The Fort Myers community is quickly growing and it’s obvious to see why. As our associates like to say, “We live where you vacation.” In addition to the noteworthy aspects of Southwest Florida living, there’s so much more to explore, like the monthly Art Fests and Music Fests held downtown throughout the year. We hope you come to love it as much as we do. Here are the top 8 reasons you should move to sunny Fort Myers according to Sarah Spinelli, Senior Recruiting Programs Specialist, who has worked at Gartner for three years and calls Fort Myers home.
- Did someone say beaches? For starters, Fort Myers has some of the top beaches in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report: Travel. A couple of our favorites — Sanibel Island and Naples — are both within a 45-minute drive of Fort Myers. In addition, Fort Myers Beach, Lovers Key and Bonita Beach are all located right around the Fort Myers area. If you feel like taking a day or weekend trip, Siesta Key, Sarasota and Miami’s South Beach are among the many beaches within a couple of hours of Fort Myers. You’d be hard pressed to find anything better than that. Plus, you can take weekend trips on the Key West Express leaving out of Fort Myers Beach.
- Your wallet will start to feel a little heavier. Not only is the cost of living in Fort Myers below the national average, according to Sterling’s Best Places, Florida has no state income tax — meaning you’ll keep more of your hard-earned dollars. As Fort Myers continues to grow there are many opportunities to take advantage of, including sustainable living communities like Babcock Ranch, high-rise condo communities, as well as apartments and traditional single-family home communities.
- Sports fan? We have plenty for you. The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins have their training facilities in Fort Myers, making for lots of great games to check out in early spring. The Florida Everblades, a minor league hockey team, is located just a short drive away in Estero. And Florida Gulf Coast University is located just a few minutes away, offering some great college basketball games to check out.
- An up-and-coming city. Sports not really your thing? Fort Myers is a strong arts and cultural community as well. With a thriving downtown community featuring local-owned bars and restaurants, we also have two symphonic groups (Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra and Southwest Florida Symphony) as well as the Opera Naples group. The Sidney and Berne Davis Arts Center hosts many exciting exhibits and concerts throughout the year. With an organic heritage farm nearby (Rosy Tomorrows) as well as loads of farmer’s markets, you’ll be able to take advantage of Fort Myers’ warm climate with farm fresh and organic food year round. If craft beer is your scene, we have several local breweries you can check out, including Fort Myers Brewing Company, Point Ybel, Bury Me Brewing and more. There are also many exciting and delicious restaurants to choose from, such as Doc Ford’s (based on the popular novel series), Saucy Meatball, Fat Katz, Junkanoo (on the beach!) and Ford’s Garage.
- Scared you might miss out on winter sports? Don’t be. As mentioned, the Florida Everblades minor league hockey team is a short drive away at the Germain Arena in Estero, which also hosts various performers, rodeos and comedians. You can even join an intramural hockey team. Additionally, our regional airport (RSW) flies nonstop to 48 cities, including a couple of international locales. You’ll be able to hop a jet and fly away (to use your generous PTO) throughout the winter to some of the top ski and snowboard destinations in the country. So you’ll still have an excuse to break out your winter gear
- Shop till you drop. Our associates’ favorite shopping spots include Miromar Outlets and Coconut Point — both about a 20-minute drive away in Estero. Other locations include Bell Tower Shops with a fun, up-and-coming environment as well as the downtown area. Feeling a little glamorous? Head down to Naples to check out Mercatoand Waterside Shops for their shopping and high-end restaurants.
- The great outdoors beyond the beaches. While the beaches are in a league of their own, there’s still a lot to be said for other outdoor activities in the Fort Myers area. If you want to be more active on the water, there are fishing excursions, kayak rentals, jet boat tours, pontoon boat rentals and anything else you could possibly think of year-round. Also, did you know two famous residents used to live here? Check out the Edison Ford Winter Estates along historic McGregor Street. Favorite state parks include Lovers Key and Koreshan, both with excellent trails, kayaking and paddle boarding. And don’t forget about the 50+ golf courses — many of which are home to PGA tournaments.
- Growing professional community. Fort Myers is quickly attracting young professionals, with a growing number of corporations, such as Hertz and Chico’s, setting up their headquarters in the area. To support this influx, the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce holds networking opportunities for young professionals. Additionally, many of our associates take advantage of volunteer opportunities to give back to their community in their free time.