Editor's Note: This article was written before the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this storm. We know Southwest Florida will be back better and stronger than ever, and we can't wait to write about their next chapter.
When most people think about Southwest Florida, they typically associate it with Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, or Naples. But just across the way from Fort Myers is the quiet community of Cape Coral, which offers up the ideal destination for many retiring baby boomers.
With more than 400 miles of canals and an equally impressive number of outstanding golf courses, Cape Coral is a prime destination for anything water-related, and the golfing is top-notch as well.
Cape Coral History
The history of Cape Coral is relatively short compared to some of the other cities across the state of Florida.
The area was purchased by Leonard and Jack Rosen after they flew over it in 1957. With the blessing of Lee County officials, the brothers set out to build one of the state's early master-planned communities, which they called Redfish Point.
As the area grew in popularity throughout the 1960s, people began referring to Redfish Point as “the Cape,” which eventually evolved into “Cape Coral.” That growth has continued for years, and it is actually increasing today after the city was recently named one of the “Best Places to Retire” by Forbes Magazine.
Cape Coral Lifestyle
Because it isn't as famous as some of the neighboring cities, Cape Coral has been able to maintain a very relaxed lifestyle despite its tremendous track record of growth. And because it is a master-planned community, you will find a great selection of parks that all seem to be located in just the right places.
One of the original landmarks of the city is Yacht Club Community Park, which is located right on the Caloosahatchee River. This is a great spot to put a boat into the water, but even non-boaters will enjoy fishing from the pier or taking a dip in the community pool.
For golfers, Coral Oaks Golf Course is the place to relax. This Arther Hills designed course features 8 lakes and 37 bunkers, which combine to make it both challenging and beautiful.
Cape Coral Culture
While Cape Coral doesn't have a long history, it does have a history that has been well-documented thanks to the Cape Coral Historical Museum. In addition to documenting the local history, the museum also boasts an impressive rose garden that is a must-see for all flower-lovers.
The area is also home to the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, as well as the Cape Coral Arts Studio. When you combine these local destinations with the thriving theater scene located in nearby Fort Myers, there is plenty of history and culture to go around in Cape Coral.
Cape Coral Shopping
Because Cape Coral is one of the largest cities in Florida geographically, there is plenty of room for a wide variety of shopping experiences.
There is also an outstanding farmers' market in club Square every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm that features all different types of local vendors.
Cape Coral Dining
High-end pub food is one of the hottest trends in dining, and Cape Coral has two outstanding options in that area with 10 Twenty Five and Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery. Both of these places go out of their way to elevate standard pub fare into an experience worth talking about.
Of course, no Gulf Coast town would be complete without great seafood restaurants, and Cape Coral is no slouch here with places like Fish Tale Grill by Merrick Seafood, The Twisted Lobster, and Point 57 to choose from.
And when you are just looking for a great bite on the go, options like The Beef Guy and Beach Brothers BBQ provide residents with delicious meals that will fill you up on the go without breaking the bank.
Cape Coral Area Developments
Located just south of Cape Coral is Valencia Trails in Naples.
Valencia Trails offers the best resort lifestyle with a magnificent 42,000 sq. ft. Clubhouse where every day new events, clubs, and entertainment abound. Relax by the pool, grab a bite at the restaurant, catch a show in the social hall, or take a relaxing stroll or jog along the community’s iconic trails. The options are endless!
Designed for 55+ living, the gorgeous contemporary style single-family homes at Valencia Trails offer the ultimate in style, convenience, and luxury with spacious living areas, impressive gourmet kitchens, and screened and covered patios to make the most of Florida’s beautiful weather year-round. Come home to luxurious standard features including tile roof, brick pavers, stainless steel and gas appliances, designer tile flooring throughout main areas, rich stone exterior finishes and so much more.