A vibrant city in the heart of Southwest Florida, Fort Myers offers all the best amenities that those moving to Florida are hoping to find. With abundant sunshine, beautiful waterways, unspoiled nature, plus lots of shopping, dining, and entertainment — Fort Myers is a great place to call home!

Thinking of buying your next home in Florida? Here’s everything you need to know about this waterfront paradise in Southwest Florida.

About Fort Myers

Photo Credit: Kristi Blokhin

Fort Myers was founded in 1885 and named for Colonel Abraham Myers and the military fort that once sat on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. The area had a long-standing history of military occupation before becoming a farming community, fishing village, famous home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and finally, the booming residential town it is today.

Fort Myers covers approximately 49 square miles between Naples and Sarasota and is part of Lee County in Southwest Florida. The city is home to approximately 96,000 people, including a mix of families, single residents, and retirees. The real estate market in Fort Myers is booming with those looking for the idyllic, sunny, laid-back Florida lifestyle with access to lots of outdoor recreation.

Besides its abundant natural beauty and warm weather, Fort Myers is also coveted for its location. It’s perfectly situated to provide quick and easy access to lots of other Southwest Florida attractions like Cape Coral, Sanibel Island, and Bonita Springs. It’s no wonder Fort Myers is often featured among the best places to live in Florida and many people are eyeing the city for their next home.

The Fort Myers Lifestyle

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Nicknamed the “City of Palms,” Fort Myers offers a classic laid-back, sunny Florida lifestyle with lots of palm tree-lined streets to stroll, unspoiled nature, and access to gorgeous beaches and waterways. Fort Myers residents can enjoy quiet morning nature strolls, sunshine-filled afternoons out on the water, and evenings enjoying local restaurants and entertainment.

Fort Myers Weather

Fort Myers, like most of Florida, has a humid subtropical climate. This means the weather remains mostly warm and sunny, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s nearly year-round.

The summer months are hot and humid, with temperatures that can reach into the 90s. The winter months are typically cool and dry, with occasional cold fronts that bring temperatures down into the 50s and 60s. Temperatures rarely fall below 40 degrees, making Fort Myers an ideal outdoor destination year-round.

Cost of Living in Fort Myers

The overall cost of living in Fort Myers is ranked about 2.6% higher than the national average, but housing costs are ranked lower, at -6.4% less than the national average. Coupled with the fact that Florida has no state income tax, Fort Myers is an excellent choice for high-quality, coastal living at an affordable price.

Fort Myers Safety

Fort Myers is considered a safe place to live. It has crime rates lower than the national average with most reported incidents involving theft or property crime. The city also employs a full-time public safety program with police, fire, paramedics, and emergency healthcare services.

Fort Myers Schools

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Fort Myers is part of the Lee County school district and has several top-rated schools serving pre-K through high school students. Local schools include a mix of public, private, and charter schools. Several of Fort Myers high schools have won the College Success Award, which recognizes schools that “excel at helping students enroll and succeed in college.”

Post-secondary students have several options to choose from, including:

  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Southwestern State College
  • Hodges University
  • Fort Myers Technical College.

Things To Do in Fort Myers

Whether you prefer an active lifestyle hiking nature trails, kayaking, or hitting the links, or you like laid-back beach days and strolling shops and museums — the Fort Myers area is full of things to do!

Explore Outdoor Activities

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With sunny, balmy weather pretty much year-round, there’s no better way to explore Fort Myers than by spending some time outdoors.

Enjoy walking, jogging, or biking at one of the many parks, trails, and green spaces found around town. Or, enjoy a leisurely stroll down the charming brick-lined streets of The Historic Fort Myers Riverfront. If you enjoy sports like tennis, racquetball, or pickleball, there are several local courts and racquet clubs in the area.

Take Advantage of the Beaches and Water Activities

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Fort Myers is known for its abundance of nearby beaches and boating opportunities. From enjoying the gorgeous white sandy shorelines of Fort Myers Beach to spending the day shelling at Sanibel Island or taking a day trip to Lover’s Key State Park or Captiva Island.

You’ll also find plenty to do along the many waterways, including kayaking, paddleboarding, eco-tours, dolphin-watching cruises, fishing charters, and more. There’s no shortage of fun to be had on the water in Fort Myers.

Go Golfing

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Whether you’re a newbie golfer or a seasoned pro, Fort Myers boasts dozens of beautiful and challenging courses to take a swing on. Not to mention, the surrounding areas of Cape Coral, Sanibel Island, and Bonita Springs are also home to several golf courses. Overall, the greater Fort Myers area is home to a whopping 88 golf courses — golfers will never get bored in Fort Myers!

Get to Know the Locals

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The Fort Myers community is warm and welcoming, and there are plenty of community events where you can get to know the locals. The city of Fort Myers maintains a lively event calendar featuring everything from farmer’s markets and music festivals to outdoor yoga classes and guided nature hikes.

You can also find meetups for many common interests like running groups, yoga classes, sailing clubs, and more. With all the golf courses in the area, Fort Myers also has a thriving country club scene with numerous social activities and events.

Take Part in Family Friendly Activities

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The Fort Myers area is full of family-friendly things to do, from playgrounds and parks to waterparks and pirate cruises. You’ll also find plenty of indoor fun, from museums to mini golf. Kids will also love learning about local wildlife and mapping the stars at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.

Baseball lovers are in for a special treat in Fort Myers, the area is home to minor and major league spring training at the Lee Health Sports Complex.

Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment

Fort Myers is a mecca for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and — you’ll find all three at the popular Gulf Coast Town Center. Spend the day browsing over a hundred shops, catching some live music, and enjoying some local cuisine.

Of course, this is just one of many spots where you’ll find great restaurants around Fort Myers. You’ll find everything from casual cantinas to fine dining and, of course, plenty of fresh Florida seafood.

If you’re into brews, Fort Myers has a vibrant craft beer scene with nearly a dozen breweries in the area. If you’re looking for nightlife, the downtown Fort Myers area is home to plenty of bars, pubs, nightclubs, and more.

Take in Local Art, History, and Culture

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Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a history buff, you’ll find plenty to do in Fort Myers. The area has a thriving art, history, and culture scene. You’ll find historic districts, art museums, art galleries, monthly art walks, cultural events, and more.

Take a step back in time at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. This massive museum complex features the historic homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford — two of Fort Myers' most iconic residents.

Explore Nature and Wildlife

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Fort Myers is a mecca for nature lovers! You’ll find miles of nature preserves to hike, pristine waterways to kayak, and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is just one of many wetland areas where you can spot native wildlife like birds, alligators, and turtles.

You’re also just a short drive away from the massive wetlands of The Florida Everglades, where you can go for a hike, take an airboat tour, go camping, and more.

Nearby Attractions

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While Fort Myers is a beautiful place, there’s plenty more to see and do nearby. Fort Myers is conveniently located close to major highways and just a few hours' drive from many famous Florida attractions like Disney World or Everglades National Park. You’re just a short day trip away from exploring major cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Myers

Planning on a move can be a big decision, especially if you’re from out of state and unfamiliar with the area. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

Fort Myers Pros:

  • Warm, sunny climate
  • Close to the beach
  • Relaxed lifestyle
  • Safe and family-friendly
  • Plenty of things to do
  • More affordable than many other Florida cities
  • Good location with easy access to nearby attractions
  • Low taxes

Fort Myers Cons:

  • Summers are hot and humid
  • High traffic during the tourist season

Ready to Make the Move to Fort Myers?

With warm, sunny weather year-round, unspoiled nature, and a laid-back lifestyle, it’s no wonder so many are considering a move to Fort Myers. There’s an ideal home for everyone in Fort Myers, from couples looking to buy their first home to growing families searching for more space, or retirees looking for that iconic laid-back Florida lifestyle.

There are many different communities in Fort Myers to choose from, whether you want to live near the beach, closer to nature, or in the bustling downtown area.

When you’re ready to start the search, NV Realty is here to help with local expertise and unparalleled service. Let us help you find your dream home and start a new chapter in sunny Fort Myers, Florida!

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