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Collier County

COLLIER COUNTY LOCATIONS
Naples was founded during the late 1880s by former Confederate general and Kentucky U.S. Senator John Stuart Williams and his partner, Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman, the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Throughout the 1870s and '80s, magazine and newspaper stories telling of the area's mild climate and abundant fish and game likened it to the sunny Italian peninsula. The name Naples caught on when promoters described the bay as "surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy". Major development was anticipated after the railroad reached Naples on January 7, 1927 and the Tamiami Trail linking Naples to Miami was completed in 1928; but did not begin until after the Great Depression and World War II. During the war the Army Air Force built a small air field and used it for training purposes; it is now the Naples Municipal Airport.

Originally named San Marco Island by Spanish explorers, Marco Island is the largest barrier island within Southwest Florida's Ten Thousand Islands area extending southerly to Cape Sable. Like the City of Naples to the north, Marco Island enjoys a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry or savanna type (Aw under the Koppen system). It is known for distinct wet and dry seasons, with most of the rainfall falling between the months of June and October.

Lee County

LEE COUNTY LOCATIONS
Fort Myers was one of the first forts built along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians. Fort Denaud, Fort Thompson, and Fort Dulany (Punta Rassa) all pre-date Fort Myers.
Fort Myers first became a nationally known winter resort with the building of the Royal Palm Hotel in 1898. Access was greatly improved with the opening of a 28-mile (45 km) extension of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from Punta Gorda to Fort Myers on May 10, 1904, giving Lee County both passenger and freight service.[6] But what really sparked the city's growth was the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge across the Caloosahatchee River in 1924. After the bridge's construction, the city experienced its first real estate boom, and many subdivisions sprouted around the city.

Cape Coral was founded in 1957. Real estate developers Leonard and Jack Rosen purchased a 103-square-mile (270 km2) tract known as Redfish Point for $678,000 in that year and, in 1958, began development of the city as a master-planned, pre-platted community.
In its early years, Cape Coral was known as a community with many retired residents. This changed with a population and construction boom in the 1990s, which brought in younger families and professionals. Twenty percent of the population is seasonal residents. Nowadays, the city has a wide variety of businesses, retail shops and restaurants on its major arteries: Cape Coral Parkway, Del Prado Boulevard, Santa Barbara Boulevard and Pine Island Road.



VISITING NAPLES, FLORIDA

Known for seemingly endless shopping, award-winning dining and white-sandy beaches, Naples is a unique tropical location with some of the best weather on Earth. CNN and Money Magazine have both recognized Collier County as one of the top five "Best places for a long life in the United States."

Naples is Golfers Paradise!

Naples was rated the #1 golf destination in Florida by Golflink.com. With more than 80 championship golf courses in the Naples area, Naples is the self-titled "Golf Capital of the World", claiming to have more holes per capita than any other community. Naples features many communities with high-end private courses as well as many public-play options. Courses in this area tend to be resort-style courses designed by big-name architects, including Greg Norman, Hal Sutton and Arthur Hills.

There are almost as many tennis courts as golf courses in Naples!

Naples hosts The Oliver Group Champions Cup of the Outback Champions Tennis Series each year.

Naples has World Class Shopping.

Find world class shopping on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in Old Naples, the Mercato and Waterside Shops at Pelican Bay. 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South shopping districts feature a variety of antique shops. Gallery Row, also downtown, is a concentration among the numerous art galleries spread throughout the downtown area. The Village on Venetian Bay is an upscale open-air shopping district on the Gulf coast. Located directly off of Tamiami Trail are the Waterside Shops, an upscale open-air center. Near downtown on Naples Bay and the Gordon River is the shopping district Tin City specializing in antiques and handmade local novelties. The new Mercato featuring a mix of residential and commercial upscale living features bars, shops and restaurants in North Naples.

Naples is the epicenter for The Arts in Southwest Florida.

Not only does it have world class boating and fishing on the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but Naples is becoming the epicenter for The Arts in Southwest Florida. Downtown Naples is home to Sugden Theatre, featuring The Naples Players and the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts is nestled near Pelican Bay. The luxurious Silverspot Cinema at Mercato recently opened to rave reviews. With over 30 art galleries and a number of impressive venues to attend a film, play or concert, Naples is dedicated to the arts.

Naples is home to several major natural land preserves.

Naples is home to several major land reserves, including the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Picayune Strand State Forest. The Naples area is also home to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, which dates back to 1919.

Clean Beaches & Brilliant Sunsets are some of the greatest experiences in Naples Florida.

The coast of the Gulf of Mexico is more than 10 miles long, and is noted for its cleanliness and pristine white sand. In 2005, Naples was voted the best beach in America by the Travel Channel.

Naples is a World Class Community.

Naples has some of the world's most sought after coastal real estate and world class communities including Aqualane Shores, Collier's Reserve, Grey Oaks, Gulfshore Boulevard, Old Naples,Pelican Bay, Port Royaland Royal Harbor to name just a few. Our community prides itself on maintaining our pristine quality of life while ensuring responsible development.

VISITING MARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA

Situated at the northernmost point of the picturesque Ten Thousand Islands and just south of Naples, Marco Island, Florida is your island in the sun.

Marco Island is graced with miles of white-sand beaches, luxurious real estate, beautiful year-round weather, sumptuous restaurants, fine shopping, dining, lively entertainment, attractions and plenty of recreational activities from boating and fishing, to golf and tennis, and more. All set amid the stunning subtropical beauty that is unique to Southwest Florida's Gulf coast. Marco Island is more than just a beach vacation; Marco Island is home not only to the best in nature and to pure white sand beaches but Marco Island is also home to those who demand the best in life. The Island is located in the northern most location of the ten thousand islands that surround Florida and found to be just a bit south of Naples Florida.

With so many activities and festivals through out the year, Marco Island has become more than a tourist attraction, for many who live permanently on the Island, the fabulous style is a way of life.
Florida's Gulf is a wonderland of nature and water and so much more. Entertainment, tropical beauty and water activities are sure to keep every member of the family occupied, no matter what time of the day or night it is.
Miles of white sand greet you, have fun in the sun in a natural paradise that will help your worries go away. No matter whether you are interested in visiting on Marco Island or if you are planning on staying a long time Marco Island is the perfect get away location. Marco Island is an unforgettable place and you just might want to come back again and again.

VISITING FORT MYERS, FLORIDA

Some call it Downtown Fort Myers. Others know it as the historic River District or the City of Palms (drive down McGregor Boulevard and you'll know why). Whatever its name, since Thomas Edison and Henry Ford established their winter estates here, this Southern influenced town has grown into a city with attractions and atmosphere worthy of a bigger city's envy.

One of the world's safest family beaches.

Before bridges connected Estero Island to the mainland, Fort Myers Beach was a 7-mile stretch of coastline known for its shallow water, no undertow and little else. These days, the safe beaches remain, along with family-friendly resorts, charming Gulf-side seafood restaurants and nightlife that gets going just after yet another immaculate sunset. Where this island really shines is in the various recreation possibilities outdoor enthusiasts enjoy like Lovers Key State Park, where back bays and mangrove forests make for great kayaking and wildlife watching.

Removed, and only seemingly remote.

There are no stoplights on Sanibel or Captiva, and there are no buildings taller than the tallest palm tree. Both serve as a reminder of what happens when we leave well enough alone. For generations, people have escaped over the three-mile causeway to a different pace of life - one that includes ungroomed white sand beaches filled with thousands of shells, great seafood restaurants, unmatched wildlife viewing and a family focused village atmosphere where only the absolutely necessary parts of civilization are included.

VISITING LEHIGH ACRES, FLORIDA

Lehigh Acres got its start in the mid 1950s when Chicago businessman Lee Ratner needed a tax shelter. He had sold his pest control business, and he faced the possibility of losing most of his earnings to the high capital gains tax of that era. Ratner heard that cattle was a good investment for people in his predicament, and he bought 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land in eastern Lee County and named it the Lucky Lee Ranch. After ranching for a while, and despite having no prior development experience, Ratner joined with Gerald H. Gould, a Florida advertising executive, Manuel Riskin, a Chicago CPA, and Edward Shapiro, a former Chicagoan who was in the real estate business in California, and began land sales at Lehigh Acres.
Gerald Gould was the president of the corporation that developed Lehigh Acres which began in business in 1954. He remained as president until the company was sold in 1972.
Since the days of the Lucky Lee Ranch, the boundaries of Lehigh Acres have stretched to cover 61,000 acres (250 km2), including the runways of the former Buckingham Army Airfield, a major Army Air Forces training base that was closed at the end of World War II. The pasture land where Ratner's cattle roamed and the since broken up runways where military flight crews trained has been divided into some 152,000 0.25-acre (1,000 m2) and 0.5-acre (2,000 m2) lots for housing, along over eleven thousand miles of roads. Strips of land along major thoroughfares, such as Homestead Road and Lee Boulevard, were set aside for commerce. In 1997, nearly 90% of Lehigh Acres' lots remained vacant.
In 1992, Lee County, with the cooperation of a new developer, declared Lehigh Acres to be blighted, which authorized its Community Redevelopment Agency to take steps towards improving infrastructure and planning elements neglected by the original developer. It is estimated that nearly $11 million would be needed to repave the developments roads.


2000s: Boom and Bust

A surge in housing prices led to a boom in Lehigh Acres new-housing construction from 2003 to 2007, peaking at more than 7,500 new homes constructed in 2006. The number of homes built during this period exceeded the total number of homes constructed during the preceding 50 years.
But as in much of the United States, the real-estate boom of the 2000s went bust. The median house price in the Ft. Myers area peaked in late 2005 at $322,300. Three years later, it had plummeted to $106,900. A reliance on construction jobs no longer available pushed the unemployment rate in the area of Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers to 14% by the summer of 2009. Property values in Lehigh Acres dropped 25% in 2008, and another 50% in 2009.

VISITING CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA

Sun splashed days and balmy nights mean funtastic playtime fantasies come true in Cape Coral. Sandcastles, beaches, boats and bait fill leisure time in this coastal community that boasts more than 400 miles of canals, plus lakes and a mega-river. The city has a water-filled treat of its own design. Sun Splash Family Waterpark offers more than two dozen wet and dry attractions on 15 tropical acres. Loll in a tube while gentle currents take you on a sightseeing voyage around the park. Or grip the sides and grit your teeth while you pitch and plummet in Cape Fear's 225-foot black tunnel.

Prefer less orchestrated activities? Drift down to the Yacht and Racquet Club and let the kids frolic at the riverfront while you drop a line from the pier nearby.
We're showcasing all that Cape Coral Florida has to offer right here. Make this web site your springboard for jumping into the Cities and Lifestyles that make up our paradise!

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