8 Best Suburbs Near Fort Myers FL: Lovely Lee County Cities

Best Suburbs Near Fort Myers, FL

Finding the perfect place to live near Fort Myers, FL, can make a big difference in your daily life. Whether you're considering moving to Fort Myers but are interested in quieter communities or are a current resident looking to move out to the suburbs, the surrounding area is full of wonderful and varied places to live. From quiet neighborhoods with lots of green spaces to communities with easy access to shopping and dining, these suburbs have something for everyone. Discover the ideal suburb near Fort Myers to call home, highlighting key features that contribute to their appeal.

Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs is a lovely coastal city with beautiful parks, a vibrant cultural scene, and a wide selection of homes approximately 25 miles south of Fort Myers.

The Army Corps of Engineers mapped the area surrounding the Imperial River in the 1870s. While a few homesteaders lived in the area, development was slow until the Fort Myers-Southern Railroad's extension and the Tamiami Trail's completion in the 1920s. The introduction of air conditioning and the construction of I-75 bolstered further population growth in the 1980s and 1990s, leading to the city's incorporation in 1999.

Today, more than 50,000 rest their heads in Bonita Springs homes. The city boasts excellent beachfront parks, golf courses, and a lively cultural scene with art festivals and numerous restaurants. Residents can stop by DeRomo's for homemade Italian food or catch a game at Lansdowne Street, the city's only New England sports bar.

There are many golf course homes and waterfront homes in Bonita Springs, so depending on what you’re looking for, the town has it. Mediterranean revival-style architecture, modern beach homes, and ranches dominate the city. Condo and townhouse communities with amenities like golf courses and tennis courts are common, while many upscale single-family homes offer private pools and piers.

Bonita Springs Amenities

  • Public, charter, and private schools
  • Florida Institute of Music
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
  • Lover's Key State Park
  • Bonita Beach Dog Park

Naples

Heading about 15 miles further south, Naples features luxurious waterfront homes mere minutes from countless golf courses, world-class restaurants, and stunning natural attractions.

Kentucky U.S. Senator John Stuart Williams and Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman, publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal, founded Naples in 1886. Magazines and newspapers promoted the community throughout the 1870s and 1880s, but development was slow until after World War II when many homebuyers began moving to Naples.

Numerous waterfront homes in Naples line its picturesque canals, providing residents quick access to nearby waterways and the Gulf of Mexico for boating, fishing, and kayaking. Naples features numerous waterfront attractions residents can reach by boat, like the award-winning Boathouse on Naples Bay or Celebration Park Naples, a food truck park with a full-service bar and daily live music. The city is also a popular site for ecotourism, with Everglades National Park and other sprawling parks nearby.

Naples is often called the Golf Capital of the World due to its impressive number of golf courses. The city boasts more holes of golf than any other in Florida. With so many greens around Naples, golf course homes are abundant. Buyers can find condos, townhomes, and single-family homes in Mediterranean revival, modern, and Craftsman styles.

Naples Amenities

  • 90+ golf courses
  • Naples Botanical Garden
  • Lowdermilk Park
  • Revs Institute, Inc
  • Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
  • Naples Pier
  • Naples Airport

Cape Coral

Reasons to Live in Cape Coral, FL

Directly across the Caloosahatchee River from Fort Myers lies Cape Coral, and while it’s more than twice the size of Fort Myers, it’s more residential in feel and considered one of the best places to live near the city. Cape Coral is a planned community boasting more navigable waterways than any other city on earth, allowing residents to reach numerous attractions by boat, from local waterfront restaurants to the Gulf of Mexico.

Real estate developers and brothers Leonard and Jack Rosen purchased a 103-square-mile tract of land along the Caloosahatchee River in 1957 and began the development of Cape Coral. They formed the Gulf American Land Corporation and developed the area.

Today, Cape Coral is the largest city in the Fort Myers metropolitan area and continues to grow. With over 400 miles of navigable waterways across the city, Cape Coral’s waterfront homes are abundant, and many homes feature private piers providing quick access to boating and fishing. Most residences are single-family homes or condos, but there’s a fair number of townhomes in Cape Coral as well.

Cape Coral has numerous waterfront restaurants where patrons can dock and enjoy a meal and live music daily, including Rumrunners and the Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill.

Cape Coral Amenities

  • 30+ parks
  • Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
  • Yacht Basin and Club
  • SunSplash Water Park
  • Public libraries
  • Public and charter schools
  • Cape Coral Technical College

Sanibel

The island city of Sanibel features a relaxed, small-town feel, a beautiful skyline, and pristine white-sand beaches known worldwide for their excellent shelling opportunities.

Sanibel comprises the entirety of Sanibel Island, but most development is at its east end near the Sanibel Causeway, about 20 miles southwest of Fort Myers. Until the causeway's opening in 1963, a ferry linked Sanibel to the mainland, and growth was slow and halting. After the city was incorporated in 1974, regulations were established to preserve the community's incredible views and unique character.

Today, Sanibel's only buildings taller than approximately three stories predate 1974. Only two fast-food chains operate on the island, driving more business towards beloved local restaurants like MudBugs Cajun Kitchen and Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grill.

Real estate on Sanibel Island is more expensive than some of Fort Myers’ other suburbs. While waterfront homes in Sanibel start in the high $600s, the vast majority are priced from $1.2 million to more than $8 million. Stilt homes, Mediterranean revival-style homes, beach homes, ranchers, townhomes, and low-rise condos are common in Sanibel. Many homes overlook the island's dunes and beaches, offering residents excellent views of the Gulf of Mexico and beachcombers engaged in the iconic "Sanibel Stoop."

Sanibel Amenities

  • 15+ miles of beaches
  • Fishing pier
  • Bike paths
  • Golf courses
  • J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
  • Sanibel Historical Museum & Village
  • Public library

Cypress Lake

Cypress Lake is a small unincorporated community about 8 miles from downtown Fort Myers, consisting primarily of condos near excellent educational and recreational opportunities.

Homes in Cypress Lake are generally more affordable than those in other Fort Myers suburbs. While most residences in Cypress Lake are condos, the community also has some single-family homes and townhomes. Homes in Cypress Lake Country Club, one of the community’s areas, typically list from the $300s to the low $700s. With three private and semi-private golf courses in Cypress Lake, the community also offers plenty of golf course homes. Cypress Lake Golf Club was the Fort Myers area's first private golf course, opening with nine holes in 1961.

Cypress Lake supports preschool through post-secondary education, with a private college preparatory school and the main campus of Florida SouthWestern State College occupying the community's northeast corner. The college hosts numerous events, including musicals and symphonies at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and basketball games at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena.

Cypress Lake residents can enjoy great local restaurants like Pizza Pub Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria or The Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market, a local favorite for its fresh grouper.

Cypress Lake Amenities

  • Preschools
  • Cypress Lake Middle School
  • Cypress Lake High School
  • Canterbury School
  • Rutenberg Park
  • Cypress Lake Golf Club
  • Myerlee Country Club
  • Golfview Golf & Racquet Club

Estero

The Village of Estero offers luxurious golf courses and waterfront homes in secluded gated communities about 16 miles southeast of Fort Myers.

Estero began as a citrus farming community along the Estero River, which residents used to ship harvests to the Gulf. The city is home to Estero Bay Preserve State Park, which is one of the top attractions near Fort Myers.

Most homes in Estero feature Mediterranean-inspired architecture, and height restrictions help provide a naturally secluded, small-town feel. Gated community homes in Estero are common, with single-family homes, townhomes, and low-rise condos available.

Estero residents have plenty of things to do, with acres of golf courses and parkland, hundreds of shops at the Coconut Point Mall and Miromar Outlets, and professional sports and entertainment at the Hertz Arena.

Estero Amenities

  • Public library
  • Estero High School
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Koreshan State Historic Site
  • Estero Bay Preserve State Park
  • Mound Key Archaeological State Park
  • Golf courses

Fort Myers Beach

Reasons to Live in Fort Myers Beach, FL

Fort Myers Beach, a small town with some of the best beaches near Fort Myers, offers waterfront real estate, lively events, and a year-round vacation vibe.

William Case developed the island's first subdivision and cottage rental industry in 1911, but development remained slow until the 1920s when a toll bridge opened connecting Fort Myers Beach to the mainland. In 1949, the shrimping industry discovered the area's "pink gold," further boosting the community's economy. Today, the economy in Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach still benefits from the shrimping industry.

Residents can sample the area's famous pink shrimp year-round at local restaurants like Junkanoo Below Deck and Matanzas on the Bay or at the annual Lions Club Shrimp Festival in March. The town also hosts a Christmas Boat Parade and the American Sand Sculpting Championship, a large sand sculpting event.

Fort Myers Beach boasts numerous stilt and multi-story beach homes with large decks, but buyers can also find ranches, Craftsman, and condos. Properties on the island's southwest side overlook gorgeous white sand beaches and the Gulf, while the northeast offers numerous canals and Fort Myers Beach waterfront homes with private piers.

Fort Myers Beach Amenities

  • Seven miles of beach
  • Fishing pier
  • Matanzas Pass Preserve
  • Bowditch Point Park
  • Newton Park
  • Mound House
  • Ostego Bay Marine Science Center

Iona

Iona is a quiet Lee County community with several golf courses and yacht clubs along the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, about 12 miles southwest of Fort Myers.

Cowboys historically drove cattle along the river through the Iona area to Punta Rassa. The Linton Family used their 1910 family home as a bed & breakfast for these cowboys. Developers later promoted Iona as one of the most consistently frost-free areas in the country. Gladiolus bulbs were first planted in Iona in 1935, attracting growers and contributing to the Fort Myers area's later reputation as the gladiolus capital of the world.

Iona has a series of canals along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, providing numerous Lee County waterfront homes with Gulf access. Mediterranean revival, ranch, and Mid-Century styles are common. Iona has several gated communities with single-family homes, condos, and some townhomes.

While most of Iona is residential, the community has several long-standing restaurants. Since 1967, Love Boat Ice Cream has served over 50 flavors of homemade ice cream, including sugar-free and fat-free varieties, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. Meanwhile, Sunflower Cafe has dished out Greek and American comfort food and all-day breakfast since 1999.

Iona Amenities

  • Gulf Points Square
  • Tribby Arts Center
  • Shell Point Golf Club
  • Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club
  • St. Charles Yacht Club
  • Kelly Road Soccer Complex
  • Larsen Health Center

Fort Myers’ Sublime Suburbs

Choosing the right suburb near Fort Myers is crucial for enjoying your life in vibrant Lee County. The suburbs we've explored offer a variety of lifestyles, from peaceful, tree-lined streets to bustling areas full of amenities. Each suburb brings its own charm and advantages, whether it's proximity to beaches, schools, or thriving local economies. By considering what's most important to you in a community, you can find a suburb that meets your needs and enhances your daily experience. Embrace the opportunity to make your home in one of Fort Myers' welcoming suburbs, where comfort and convenience meet.

If you've fallen in love with Fort Myers, Call Palm Paradise Realty Group at (239) 955-7256 to get in touch with a local real estate agent and find your Fort Myers dream home today.

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