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Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. Its population was 48,208 in the 2000 census. According to 2008 estimates, the population is 65,394. Established in 1886, Fort Myers is the historical and governmental hub of Lee County. It is the gateway to the Southwest Florida region, which is a major tourist destination in Florida. The winter homes of Thomas Edison(Seminole Lodge) and Henry Ford (The Mangoes), which are both primary tourist attractions in the region, are located on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers.
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach is a town located on Estero Island in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 6,561 at the 2000 census.The town is situated across the barrier islands of Estero and San Carlos.Estero Island and its sister island, San Carlos, make up the community of Fort Myers Beach.
Cape Coral was founded in 1957. Real estate developers, Leonard and Jack Rosen, purchased a 103-square-mile tract known as Redfish Point for $678,000 in that year and, in 1958, began development of the city as a master-planned, pre-platted community. With over 400 miles (640 km) of navigable waterways, Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city on earth. This is how it earned the name, “waterfront wonderland.”
Historically and culturally, the heart of Estero is the spring-fed Estero River, which flows to Estero Bay. Some of the earliest European settlers of the area (notably the Alvarez, Fernandez, Johnson, and Soto families) were fishing families that lived on Mound Key, a mangrove-ringed island that dominates Estero Bay. During the early 20th century, these families moved upriver to the settlement which came to be known as Estero. Estero is also the location of a utopian community called the Koreshan Unity, which is now preserved as the Koreshan State Historic Site. Until the 1970s, most settlement and development in Estero was near the river.
Lehigh Acres got its start in the mid 1950s when Chicago businessman Lee Ratner needed a tax shelter. He had sold his pest control business, and he faced the possibility of losing most of his earnings to the high capital gains tax of that era. Ratner heard that cattle was a good investment for people in his predicament, and he bought 18,000 acres (73 km²) of land in eastern Lee County and named it the Lucky Lee Ranch. After ranching for a while, and despite having no prior development experience, Ratner joined with Gerald H. Gould, a Florida advertising executive, Manuel Riskin, a Chicago CPA, and Edward Shapiro, a former Chicagoan who was in the real estate business in California, and began land sales at Lehigh Acres.
Sanibel Island is an island located on the Gulf coast of Florida, just offshore of Fort Myers. In 2000, it had an estimated population of 6,064 people. Located within Lee County, Sanibel is a barrier island – a collection of sand on the leeward side of the Gulf Stream from the more solid coral-rock of Pine Island.
The city of Sanibel incorporates the entire island, with most of the city proper at the east end of the island. After the Sanibel causeway was built to replace the ferry in May 1963, the residents fought back against overdevelopment by establishing the Sanibel Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 1974 helping to maintain a balance between development and preservation of the island's ecology. A new, higher bridge without a bascule (drawbridge) having to open for tall boats and sailboats, was completed in late 2007.
Thanks in part to the new causeway, Sanibel is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, shelling, and wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest one is the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Island also hosts the Sanibel Historical Village and a variety of other museums and theaters.In August 2004 Hurricane Charley hit the island causing mandatory evacuation for the island's residents and resulting in the most damage done to the island in 44 years
Captiva Island is an island in Lee County in southwest Florida, located just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Originally part of neighboring Sanibel Island to the southeast, it was severed in 1926 when a hurricane's storm surge washed away a new channel, Blind Pass, which had filled in over the years but was reopened during a dredging project in the summer of 2009. Like Sanibel, Captiva is a barrier island to Pine Island (to the east of Captiva and north of Sanibel), however it is much narrower. The only automobile access to Captiva is via the Sanibel Causeway and Sanibel-Captiva Road, which ends in the CDP of Captiva, the island's only CDP. Captiva was homesteaded in 1888 and a tiny cemetery next to The Chapel by the Sea has the grave of the original resident, William Herbert Binder (1850-1932), an Austrian. Half the island is in private ownership, with "Millionaire's Row", luxury homes on gulf and bay side of "San-Cap" road. The South Seas Island Resort entry gate is at the end of this road. Roosevelt Channel on the east side of the island, is named for Theodore Roosevelt who fished there.
North Captiva Island or Upper Captiva is another island, in turn severed from Captiva in a 1921 hurricane, creating Redfish Pass. North Captiva has power from lines that originate on the north end of Captiva, and is privately owned. With about 300 homes built and 300 vacant lots, the island is about half way to build-out. Since the island can be accessed by boat or small plane only, North Captiva real estate values are generally lower than on Captiva.
Cayo Costa Island
Cayo Costa Island is one of a chain of barrier islands that shelter Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound. The park contains nine miles (14 km) of soft white sandy beaches and 2,506 acres (10 km2) of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps. Among the wildlife that can be seen at the park are manatees, dolphins, and an assortment of birds. The island is accessible only by charter boat (with or without captain), private boat or ferry.
If you would like to know more about this island and the specifics, come for a day of hiking on the white sandy beaches, watching the manatees as the slumberly go about in the waters just feet from the shores. Gerald Ruzicka the broker of Just Right Realty Company is an expert on this island in that he loves to spend time on the island and has purchased and sold many vacant lots on the island. Cayo Costa is a great little play ground.
Lee County Florida
Lee County was created in 1887 from Monroe County. It was named for Robert E. Lee, Confederate general in the American Civil War.
Incorporated in 1886, Fort Myers is the center of a popular tourist area in Southwest Florida and the seat of Lee County. It is located about 120 miles (190 km) south of Tampa at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caloosahatchee River. Fort Myers was the frequent winter home of Thomas Edison, as well as Henry Ford. Lee County has been the host to several Major League Baseball teams for Spring Training, over the past several decades. Currently, it is the spring home of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the Minnesota Twins.