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Fort Myers Beach is the favorite destination of locals, snowbirds and vacationers. The island boasts miles of white, sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, where the ocean floor slopes gently towards the horizon. The Fort Myers Beach community has evolved on the tiny Estero Island only 6.2 miles long and 3 miles wide. The Island’s beach faces west always ensuring magical sunsets. Times Square is the heart of the island with restaurants on the Gulf, the famous Pier, shops, the typical beach retail shops and entertainment by street performers. Here you will experience the vibrant life of the beach.
The Fort Myers Beach experience certainly changes when you look at the back of the island or travel away from Times Square. The back of the island has captivating views of the Estero Bay Preserve where you can explore by paddling ( Kayaking). Mound Key an archaeological site of the Clausa Indians can be reached by boat. Lover’s Key State Park has a beautiful 2 mile beach, great shelling and abundant wildlife. The residents enjoy the beach and reach it by taking a ride on the beach trolley.
Fort Myers Beach will not disappoint your taste buds. The area has over 100 restaurants featuring fresh seafood and especially shrimp, considered pink gold in the area. Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille is known for seafood, waterview and great entertainment. Matanzan’s water view and great food is where you find locals. The Beached Whale’s rooftop dining is another favorite as well as the food. We cannot mention all the great restaurants but hope to cover them in our blog.
Fort Myers Beach is a vibrant community with many yearly celebrations and festivals. The Shrimp Festival in early March for the blessing of the fleet of shrimp boats. In April you can enjoy the Taste of the Beach were the local restaurants will tantalize your taste buds in hope of getting your vote to win. July 4th Celebration takes place at the beach with a spectacular fireworks show lighting up the sky over the water. October your family will enjoy the Pirate Festival with the island invasion of pirates, parade, and more. November brings another unique festival, the Sand Sculpting Festival, which brings international artist to compete to win so they may compete in the world completion for sand sculpting.
We haven’t even touched all the water sport activities the island has to offer. Boating, Sailing, jet skis, fishing, parasailing and swimming. Marinas for your boat dockage are available if your new home does not have a dock. Living on Fort Myers Beach feels like a permanent vacation. Just imagine getting up every morning and talking a walk on the beach or even better watching the beautiful sunset every night. As you might imagine traffic during season on the two lane road goes to a crawl but the residents use bikes, walk, and know how to manage the traffic. Living on the beach is a great lifestyle.
As diverse as Fort Myers Beach, so is the property on this tiny lovely island. From gulf front multi-million estate homes, stunning gulf and bay front condos, beach cottages, single family homes on the bay, and stilt homes are your choices. The property choices can either afford you the vibrant beach life or the serene beach life. Let Sellstate Priority Realty help you find the perfect beach retreat for you.
Beach property price range are from $300,000 to multi-million. The location of Fort Myers Beach is near the airport, theaters, great shopping and 15 miles away from Fort Myers where you can escape from time to time from the Island.
Experiencing a beach community brings back great memories we experienced as a child on family vacations. The spirit of the island is “live and let live “and islanders feel a custodial obligation to protect the pristine environment they call home. Is the island life for you? Search the properties, save your favorite, and call.
The history of Fort Myers Beach, once named Crescent Beach, is linked to the Calusa Indians, pirates, buried treasures, Spanish conquistadors, Cuban fishermen, the British and the historic changing from a territory to US’s 27th state in 1845.
The Calusa controlled the Southwest coast of Florida for hundreds of years. Many speculate the Calusa may be linked to the Mayans and traveled to our coast by rafts from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Calusa kitchen middens, shell mounds, archeological digs include bones, potshards, seashells and artifacts found in many museums around the country. The Calusa colonies along Estero Bay allowed them easy access to up and down our Southwest coast. The Calusa controlled the coast and other Indian tribes in the area by trading, control of water ways and their reputation gained as fierce warriors. They were taller and stronger than other inhabitants and wore head dresses over 3 feet tall making them look like giants.
The Spanish conquistadors led by Ponce de Leon meet the fierce Calusa warriors. The Chief of Calusa resisted the colonization of the Spanish. During one clashing, Ponce de Leon was wounded by arrows and when returned to Spain died in results to the wound. After 150 years later, the Calusa meet their demise from diseases brought by the Europeans, continued hostilities, and changes occurring in economic and political climate. Many of the Calusa went to Cuba and others went to the Ten Thousand Islands.
Southwest Florida became caught up in turmoil during the late 17th and 18th century as the territory changed from Spanish control to British control. Ranchos spring up by the Cuban fisherman along the Southwest coast. One was established on Estero Island and trade was established between the Cuban fishermen here and Cuba.
During the turmoil the Southwest Coast of Florida, pirates piled into our area. Some very famous ones are Jose Gaspar, Black Caesar, and Black Augustus. The American forces were desperately trying to rid the Southwest coast of the pirates for its early settlers. Black Augustus sailed under the flag of Jose Gaspar. The American forces captured him on Gasparilla. Black Augustus escaped and sailed 40 miles south with his gold treasure and found Black Island where he lived until his death in 1870s. Lover Key State Park has more colorful history about Black Augustus.
As Florida became the 27th state, the Homestead Act of 1862 paved the way for settlers that found panthers, black bear, great fishing, and hoards of mosquitoes.
In the 1920’s Estero Island became known as a vacation destination as a results of many of its famous residents and visitors as Edison, Firestone, Ford, and Collier. In 1921, the first bridge to Estero Island, a toll swing bridge was opened on a thin stretch of narrow land to connect Estero Island to the mainland. The toll cost 50 cents for five people. The connecting bridge results in a short lived expansion of the island. Soon casinos, hotels, a pier for yachts, and the first canal was dug.
The storms and great hurricane of 1926 destroyed the bridge and thin stretch of land connected it mainland. Hurricane bay, on charts, got its name for the unfortunate event. Form the tragic results of the hurricane, the depression and WW II, the development of Estero Island came to a grinding halt.
Fast forward, the 1950’s discovered Estero Island as a great vacation destination. With the modern electrification of a new swing bridge and modern resorts , Rancho del Mar with a swimming pool ,lead the way for all the growth. The pink gold, shrimp, was discovered in the Gulf waters and the shrimping industry became a part on the economic growth of the island.
Now this fantastic city, Fort Myers Beach, has learned to maintain and protect its wonderful environment while planning and dealing with such explosive growth by year round residents and the booming tourism. The tiny island is unique and pristine .We welcome you to explore the idea of making this your home or winter have. Sellstate Priority Realty is a phone call away.