7 Best Neighborhoods in Fort Myers, FL

November 30th, 2023

7 Best Neighborhoods in Fort Myers, FL

Best Places to Live in Fort Myers

Find out where you should live in Fort Myers, FL, with the seven neighborhoods below!

Nicknamed "The City of Palms," Fort Myers is a growing community near the Caloosahatchee River in southwestern Florida. Fort Myers is a safe and nice place to live, best known for its beautiful beaches, scenic views, amazing fishing, and world-class shopping. If you are moving to Florida, Fort Myers is one of the best cities in the state due to its affordable cost of living and low crime rate.

While the city may be named a top place to retire, young professionals and families will also love to call Fort Myers home. Warm and humid, expect to spend your days out in the sun at a local park or community event. Prized for its great public school system and flourishing job market, living in Fort Myers will provide its residents with abundant opportunities.

Before moving to Fort Myers, you might ask yourself what neighborhood is best for you. Made up of luxury homes, gated communities, country clubs, and coastal cottages, there is a property type and neighborhood for any lifestyle. 

Here are the best neighborhoods in Fort Myers! 

Sanibel and Captiva Island

If you want to live the Island life in Fort Myers, head to Sanibel and Captiva Island. Only accessible by a three-mile causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel or by boat, living in Sanibel and Captiva is the beach vacation that never ends. Measuring less than three miles across, it takes about 12 miles to drive from one end of Sanibel to the other.

Connected to Sanibel by a bridge, Captiva Island is only five miles long. So, what differentiates these two tropical paradises? While Captiva is quiet and relaxed, Sanibel has a little bit more action and is the larger of the two islands. Both are adored for their beaches; Sanibel is better for shelling and has public beach accesses, whereas Captiva is prized for its fine white sand and has more private properties. 

If you are looking for a lively community with restaurants, boutique shops, an on-island school, and a community center, then Sanibel is your place. But if you want more of the sleepy beach town vibe, head to Captiva. Resembling Key West, expect vibrant colors adorning the buildings and large luxurious private properties with unique names on both sides of the Island in Captiva.

Great for retirees and families, both Sanibel and Captiva are known for their couple and kid-friendly activities. Spend the day at the beach, go fishing for Tarpon and Grouper, boating, take a sunset cruise, hunt for seashells, jet ski, or learn to paddleboard. Full of wildlife and lined with sidewalks for walking and biking, living in Sanibel and Captiva Island will provide residents with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and the bay. With virtually no crime, these barrier islands are a frequent stop for the rich and famous. Once you visit Sanibel and Captiva, you will never want to leave. 

Local Favorites:

  • Blind Pass Sanibel: While Sanibel Island Lighthouse Beach may be the most popular on the Island, Blind Pass is located on the other end near Captiva and faces the Gulf. Great for shelling and admiring the crystal blue water, get here early to snag a parking spot.
  • J.N. "Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge: Spot alligators, spoonbills, manatees, armadillos, and all other kinds of wildlife at this refuge.
  • The Mad Hatter Restaurant: Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, this upscale dining establishment serves fresh-caught seafood and a large dessert menu near the waterfront.
  • Keylime Bistro: Located in Captiva, this is the best place to get key lime pie on the Island. Indulge in freshly-made waffles and sandwiches while dining al fresco.

Yellow home with front porch on Sanibel Island surrounded by palm trees

Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach stretches for seven miles and faces the Gulf of Mexico. This beautiful spot is amazing for sunset views and spending the day in the sun. Considered safe and a nice place to live, living on the beachside of Fort Myers has a higher cost of living. Offering residents an urban beach feel, most own homes near the water. Young professionals, retirees, and families will love the many restaurants and parks in the area.

With a public school system that is above average, school-aged children will have more to look forward to. Pinewoods Elementary School, Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School, and Estero High School are top-rated schools in the area. Busy during the holidays and spring break, Fort Myers Beach has become a popular spot over the past few years. Spend the day at the beach, dine oceanside, and explore the vibrant nightlife.

Local Favorites:

  • Lover's Key State Park: This two-mile stretch of beach has become a romantic destination. Walk or hike through the nature trails, hammock, and stargaze, and look out for manatees and dolphins.  
  • Smokin' Oysters Brewery: Serving cold drinks and fresh seafood, enjoy live music nightly on the beach.  
  • The Beached Whale: This relaxing barbeque and seafood joint is the best place to watch the sunset over the Gulf. 
  • The Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival: Sponsored by the local Lions Club, this event is celebrated with a parade and pink gold shrimp dinners. Not only is this one of the biggest events in Fort Myers Beach but proceeds are also sent to charity.

Fort Myers Beach is a great area to live in the city of Fort Myers Florida


This Lee County community is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan area and is one of the best places to live in Fort Myers and Florida. Offering residents an urban and suburban mixed feel, Iona is a fantastic area. Only a short distance away from the Sanibel and Captiva Island Causeway, access to beautiful beaches and outdoor natural areas could not be easier.

With little to no crime and lots to do, Iona is a fantastic centralized area for shopping and dining. Close to jobs and locally owned businesses, Iona truly prioritizes convenience. Near the Port Sanibel Island Marina, spend the day boating, fishing, kayaking, or taking a sunset or dolphin cruise off the Gulf. Home to multiple high-end gated communities and country clubs such as Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club and The Plantation Golf and Country Club, find your next luxurious home while playing a round of golf. 

Local Favorites:

  • Norman Love Confections: The chocolatier of your dreams. Indulge in handcrafted chocolates, gelato, cookies, brownies, and every baked good you can think of using premium ingredients. 
  • Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster Bar: Serving fish tacos, salmon, oysters, crab, and lobster, Deep Lagoon is dishing out locally caught seafood in a marina setting with gorgeous sunset views. 
  • Ford's Garage Fort Myers: This burger and beer restaurant has multiple locations throughout southwest Florida and was named after Henry Ford since he once lived in historic Fort Myers. 
  • Zoomers Amusement Park: This family-friendly attraction is the place for your go-carting, mini-golf, bumper boat, roller coaster, and arcade game needs.

Fort Myers Pier on a nice sunny day with beautiful water and the beach


Living in McGregor is close to Downtown Fort Myers so that you will be a short distance from Cape Coral, bordered by Whiskey Creek, Cypress Lake, and the Caloosahatchee River. The main road that runs through this area is McGregor Boulevard. Running for six miles northeast through the center of Downtown Fort Myers and four miles southwest, all areas of McGregor and the rest of Fort Myers are easily accessible by this road.

Made up of condominiums and waterfront properties, McGregor Boulevard is the first road you will reach once you cross the Cape Coral Bridge. Lined with tall royal palms, this city section inspired the "City of Palms," the nickname for which Fort Myers was given. Completed in 1915, McGregor is truly the gateway to Fort Myers and is a beautiful neighborhood located near historical sites, shops, and restaurants downtown.

Local Favorites:

  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford loved Fort Myers so much that they purchased their own winter estates off McGregor Boulevard. Take a tour to visit the estates and garden today while learning about the lives of this inventor and American industrialist.
  • Cibo Fort Myers: This authentic Italian restaurant has an amazing selection of fine wines and great specials for happy hour.
  • McGregor Cafe: Get your fill of American favorites from salads to key lime pie at this quaint cafe. Sit outside on the tree-covered patio.
  • Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: This 3,500-acre wetland preserve filters rainwater headed to Estero Bay. Walk on the boardwalk trail, hang out in the butterfly garden, and admire wildlife.

waterfront view of Downtown Fort Myers, FL during sunset

Cypress Lake

Cypress Lake is a part of the Fort Myers metropolitan area. Since the neighborhood of Cypress Lake is home to many retirees, this area of the city is quiet and lowkey. Attracting tourists year-round for its beach town vibe and desirable community, Cypress Lake is well-maintained and full of gorgeous scenery.

Many professionals and families are attracted to the area for its job growth and opportunities. With short commuting time and highly rated public schools, it is no wonder why Cypress Lake is one of the best neighborhoods in Fort Myers. Find apartments, newly renovated single-family homes, and private gated country club communities with waterfront views.

Local Favorites:

  • Lakes Park: Located on Gladiolus Drive, this 279-acre park features 158 acres of manmade lakes for fishing and boating. Walking trails in the park are great for biking and walking the dog. There is even a playground to bring your kids to.
  • Manatee Park: Have your chance to get up close to some manatees in their natural habitat. Featuring paved walking trails, an amphitheater, and kayak rentals, this is a great place to enjoy the afternoon outdoors.
  • Cypress Lake Plaza: This little outdoor plaza houses 23 stores, including a Costco and TJ Maxx.
  • Cypress Lake Golf Club: This golf and country club is highly rated for its excellent service, maintenance, and friendly staff. Grab your clubs and play a round of golf at this 18-hole course. 

Fort Myers golf course in one of the best neighborhoods in Florida

Pelican Preserve

This gated master-planned community was created for residents 55+ living in Fort Myers, Florida. Developed with the active adult in mind, residents will have access to the best amenities and services Fort Myers offers. Featuring a world-class golf course, living in Pelican Preserve is a golfer oasis and a dream come true.

Residents will have everything they need at their fingertips, featuring a town center, movie theatre, restaurant, indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, cafe, tennis courts, and pickleball. There is even a boardwalk that runs through a 38-acre preserve and a serene butterfly garden to connect to nature. Choose to live in condominiums, single-family homes, villas, carriage houses, or new construction. In our opinion — If you are looking for a tight-knit community for residents 55 years and older, then move to Pelican Preserve.

Local Favorites:

  • Pelican Preserve Town Center: Part of the club at Pelican Preserve, this town center is the social hub of the community and features an art studio, library, billiard room, sauna, and spas. 
  • Wanfu Buffet: Serving all-you-can-eat seafood, international cuisine, and great selections of beer and wine. 
  • Crooked Garden at Pelican Preserve: This private butterfly garden was created for residents and is a treat for the community. Spot caterpillars in the grass and watch them grow into butterflies boasting vibrant colors.

Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club

Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club is one of the best places to live in Fort Myers. Recognized as one of the finest private country clubs in Southwest Florida, this exclusive community is member-owned and located on the shores of the Caloosahatchee River. A great place to live for retirees and families, Gulf Harbour offers a high-end lifestyle thanks to its 18-hole private golf course, tennis courts, and 24,000-square-foot wellness center. 

If you are looking for a home for sale in Gulf Harbour, there are 22 unique neighborhoods within the community and over 1,600 residences, including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes. 

Local Favorites: 


What is the safest area in Fort Myers, FL? 

Full of many safe areas and neighborhoods, the safest area in Fort Myers is generally near Cape Coral and the Western part of the city. 

Is Fort Myers a good place to live? 

Fort Myers is a great place to live for retirees and families for its proximity to the beach, warm weather, beautiful housing, friendly neighbors, and fun things to do. 

Best Neighborhoods in Fort Myers, FL - The Bottom Line

Considered one of the fastest-growing areas in the state of Florida, moving to Fort Myers has numerous benefits. Whether you are looking for a place to retire, are on the hunt for new job opportunities, or are wanting to be near the beach, there is a neighborhood in Fort Myers for you.

If you are looking at buying a home in this lively city, it is important to first consider all of your options. With the help of this neighborhood guide and our top-of-the-line realty specialists, contact us today to help you find your dream home in Fort Myers, Florida.


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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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