LEE COUNTY


County Offices
2115 Second Street
Fort Myers 239-332-2737
www.lee-county.com

Chamber of Commerce
13601 McGregor Boulevard
Fort Myers 239-931-0931
www.leecountychamber.com

Bright sunshine around the seasons, world-class beaches, and a reasonable cost of living have garnered attention for Lee County as an idyllic place to live, work, and play. Business and residential growth are on the rise in this naturally beautiful environment, where high technology blends effortlessly with velvet golf-course fairways and sparkling waters. Lee County consistently earns accolades from every corner, ranking among the nation’s five-star communities for job growth, population growth, and small business expansion. Home to such leading cities as Fort Myers and Cape Coral, the county has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine.


Although the natural resources of Lee County are considerable, the people who call this region home are the greatest asset. The positive attitude and willingness to forge new inroads of progress that have been demonstrated by area residents are the keys to the exceptional quality of life. Lee County residents tend to be energetic, hard working, and well-educated. Little wonder that the Milken Institute named Fort Myers-Cape Coral as one of the top performing cities in the nation.

Services
Panoramic Lee County on coastal Southwest Florida consistently earns accolades from every corner, ranking among the nation’s five-star communities for job growth, population growth, and small business expansion. The county’s well-educated residents insist on quality educational resources on every level, from public and private elementary and secondary schools to private colleges and a recently minted state-supported university. Opening in 1997, Florida Gulf Coast is consistently one of Florida’s fastest-growing universities. Named one of the top 25 community colleges in the nation, Edison Community College operates four campuses. Lee County also provides two high-tech centers that prepare students for employment in a highly competitive environment.

Healthcare has been one of the region’s strongest industries, growing exponentially along with residential and business expansion. Two of Lee County’s “top ten” employers are health systems, Lee Memorial Health System and Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center. Serving residents of Lee County and surrounding communities for four generations, Lee Memorial Health System is the largest community-owned healthcare system in the region. This progressive system features the professional skill of more than 830 physicians in meeting routine and advanced needs. Ranking among the “Top 100 Hospitals,” the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center encompasses the flagship hospital of the same name as well as Gulf Coast Hospital and the Bonita Bay Medical Centre.

Lifestyle
Boasting an average temperature of 74 degrees, the Lee County lifestyle includes access to magnificent beaches, natural resources, and abundant recreational opportunities. Generous rainfall ensures lush foliage and thousands of flowering plants and trees for a tropical setting. Saltwater and freshwater fishing, sunning, shelling, boating, sailing, water sports, golfing, tennis, hiking, biking, and gardening are just a few of the popular activities. Aficionados of the arts will discover amateur and professional theater, performing art series, dance concerts, symphony orchestra productions, community concert programs, and art museums, and fine galleries. Fine restaurants specialize in tropical cuisine, while colorful seasonal pageants include the Edison Festival of Light. Residents can easily escape to the Lee Island Coast, where exotic shells are strewn over sugar-white beaches.

Lee County’s beaches span 50 miles from Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area to Barefoot Beach on Little Hickory Island. More than 18 miles of public parks are available along the beachfront, and more than 100 beach access points serve residents and visitors. The abundance of lush parks and wildlife refuges encompass federal, state, and local land, including the famous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Lover’s Key/Black Island State Park, Lakes Park, and Six Mile Cypress Slough. Sports fans can look forward to the springtime when Lee County hosts two major league teams, the Minnesota Twins at Lee County Sports Complex and the Boston Red Sox at city of Palms Park.

Housing options in Lee County are as diverse as the landscape, ranging from elegantly restored vintage homes in historic districts to planned communities that offer a family-oriented atmosphere with every amenity. Exclusive golf-course communities, majestic waterfront manors, country estates, and beach bungalows are just a few of the lifestyle choices available in Lee County.


Bonita Springs
Municipal Offices
239-949-6262
www.cityofbonitasprings.org

Chamber of Commerce

239-992-2943
www.bonitaspringschamber.com

Nestled between the leading metropolitan centers of Fort Myers and Naples, the growing community of Bonita Springs is one of Southwest Florida’s newest cities. Incorporating in 2000, Bonita Springs claims a rich history dating back to 1888. Growth in the area was slow until the past two decades. The first gated community of Spanish Wells was followed by many upscale enclaves including Bonita Bay, Pelican Landing, Worthington, and Hunter’s Ridge. Today, the city is one of Southwest Florida’s fastest growing and most diverse, blending a wide cross-section of housing options and economic levels. Traversing the middle of the city is the Imperial River, adding to the appeal for boaters and anglers. The sand dunes and beaches of the Gulf of Mexico hug the area’s western boundary. To the east lie tidy neighborhoods and residential communities that stretch to the borders of flourishing groves and rich farmland. Lazy oaks laced with Spanish moss grace sparkling waterways that meander through deep forests, and wild orchids and abundant wildlife thrive just beyond bustling neighborhoods.

Alva, Buckingham
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com/

Chamber of Commerce

239-931-0931
www.leecountychamber.com

The rural communities of Alva and Buckingham in northeastern Lee County invite newcomers to step back in time along country lanes lined by gnarled oak trees and open pastures with grazing cattle. These small communities are located less than 20 miles from the major thoroughfares of Interstate 74 and U.S. Highway 41. Many residents are employed in local agribusiness industries, although most are commuters to major employment centers in the Fort Myers area and other parts of Lee County. Leading residential developers are keenly interested in the area’s large tracts of available land, and Alva residents are aware that the country atmosphere is quickly transforming into that of a suburban community. Buckingham has been designated as a rural community preserve, which will shelter the area from unbridled growth. Alva claims the oldest library in Southwest Florida, which now serves as the Alva Historical Museum. Just west of Alva lies the southernmost grape vineyard in the nation.

Cape Coral
Municipal Offices
239-574-0401
www.capecoral.net

Chamber of Commerce

239-549-6900
http://www.capecoralchamber.com/

The sprawling expanse of Cape Coral—or The Cape, as local residents refer to the area—lies on the northwest side of the Caloosahatchee River, extending to the wetlands on Pine Island Sound. Surrounded by water, Cape Coral’s natural beauty provides the perfect setting for fishing and boating enthusiasts. More than 400 miles of saltwater and freshwater canals complement the abundance of lakes, basins, and intracoastal waterfronts. Extensive canals set the stage for premier waterfront living, and many homeowners enjoy the use of boats that are moored at the edge of their properties. Some of the finest golf in the region is available in Cape Coral, which is also home to family attractions like a water park, amusement center, and children’s science center. Tennis courts, lush parks, expansive shopping facilities, fine restaurants, good schools and libraries, and a beautiful cityscape are just a few of the amenities and advantages that have made Cape Coral one of the most desirable communities in Southwest Florida.

Estero
County Offices
239-332-2737
www.leegov.com

Chamber of Commerce

239-992-2943
www.bonitaspringschamber.com

Closely associated with the rapidly growing city of Bonita Springs, the community of Estero has emerged as a desirable place to call home in its own right. Like Bonita Springs, Estero has blossomed over the past two decades, welcoming an influx of new commercial and residential development. Although Estero River Heights was the first successful development in the late 1960s, many exciting new enclaves like The Brooks, West Bay Club, and Pelican Sound have attracted an influx of newcomers that include many retirees. Estero is now the home of TECO Arena, featuring hockey, basketball, and arena football events. Complementing attractions like the Koreshan State Historic Site along the banks of the Estero River, the area is welcoming stunning new developments like the Hyatt Regency Resort at Coconut Point and a new shopping mall. Fine museums, performing arts, pristine beaches, state recreation areas, lush parks, and unsurpassed opportunities for outdoor adventure add to the quality of life.

Fort Myers
Municipal Offices
239-332-6700
www.cityftmyers.com

Chamber of Commerce

239-332-3624
https://fortmyers.org/

Located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee Intracoastal Waterway, Fort Myers is known as the “City of Palms.” Rich in the ambiance of the “Old South,” this unique community harmonizes modern development with tropical gardens, magical waterways, historic tours, colorful festivals, and championship golf courses. Fort Myers was the winter home of Thomas Edison and his neighbor Henry Ford. The Edison Home was donated to the city in 1947, and the Edison Festival of Light with the famous Parade of Light draws enthusiastic crowds each year. Situated on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, the area offers golden beaches, emerald golf courses, a yachting marina, country clubs, performing art centers, family attractions, historic sites, fine museums, and Boston Red Sox spring training events. Good schools, a flourishing economy, a major state university, leading healthcare centers, and diverse residential neighborhoods are integral components of the exceptional quality of life.

Fort Myers Beach
Municipal Offices
239-765-0202
www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce

239-454-7500
www.fortmyersbeach.org

Located on Estero Island, the natural playground of Fort Myers Beach attracts many families to its gently sloping beaches and beautiful public parks. Long recognized as one of the “world’s safest family beaches,” the city is home to an abundance of wildlife and stunning landscapes. Miles of beaches, back bays, estuaries, and lush mangrove forests create a scenic backdrop for kayaking, sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. At the north end of the beach lies a casual village with charming shops and popular restaurants is clustered along a tree-lined pedestrian walkway. The south end of the beach provides a wide selection of beachfront resorts and Lovers Key State Park. Lush parks, recreation areas, and picturesque marinas filled with fishing and boating charters dot the remaining area. The Matanzas Pass Wilderness Preserve overlooking Estero Bay features more than 40 acres of live oak hammock and 4,000 feet of mangrove shoreline with an abundance of wildlife to enjoy from an elevated boardwalk.

Gateway
Municipal Offices
239-332-6700
www.cityftmyers.com

Chamber of Commerce

239-332-3624
https://fortmyers.org/

The popular gated golf-course community of Gateway in south Fort Myers offers easy access to the international airport, Interstate 75, and Miromar Outlet Mall. Area beaches are just a 25-minute drive from Gateway for virtually unlimited water-sport opportunities. Newcomers can choose from a beautiful housing selection that harmonizes single-family homes in tree-shaded neighborhoods with maintenance-free condominium villages. Many of the homes command spectacular sunset and fairway views, with oversized windows framing velvet greens, graceful Cape Cod bunkers, and dramatic stands of native cypress trees. Complementing the premier Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course and driving range are amenities that include lighted hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, and luxurious country club facilities.

Iona
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com/

Chamber of Commerce

239-931-0931
www.leecountychamber.com

From its roots as a farming community, the unincorporated area known as Iona has drawn developers and newcomers who saw the potential for reasonable open land in close proximity to popular beach communities. This primarily residential community also offers a scattering of retail shops, restaurants, and an outlet mall. Because of the way Iona developed as a sprawling agricultural center, no clear town center has ever emerged. Nevertheless, growth is brisk. Open fields are rapidly giving way to upscale developments and beautiful new subdivisions with names like Beachwalk and Sanibel View. Remnants of the early days of Iona can still be found in the occasional u-pick farm or a vintage brick schoolhouse. Local businesses are booming, new golf courses are gracing the landscape, and the entire Iona area is preparing for continued expansion in every sector.

Lehigh Acres
County Offices
239-332-2737
www.leegov.com
Chamber of Commerce
239-369-3322
http://lehighacreschamber.org/

The young, unincorporated community of Lehigh Acres in eastern Lee County is attracting an influx of families to a relaxed lifestyle and affordable housing. Abundant land in close proximity to major highways and the Southwest Florida International Airport combines with outstanding outdoor recreation in a water-rich environment that includes lakes, ponds, and 175 miles of canals. It was the opening of Interstate 75 that made the original development of the Lucky Lee Ranch accessible and poised for rapid growth and development. This peaceful countryside community offers great fishing, tennis, horseback riding, hiking and biking trails, and quality golf courses. The community enjoys the balance of a diverse population, with a median age that has dramatically lowered in recent decades. Although the peaceful countryside is still appealing to retirees, families are discovering an equally attractive environment for raising children. Recreational facilities, community centers, and cultural groups ensure activities for all ages groups.

North Fort Myers
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com/

Chamber of Commerce

239-931-0931
www.leecountychamber.com

The expansive, unincorporated area known as North Fort Myers draws together diverse communities and neighborhoods. Although many lushly landscaped neighborhoods nestle near the river and many gated golf-course communities line the U.S. Highway 41 corridor, this area has been slower to develop than Cape Coral and the southern sections of Lee County. Nevertheless, development is on the rise. Lochmoor Waterway Estates surrounding the Lochmoor Country Club on the Caloosahatchie riverfront is only one of many desirable communities in North Fort Myers. Many of these luxurious enclaves have been designed with an accent on lifestyle. North Fort Myers joins Cape Coral as one of the county’s most rapidly growing areas for expansion of office space and industrial development. Newcomers to North Fort Myers will be impressed with the tranquility of the scenery, which includes miles of lush, tropical vegetation and spectacular river views. “Town and country” is exemplified in this diverse region. The boundaries of North Fort Myers generally extend from the Caloosahatchee River north to the Charlotte County line. The western border is Cape Coral, and the eastern border State Road 31.

Pine Island, St. James City
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com

Chamber of Commerce

239-931-0931
www.leecountychamber.com

Home to approximately two-thirds of the total population of Pine Island, St. James City is the most highly developed of the small communities. Most of the homes in this water-oriented paradise are located on canals that offer direct access to Pine Island Sound, San Carlos Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. The canals at the southern tip of Pine Island feature major boatyards and marinas. Tiny picturesque fishing villages on Pine Island include Matlacha, Pine Island Center, Bokeelia, and Pineland. Crossing the bridge to Pine Island offers an immediate glimpse of yesterday, when fishing was the dominant industry. This quaint little island continues to be an angler’s paradise, known for the “Fishingest Bridge in the USA.” Acclaimed as the “Tarpon Capital of the World,” the waters that surround Pine Island and Boca Grande on the southern tip of Gasparilla Island are among the nation’s most famous. Pine Island also offers some of the most unusual and eclectic shops and galleries in the region.

San Carlos Park
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com/

Chamber of Commerce

239-332-3624
https://fortmyers.org/

Attracting many families to affordable housing, the community of San Carlos Park is framed by a concrete entrance off the bustling U.S. Highway 41 corridor in southern Lee County. Most of the area’s residents live in neighborhoods that are dominated by ranch-style homes laid out on small grids shaded by melaleuca and palm trees. Although not as easily distinguished as its neighbors to the north and south, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers, San Carlos Park is relatively densely populated with approximately five homes to an acre. The growing community now boasts several schools, a recreation center, a park, a golf course, and baseball diamonds. Suburban commercial development is also on the rise, adding daily conveniences to affordable real estate. Residents enjoy easy access to Interstate 75, ensuring a quick trip to the TECO Arena and professional sports events. Also nearby is an outlet mall and the campus for Florida Gulf Coast University with its new community-use swimming.

Sanibel, Captiva Island
Municipal Offices
239-472-3700
http://www.mysanibel.com/

Chamber of Commerce
239-472-1080
www.sanibel-captiva.org

Featuring miles of pristine white sand beaches on their gulf shores and dense mangrove forests to the east, these narrow islands offer visitors incredibly diverse ecosystems. Residents and visitors enjoy the best shelling beaches in North America, great biking and hiking trails, and many acres of peerless wildlife sanctuaries. More than half of the area is preserved in its unspoiled state, and strict zoning and building standards ensure the pristine environment of the developed areas. Connected to the mainland by a three-mile-long scenic drive across a causeway from the mainland, Sanibel hosts an annual shell far that draws thousands of enthusiasts from around the world. Periwinkle Way provides a picturesque, lush main street framed by Australian pines and towering palms. The J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge invites visitors to drive, bike, or hike through 5,000 acres filled with exotic birds and plants. Captiva Island is well known as one of the most beautifully preserved and tranquil areas on the Gulf Coast.

South Fort Myers
County Offices
239-332-2737
https://www.leegov.com/

Chamber of Commerce

239-332-3624
https://fortmyers.org/

The unincorporated expanse known as South Fort Myers is home to a variety of residential communities that include the upscale Whiskey Creek as well as Cypress Lake, Pine Manor, Villas, Fort Myers Villas, and McGregor. The South Fort Myers community is roughly defined as the region surrounding U.S. Highway 41 south of Colonial Boulevard to San Carlos Park and west to Summerlin Road. Primarily residential in character, the area is home to several regional attractions that include Page Field, Page Field Commons shopping center, the elegant Bell Tower shops and cinemas, and the Lee County Sports Complex. Older neighborhoods with modest homes combine with luxurious developments in South Fort Myers. Like most of Lee County, this area has experienced rapid growth since 1990. Sprawling environmental preserves, golf courses, private schools, performing arts centers, and the vast recreational facilities available at Lakes Park are just a few of the eclectic attractions.

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