Fort Myers, located in sunny Southwest Florida, is known for its stunning beaches, warm weather, and relaxed pace of life. If you’re considering a move to Fort Myers, you’ll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s the right fit for you and your family.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Fort Myers offers a tropical climate, low cost of living, vibrant arts and culture scene, and proximity to beautiful beaches. Downsides include hot and humid summers, potential for hurricanes, higher than average crime rate, and lack of public transportation.
When it comes to the climate in Fort Myers, Florida, there are several factors to consider. Overall, the city experiences a tropical climate, which means warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. This can be both a positive and a negative aspect, depending on personal preferences.
The tropical climate in Fort Myers means that residents can enjoy warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. This is particularly appealing to those who love outdoor activities and enjoy spending time in nature.
The city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico also means that residents have access to beautiful beaches and can enjoy water sports year-round.
Hot, humid summers
One of the downsides of living in Fort Myers is the hot and humid summers. The temperatures can reach into the high 90s, and the humidity can make it feel even hotter. This can be challenging for some individuals, especially those who are not accustomed to such weather conditions.
It is important to stay hydrated and take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses during the summer months.
On the other hand, winters in Fort Myers are relatively dry and mild compared to other parts of the country. While temperatures can drop into the 50s and 60s, it is still significantly warmer than many other states during this time of year.
This makes Fort Myers an attractive destination for snowbirds who want to escape the cold and enjoy a more temperate climate.
One factor that cannot be ignored when discussing the climate in Fort Myers is the risk of hurricanes. Florida is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, and Fort Myers is no exception. While the city has measures in place to prepare for and respond to these weather events, it is important for residents to be aware of the potential risks and have a plan in place in case of an emergency.
For more information on the climate in Fort Myers, you can visit the Weather Channel website.
Cost of Living
When considering a move to Fort Myers, Florida, one of the first factors to consider is the cost of living. Overall, living in Fort Myers can be more affordable compared to other cities in the United States.
Housing costs below national average
One of the major advantages of living in Fort Myers is that housing costs are below the national average. Whether you are looking to rent or buy a home, you can find a wide range of options to fit your budget.
The availability of affordable housing makes Fort Myers an attractive choice for individuals and families looking to settle down without breaking the bank.
In fact, according to the latest data from Zillow, the median home value in Fort Myers is lower than the national median home value. This means that you can find a home at a more affordable price compared to other parts of the country.
No state income tax
Another financial advantage of living in Fort Myers is that Florida does not have a state income tax. This means that residents can keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. It can be a significant benefit for individuals and families who rely on their income for their day-to-day expenses.
Not having to pay state income tax can make a noticeable difference in your overall financial situation, allowing you to have more disposable income for other necessities or to save for the future.
Car insurance premiums high
While Fort Myers offers several cost-saving advantages, it is essential to consider all aspects of the cost of living. One area where residents may experience higher expenses is in car insurance premiums.
According to a study conducted by ValuePenguin, Florida has some of the highest car insurance rates in the United States. This is due to various factors such as the high number of uninsured drivers and the frequency of car accidents in the state.
It is important to factor in the potential increase in car insurance premiums when calculating your overall cost of living in Fort Myers. However, it is worth noting that car insurance rates can vary depending on your driving record, the type of vehicle you own, and other personal factors.
Outdoor Activities and Natural Beauty
Living in Fort Myers, Florida offers a plethora of outdoor activities and breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you are a beach lover, an avid boater, or simply enjoy being surrounded by nature, this city has something for everyone.
Miles of beaches
One of the biggest draws of Fort Myers is its miles of stunning beaches. With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, residents have access to some of the most beautiful and pristine coastlines in the country.
From the soft white sands of Fort Myers Beach to the secluded stretches of Sanibel Island, there is a beach to suit every preference. Whether you enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, the beaches in Fort Myers provide endless opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment.
Boating, fishing, kayaking
Fort Myers is a haven for water enthusiasts. With its numerous waterways, including the Caloosahatchee River and the Intracoastal Waterway, residents can take advantage of a wide range of water activities.
Whether you own a boat or prefer to rent one, you can spend your days exploring the local waterways, fishing for your dinner, or simply enjoying the tranquil beauty of the area. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular activities, allowing you to navigate the mangrove-lined estuaries and observe the diverse marine life that calls this area home.
For nature lovers, Fort Myers offers exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. The nearby J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is a haven for birdwatchers, boasting over 245 species of birds.
Visitors can observe majestic herons, colorful roseate spoonbills, and playful dolphins in their natural habitat. Additionally, the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve provides a unique experience to witness Florida’s native wildlife up close, including alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species.
If you have a green thumb or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, Fort Myers is home to several stunning botanical gardens. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates feature meticulously maintained gardens with a variety of exotic plants and vibrant flowers.
The Naples Botanical Garden, although located in Naples, is just a short drive away and offers an immersive experience with its themed gardens, including a tropical paradise, a water garden, and a butterfly house.
Living in Fort Myers, Florida means being surrounded by an abundance of outdoor activities and natural beauty. From the miles of pristine beaches to the diverse wildlife and stunning botanical gardens, there is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in this vibrant city.
Economy and Job Market
Fort Myers, Florida, boasts a diverse and thriving economy that offers both opportunities and challenges for its residents. Here, we will explore the various aspects of the city’s economy and job market.
Tourism and Retirement Community
One of the major driving forces behind Fort Myers’ economy is its booming tourism industry. With its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and numerous attractions, the city attracts millions of visitors each year.
This influx of tourists not only creates job opportunities in the hospitality and service sectors but also contributes to the growth of the local economy. Additionally, Fort Myers is known for its vibrant retirement community, which has a positive impact on the city’s economy, as retirees often bring substantial purchasing power and contribute to the local workforce.
Healthcare and Construction Jobs
Fort Myers is home to several world-class healthcare facilities, making it a hub for medical professionals and creating a strong demand for healthcare-related jobs. The healthcare industry provides a significant number of employment opportunities, ranging from physicians and nurses to administrative and support staff.
Furthermore, the construction industry plays a vital role in the city’s economy, as ongoing development projects continue to attract investment and create jobs in the field. The construction sector offers a wide range of employment opportunities, including carpenters, electricians, and construction managers.
Lower Average Wages
While Fort Myers offers a variety of job opportunities, it is important to note that the average wages in the city tend to be lower compared to the national average. This can pose a challenge for individuals seeking higher-paying jobs or those who are accustomed to higher living standards.
However, it is worth considering the lower cost of living in Fort Myers, which can offset the lower wages to some extent. It is also important to note that wage levels can vary depending on the industry and occupation, so individuals should research specific job sectors to get a clearer picture of the earning potential.
Arts and Culture
Fort Myers, Florida is a vibrant city that offers a rich and diverse arts and culture scene. Whether you’re a fan of theater, concerts, museums, or art festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Theater, concerts, museums
One of the highlights of living in Fort Myers is the abundance of theater options. The city is home to several professional theater companies, including the Florida Repertory Theatre and the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.
These venues offer a wide range of performances, from classic plays to Broadway musicals, ensuring that theater enthusiasts will always find something to enjoy.
In addition to theater, Fort Myers also hosts a variety of concerts throughout the year. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is a popular destination for both local and touring musicians, offering everything from classical symphony performances to contemporary pop concerts.
For those who prefer a more intimate setting, smaller venues like the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center often feature local bands and up-and-coming artists.
Art lovers will also appreciate the numerous museums in Fort Myers. The Southwest Florida Museum of History offers a glimpse into the region’s past, while the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center showcases contemporary art exhibitions.
The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is another must-visit attraction, providing insight into the lives of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford through exhibits and guided tours.
Art walks and festivals
Fort Myers is known for its lively art walks and festivals, which provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local arts community. The monthly Art Walk in downtown Fort Myers allows visitors to explore galleries, meet local artists, and enjoy live music and entertainment.
During the ArtFest Fort Myers, which takes place annually in February, the streets come alive with art booths, live performances, and interactive art experiences.
Another popular event is the Fort Myers Beach Art Association’s annual Art Fair, where artists from around the country showcase their work. This fair attracts both locals and tourists who appreciate fine art and unique crafts.
Sports including spring training
For sports enthusiasts, Fort Myers offers a variety of options. The city is home to the Fort Myers Miracle, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. Fans can enjoy watching games at the Hammond Stadium, which also hosts spring training for the Minnesota Twins.
In addition to baseball, Fort Myers is a popular destination for golfers. The city boasts numerous golf courses, including the famous Shell Point Golf Club and the Forest Country Club. With its warm climate and beautiful scenery, Fort Myers provides the perfect backdrop for a day on the greens.
Diversity and Inclusion
Fort Myers, Florida is a city that prides itself on its diversity and commitment to inclusion. With a growing population of various ethnicities, the city has become a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds.
This has led to a vibrant community where individuals from different walks of life come together to celebrate their unique identities and experiences.
Growing Hispanic population
One of the standout aspects of Fort Myers’ diversity is its rapidly growing Hispanic population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in Lee County, where Fort Myers is located, has seen a significant increase over the years.
This has brought about a rich Hispanic culture that is reflected in the city’s cuisine, festivals, and community events. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy authentic Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican dishes at the numerous restaurants scattered throughout the city.
Fort Myers has also gained a reputation for being LGBTQ+ friendly. The city is home to several LGBTQ+ organizations and hosts various pride events throughout the year. The community is welcoming and accepting, providing a safe and inclusive environment for individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
This inclusivity is evident in the range of LGBTQ+-owned businesses, bars, and clubs that contribute to the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Racial and economic divides
While Fort Myers celebrates its diversity, it is important to acknowledge that like any other city, it faces certain challenges. Racial and economic divides exist, and efforts are being made to bridge these gaps and create a more equitable society.
Organizations and community leaders are actively working towards fostering understanding and addressing these issues, aiming to create a city that is inclusive for everyone.
It is worth noting that embracing diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process, and Fort Myers is committed to continuously improving and building a stronger, more inclusive community. By promoting understanding, respect, and equality, the city is working towards a future where diversity is celebrated and everyone feels valued and included.
Transportation and Infrastructure
When considering the pros and cons of living in Fort Myers, Florida, one important aspect to consider is the transportation and infrastructure of the city. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
Limited public transportation
Fort Myers does have a public transportation system, operated by LeeTran, but it is important to note that it may not be as extensive as in larger cities. While the buses serve many areas within the city and surrounding regions, there may be limited routes and less frequent service compared to cities with more robust public transportation systems.
This can be a drawback for those who rely heavily on public transportation for their daily commute or getting around the city.
Walkable downtown core
On the other hand, Fort Myers does offer a walkable downtown core. The downtown area is compact and pedestrian-friendly, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues within walking distance.
This can be a major advantage for residents who enjoy the convenience of being able to easily access amenities without relying on a car. It also creates a vibrant and lively atmosphere, making downtown Fort Myers a popular destination for both residents and tourists alike.
One of the challenges of living in Fort Myers is the potential for traffic congestion, especially during peak tourist seasons. As a popular vacation destination, the city experiences an influx of visitors, which can lead to increased traffic on major roadways.
Residents may face longer commute times and delays during these periods. However, it is worth noting that efforts are being made to improve the transportation infrastructure in the area to alleviate congestion, such as the ongoing expansion of major roadways and the implementation of traffic management systems.
Crime and Safety
When considering living in Fort Myers, Florida, it is important to take into account the crime rates and overall safety of the city. While Fort Myers has many positive aspects, there are also some concerns regarding crime that residents should be aware of.
Property crime risk higher than national average
One of the main drawbacks when it comes to crime in Fort Myers is the higher-than-average property crime risk. According to recent statistics, the property crime rate in Fort Myers is higher than the national average. This includes crimes such as burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.
It is important for residents to take necessary precautions to protect their homes and belongings, such as installing security systems and being vigilant about locking doors and windows.
Concerns over youth gun violence
Another concerning aspect of crime in Fort Myers is the issue of youth gun violence. In recent years, there have been incidents involving young individuals using firearms in criminal activities. This has raised concerns among residents and local authorities.
Efforts are being made to address this issue through community outreach programs and stricter gun control measures. It is important for residents to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
Most neighborhoods relatively safe
Despite the above-mentioned concerns, it is worth noting that the majority of neighborhoods in Fort Myers are relatively safe. There are many residential areas where residents feel secure and enjoy a peaceful living environment.
It is advisable for individuals considering living in Fort Myers to research and choose neighborhoods that have a reputation for safety. Consulting with local real estate agents or utilizing online resources can provide valuable insights into the safety of specific neighborhoods.
Overall, while there are some valid concerns regarding crime in Fort Myers, it is important to keep in mind that every city has its pros and cons. By taking necessary precautions and choosing the right neighborhood, residents can enjoy the many benefits that living in Fort Myers has to offer.
Schools and Education
When considering a move to Fort Myers, Florida, it is important to take into account the quality of schools and education available in the area. Here are some factors to consider:
Public schools rated average
The public school system in Fort Myers is generally rated as average compared to other areas in the state. While there are some highly-rated schools, there are also schools that may not meet the expectations of all families.
It is essential for parents to do their research and visit schools in person to determine if they align with their educational goals for their children.
Many private school options
Fort Myers also offers a wide range of private school options for families seeking alternatives to public education. These private schools often provide smaller class sizes, specialized programs, and a more individualized approach to learning.
Families who prioritize education and are willing to invest in private schooling may find these options to be beneficial for their children’s academic and personal growth.
Higher education choices limited
While Fort Myers has some higher education institutions, the choices are relatively limited compared to larger cities. Florida Gulf Coast University is a prominent institution in the area, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
However, for individuals seeking a wider range of options or specialized fields of study, they may need to consider commuting to nearby cities like Tampa or Miami.
In summary, Fort Myers offers an idyllic Florida lifestyle with warm weather, access to beautiful beaches and outdoor activities, a thriving arts scene, and relatively low cost of living. Downsides to consider are hot summers, hurricane risk, higher crime in some areas, and limited public transportation and higher education options. Weighing the pros and cons can help determine if Fort Myers is the right fit for your lifestyle.