Southwest FloridaWelcome to Southwest Florida. Our area has a fascinating history that dates back to over 6000 years when the area was inhabited by the Calusa Indians, a nomadic tribe that controlled Southwest Florida waters until the late 1700's. Southwest Florida is no longer a region that needs to be discovered.
Our beautiful paradise encompasses Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties with great cities providing ideal weather, white sand beaches ,great fishing, golf, and some of the best boating in the US. We can now boast about our first class restaurants, accommodations, music, and the arts. We will help you explore the southern cities in Lee county that are Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Fort Myers Beach.
In Collier county we will explore Naples, Marco Island and surrounding areas. When we move northward to Charlotte county where we will explore Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. Not only are we giving you a quick recap of each city, we are providing you an opportunity to search real estate in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte .
Enjoy getting to know our Southwest Florida and the great lifestyle it affords all choosing our paradise. We love to share our paradise so come and enjoy Southwest Florida. You will find Southwest Florida has and will be dedicated to protecting its beautiful coastline and its natural environment.
You will be excited about our search options that allows you create your own personalized listing manager account. Here you can save the properties that meet your criteria and contact us for more information regarding your choices.
City Data for Bonita Springs
Bonita Springs, incorporated in 2000, is the newest city in Southwest Florida. From its historical beginnings as a Calusa Indian Village built on the Imperial river, Bonita Springs has materialized into a metropolitan city still holding on to its roots and charm that draws its residents. Bonita Springs’ lifestyle of river kayaking, fishing, white sandy beaches, friendly atmosphere, and fabulous sunsets have been a catalyst in the strong growth in the past few years. The explosive growth experienced in recent years of Bonita Springs caused development in the outlying area. Excellent communities, from unpretentious to luxurious, insure one can accommodate your criteria and lifestyle you desire.
Bonita is located conveniently between Fort Myers and Naples. Major highways I 75 and Highway 41, Tamiami Trail give you great options for transportation. The location is near the international airport of Southwest Florida connecting you to the world. The Naples Municipal Airport offers some regional flights.
All the growth has afford some of the best shopping in the area. One of the shopping treasures is the new Coconut Point Mall. It features 100 upscale shops and 25 great restaurants. The beautiful outdoor mall is designed with a flair for the Mediterranean style and colors. Miromar Outlets with over 90 shops of retail brand names will be a pleasant experience. Promenade at Bonita Bay is the epitome of boutique shopping at the 16 specialty shops.
Bonita Springs is just not the city. The Bonita area includes Bonita Beach, Estero Bay and Little Hickory a small barrier. The beaches here have white sugar sand, sea oats, sea grapes and dolphins playing in the gulf. For nature lovers, come enjoy the beautiful weather and all the outdoor activities .The landscape will change drastically from the beach when you enter the peaceful rivers of the Imperial and Estero or in the creeks Hendry and Mullock. In these waters are large oaks adorned with long strains of Spanish moss. Alligators and some of the gorgeous water birds make this estuary their home.
Marinas can be found in Bonita for the avid boaters. Bonita Bay Marina, Anglers Paradise of Bonita Springs, and Hickory Bay Boat House, will provide information for selecting a slip for you boat or yacht. The choices for boating in the area are endless from fishing in the rivers, Estero Bay, deep sea fishing in the gulf, boating lunch or exploring the islands around the area. The residents that are avid boaters can’t imagine living anywhere else and the boating season is 365 days a year.
Bonita has embraced the arts by the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs. Each year at the Promenade at Bonita Bay the National and International Arts Festival is held. The artisan’s chosen to participate are award winning artist from all over the world. Their not-for- profit organization has a great mission statement “ Not-for-profit with an exceptional focus on education and culture adventures”. This says it all. Artis-Naples and Barbara B Mann provide you the Broadway theater in your back door. Both have symphony orchestras and have concerts featuring top entertainers.
Many restaurants are in the area from beach bars, traditional, Mexican, Asian and dinners. We are high lighting just a few outstanding restaurants with creative menus. Chef Jason Grasty’s passion for Japanese, Thai, and French cuisine can certainly be seen in his interesting entrees. Roy’s Bonita Springs in the Promenade show cases Chef Grastys’ talents and tantalizes your palate. Angelina’s Italian Restaurant is rated as one of the best Italian restaurants in the area. From the stellar wine list, to creative entrees , and romantic ambiance we recommend call ahead for reservations. Chops City Grill has been attached to words like dazzling and city-chic. Most of all they are known as a serious steak house. We will be covering many of the other great restaurants in the area on our blog.
Property choices and price ranges for Bonita are from $100,000 to multi-million estate homes. Styles of property from villas, coach homes, condos, and single family homes ,gated communities, or quite subdivisions we can help you find the perfect new address for your home or winter haven. Search, save your favorite property and call us to preview and filter the list of favorites.
Bonita Springs historical past is fascinating. Bonita Springs has long been inhabited since the days of prehistoric man. The Calusa Indians colonized the area and controlled all of the Southwest Florida Coast. In the 1500’s the Spanish conquistadors under the leader ship of Ponce de Leon came to explore in search of the Fountain of Youth. They were met with the fierce Calusa warriors and the clashes lasted for years. Within a few centuries, the Calusa Indians were decimated by disease ,slave trading, and the continued war. What few Calusa Indians moved to the Florida Keys ,Cuba, and some may have joined the Seminoles.
In the 1870’s government surveyors came to the area pitched a camp near a medicinal spring and surveyed the area in advance of the homesteaders. The spring water was believed by the Indians to have healing powers. The stream later became named Survey’s Creek.
Few homesteaders moved in the area during the next decade. A log thatched roof school was built in 1887. Braxton Comer in the late 1880’s bought 600 acres and brought in 50 Negro families from Alabama with equipment and mules to work his pineapple, coconuts, bananas, and other fruit. Once there they stayed and named the new home Survey.
The next ten years Survey dramatically changed. A boom in citrus groves saw the homesteaders become a community. Post office ,two story hotel, and students in the school numbered 70.
A Tennessean ,Ragsdale bought 2400 acres of land with his investors. He and Dan Farnsworth surveyed laid out a small town, the streets, and avenues. They felt Survey was not a good name for their new town. At this point the name of the town became Bonita Springs. Other name changes took place. Surveyor’s Creek was renamed Imperial River. Indian Spring Branch became Oak River.
Transportation for the town was mainly boat until Barron Collier extended his Southern Railroad and the new Tamiami Trail was completed. Growth came quickly with churches, saw mills, and more hotels.
In 1936 the attraction of Everglades Wonder Gardens was built by the Piper Brothers. The attraction is still one of Bonita’s largest attractions. Another attraction would open in 1938 called the Shell Factory by a Canadian, Harold Grant saw millions of the brilliant colored shells on the beach. The factory burned down in the 40’s and now in North Fort Myers.
Bonita remained the sleepy quite small town for decades. With highway 41 and then I 75 development exploded in the area. Bonita Springs has earned it right as a metropolitan city . Bonita Springs has luxurious estate homes, outstanding gated communities, golf communities, and waterfront communities with all the amenities to support the lifestyle. Could this be an area for you? Search the communities and give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you and sharing our area with you.
City Data for Cape Coral
When going west and crossing over the Caloosahatchee River Bridges, at a distance the stunning waterfront homes with their boats docked behind them come into view. Just imagine the land in vision was once owned by the Matlacha Cattle Company and used for ranching. In 1954 the Matlacha Cattle Company sold 17,000 acres to the Roslyn, Long Island, N.Y. multimillionaire socialite and sportsman, Ogden M. Phipps. After Mr. Ogden’s purchase, he immediately began to clear the land, plant 3000 acres of improved grass, and began to build his hunting and fishing lodge.
While the construction and development of his hunting and fishing lodge, Mr. Phipps supervised the process from his yacht, Virgemere, docked at the Fort Myers yacht basin. When his lodge was finished, Mr. Phipps would have his guest come from Sanibel by ferry to Punta Rassa where they were met by jeeps to travel for a day of hunting and fishing at his lodge located at what was known as Redfish Point. Now you will find the Cape Coral Yacht Club located at Redfish Point.
In a few years the Redfish Point land, consisting of 1,724 acres ,would attract the interest of the New York entrepreneur Leonard Rosen while recuperating from an arthritic condition in Florida. After choosing the land near Fort Myers, Leonard & Julius Rosen approached Lee County commissioners to learn the requirements for subdividing the property there were considering purchasing. They learned requirements were file a plat plan, drainage plans, design plans and post a bond guaranteeing that all roads built would fall under county specifications.
Many people think the Rosen Brothers were forward thinking in designing the city with all the canals but Lee County can take some of the credit due to their requirements. According to the Lee County Commissioners the land was to low to build on. The problem was solved by all the dredging to provide fill material needed for building and the results of dredging gave the city 400 miles of canals that now attract avid boaters finding Cape Coral a perfect place to call home. For more history about Cape Coral you would enjoy Cape Coral Historical Museum.
Now that you have a bit of history, Cape Coral’s transformation into “Paradise” with over 400 miles of fresh and salt water canals which lead to the Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway, and Okeechobee Waterway leading to east coast of Florida, has been short of miraculous.
Cape Coral, a young city incorporated in 1970, ranks as the third largest city in Florida. The city encompasses a land mass of almost 114 square miles. The splendid weather, community’s activities, and the eclectic water sport activities make Cape Coral a marvelous place to call home. If considering Southwest Florida home, Cape Coral affords you choices from 100K to multi-million waterfront property. Our splendid weather and endless sunshine attracts many wanting to exchange the snow shovel for sand pails.
Cape Coral is a youthful city not complacent with status quo. You will enjoy the Cultural Park Theater with its Broadway season and concerts. Sun Splash Water Park affords great family fun. Because of Cape Coral’s enterprising spirit you will find great choices for shopping, educational activities, the arts, theaters, and top rated specialty restaurants, locally owned, as well as many chain restaurants. Ariani, Ciao, Siam Hut, Rum Runners, Sakura Japanese Steakhouse and the Lobster Lady are just a few choices the locals enjoy.
The heart and soul of Cape Coral will always be centered around the historical Cape Coral Yacht Club. A track of land known as Redfish Point was where the developers, the Rosen Brothers, chose to build their first recreation area for the new residents of Cape Coral, their new city in the 1960’s. The Yacht Club, with its architectural style of the 60’s is still consider by many of its residents the center of town activity.
At Cape Coral Yacht Club, you can swim in the public pool, dock your boat at the city dock, enjoy the sandy beach and launch your boat. You can plan your party at the public pavilion or eat lunch at KC’s River Stop on the riverfront. You can drop a line and fish from the Cape Coral Pier and enjoy the sunset. When visiting Cape Coral don’t miss the historical land mark, the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Every Wednesday afternoon you can enjoy live music at the beach, enjoy the sunset, and you may find some treasures from the over 50 vendors at the Sunset Celebration.
While Cape Coral has many islands around, the land mass for Cape Coral is a large peninsula just west of Fort Myers on the west side of the Caloosahatchee River. The river was named by the Calusa Indians and it means “the River of the Calusa.” Cape Coral is well located within 10 miles west of I-75. From I-75 you have an easy trip to Miami 3 hrs.or Tampa 2 1/2 hrs. If you are wanting to see “Mickey” you are only 3 hrs. away from Orlando. Cape Coral is only 30 minutes from Southwest Florida International Airport with connections to the world.
The location of Cape Coral gives you endless shopping, restaurants, concerts, Barbara B Mann, Artis-Naples, baseball spring trainings for Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, and so much more.
With waterfront playing such a significant part in Cape Coral, you will find great marina gated communities. All of these communities have great choices from homes, condos ,and villas. Check out our impressive communities of Tarpon Point, and Cape Harbour. If you are a sailor then Burnt Store Marina might be your choice as it leads into Charlotte Harbour some of the best sailing in Southwest Florida. These communities not only have marinas but also great restaurants, spas and shopping. Another gated community named Sandoval has become a favorite for retires and families. Bonita Bay was the developer and known for many outstanding communities in Naples. If golf is your passion, Royal Tee Golf Club is a gated golf community with deed restrictions that provide a standard resulting in impressive designed homes. Cape Coral has other golf courses as well. Coral Oaks is a public course covered in beautiful oak trees. Palmetto Pine Country Club is another option with its 18 holes of great golf.
Cape Coral provides an incredible life style. The many parks, golf, tennis, boat launches, bike trails, shopping, restaurants, and shopping will give you all the amenities you expect from a large city while having a feeling of a small town. Cape Coral has one of the most comprehensive Parks and Recreation program found in any city. Four Mile Cove is a perfect example of the Parks and Recreation . Here you can enjoy walking or kayaking through an ecological preserve observing the wildlife and beautiful birds.
Cape Coral’s canals became paramount in the cities development. The visionary and unique large waterway planned community will give you many choices. Homes priced for the first time home buyer, snowbirds, families and ones wanting luxurious custom waterfront homes can be found in Cape Coral. Search the MLS for property in Cape Coral. We are sure you will find many that meet your criteria. We enjoyed sharing Cape Coral with you and look forward of hearing from you. Give us a call and let us tailor your search, preview your property choices and give you the service you deserve.
Captiva IslandCity Data for Captiva
Captiva Island is a magnificent retreat located in Southwest Florida. To reach this charming hideaway you must take the Sanibel Causeway and follow the Sanibel-Captiva Road. Once reaching Blind Pass and crossing over a small bridge you will be awe-struck by the pristine beaches, foliage, vibrant flora, and diverse homes as your driving to the village of Captiva. You will quickly recognize the exclusive environment you are entering. The natural beauty of this small 4 mile long and one and a half mile wide island is a spectacular sight.
Captiva Island is abundant with the charm of an old Florida style village . The structures of the island are painted in sherbet colors with a bit of Victorian accents. Then the next turn you will find beautiful large estate homes with a flare for the Caribbean with perfect manicured landscaping. The eclectic styles of the homes and condos add to the ambiance of Captiva Island. Many want to know how Captiva got its name. According to local folklore a very famous pirate, Jose Gaspar (Gasparilla) kept his female prisoners on the island for ransom and other uses. We cannot substantiate the folklore but it does make us consider Captiva’s colorful past.
Captiva was connected to Sanibel Island until it was severed in 1926 by the Great Miami Hurricane. The storm surge created the separation from land on the island of Sanibel that became known as Blind Pass and Captiva Island evolved. Captiva Island has some of the most pristine white sugar sand beaches found in the US. The west side of the island faces the Gulf of Mexico and the east side of the island faces Roosevelt Channel, named for Theodore Roosevelt who favored fishing in these waters.
As you can imagine this tiny Island is gorgeous and is considered an exclusive secluded retreat. If you are looking for a place to relax away from the city life then you cannot find a better place. Bikes or walking will be your transportation as the island is so small there is no need for your car. You will find an abundance of water sports, sunning, shelling, sailing and most important just enjoying yourself. Captiva Island is known for the best sunsets in southwest Florida. You will find people gathered outside of one of the most popular restaurants, the Mucky Duck on the island. Another favorite and very unique restaurants is the famous ”Bubble Room”. They have outstanding desserts. The Bubble Room has very interesting décor. You will find many great restaurants on the island.
As you have observed, the 400 residents of Captiva Island are very focused on conservation and preservation of their pristine environment. As early as 1945 many parts of the island were set aside as National Wildlife Preserves. The Calusa Indians controlled the string of islands in Southwest Florida and two of these were Captiva and Sanibel and you can find 15 protected major archeological sites.
Captiva Island is such a tiny island with such great history. South Seas Plantation a four star resort is part of the islands history. It was an original key line plantation started in 1925 by Clarence Chadwick. After failing health, Mr. Chadwick sold his plantation in 1942 to men from Connecticut finding the property on a fishing trip. The new owners quickly turned the plantation into a fishing camp with 15 units. Mariner Properties stepped in 1972 and bought the property. As they say the rest is history. South Seas Plantation from its beginning as a farmers plantation to a world class resort is quite a metamorphosis. The property encompasses now over or around 300 acres from the original 160 acres purchased.
If you are looking for island property secluded with ecology conservation in mind, Captiva Island is for you. You will not find a stop light in town, the hustle of a big town, crowed streets, and all that goes with that kind of life. The seclusion and beauty of Captiva Island allows you can catch your breath, relax and enjoy life. The Island is fascinating, alluring and would make a great home for a few. The real estate choices are diverse from cottages, bay and gulf water view condos to the very sophisticated luxurious estate homes.
Search Captiva Island real estate for sale on our MLS. See if this exclusive island is for you!
City Data for Estero
Estero’s heritage mirrors many of the other cities in Southwest Florida. Calusa Indians, Spanish explorers, cattle ranchers, citrus growers, fishermen, and even a religious sect has written the history for the Estero area. In the early history, Mound Key near the mouth of the Estero River was where Calusa Indians chose as their capital. Mound Island, 125 acres, is about 33 feet high and Archaeologists believe the height is due to the mounds of discarded shells the Indians are known to use for tools and food.
The Calusa Indians fished in the Gulf and always would make colonies on fresh water rivers. They were tall, strong, and considered fierce warriors. In 1513 the Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon discovered the Estero bay and the spring-fed Estero River. He named the area Estero; Spanish meaning where river joins the sea certainly describes the area well.
Ponce de Leon and his men met with the fierce Calusa Indians and Ponce de Leon was wounded as they battled and it was reported the wound later resulted in his death. The Spanish explores were driven out by the Calusa and were sent back to conquer the Calusa. Soon the Calluses were conquered by disease such as small pox and influenza brought by the Spanish. Many of the Calusa moved on to the Florida Keys and some to Cuba.
Florida had become a land of opportunity in the 1800’s. Settlers moved south to Florida and made their home on the high ground of Mound Key made by the Clausa’s shell mounds. Citrus growers and cattlemen came to the new area. One of the early settlers named Frank Johnson excavated the mounds searching for artifacts left by Calusa and gold left by the Spaniards.
As the area attracted more settlers, in the early 20th century, they began to move up the 6.52 mile Estero River and establish the settlement called Estero. One settler Gustave Damkohler from Chicago would change Estero forever bringing some of its most famous settlers. On a trip to Chicago Mr. Damkohler meet Cyrus Teed, the leader of Koreshanity.
He offered 300 acres of land and access to the Estero River to Cyrus Teed. The Koreshans Community was established in 1884. The group was doomed from the beginning as they practiced celibacy. Their settlement is now Koreshan State Park. You will find exploring the restored historic buildings and the spectacular nature of the river is worth your time. Explore the pristine Estero River.
Estero is located between Fort Myers to the north and Bonita and Naples to the south.
With easy access to Southwest Regional Airport, Estero becomes easily connected to the world. By land the community is located on two major routes, I-75 and US 41 that travel north and south. The location gives you the opportunity to enjoy all Naples and Ft Myers has to offer for theaters , events, and concerts.
Estero is an unincorporated area in Lee County without municipal boundaries. The community has a comprehensive plan for development through Lee County. Estero requirements for planned communities can be seen in the many outstanding gated planned communities built in recent years. The area is considered the epicenter of growth in southwest Florida and the comprehensive community planning done by Lee County has resulted in beautiful retail centers and outstanding developments for those living in the Estero area.
Estero River Outfitters will help you plan your 5 mile scenic trip on the Estero River as it winds through a spectacular protected aquatic preserve. Your Estero River trip is an experience not forgotten. The river flows into Estero Bay that joins the Gulf of Mexico. The beauty and nature of the Estero River helps you understand and appreciate why the community has experienced such grow in the past few years. Ecology is paramount for the community of Estero.
With the explosion of growth in the Estero and Bonita area, great shopping malls such as the beautiful Mediterranean style Coconut Point Mall has been a great addition for the residents in Estero. Over a 100 shops in Coconut Point Mall will surely give you a pleasant shopping experience. After shopping you will find 25 choices for restaurants. This is only one of your choices for shopping. Miromar Outlet with over 90 shops will provide you choices for brand name product at great prices. Gulf Coast Town Center has more great choices. You will find the Bass Pro Shop where your family can spend hours.
Estero’s geographical location made it destine for explosive growth. Florida Gulf Coast University located in Estero is a four year accredited university. Excellent schools, medical facilities, performing arts centers, Germain Arena, the home of our Everblades Hockey team and concert hall for popular concerts, art galleries and numerous museums have replaced this once sleepy area. The abundance of sunshine affords the residents recreation activities such as golf, tennis, bike paths, canoe, and nature trails not to forget boating in the Gulf of Mexico.
As the area has experienced such growth in the last few years you have endless choices for communities to call home. Stoneybrook, Rookery Pointe, Grandezza, Marsh Landings, Pelican Sound, and Wildcat Run, are only a few of the over fifty communities to choose from.
West Bay Club development is a gated community bounded by Estero River, Estero Bay, and Halfway Creek affording you parks and the ability to exploring the wetlands included in the development. The golf course designed by Pete & P.B. Dye is designated an Audubon Signature Sanctuary Course. You can choose from single homes ,villas, and carriage homes.
Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club was voted #1 in planned communities in the country. This stunning development is worth considering. Built around fresh water lakes, beautiful white sand beach, and great golf course, you can find a great lifestyle here.
In Estero you will find a choice of urban lifestyle at Residences at Coconut Point, Rapallo, and Villagio. The urban lifestyle gives you shopping and restaurants a few steps from your door and walking becomes your transportation.
Large gated communities, planned developments, and homes located on quite streets will give you the opportunity to find your new home. Come to the area and you will be taken by the natural beauty and how accessible the amenities you will expect. You have over fifty choices of beautifully planned communities. I am sure you will make one home.
Come join the ecology minded residents of the area. Search for your new address and we are a phone call away from your new address.
Fort Myers Area
City Data for Ft Myers
If you have your compass set for Southwest Florida, Fort Myers Area offers endless activities, splendid weather, great shopping, restaurants, white sugar sand beaches, and spectacular boating. The area, steeped in history, has retained much of its charm while under going extraordinary growth. Gated communities, waterfront developments, golfing communities, condo complexes, or a great home in a subdivision are choices you will find waiting for you. Properties matching your criteria and budget are just a search away.
Avid boaters, whether power boaters or sailing, find our boating season never ends due to our sunny weather and mild temperatures. For the adventurous power or sail boater, your choices are traveling the Intracoastal Waterway, exploring the outer islands as Cabbage Key, Useppa, and Island Cayo Costa deep sea fishing in the gulf, the Okeechobee Waterway through to east coast of Florida, traveling to the Florida Keys, the Caloosahatchee, or just navigate the many canals in the area. Your waterfront excursions will never disappoint.
When considering relocating to Fort Myers Area for the boating you will find over twenty community choices for waterfront property assuring we can meet your criteria and budget for your second home or relocation home. Gulf Harbour, The Landings, Palmetto Point, Catalpa Cove, and St Charles Harbour are just a few. Waterfront properties range from $200,000 to over $4,000,000. Search now for your waterfront property. Make sure in your search you distinguish gulf access if you require gulf access property.
With over 40 Golf Courses in the area coupled with outstanding year round golfing weather, Fort Myers area has become a destination for golf enthusiasts. If golfing is your passion then Fort Myers Area is just for you. With many outstanding public, semi-private, and private golf courses makes the area a perfect place to call home. Several bundled golf communities are: Legends Golf & Country Club, Colonial Country Club, Herons Glen, and Lexington and Kelly Greens. These could be great for the investor or the person wanting to play 2-3 times a week.
With all the shopping choices you have in the Fort Myers area, shopping can become an event. Quality boutique shops at The Bell Tower Shops and dining will be a pleasing experience for you. Need more shopping? Coconut Point Mall has 113 stores and 25 restaurants as well as 20 screen movie theaters.
Growth to the area has given its residents great venues for the Arts. Barbara B Mann has Broadway Plays and great concerts. The Florida Repertory, downtown Fort Myers, provides another venue for theater. The River District, downtown Fort Myers has art galleries and bars featuring live music for a night out on the town.
With aggressive growth in the Fort Myers area, amazing things have happened for our residents. Edison State College, Florida Gulf Coast University and Southwest Florida College now offers all a chance to continue our education or just take classes for fun.
If you are a nature enthusiasts, the area will fit you well. Many Kayak trails, nature trails, and bike trails where nature at its best becomes your scenic paths. Natural preserves are bountiful in the area as well as state parks and some are by the gulf.
The Fort Myers area provides splendid weather, beautiful scenery, and most of all a great lifestyle. Coming enjoy the area and let us help you search just the right home to call yours.
Fort Myers BeachCity Data for Ft Myers Beach
Crossing over the Sky Bridge to reach Fort Myers Beach ,the scenery is spectacular at from first glimpse of the Estero Bay, the fleet of shrimp boats docked, and the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico accented by the ribbon of white sugar sand. What makes Fort Myers Beach so beloved by its residents is its crescent shaped beach of white sugar sand and the eclectic lifestyle if affords. The Fort Myers Beach community has evolved on the tiny Estero Island only 6.2 miles long and 3 miles wide. The Island’s beach faces west always ensuring magical sunsets. Times Square is the heart of the island with restaurants on the Gulf, the famous Pier, shops, the typical beach retail shops and entertainment by street performers. Here you will experience the vibrant life of the beach.
The Fort Myers Beach experience certainly changes when you look at the back of the island or travel away from Times Square. The back of the island has captivating views of the Estero Bay Preserve where you can explore by paddling ( Kayaking). Mound Key an archaeological site of the Clausa Indians can be reached by boat. Lover’s Key State Park has a beautiful 2 mile beach, great shelling and abundant wildlife. The residents enjoy the beach and reach it by taking a ride on the beach trolley.
Fort Myers Beach will not disappoint your taste buds. The area has over 100 restaurants featuring fresh seafood and especially shrimp, considered pink gold in the area. Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille is known for seafood, waterview and great entertainment. Matanzan’s water view and great food is where you find locals. The Beached Whale’s rooftop dining is another favorite as well as the food. We cannot mention all the great restaurants but hope to cover them in our blog.
Fort Myers Beach is a vibrant community with many yearly celebrations and festivals. The Shrimp Festival in early March for the blessing of the fleet of shrimp boats. In April you can enjoy the Taste of the Beach were the local restaurants will tantalize your taste buds in hope of getting your vote to win. July 4th Celebration takes place at the beach with a spectacular fireworks show lighting up the sky over the water. October your family will enjoy the Pirate Festival with the island invasion of pirates, parade, and more. November brings another unique festival, the Sand Sculpting Festival, which brings international artist to compete to win so they may compete in the world completion for sand sculpting.
We haven’t even touched all the water sport activities the island has to offer. Boating, Sailing, jet skis, fishing, parasailing and swimming. Marinas for your boat dockage are available if your new home does not have a dock. Living on Fort Myers Beach feels like a permanent vacation. Just imagine getting up every morning and talking a walk on the beach or even better watching the beautiful sunset every night. As you might imagine traffic during season on the two lane road goes to a crawl but the residents use bikes, walk, and know how to manage the traffic. Living on the beach is a great lifestyle.
As diverse as Fort Myers Beach, so is the property on this tiny lovely island. From gulf front multi-million estate homes, stunning gulf and bay front condos, beach cottages, single family homes on the bay, and stilt homes are your choices. The property choices can either afford you the vibrant beach life or the serene beach life. Let Sellstate Priority Realty help you find the perfect beach retreat for you.
Beach property price range are from $300,000 to multi-million. The location of Fort Myers Beach is near the airport, theaters, great shopping and 15 miles away from Fort Myers where you can escape from time to time from the Island.
Experiencing a beach community brings back great memories we experienced as a child on family vacations. The spirit of the island is “live and let live “and islanders feel a custodial obligation to protect the pristine environment they call home. Is the island life for you? Search the properties, save your favorite, and call.
The history of Fort Myers Beach, once named Crescent Beach, is linked to the Calusa Indians, pirates, buried treasures, Spanish conquistadors, Cuban fishermen, the British and the historic changing from a territory to US’s 27th state in 1845.
The Calusa controlled the Southwest coast of Florida for hundreds of years. Many speculate the Calusa may be linked to the Mayans and traveled to our coast by rafts from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Calusa kitchen middens, shell mounds, archeological digs include bones, potshards, seashells and artifacts found in many museums around the country. The Calusa colonies along Estero Bay allowed them easy access to up and down our Southwest coast. The Calusa controlled the coast and other Indian tribes in the area by trading, control of water ways and their reputation gained as fierce warriors. They were taller and stronger than other inhabitants and wore head dresses over 3 feet tall making them look like giants.
The Spanish conquistadors led by Ponce de Leon meet the fierce Calusa warriors. The Chief of Calusa resisted the colonization of the Spanish. During one clashing, Ponce de Leon was wounded by arrows and when returned to Spain died in results to the wound. After 150 years later, the Calusa meet their demise from diseases brought by the Europeans, continued hostilities, and changes occurring in economic and political climate. Many of the Calusa went to Cuba and others went to the Ten Thousand Islands.
Southwest Florida became caught up in turmoil during the late 17th and 18th century as the territory changed from Spanish control to British control. Ranchos spring up by the Cuban fisherman along the Southwest coast. One was established on Estero Island and trade was established between the Cuban fishermen here and Cuba.
During the turmoil the Southwest Coast of Florida, pirates piled into our area. Some very famous ones are Jose Gaspar, Black Caesar, and Black Augustus. The American forces were desperately trying to rid the Southwest coast of the pirates for its early settlers. Black Augustus sailed under the flag of Jose Gaspar. The American forces captured him on Gasparilla. Black Augustus escaped and sailed 40 miles south with his gold treasure and found Black Island where he lived until his death in 1870s. Lover Key State Park has more colorful history about Black Augustus.
As Florida became the 27th state, the Homestead Act of 1862 paved the way for settlers that found panthers, black bear, great fishing, and hoards of mosquitoes.
In the 1920’s Estero Island became known as a vacation destination as a results of many of its famous residents and visitors as Edison, Firestone, Ford, and Collier. In 1921, the first bridge to Estero Island, a toll swing bridge was opened on a thin stretch of narrow land to connect Estero Island to the mainland. The toll cost 50 cents for five people. The connecting bridge results in a short lived expansion of the island. Soon casinos, hotels, a pier for yachts, and the first canal was dug.
The storms and great hurricane of 1926 destroyed the bridge and thin stretch of land connected it mainland. Hurricane bay, on charts, got its name for the unfortunate event. Form the tragic results of the hurricane, the depression and WW II, the development of Estero Island came to a grinding halt.
Fast forward, the 1950’s discovered Estero Island as a great vacation destination. With the modern electrification of a new swing bridge and modern resorts , Rancho del Mar with a swimming pool ,lead the way for all the growth. The pink gold, shrimp, was discovered in the Gulf waters and the shrimping industry became a part on the economic growth of the island.
Now this fantastic city, Fort Myers Beach, has learned to maintain and protect its wonderful environment while planning and dealing with such explosive growth by year round residents and the booming tourism. The tiny island is unique and pristine .We welcome you to explore the idea of making this your home or winter have. Sellstate Priority Realty is a phone call away.
Fort Myers Downtown
City Data for Ft Myers
Fort Myers City has such a colorful history. Fort Myers, one of the first Forts built on the Caloosahatchee River, was originally named Fort Harvie. In the 1850 due to renewed war with the Seminoles a decision was made to expand the fort. It featured over 1000 foot of Warf and more than 50 buildings. The Fort once stood on the streets of Hough, Monroe, and Second. During the expansion the Fort was renamed Fort Myers in honor of Colonel Abraham Myers whose daughter was to marry Major General David Twiggs then commanding Fort Brooke in Tampa. The Fort became abandoned from 1858 and in1863 the War Between the States brought federal troops back to the Fort for two years. At the end of the war the fort was abandoned for good.
In 1885 the undiscovered city would have a famous visitor, Thomas Edison, which would change the city forever. He fell in love with the area and within two years built his winter estate and laboratory on river bank of the Calossahatchee River. He named his 20 acres winter estate Seminole Lodge. The Edison-Ford Winter Estate tour is very interesting and truly an experience you will enjoy. You will be greeted by an amazing banyan tree near the entrance with a welcoming statue of Edison shaded by his beloved banyan tree.
With Thomas Edison wintering in Fort Myers, he brought his friends Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford. When visiting Edison’s home you can tour Henry Ford’s home next door. You might find it interesting that in 1914 the first Ford Car Dealership was open in Fort Myers.
Driving down McGregor to Edison’s home you will find the street lined with majestic Royal Palms. Edison and a friend Tootie McGregor, wife of the president of Standard Oil, imported the palms and planted the palms to beautify the city hence, City of Palms.
The boom time of the 1920’s to 1927 came due to the opening of the North-South Tamiami Trail from Tampa to Miami. In the1930s, Fort Myers downtown grew and stunning buildings sprang up in the Mediterranean Revival architectural style. Historical homes built in the same time period were built in this style. Driving down McGregor these splendid renovated homes can be seen.
Downtown historic Fort Myers has retained its brick paved streets, quaint alley ways with shops and charming building facades. In its River District you will find boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, businesses, jewelers, banks, apartments, and a convention center. Downtown Fort Myers.com a comprehensive website will give you information regarding all the events downtown know as the River District.
Some of the galleries in the River District are Arts for Act Gallery and Boutique, daas Gallery, and Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Fort Myers Art Walk is your link to the art scene in downtown. The Franklin Shops on first street features artists work as well as a collection of independent retailers with unique merchandise of high quality under the Franklin Shops umbrella.
Another jewel in the River District is the Florida Repertory Theater having its 13th season. The Florida Repertory is located in the historic Arcade Theater constructed in 1908. The charm and grandeur of old Florida is easily felt once inside the theater.
Traveling by boat to downtown Fort Myers offers full service marinas. City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin, located at marker #135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, is just steps away from all the restaurants and shops in the River District. Legacy Harbour Marina, located at marker # 49 on the Okeechobee Waterway is two blocks away from the historic downtown River District and three blocks from Edison-Ford Winter Estates.
The Okeechobee Waterway is the means to travel through the state and reach the east coast of Florida coming out at the Stuart Inlet.
While downtown you will find many choices for eating. Some are the French Connection Café, Morgan House, Vino de Notte located in Hotel Indigo and the Veranda located by combining two homes built in 1902. According to residents if you are looking for the best gourmet doughnuts and fresh roasted coffee try Bennett’s Fresh Roast.
Southwest Florida Museum of History,located in the historic Atlantic Coastline Railroad Depot, is home to the history of Southwest Florida. Viewing their exhibits you will meet the Paleo Indians, Calusa, the Seminoles, Spanish explorers, and the early settlers to our area. An authentic replica of the “Cracker House” can be seen there. The “cracker” house got its name from the sound the whip made when working there cattle.
With the revitalization of the River District in downtown Fort Myers is a great place to call home. Your choices are beautiful high rises built on the river such as High Point and Altar Mar and the quaint communities just off McGregor Blvd. Contact us and lets discuss your options making Fort Myers your new address.
Marco IslandCity Data for Marco Island
Marco Island is the largest northern Island in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Only four miles wide and six miles long it is located on the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida. As they say in real estate location, location ,location. With Marco Island’s situated 15 from Naples, 50 miles south from Ft Myers, 90 miles west of Miami, and 157 miles from Tampa, the island was destined for growth and development.
Crossing over Jolley Bridge ,the spectacular sight of multi-million homes with their yachts docked behind their homes on the Marco River, the stunning high rises at a distance, and the power and sail boats traveling the Marco River towards the Gulf of Mexico, it becomes clear Marco Island is magical and alluring. The mild weather, endless sunshine, white sand beaches, as well as fantastic fishing make this a great environment for anyone.
Choosing Marco Island as your home or winter haven comes with inherent characteristics that allows you to live a slower paced life. The gorgeous Island offers many choices no matter your passion. The City of Marco Island has a great website listing the Parks and Recreation schedules, farmers market, tennis courts, and extensive classes and activities.
With over 100 restaurants on Marco Island you will not be disappointed at the quality and variety of choices. Enjoy an outstanding romantic dinner on the water at the top rated “The Blue Heron” located on the Isle of Capri. Another local favorite restaurant is The Little Bar. You will enjoyed the charming ambiance and your dinner while surrounded by amazing antiques form over 100 year old bar, beautiful stained glass, pieces of old pipe organ and more. Another favorite haunt is Snook Inn on the Marco River. Enjoy your lunch or dinner while watching the dolphins play and listening to music under the chickee . Mango’s Dockside Bistro at the Mediterranean styled Esplanada, is located on the Smokehouse Bay. Esplanada has shopping ,art galleries, and luxury residents. One gallery there is Marco Island Art Colony, a combination of well know local artists.
Marco Island has unique boutique shops scattered around the island. At Marco Town Center Mall you find Georgie’s & The Shoe Resort and Obession. Upscale shopping at Island Trends with brands such as Tommy Bahama and others. Only six miles north of the island ,the Premium Outlets has over 40 stores of the brands you know and love. For “shopping til you drop”, you are only a few miles from Naples Waterside Shops.
If golf is your game enjoy the public golf courses Lely Resort Golf- Mustang and Flamingo . If you desire a private golf club, The Island Country Club’s perfectly manicured golf course will impress .The magnificent club house will exceed your expectations by their great social and formal affairs. If tennis is your game, join the exception private club and enjoy the tennis complex . Many choices of public or semi-private golf courses are just only 15 miles away in Naples.
Marco Island’s marinas are some of the finest you will find in Southwest Florida . The Rose Marina and Ships Store is a full service marina with dockage to accommodate your boat or yacht . The Esplanade Marina located on Smokehouse Bay is a first class facility. The Esplanade Marina has restaurants and shops steps away from your dockage.
Marco Island is known for their pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and natural splendor. Tigertail Beach , Residents Beach, and South Beach are great choices to catch some rays.
The Ten Thousand Islands are very close and some of the best fishing in the world. On the Island information and fishing guides can improve your fishing skills quickly.
Marco Island is a treasure with its natural splendor, magical sunsets, abundant wildlife, and white sugar sand. Could this exclusive Island be your next address? Search for your property . Call and we can explore your choice for you. We invite you to read more about Marco Islands history.
Exploring Marco Island’s history becomes intriguing. The footprints of the Calusa Indians are found all of Southwest Florida and Marco is no exception. The Calusa Indians inhabited the islands for as far back as 4000BC years and possibility 6000BC. Calusa Indians are referred to as “the shell people”. Calusa Indians created hugh shell mounds that offered them protection from hurricanes, provided shelter, and eventually burial sites for their dead. Indian Hill, the estate area near Caxambus, is 51 feet high and an extraordinary example of their shell mounds.
The Calusa considered Marco a sacred and mystical place as the storms would either go south or north leaving them feeling protected. Calusa Indians were resourceful skilled fishermen with their hand crafted fishing nets. A fascinating culture, they were creative artisans making brightly painted clay pottery and jewelry made from shells.
In the mid 1500, Spain was exploring most of Florida looking for the fountain of youth. Ponce de Leon, leading an expedition with his men, came across Caxambas Pass ( name means water) and found two cool artisan springs. Caxambas Pass became where the Spaniards returned to fill their large casts for exploring Southwest Florida and return trips back to Spain. It was here Ponde de Leon and his men met the fierce Calusa warriors. During one of the fierce clashes it is believed Ponce de Leon was wounded by an arrow that lead to his death after returning to Spain. The Spanish brought disease and weapons to Marco Island causing the demise of the Calusa on Marco and Southwest Florida. Many Caluse left for Cuba and opened the door for the Spanish and pirates of the Gulf to take control of the island. Tales of buried treasure from the Spanish and Pirates near the Caxambas Pass and beach locations add to the intriguing history of Marco Island. The buried treasure never found but many consider Marco Island the treasure .
Marco Island was named by the Spaniards “La Isla de San Marco” meaning island of Saint Mark, author of the second gospel in the bible. The name became San Marco Island then shorten to Marco Island.
Marco Island and the surrounding Ten Thousand Islands, during the Civil War, became a haven for deserters, blockade runners who traded with Cuba and other nearby islands. In 1870 W.T. Collier, considered the father of Marco, moved his family from Tennessee to Marco. They traveled by Schooner named Robert L. Lee down the Atlantic coast. W.T. Collier’s oldest son ,known as Captain Bill ,played a crucial part in Marco Island’s early development. He opened a 20 room hotel Old Marco Inn. Captain Bill’s excavating on his own property , known as Key Marco, lead to one of the most successful and famous archeological digs in North America done by Frank Cushing dig uncovering over 1000 artifacts from the Calusa Indians . The famous Key Marco Cat is now placed in the Smithsonian Museum.
Barron Collier, a man leaving his footprint in Southwest Florida, bought Marco Island in 1922 due to the onset of rail service (the Atlantic Coast Line) to Marco Island in with plans to develop the land. The depression and WW II put a damper on his plans for development.
During the Cuban Missile crisis, during John Kennedy’s presidency, the US Air Force built in 1960 a missile tracking system.
In the 1960’s Barron Collier’s last holdings were sold, Marco Island , to the Deltona Development Corporation owned by Mackle Brothers, Elliott, Robert, and Frank. With a strong marketing campaign touting Marco Island as the “Hawaii of the East” . Deltona ‘s new resort hotel and the advertising campaign drew the wealthy and the famous as blue collar to the island. Affordable paradise living soon came in the new subdivision on the eastern shore soon connected to land by a bridge.
Marco Island continues to grow and offer more amenities for its residents while still protecting the beloved natural environment. Yes, Marco Island is magical.
Explore the search and find your home or winter haven on this pristine Island and start to live the lifestyle you deserve. Your paradise is a phone call away.
NaplesCity Data for Naples
Strolling down the street of Fifth Avenue in Naples it is hard to believe the city’s first residents were the Calusa Indians. Followed many years later in 1860’s ,the first settlers, Roger Gordon and Joe Wiggins came to the area to crave a new life for their family. A river was named for Gordon and the famous Wiggins Pass was named for Joe Wiggins.
In the 1870’s and 1880’s, Naples, named after the Italian peninsula, began to be promoted in newspapers and magazine for its sunny mild climate and beautiful beaches.
As the news spread, Naples became a winter resort for the wealthy and the Naples Hotel became the social life for the town. The Naples Hotel played host to many celebrities and a few you may have heard of are Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and Rose Cleveland, who was the First Lady during her brother Grover Cleveland Presidency.
As the news spread and the wealthy visitors came to the area, Walter N. Haldeman led a group of wealthy Kentuckians that purchased the entire town. One of the first improvements the Naples Company was to build a 600 foot T shaped pier into the Gulf of Mexico for dockage for large ships. The pier has been destroyed and rebuilt three times and the pier’s T shape remains.
In early 1900’s the area attracted wealthy Barron Gift Collier. On a visit he and his wife fell in love with Southwest Florida and on a trip he purchased Useppa Island for $100,000. The island was named Useppa by the famous pirate, Jose Gaspar for his favorite female captives. He built one of the most exclusive sporting clubs in the world on Useppa named Izaak Walton Club.
Collier began to move South and was responsible for building the Tamiami Trail (US 41) to connect Florida’s two largest cities, Miami and Tampa. By promising Florida legislature to build the highway, the legislature created Collier County and made Naples the county seat.
Growth was greatly anticipated after the railroad reached Naples and the Tamiami Trail was completed. Unfortunately the Depression and WW II hampered the growth. In WW II the Army Air Force even built a small air field and used it for training purposes and it is now Naples Municipal Airport.
After the opening of the Tamiami Trail, a new night club, Club 41 ,became a haunt of Hollywood Stars. Some enjoying Naples Club 41 are said to have been Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper, Hedy Lamar, Lawrence Tibbets, Gertrude Lawrence, and Gloria Swanson.
Another famous visitor to Naples made a unique approach to Naples. In 1932 Charles “Lucky” Lindbergh landed his plane on the small golf course that was at the end of Fifth Avenue. His trip was to pick up supplies for his retreat in Sanibel.
Fast forward from Naples history and you find the spectacular and cultured cosmopolitan present city of Naples, the gem of Southwest Florida. Naples is all that and much more. From the palm tree lined famous 5th Avenue that features top rated restaurants and irresistible boutique shopping, you are drawn to explore what Naples has to offer. As you stroll around the side streets you find other interesting shops and art galleries. The Inn on Fifth in in the heart of Fifth Avenue is a stunning Mediterranean inspired style boutique hotel providing impeccable service and amenities. Naples is truly a vibrant cosmopolitan city that will impress the most discerning visitors and residents. Now with its airport, Naples has become a destination for the jet-set from around the world. Naples will continue to attract the wealthy and famous personalities.
If a patron of the theater, Artis-Naples offers some of the latest Broadway productions. Artis-Naples, in addition to the Broadway plays, features many top singers and musical groups in concert. Gulf Shore Playhouse and The Naples Players offer great productions with great local talent.
Naples Art Association in conjunction with The von Liebig Art Center hold annual juried Art Shows bringing award winning artisans from all over the world. Stroll the streets in Naples and you will find some outstanding art galleries. Some you will enjoy are Weatherburn Gallery , DeBruyne Fine Art, Shaw Gallery, and Gallery One. Naples Museum of Art’s mission statement is to inspire creativity and awaken curiosity. They have 15 galleries to inspire and awaken curiosity. The Museum’s Persian Ceiling done by glass world renowned artist Dale Chihuly is a feast for the senses.
Shop `til you Drop is an experience you can have in Naples. From Fifth Avenue and historic Third Street South are only the beginning. The Village on Venetian Bay is a canal setting you could find in Italy. The Mediterranean colorful structure is filled with more than 40 shops, restaurants and art galleries. Waterside Shops is a world class outdoor shopping mall. You will find Tiffany, Gucci, Kate Spade, and Saks Fifth Avenue just to mention a few of the 60 shops and restaurants. The Mercato is another outdoor mall with high-end national retailers, restaurants, and luxury movie theater.
Naples offers championship golf courses . Tiburon, Bonita Bay East, and Naples Grande Golf Club are only a few.
Naples has many exclusive properties. The Venetian Village, located on Naples Bay, offers gourmet restaurants and exclusive specialty shops. Around the Venetian Village you will find luxurious high rises featuring spectacular views, concierge service, and the white sugar sand Gulf beaches. Bay Colony, Park Shore, and Aqualane are some the condominiums. Port Royal is one of the most exclusive areas in Naples. Port Royal’s waterfront estates are multi million dollars estates.
Naples provides many gated communities with choices of villas, single family homes, and condos. The gated communities have great amenities from golf, fitness centers, club house, and tennis. Lely Resort, Hammock Bay, Indigo Lakes, Vineyards, Tiburon, and Glen Eagle are only a few.
Boating and water activities are very important in Naples. You are near the 10,000 Islands for fantastic fishing. The Gulf of Mexico is in your back door. You will find great Marinas for dockage if necessary.
Naples’ real estate property price ranges are from multi-millions to under $300,000. Search property, find the property that will match your criteria and make Naples your next address.
Pine IslandCity Data for Pine Island
Pine Island is the largest island on the west coast of Florida. The island life is anything but normal, stop lights, urban sprawl, high rises will not be found on the island.
Unpretentious, free spirited, musicians, artists, composers, commercial fishermen, boat captains, and published authors are just a few of the types of residents you will find on Pine Island. The cast of characters have enriched the island and brought a free spirited mind set. The residents take great pride in their island and like it just as it is. A bit behind the times and the laid back lifestyle with the protected environment is what brought all of them to the island.
As most of Southwest Florida, the Calusa were the first residents for many thousands of years. Their demise came at the hands of the Spanish in the 1700’s. Pine Island was not inhabited until around 1873, when the settlers came and lived off the waterways and the land.
The early settles established an island lifestyle that has continued over the years. Commercial fishing, and farming tropical plants affords the industry for the island.
Each July the island host the Mangomania celebration. Over 10,000 visitors come to the island to enjoy all the great mango creations of food and drinks. The celebration lasts for a full week with music and entertainment.
If you visit Pine Island considering making it home. As you explore Pine Island you will find five different communities, Matlacha, Pine Island Center, Bokeelia, Pineland, and St. James City. They all have their unique character where you will notice the street signs and find they are named for fish, boats, and trees. Great restaurants are scattered along as you explore featuring great food, with many hosting live music.
Your delightful experience starts with Matlacha, where quaint buildings greet you. Matlacha is known as one of the best fishing areas in Florida. Bert’s Bar is a local watering hole and a great place to me the islanders. Bridge Water Inn is built on wood pilings in the water next to the bridge. Drop a line right out the window. The bridge has wonderful views and is used by the locals as their fishing pier, where at any hour you can find people fishing from the bridge.
Crossing over the bridge leads you to brightly painted graphic buildings that gives a feeling the town is having a party that never ends. Each building is more interesting than the next. Enter the funky painted shops and you find a fusion of artistic creations. Wildchild Gallery will be a joy and you may find something that speaks to you. Mixed mediums from glass, wooden, paintings, oils, water colors, leather, and clay all created from award winning artists. Island Visions is another favorite gallery where you can find works from over 50 local artists, as well as curiosities from around the world. Spend an afternoon enjoying the creations and meet one of the artists. Matlacha Menagerie is a collection of interesting things celebrating the island lifestyle, and Footprints in the Sand is the smallest shoe shop you have ever seen.
Leaving Matlacha you will enter Little Pine Island, that is 3 miles across. Over ten years of work has gone into restoration of the wetlands. The State owns the wetlands as a preserve and is replanting the natural trees and grasses, while removing exotic plants not native to the area.
Pine Island Center is considered the hub of activity for its residents. Here you find super markets, shops and the medical center. Parks with ball fields, picnic areas, tennis courts, and a swimming pool give great amenities for its residents. Pine Island Center has new library, churches, and great schools. You will even find a Diary Queen dishing up treats. Just on the outskirts you will find Red’s Fresh Seafood House, a local favorite of the residents, that servers great seafood.
In St. James City you will find the residence of over half of Pine Island's population. Incorporated before Fort Myers, St. James City offers quick access to the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway. The direct access canals have many of the great homes on the island. You will find eclectic housing in this area from trailer parks, old Florida fishing shacks, condos and beautiful newer homes on the water. Local amenities include some great restaurants and a small motel. St. James City is a community for boaters and fishermen. A wonderful benefit of this boating community is waterfront restaurants you can reach by boat and dock on sight. Popular waterfront restaurants include Woody's and The Waterfront, with it's wonderful food and deserts to share. Many other great choices of restaurants are available in St. James City, feel free to explore and enjoy.
Going north from the Pine Island Center you will reach Bokeelia, named by the Spanish meaning mouth to outlet, located on the waters of Charlotte Harbor. You will certainly find Bokeelia’s history intriguing due to the Calusa Indians and the famous pirates that were here many years ago. As a resident of Bokeelia you will enjoy golf, biking, kayaking, fishing and boating to the surrounding islands for lunch. A beautiful landmark in Bokeelia is the Tarpon Lodge, built in 1926 as a fishing camp, has become one of the top rated restaurants in the area. From Tarpon Lodge you may want to take the water taxi to the other islands.
Pineland will be found traveling a winding road with hairpin curves where you will pass some historic homes. One is an old reddish house that used to be a church and then a school for the early settlers. Just down the road you will find one of the smallest Post Office in the country. Continue on and you will find the Calusa Hertiage Trail archeological site. On Pineland you will find Alden Pines ,the only golf course on Pine Island with beautiful homes built around the course. Pineland also has a full service marina.
Greater Pine Island may be off the beaten path. The unique island has so much to offer and if you are in a”Mayberry” state of mind , this laidback island could be the place to call your home. We barely touch the many activities and resources that the area has to offer. Search for the unique property on the island. The area is not for everyone but for the residents they cannot image living anywhere else.
SanibelCity Data for Sanibel
Traveling over the Sanibel causeway is breath taking. With the white sand beaches, the Gulf of Mexico, the Sanibel Light House in the distance, you begin to realize just how fortunate you are to explore this captivating barrier island and its history. The name of Sanibel Island came from a very famous explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon. He discovered the island in 1513 while searching for the famous ”Fountain of Youth”. He named the island "Santa Isabella" after Queen Isabella of Spain, before being driven from Sanibel by the fierce Calusa Indians. In the early1800’s, legend says the barrier islands became known as “The Buccaneer Coast”. Jose Gaspar, one of the most infamous pirates in our area, had his treasure hidden on Sanibel according to legend.
Sanibel Island is only 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. The weather and the pristine beauty of the island soon attracted wealthy industrialists from the north. Notable figures such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford traveled to Sanibel by boat for relaxation. In the late 1880’s, "The Sisters" that later became “Casa Ybel Resort“ was built as a resort for travelers to relax, sun, and have gracious accommodations while enjoying Sanibel. As the island grew in popularity accommodations where added including in 1928, the Kinzie brothers constructed docks that provided ferry boat dockage. The ferry boats were the only way to reach the islands for 35 years. In the early 1960’s the first bridge was constructed to connect Sanibel to the mainland. The bridge , a draw bridge, had a bridge tender that raised the bridge to allow sail boats and larger yachts needing height for passage through the bridge.
The allure of Sanibel Island comes from the unspoiled environment, natural beauty and the feeling of a small community. The island’s Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary that provides a picturesque habitat with abundant foliage and wildlife. The residents of Sanibel have become great guardians of the island they call home.
Sanibel Island, while very mindful of conservation and preservation, offers a lifestyle of understated sophistication. While calling Sanibel home or vacationing, you will enjoy top rated restaurants. One top rated restaurants is Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill . There you might find Randy Wayne White signing books where his main character for many of his novels, Marion “Doc” Ford , was given life in this restaurant.
A Sanibel shopping experience is like a treasure hunt. You will find designer labels, original creations, limited editions and more. A few places to find the treasures will be Periwinkle Place, Tahitian Gardens, Olde Sanibel Shoppes, and Tarpon Bay Town Center. You will find other separate shops sprinkled around the island. Enjoy your treasure hunting.
As you might expect the island is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and explore nature. Sanibel boasts over 22 miles of bike paths, 15 miles of sugar sand beaches, 230 types of birds, 250 types of fish and 250 types of shells. So enjoy the outdoor activities offered including boating, beaches, shelling, fishing, bird watching and sailing. The Sanibel Marina can help you with boat rentals, fishing guides, and as well as sight seeing tours to help you get acquainted with the waterways. While enjoying all Sanibel has to offer, if you find yourself hungry, do yourself a favor and try out “Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon”. You will not be disappointed.
Living on Sanibel Island is a unique experience. Whether you choose to be a year round resident or a snow bird, one of the beach front condos, waterfront estates, and old Floridian cottages can be your cherished home on Sanibel Island. If you desire a lifestyle with understated sophistication, don’t delay as there are limited choices due to the size of the island. Be our quest and start the search for your perfect island home. It will be our pleasure to help you find your new address on Sanibel Island. We are a phone call away.