Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Cape Coral, Florida
A Pretty Place, Cape Coral Boasts 400 Miles of Canals and a Soothing Ambiance and Oppportunities for Boating All Around
Pretty Cape Coral is west of Fort Myers on the southwestern Florida coast and sprang up in the 1950s as a master-planned community. It has been growing steadily ever since. In fact, thanks to its sprawling 114-square-mile borders, Cape Coral is the biggest city between Tampa and Miami.
The city's 400 miles of canals comprise one of the largest canal systems in the world and create a soothing ambiance. Bays, rivers and sounds are all around, and opportunities for boating and fishing abound. Residents enjoy a handful of golf courses, numerous tennis courts, a water park and fishing piers. A community theater, a local art league and a fun farmers' market add to the quality of life. Shopping centers and some good restaurants are sprinkled around town. The city hosts several festivals, including the Independence Day bash and Oktoberfest. The daddy of them all, though, is the huge Festival of the Arts, which draws 300 artists and 100,000 visitors each January. The Parks and Recreation Department has a good menu of programs.
Thanks to Cape Coral being mapped out from the beginning, bike paths, pedestrian walkways and parks are well designed and plentiful. Homes range from stunning waterfront mansions to high rise condominiums. Many residences have a boat slip and direct access to the Caloosahatchee River and the open ocean. Cape Coral has a couple of small beaches, and the white oceanfront sands of Sanibel Island are just 30 minutes away.
Population: 205,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 45%
Cost of Living: 2% above the national average
Median Home Price: $425,000
Climate: Cape Coral has a hot, humid climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Transit: Yes, provided by LeeTran
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 22%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The area is susceptible to hurricanes and was struck by Hurricane Charley in 2004, by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and by Hurricane Ian in 2022. Anyone thinking of buying a waterfront home is encouraged to check the home's seawall before purchasing.
Notes: The city seems to lack a cohesiveness but has landed on "best places to live" lists. It has grown 25% within the last decade. Home prices have increased 19% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
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