Cape Coral, called the Venice of the United States is dominated by the hundreds of miles of freshwater and saltwater canals. Founded by the brothers Leonard and Jack Rosen in 1957, the land north of the Caloosahatchee River was transformed into a veritable "waterway wonderland" and in 1964 when the "Cape Coral Bridge" was linking the city with Fort Myers, the building boom really began. Due to the high population growth another bridge was necessary. In 1997, the " Midpoint Bridge " was completed what brought Fort Myers and Cape Coral even closer together.
In terms of area Cape Coral has grown to the the second largest city in Florida and is one of the fastest growing cities in the southern most states of the US (excluding Hawaii). Cape Coral is divided into four large squares - Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE), Southwest (SW) and Southeast (SE). The Santa Barbara Boulevard divides the city into east and west, the Pine Island Road in North and South. Some of the major roads are named - the smaller, mostly non-through streets are numbered. Cape Coral is a large peninsula and is bordered in the south and east by the Caloosahatchee River and in the west by Matlacha Pass. Cape Coral belongs to Lee County.
The even beyond the borders of Florida well-known beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Island can be reached by car in just a bit over 30 minutes. But even by boat one can reach them pretty fast and well from our vacation home in Cape Coral thru the canals and the river. The entire area around Cape Coral, Palm-, Sanibel and Captiva Island is a paradise for boaters. With your own or hired boat you can visit beaches, which don't have to fear the Caribbean beaches. Starting point for many activities at sea is the beautiful "Cape Harbour Yacht Community".
You can find it in the south of Cape Coral. Even after dusk, the lovely grounds are recommended to stroll or dine. Regularly in the evening there are open air partys with live music in the port area. Strolling thru the Marina gaze at the luxury yachts and then visit the shops or just meet people for a drink in one of the many restaurants on the waterfront - which has a special charm and offers great atmosphere. Tarpon Point Marina, a second harbor with some small shops is just around the corner. The men made beach in Cape Coral is rather small but beautiful. Also a great view you have from the pier at the beach. Experience also unforgettable sunsets with quite a Caribbean flair.
Although Cape Coral is not well known for its beaches, there are in day trip distance several sandy beaches which belong to the finest in the United States. Starting in the south with the Beaches of Marco Island, continuing to Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach going up north from Cape Coral to the Sarasota and the Siesta Key Beaches or even north to the sugar white sandy beaches of Clearwater there is certainly for each one a dream beach.
Besides sunbathing and swimming in the warm Gulf of Mexico, there are sunsets that invite to romantic evening walks or offer many motives for beautiful photographs. It is wonderful in the evenings watch the many seagulls and pelicans as they throw themselves from the air in the depth to fish. Plenty of fashion boutiques at St. Armands Key west of Sarasota or on Fifth Avenue in Neaples, trendy Artgalerys or street restaurants invite to "stay at least one night".
Also for nature and animal lovers Southwest Florida has a lot to offer - the most well known - the endless swamps of the Everglades. But also many smaller Preserves are settled in the area around Cape Coral. Great Birding and Wildlife Trail is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which has set up a network of over 500 locations for bird and wildlife viewing in Florida. The best way to explore the real wildlife is with a canoe or kayak.
Glide through the swamps and watch the animals without noise pollution up close in their natural environment. Especially to mention and some of the highlights - the areas on Captiva Island, Isle of Capri in Marco Island and Flamingo on the southern coast of the Everglades only to name a few. For those who prefer to explore wildlife hiking or by bicycle, there is also a lot to see in the area around Cape Coral. For example the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge a 10 sq mi large conservation area on Sanibel Island is recommended to bike but can also be well explored on foot for just $ 2 per ticket. A little further away, on the way to Miami, there is another interesting area called Shark Valley. For an instructive but also adventurous day trip, drive the unpaved road "the Loop Road" instead of driving the rather boring US 41.