By Graci Woodworth , Storage.com
A town that originated as a fort during the American Indian Wars, Fort Myers is now a colorful city that draws in many residents and ocean-seeking tourists each year. In fact, as current residents will tell you, a visit here just might turn into a stay for good. Check out the list below to see why!
1. RESIDE IN PARADISE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK.
Fort Myers is well-known for its low cost of living, with a rate that sits 3% lower than the Florida average, and almost 2% lower than the national average. Most importantly, this means you can snag your morning cup of coffee at a price that’s 17% lower than the national average—hallelujah!
2. “SNOW” IS A FOREIGN WORD.
Besides the few rare occasions of brief flurries in the past, there’s still no measurable snowfall on record for the Fort Myers area. With an average winter temperature of 67 degrees, and an average summer temperature of 82, residents don’t even have to leave home to declare a vacation.
3. SUN, SAND, AND MORE SAND.
Made up of sugar white sands and gentle Gulf waves, it’s easy to see why so many beaches in the Fort Myers Beach area are continually award-winning. Between the untouched beauty of Lover’s Key State Park, where you’ll surely find an assortment of shells, and the furry friends at Dog Park Beach, you’ll discover new stretches of shoreline every day of the week. Leashes at this park are not required, so you and your pup are free to explore. Are you looking for a worthy day trip? Neighboring Sanibel and Captiva islands hold a charm that’s all their own with mom-and-pop shops, lush golf courses, and not a traffic light in sight.
4. THE OCEAN IS YOUR FRONT YARD.
With miles and miles of coastline to explore around Fort Myers, your days spent under the sun can be as adventurous or relaxing as you’d like. If you’re looking to do some parasailing, search for sealife on a wave runner, or sunbathing under an umbrella, check out Holiday Water Sports, at one of their three locations on Fort Myers Beach. Up for some deep-sea fishing instead? Sea Trek has private charters available, with shark fishing year-round.
5. EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CITY.
Fresh seafood is caught daily around these parts, and it’s pretty hard to beat, but it certainly isn’t the only dish locals are crazy for. Fuel up at Bennett’s Fresh Roast coffee shop with a few of their highly celebrated hand-cut from-scratch donuts, grab lunch in the charming garden at The Veranda, or choose from over 50 flavors at Love Boat Home Made Ice Cream. But where are all of the craft brews, you ask? The selection at Ford’s Garage is beer-fanatic approved.
6. IT’S ALWAYS 5 O’ CLOCK IN FORT MYERS.
The nightlife you’ll experience while living in Fort Myers goes far beyond the go-tos of spring breakers and vacationers. Residents in the mood for a good laugh love Belushi’s Comedy Bar, and those in the mood for chilling out with a cocktail on a waterfront rooftop will enjoy The Firestone Grille Martini Bar & Sky Bar. Want to keep the party right on the beach? Head on over to The Cottage Bar, a beachfront bar and grill equipped with a full menu and live music.
7. AMERICA’S FAVORITE PASTIME IS A SECOND RELIGION.
There’s no shortage of peanuts and cracker jacks in Fort Myers, as the city holds four baseball spring training facilities. City of Palms Park, one of the best known facilities, was formerly the spring training home to The Boston Red Sox, until they relocated to jetBlue Park at Fenway South in 2012, which is also located in Fort Myers. Other spring training facilities here include Hammond Stadium, home to the Minnesota Twins, and Terry Park Ballfield. Play ball!
8. STEP BACK IN TIME.
The winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are here, too, and they’re a must-see. Choose either a self-guided or historian-led tour to see 20 acres of historical buildings, gardens, and even the Edison Ford Museum, which is filled with a large collection of inventions and artifacts.
9. GET MARRIED IN FORT MYERS.
Have you always imagined exchanging your vows in a romantic island setting? Handpick your spot on one of the beautiful beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Whether you’re looking to hold a big formal bash or intimate nuptials, the area is loaded with oceanside venues and resorts to accommodate a wide range of budgets.
10. BECOME ONE WITH NATURE.
The warm Florida climate brings habitats and wildlife that are totally unique to the area. Spot the Florida Manatee in the non-captive refuge of Manatee Park—with optimal viewing taking place between November and March during cooler Gulf temperatures. Hoping to explore the Everglades? Everglades Day Safari has multiple Fort Myers pickup locations.