festival: Showcasing engaging films from around the world.
- Fort Myers Art Walk: A monthly self-guided tour of art galleries.
- Fort Myers Music Walk: A monthly event featuring live music in the River District.
- 4th of July Fireworks: An Independence Day celebration with a parade and fireworks.
- Car Cruise-In: A monthly event from October to May featuring classic cars.
- Southern Fresh Farms Fall Festival: An October festival with activities like a petting zoo and hayrides.
- American Sand Sculpting Championship: A November event with world-class sand sculptors creating intricate masterpieces.
Interesting Facts About Fort Myers
- It’s one of Florida’s sunniest cities, enjoying 266 days of sunshine per year.
- The city was Thomas Edison’s winter home, where he introduced electric lights to the community.
- Fort Myers received its name as an engagement present, honoring Abraham C. Myers.
In short, Fort Myers offers an unparalleled quality of life, blending natural beauty, cultural richness, and abundant opportunities, making it an attractive destination for many.
Q : What is Fort Myers like?
A : Fort Myers is known for its stunning natural beauty, including white-sand beaches, palm-lined streets, and lush flora. The city offers a mix of outdoor activities, cultural diversions, and a vibrant community.
Q : Is Fort Myers a good place to retire?
A : Yes, Fort Myers good place to live and retire. With its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a variety of activities tailored for retirees, it’s no wonder many choose their retirement in Fort Myers FL.
Q : What’s the Fort Myers retire scene?
A : Retiring in Fort Myers FL is highly desirable, primarily because of its year-round warm climate, serene coastal beaches, and the abundance of retirement-friendly amenities. The city offers a vibrant retirement community, making it an ideal place for those looking to enjoy their golden years in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.
Q : Is Fort Myers FL a good place to live?
A : Is Fort Myers a nice place to live? Absolutely! Fort Myers, FL is often considered a great place to live. Its warm climate, beautiful natural surroundings, and a variety of recreational opportunities make it an attractive destination for many.
Q : What are some Fort Myers living reviews?
A : Reviews of living in Fort Myers can be quite positive, with many residents appreciating the city’s pleasant climate, natural beauty, and various amenities. However, individual experiences may vary, so it’s advisable to explore detailed reviews, speak with locals, and visit the city to get a comprehensive understanding of what living in Fort Myers is like.
Q : Is Fort Myers safe to live?
A : Fort Myers is generally considered safe, but like any city, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.