Palm trees. Gulf breezes. Perfect weather. Beautiful homes. Cape Coral has it all. In fact, you might even find that Cape Coral is the best place to retire. Why is Cape Coral the best place to retire? Read on to find out why this Southwest Florida city tops other retirement destinations.
Cape Coral is a perfect place for retiring baby boomers. You’ll find that 400 miles of canals give easy Gulf of Mexico access and lush green golf courses offer perfect opportunities for recreation. Waterfront dining and entertainment options add up to a fun nightlife. With so many options for fun and relaxation, it’s easy to see why Cape Coral is the best place to retire.
History of Cape Coral
Today Cape Coral is a bustling city of about 190,000 people. This hasn’t always been the case. Cape Coral’s modern history only goes back to 1957. The area that is now Cape Coral was originally purchased by brothers Leonard and Jack Rosen. The Rosens were originally from Baltimore. The Rosens flew around Southwest Florida for two weeks looking for land to develop. When they landed in what is now Cape Coral, they knew it was the place.
After getting approval from Lee County’s government officials, the Rosens made plans to build one of Florida’s very first master-planned communities. They called their new community Redfish Point.
The area began to grow in popularity shortly after the development came to fruition. As the area grew, locals started calling it “The Cape.” This evolved into the name Cape Coral. Cape Coral was incorporated in 1970.
The city’s growth has continued since it was established. Significant growth has taken place since Forbes Magazines named Cape Coral the best place to retire by placing it on its list of America’s 100 Best Places to Retire in 2016.
You can learn more about the history and culture of Cape Coral at the Cape Coral History Museum. Not only does the museum showcase the local history, it is also home to an impressive flower garden.
Cape Coral Today: The Numbers
Cape Coral’s median age is 42 years old. Additionally, 25.3 percent of the population is between 45 and 64, while 19.6 percent are 65 or older.
Property values are slowly on the rise in Cape Coral. According to numbers from real estate website, Zillow.com, the average home price in the city has risen three percent from 2017 to 2018. Home prices are expected to rise 0.2 percent by 2020. The median home price sold in Cape Coral last year was $232,700. The average list price for homes for sale was $264,900. These numbers make Cape Coral an attractive buyer’s market.
The cost of living also makes Cape Coral attractive. According to numbers from Forbes Magazine, the cost of living in Cape Coral is four percent below the national average. Additionally, there is no state income tax in Cape Coral and Florida, so you’ll be able to keep a little more of your money in your pocket.
Cape Coral is a popular place for snowbirds to spend the winter. Snowbirds are retirees who spend the spring and summer months in northern states and head south to Florida for the fall and winter.
Cape Coral Geography and Weather
Cape Coral is nestled in Lee County, Florida. The city is a broad peninsula. It faces southward. Fort Myers is located northeast of Cape Coral across the estuary of the Caloosahatchee River. Three bridges connect Cape Coral to Fort Myers. Matlacha Pass and Pine Island border Cape Coral to the west. Cape Coral is also close to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, putting it within reach of world-class beaches. There are also many sounds, bays and harbors in the area.
Cape Coral gets its sunny, tropical vibe from its climate. The city is located near the boundary of the humid subtropical climate, which borders the tropical savanna climate. If you love sunshine, you’ll love the weather in Cape Coral. Cape Coral gets 355 days of sunshine each year on average. Don’t be fooled by this number, though. The tropical climate also brings 145 days with precipitation and averages 56 inches of rain each year. Summers in Cape Coral are hot, humid and rainy. Winters in Cape Coral are generally mild and dry.
Average high temperatures are:
- January: 75 degrees
- February: 77 degrees
- March: 80 degrees
- April: 85 degrees
- May: 89 degrees
- June: 92 degrees
- July: 92 degrees
- August: 92 degrees
- September: 91 degrees
- October: 87 degrees
- November: 81 degrees
- December: 77 degrees
The average temperature for the year is 84 degrees, making Cape Coral warm and mild.
Cape Coral Lifestyle and Culture
You’ll find that the general vibe in Cape Coral is tropical and relaxed. Despite its recent growth and booming population, Cape Coral has maintained a small town atmosphere and is comfortable and inviting.
Cape Coral started as a master-planned community. This means thought went into the city’s design. The original planners plotted parks and greenspace throughout the city. These green areas are located in just the right places and provide opportunities for recreation and more.
Cape Coral is situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast along the Caloosahatchee River. Approximately 400 miles of canals connect the Gulf and river, giving residents of Cape Coral lots of access to the water. One beacon of Cape Coral’s lifestyle on the water is the Yacht Club Community Park. The park dates back to Cape Coral’s early days and was established in 1958. The park is on the river and is a popular venue for weddings and other special events. You can even put a boat in the water here. Not a boater? You can still enjoy the park. You can fish from the pier or splash around in the community pool.
Cape Coral is home to public and private golf courses including Coral Oaks Golf Course, Cape Royal Golf Club, Hunters Run Executive Golf Course, and Palmetto-Pine Country Club. Cape Coral’s golf destinations give you the perfect place to relax while enjoying a day on the links. You’ll be both challenged and impressed by the golf courses you’ll find in Cape Coral.
If you’re over 50, you’ll want to check out the activities and fun at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center. The center focuses on programming and activities just for baby boomers. Make new friends, enjoy life-enhancing programs and maintain a healthy lifestyle through events and more.
Do you appreciate the arts? Cape Coral is among Florida’s cities with a thriving arts scene. The Cape Coral Arts Studio offers fine arts classes and workshops, along with exhibits and studios. Nearby Fort Myers has a theater scene that rivals many major cities, with professional theaters, community theaters and more.
With so many lifestyle and cultural options, it’s easy to see why so many name Cape Coral the best place to retire.
Shopping in Cape Coral
If you love to shop, Cape Coral is the city for you. The city is dotted with shopping centers and plazas, offering many places to spend money while having a good time. Some of the main shopping districts in Cape Coral are along Del Prado Boulevard, Pine Island Road, Cape Coral’s downtown area and in South Cape.
Some of Cape Coral’s best shopping destinations include:
- Coralwood: Located just north of the Midpoint Bridge, Coralwood is a shopping center with anchor stores including Ulta Beauty, JCPenney, HomeGoods and Bealls Outlet. There’s also a cinema at the shopping center, along with Starbucks and Chipotle.
- Cape Harbour: Located in the Cape Harbour yachting community, this shopping center features restaurants, art galleries and other boutiques.
- The Shops at Surfside: Located at Surfside Boulevard and Veterans Parkway, the Shops at Surfside offers Belk and HomeGoods, along with places to eat and drink like Starbucks, Paradise Deli, Buon Appetito and Ice Cream Club.
If you’re into local flavor, you’ll love the Farmers Market held each Saturday in downtown Cape Coral. The market takes place at SE 47th Terrace and SE 10th Place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday.
Dining in Cape Coral
Cape Coral is home to a growing restaurant scene. With everything from high-end pub fare to fresh Gulf seafood on the menu, you’re sure to find something in Cape Coral to please the palate. The availability of excellent dining options is another thing that makes Cape Coral the best place to retire.
Favorite restaurants in Cape Coral include:
- Point 57: This modern restaurant is new in Cape Coral. You’ll find a menu infused with southern-inspired flair. Favorites include smoked chicken brined in sweet tea, pulled-pork spring rolls and creamy bleu cheese grits. The cocktail menu is equally as impressive.
- Taverna Wood Fire Kitchen: Wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta and gnocchi and an Instagram-ready octopus appetizer make Taverna Wood Fire Kitchen a can’t-miss dining spot in Cape Coral.
- Fish Tale Grill: Merrick Seafood’s Fish Tale Grill might be Cape Coral’s best seafood dining experience. With fresh local catch, you’ll find a menu here with options including raw bar, salads, baskets, soups and gourmet entrees. Dine in the chic dining room or take advantage of Cape Coral’s beautiful weather on the outside patio.
- Rumrunners: With a menu heavy on local seafood, Cape Harbour’s Rumrunners restaurant is a local and tourist favorite. The eclectic menu and outdoor, waterfront dining make Rumrunners a true destination. From pork short ribs to yellowtail sashimi, the vast menu has something sure to please even the pickiest palate.
- Nevermind Awesome Bar and Eatery: Cape Coral’s gastro-pub is a dive bar reimagined. Calling themselves a “culinary-forward bar,” Nevermind Awesome Bar and Eatery offers everything from craft cocktails to local craft brews, along with everything in between. Regulars say the food is some of the best found in the Cape.
Cape Coral, the Best Place to Retire
Cape Coral has a laid-back lifestyle, thriving cultural and arts landscape, great shopping, and a bustling restaurant scene. These factors add up to making Cape Coral the best place to retire.
If you retire to Cape Coral, you’ll find your family will want to visit frequently. Grandkids will have a wet and wild time at the Sun Splash Family Water Park. Eco Boat Tours are also a great family-friendly activity in Cape Coral. You’ll love taking the grandkids to the Yacht Club Community Park and the Four Mile Ecological Preserve.
As the grandkids grow up, they might want to attend college nearby. Florida Southwestern State College is just across the bridge in Fort Myers. Florida Gulf Coast University is also located in Fort Myers and offers a diverse array of degrees and academic programs.
Medical services are a major driver in the Cape Coral economy. This means that healthcare is easily accessible. Lee Health, the largest healthcare system in Southwest Florida, has hospitals in Cape Coral and Fort Myers. The Lee County VA Healthcare System, located on Diplomat Parkway, provides health services to veterans.
Cape Coral is easily accessible to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. There are nearly 1,100 miles of roadways in Cape Coral. Interstate 75 connects Cape Coral to Tampa and points north, and Naples to the south, then heads across the Everglades, ending in Fort Lauderdale on Florida’s east coast. Additionally, Cape Coral is easily accessible to U.S. Highway 41. Both I-75 and Highway 41 run the length of Florida and beyond, all the way through Michigan to the Canadian border.
The Southwest Florida International Airport is just 14 miles away. This airport is one of the busiest in both Florida and the country, servicing nine million passengers each year. An average of 226 flights come in and out of the airport each day. You’ll find all the major carriers using this airport.
Homes in Cape Coral
With growth and expansion, along with a great lifestyle and amenities, it is wise to invest in homes in Cape Coral. Cape Coral is the largest city between Miami and Tampa. Despite its size, Cape Coral still maintains a charming small-town feel. With Gulf access via the Caloosahatchee River, Cape Coral is known as a “Waterfront Wonderland.” With so many assets, homes in Cape Coral are a hot commodity.
You’ll find all kinds of homes for sale in Cape Coral, perfect for retiring seniors. High-rise condos and low-maintenance single-family homes in Cape Coral are great options for enjoying your golden years. Living in Cape Coral gives you the best of both worlds: a small-town feel with big-city amenities.
If you’re looking for waterfront property, you’ll find it in Cape Coral. Waterfront neighborhoods like Cape Harbour, Tarpon Point Marina and Lochmoor Waterway Estates make it easy to live luxuriously on the water regardless of your budget.
Other popular areas in Cape Coral include:
- Yacht Club
- Eight Lakes
- Bimini Basin
- Downtown Cape Coral
With so many things to enjoy, it’s easy to see why so many people name Cape Coral the best place to retire. Spend your golden years in luxury in this growing community. If you’re interested in learning more about homes for sale in Cape Coral, contact Royal Shell today or browse the available listings on our website. Make your retirement one to remember with help from Royal Shell. You can also call or stop by our Cape Coral office. We look forward to helping you find the perfect Cape Coral home.