Moving to Fort Myers
Welcome to sunny Fort Myers, FL, the City of Palms! The charm of this coastal paradise goes beyond basking in the glow of 271 days of golden sunshine annually. Fort Myers offers an idyllic blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a thriving economy, making it a top relocation destination in the sunshine state. Enjoy sparkling Gulf beaches, eclectic dining, and a bustling arts scene. Ready to leap? Our comprehensive relocation guide gives you all you need to know about making Fort Myers your new home!
What to Know Before Moving to Fort Myers
1. Kick off your footwear, and Say Hello to Sand Between Your Toes!
Fort Myers is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. From Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel Island, you'll spend much of your time with your toes in the sand. Each beach has its own personality. Fort Myers Beach is a lively spot with water sports and beach bars. Sanibel Island is serene, renowned for shelling and nature tidbits. So do remember to pack your favorite swimsuit, sunscreen, and a pair of flip flops with your essentials!
2. The Sun Isn't Just a Visitor Here
One of the biggest attractions of Fort Myers is its fabulous climate. With about 271 sunny days a year, the city has a tropical rainforest climate. Family picnics, outdoor activities, or just lounging around by the beach - the possibilities for a sun-fun day are endless! Remember, sun protection is a must; carrying sunblock and hydrating drinks is not just a good idea, it's a way of life here!
3. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade!
Well, when in the Fort Myers area, make freshly squeezed orange juice! Surprisingly few people know that this region is a hub of citrus farms. Orange River Citrus Groves is particularly famous for its succulent oranges. So, include a trip to one of these groves in your itinerary or better yet, pluck your breakfast straight from your backyard if you have a citrus tree!
4. An Oasis for Baseball Fanatics!
If you're a baseball enthusiast, Fort Myers is your ultimate home run! It is a major base for Major League Baseball with spring training grounds. Love the Boston Red Sox or the Minnesota Twins? Then you'll definitely love watching them train at JetBlue Park or Hammond Stadium. And let's not forget about the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the city's very own minor league team!
5. Fort Myers is Older Than You Think
Few people know that Fort Myers is actually one of the oldest cities in the state of Florida, established way back in 1850. Its rich historical tapestry is woven with Seminole Indian wars, Civil War battles, and the famed residences of none other than Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The city boasts historic landmarks and museums for anyone keen on understanding the depth of its history.
6. Wildlife is a Serious Business Here
If you're an ardent lover of flora and fauna, the city won't disappoint you. Fort Myers is an underrated hotspot for wildlife, both on land and in water. Alligators in the Everglades, manatees in Orange River, and dolphins near Sanibel Island make for unforgettable encounters. Conserving wildlife is a norm here, so go ahead, hop on that swamp boat safari or that dolphin sightseeing cruise.
Moving to a new place has its own thrills and surprises, and Fort Myers is no exception. This sun-soaked paradise boasts a sense of community, rich history, and an exhilarating vibe that is truly one-of-a-kind. So, whether you're a seasoned Floridian or new to the Sunshine State, you'll find Fort Myers to be a welcoming embrace of warmth and endless sunshine.
Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Myers
Pros of Living in Fort Myers
Beautiful Beaches and Outdoor Activities
Fort Myers is known for its stunning beaches lined with palm trees and the miles of powder-soft sand. Residents can enjoy various outdoor activities like boating, fishing, paddleboarding, or simply soaking up the sun. It's an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts or those who just love the beach.
Year-Round Warm Climate
The weather in Fort Myers is warm year-round, averaging between 75 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit but is tempered by the cool sea breezes. This means it's never too cold to enjoy outdoor activities, even in the middle of winter.
Affordable Cost of Living
Compared to many other places in the country, Fort Myers offers a relatively affordable cost of living. While costs can vary depending on your lifestyle, generally, essentials like grocery bills, health care costs, and utilities are likely to be less expensive.
Rich Cultural Scene
The city has a thriving arts and culture scene, with facilities like the Fort Myers River District, ArtFest, the Florida Repertory Theatre, and the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Whether you're into visual arts, music, theater, or festivals, there's always something happening.
Great Restaurants and Shopping
Ft. Myers offers a large selection of dining options, from fresh seafood to international cuisine. The city also boasts multiple shopping locations from local boutiques to large shopping centers like Bell Tower Shops and Coconut Point Mall.
Cons of Living in Fort Myers
Living in Florida means coping with hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Storms can range from minor inconveniences to significant disasters, and even if a hurricane doesn't make landfall, there can still be heavy rains and flooding.
Humidity and Heat
While the warm climate is a benefit for some, others may find the heat and humidity uncomfortable. Summer months can be especially intense, and this can lead to increased electricity bills from running air conditioning.
Bugs and Wildlife
Florida is home to a variety of bugs and wildlife. Some, like mosquitoes, can be a nuisance, while others, like the alligators, can be dangerous. This is something to be prepared for when living here.
Fort Myers sees a significant increase in population during the winter months as snowbirds arrive to escape colder northern climates. This can lead to crowded beaches, longer wait times at restaurants, and increased traffic.
While there are jobs available in Fort Myers, the market can be competitive in certain sectors. Additionally, wages can be lower compared to national averages due to the tourism-based economy. Consider your employment prospects and income potential before moving.
Is Fort Myers a Good Place to Live?
Fort Myers, FL is a great place to live because it offers beautiful beaches, stunning wildlife, and rich history for adventure lovers. The year-round sunny weather complements its fun-filled community events like vibrant art festivals, farmers markets, and spirited sport events. Besides, the area boasts an array of delectable dining options, bustling shopping centers, and top-rated schools, enhancing the quality of life for residents of all ages.
What Is Fort Myers Famous For?
Winter Estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford
Fort Myers is famously known for the adjacent winter homes of two American icons - Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Alongside their homes, you can tour their labs, botanical gardens, and a museum packed full of their inventions. It's like a time machine trip back to the early 20th century!
Spring Training for Major League Baseball Teams
If you're a baseball fan, you'll be thrilled to know that every spring, Fort Myers hosts the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins' spring training camps. Enjoy the warm Florida weather while watching America's favorite pastime. It doesn't get any better than this, folks!
Downtown River District
Fancy a bit of local culture? The downtown River District in Fort Myers is a vibrant, walkable area teeming with local art, shopping, dining, and night entertainment. They even have Art Walk and Music Walk events every month, making it a bustling hub for culture enthusiasts!
For true nature lovers, Manatee Park is a must-visit. This non-captive warm water refuge for the Florida manatee gives visitors a unique chance to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, especially during the winter months. Bonus: It's not every day that you get to kayak alongside manatees!
Overview of Tax Rates
In Fort Myers, FL, the average property tax rate as of 2023 is approximately 0.83%, which is relatively low compared to the rest of the US, with the national average property tax rate being around 1.08%.
The combined sales tax rate for Fort Myers, FL in 2023 is 6.5%. This rate is lower than the average US sales tax rate since Florida is one of the states with no local sales tax.
As for income tax, Florida is one of the nine states in the US that levies no state income tax, which includes Fort Myers. This is significantly lower compared to the average state income tax rate of 4.6% in the US.
The Fort Myers, FL housing market is more affordable compared to other parts of the U.S. The median home value stands at $214,200, which is lower than the national average. Rents average $1,500, slightly below the national median. However, appreciation rates have been largely positive with a 5-year cumulative growth over 37%. The market is considered as 'hot', indicating high demand for both buying and renting. Being an attractive region with a good quality of life and economic growth potential, Fort Myers offers opportunities for both homebuyers and renters.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Fort Myers, FL is notably lower compared to large cities in the U.S. While housing costs are relatively moderate, it's the lower-than-average costs for healthcare, groceries, transportation, and utilities that make the overall cost of living attractive. However, compared to other Florida cities, Fort Myers is slightly more expensive, but its beauty, amenities, and lifestyle often justify the slight increase. Make sure to consider all aspects of cost before deciding on a location to live.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Fort Myers, FL is characterized by a tropical savanna climate, with hot, humid summers and warm, dry winters. The average high temperatures range from 75degF in the cooler months to well above 90degF in the summer, while average lows range from 60degF in winter to 70degF in summer. Weather patterns are strongly influenced by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in high rainfall, especially from June to September. The city is also prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tropical cyclones, typically from June to November. This coastal city also experiences occasional thunderstorms and infrequent events of tornadoes and hail. Despite these challenges, the ample sunshine year-round and pleasant winter temperatures make Fort Myers an attractive destination for sun-seekers and winter escapists.
Economy & Job Market
* Retail Trade
* Accommodation & Food Services
* Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services
Surrounded by sunshine and palms, Fort Myers, FL, has transformed from a quaint town known for its citrus fruits into a dynamic economic hub. Historically, Fort Myers was synonymous with citrus farming and cattle raising, an ode to its agrarian roots. However, the last couple of decades have seen Fort Myers evolve into a diverse and dynamic economy. The city's significant industries now include healthcare, retail trade, and food services - all heavily supported by one of Florida's biggest sectors: tourism. In addition to that, the presence of a bustling construction industry showcases the city's commitment to growth and infrastructure.
Thinking about packing your sunscreen and sunglasses and head for the Sunshine State? If your destination is Fort Myers, FL, you're sure to find a vibrant job market awaiting you there! The city has shown relatively stable employment rates, even within the often fluctuating national economy. Endowed with a consistent growth in jobs over the past year, Fort Myers offers a plethora of opportunities - from work in the booming healthcare sector to roles in the ever-present retail trade. For the sun-loving foodies, jobs in accommodation and food services are also widely available. So gear up to land that dream job in this beautiful city - from the fancy downtown offices to casual beachside establishments, Fort Myers is brimming with opportunities!
Traffic and Transportation
Get ready to rev your engine or catch a ride on the flip-flop express in Fort Myers, FL! Zip through your daily commute in an average of 22.8 minutes, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the City of Palms' lovely vistas. If public transportation is your style, hop on the LeeTran - with buses, a trolley service and a paratransit service, they've got you covered! For the jet-set crowd, Southwest Florida International Airport is your ticket to the world. With over 14,500 daily travelers, it is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic! Whether you're cruising across town or flying across the country, Fort Myers makes getting there all part of the fun. So buckle up, Fort Myers is ready to take you on a travel adventure!
Best Neighborhoods in Fort Myers
The luxurious McGregor Boulevard, lined with royal palm trees and historic mansions, screams old-world charm. It's not all about the glitz and glam, though! With a mix of high-end and starter homes, McGregor suits all tastes and budgets but maintains an overall vibe of elegance. The area is beloved by families for its superb choice of top-ranked schools and a safe, peaceful neighborhood atmosphere. Foodies will fall head over heels for McGregor's dining scene which has a myriad of restaurants to explore.
2. Downtown River District
If you're all about that city life, you can't miss the downtown River District. It's the heart of Fort Myers, pulsating with energy from its bustling shopping centers, food joints, and arts scene. There are also a number of quality schools for the little ones. This lively downtown is doused in history - think weathered brick, neoclassical architecture, and lots of galleries and museums. Love a waterfront view? Most residential options are high-rise condos overlooking the mesmerizing Caloosahatchee River. Such an amazing view will steal your heart!
Picture a little taste of Mediterranean living: colorful houses, lively plazas, charming sidewalks! Paseo is a master-planned community offering a wide array of amenities such as a library, a health club, a movie theater, and so much more. All this comes together to create a tightly-knit community that feels like its own small town. Paseo also boasts of plentiful green spaces which make the neighborhood a big hit among nature lovers. And with an array of different housing options, including condos, townhouses, and single-family homes Paseo feels like it's straight out of a vacation brochure.
4. Pelican Preserve
Touting itself as one of the best 55+ active adult communities in the US, Pelican Preserve is a delight for retirees and active seniors! This gated community offers everything from a golf course, spa and fitness center, to a town center complete with restaurants, a movie theater, and a bank. For those who love outdoor activities, there are plenty of nature trails to explore. The community is also extremely well-maintained, making for an overall enviable quality of life.
5. The Villas
Last on our list, but by no means least, we find The Villas. This is one of the most budget-friendly neighborhoods in Fort Myers whilst still maintaining a friendly and safe environment. With its wide range of housing options the Villas is a favorite among both families and retirees alike. And although it is a more affordable area, it is not lacking in amenities with its great schools, community parks, and ample shopping opportunities.
Now that you have a sense of what each neighborhood has to offer, you can make an informed decision as to which best suits your lifestyle and preferences. Fort Myers is a city with charm, history, and neighborhoods as diverse as the residents themselves. No matter where you land, you're sure to feel right at home in this little piece of paradise!
Things to Do
Welcome to the land of sparkling waters and chill vibes - Fort Myers, Florida. Our sun-kissed city is so much more than just beaches and palm trees. Discover below some of the best things to do as you start your new life in Fort Myers. Remember, it's not just about all the major, well-known activities (although we do have those in spades); we're also serving up a couple of unique and pretty cool experiences off the common track.
1. Discover Fort Myers' River District
Set your GPS to the River District and prepare to fall in love with this inviting downtown area. Bursting with art galleries, boutiques, and delicious eateries, the River District is the heart and soul of Fort Myers. Be sure to check out Music Walk every third Friday, where local musicians line the streets for a night of tunes and fun.
2. Explore the Edison and Ford Winter Estates
No visit to Fort Myers is complete without a walk around the sprawling 20-acre botanical gardens and the historic homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Dip your toes into history as you explore the inventions and personal memorabilia of these two American icons.
3. Stroll along Fort Myers Beach Pier
For a classic Florida experience, visit Fort Myers Beach Pier. Take a leisurely walk down this iconic boardwalk as you enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Stay close to the shore and explore the bustling Times Square area, brimming with shops, cafes, street performers, and of course, sublime sunsets!
4. Pay a visit to the Mound House
Hidden gem alert! The Mound House, built on an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound, offers an opportunity to discover 2000 years of Southwest Florida's history and rich multi-cultural heritage. Also, don't forget to explore the beautiful estuary and its unique marine life through the Mound House's Kayak tours.
5. Get close to nature at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
A haven for wildlife enthusiasts. This 3,400-acre park, with its elevated boardwalk, offers up-close views of herons, otters, turtles, and even alligators! Plus, the educational exhibits at the interpretive center makes it a family-friendly outing too.
6. Taste the Local Brews
Move over, wine enthusiasts! Fort Myers is quickly becoming a hotbed for craft beer. Embark on a tasting journey at the local breweries such as the Fort Myers Brewing Co., Palm City Brewing, and the somewhat hidden Millennial Brewing Company, an unsung hero among local beer lovers.
7. Visit the Imaginarium Science Center
A hands-on experience like no other - the Imaginarium Science Center is an ideal excursion for families or anyone with a curious mind. With over 60 interactive exhibits including a 3,200-gallon aquarium, a dino dig, and even a virtual reality sandbox, it's an adventure in learning, ensuring a good time for all.
In the end, whether you're catching a sunset at one of the vibrant waterfront restaurants, cycling through the sprawling parks, or spending your Saturday morning at one of the year-round farmers' markets, know this - Moving to Fort Myers means being constantly enraptured by its small-town charm and big-city amenities. So, get out there and start exploring our beautiful city by the river.
Find Movers for Your Fort Myers Relocation
Having explored the charm and opportunities that Fort Myers, FL has to offer, you may be eagerly anticipating your move. Let Great Guys Moving simplify your transition by connecting you with top-quality, certified moving services within your budget. Get your move off to a positive start by tapping into our distinguished network of moving professionals. Take the first step towards making Fort Myers your home by requesting a free, no-obligation moving quote today. It's a swift and straightforward process - a fitting start to your seamless relocation journey courtesy of the exceptional service from Great Guys Moving.
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