April on the Cape –
April is here, springtime, blooming flowers and plants, winter doldrums are behind us and the beauty of every morning is reflected in the terrific sunsrises and capped with beautiful sunsets. The days are getting longer and nights shorter. Time to mulch, spread some weed and feed and spruce up the flower beds. Everyone and everything is in motion a new beginning for a new season. We celebrate Easter and Passover with friends and family. And yes April 15th – it’s the day we pay our taxes! It’s all about April in this issue of Livin on the Cape!
Mr. & Mrs Eagle down the street are coaching their new fledglings to fly – prettty soon they will leave the nest for good and branch out on their own. They have been coming back to the same nesting site. I learned that eagles mate for life and make it a point to return to the same nesting site year after year. Here in Cape Coral the American Bald Eagle is a protected species and nest sites are monitored throughout the season. Construction of any type is not allowed within a specified distance of nesting sites.
The owl family next door has left after their new hatchling learned to take flight. For two years now the Great Horned Owl family has returned to the abondoned eagles nest next door to us and each year they have had one hatchling. It seems that nature is in harmony with all these new beginnings. And for Cape Coral its a new beginning too – just read that Cape Coral/Fort Myers area is now the 10th largest growth area in the US!
It’s Beach Time!!!
Over twenty beach areas with pure white sand just waiting for you! Southwest Florida is known for some of the finest beaches in Florida and is an experience not to be missed! There are miles of beautiful, white sands sprinkled with an array of colorful shells of many varieties that appeal to visitors and residents alike. The waters dance in colors of blues and greens, while seagulls and pelicans sing the song of paradise. An almost endless supply of sunshine is available throughout the year which is just one more reason to enjoy Southwest Florida and the many well known beaches it has to offer. Whether you are looking for a day filled with shelling, sand castles and sunshine, or a day of fishing and relaxation, or even a romantic getaway, the many beaches of Southwest Florida have exactly what you’re looking for. There are beach retreats that are only accessible by boat and islands filled with breathtaking shorelines. There are parks that are the perfect spot for a day of family fun and there are secluded tropical oasis that awaits leisure barefoot walks, tranquility and memories for a lifetime. There is something for everyone. Take a look at the beach guide: SWF Beaches
Take A Walk on the Wild Side!
This is the perfect time of year to be visiting the natural preserves in the area. I had been driving by the preserves on Burnt Store Road for quite some time and decided it was time to take a hike and walk on the wild side! I hiked both areas of the Port Charlotte Preserves last week. It’s quite different than taking a hike in the heavily wooded forests of the Northeast. I did a lot of hiking in the Adirondacks when I resided in Saratoga Springs, NY and it is a totally different expereince.
Unlike the tall pine, maple and oak forests of the Northeast the preserves are a miuxture of Flatwood Pines and Cypress trees mixed in with an abundant variety of palm trees and assorted vegetation such as seagrasses and marsh reeds. Trails are usually open from dawn to dusk and well marked. There are guided walks available. I hiked the Hidden Hammock trail a 1.5 mile loop at the Port Charlotte State Park Preserve and later hiked the 1.0 mile looop of Eagle Point Trail at Alligator Creek. There is a nature center at the Alligator Pond area with information on local plant and animal life. An observation deck surrounds the center and stairways lead to the observation dock at the pond.
And yes I was not disappointed and did manage to see the King of the Pond at Gator Pond. Alligators can be found throughout the many ponds, lakes and marshes. One word of caution alligators are protected. Do not disturb or feed them. There is a $500 fine for feeding or approaching alligators and the trail is posted with warnings.
Another great venue for the nature lover – The Audobon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 14,000 acre preserve near Naples, FL. Founded in 1954 it contains the largest virgin Bald Cypress Forest in North America. A 2.5 mile loop takes you deep into the swamp on an elevated boardwalk exploring 5 different types of habitats. . Bird enthusiast can view different species. I had the opportunity to take some tremendous nature shots with my camera. Allow at least 3 hours for your tour. There are plenty of viewing areas and rest stops along the trail and you really need to “stop and view” to get the best out of your expereince. Blue and grey herrons, wood storks and other bird species abound. And yes there are alligators in the wet areas plenty of them!
Some tips on hiking in the preserves! Wear light loose clothing it tends to get warm and a bit humid. Sunscreen and a hat – even on a cloudy overcast day there is plenty of UV light available. Water – bring plenty of water to hydrate. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Give yourself plenty of time you are here to observe nature it’s not a streaming video! Turn off you cell phone and disconnect for a while!
Links to the preserves:
Cape Coral/Fort Myers Make the Top 10
Growing By Leaps and Bounds!
|Top 10 Growth Areas in the US|
|1. The Villages, Fla||5.5|
|2. Odessa, Texas||3.3|
|3. Midland, Texas||3.3|
|4. Fargo, N.D.-Minn||3.1|
|5. Bismarck, N.D.||3.1|
|6. Casper, Wyo.||2.9|
|7. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C||2.7|
|8. Austin-Round Rock, Texas||2.6|
|9. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala.||2.6|
|10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers||2.5|
|Source US Census Bureau|
To Your Health!
Healthcare! Its in the news everyday and a solid healthcare system is prime consideration when looking to relocate especially if one is considering retirement. Great news for Fort Myers/Cape Coral! HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital has been identified as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in the United States. As reported by Healthgrades, a leading independent health care rating company. Only 1 percent of hospitals in the nation achieved this level of recognition for their consistent clinical quality based on an unbiased and objective review of clinical outcomes using nine years of data.
See the report: http://www.healthgrades.com/quality/top-hospitals-2014
Whats Happening in April on the Cape!
April 2- Sunset Celebration- Enjoy Southwest Florida’s fabulous sunsets on the first Wednesday of every month. The celebration includes live music, and over 50 vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, gift items, and much more! Free Admission.
April 4 & 5- Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta- From the African Queen to Viking Ships to floating turtles, this one of a kind event has something for everyone floating through the bimini basin at Four Freedoms Park in south Cape Coral. Come enjoy watching boat makers float their cardboard boats through the water and see which ones make it to the finish line.
April 4- Relay for Life More than just a fundraiser, this event is sure to entertain and surprise all while helping a worthy cause. Since 2002, the Cape Coral Relay for Life brings together teams of people camped around local high school tracks taking turns walking around the track continuously for 18 hours, all in an effort to raise money for a cure. Each year the event has raised over $100,000 to battle cancer.
April 12- Cape Coral Bike Night- The City of Cape Coral’s Parks & Recreation hosts one the largest collection of motorcycles, live music, food, games and entertainment in Southwest Florida. With four different events throughout the season, Bike Night has become one of Cape Coral’s most anticipated events. This year Bike Night includes; two stages of live music, dunk tank, and Dixie Roadhouse Bull Riding Contest.
TBA- Italian-American Festival- Hosted by the Cape Coral Italian American Club, this event offers a unique blend of Italian food, entertainment, and fun. Hosted both inside the club’s hall and Big John’s parking lot, the festival offers something for everyone.
TBA- Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby- The Cape Coral Kiwanis Club have hosted this event for 25 years. Kids enjoy a morning of fishing on the Yacht Club Pier. There are trophies for winners in different categories. Fishing pros are on hand to teach children the tricks of successful fishing. Such prizes as free rods and reels are given free throughout the day.
Visit the Housing and Mortgage News Page
Get insights on the housing market, mortgages and other helpful tips!
This Months Topics:
- The New Qualified Mortgage Rules – What are they
- Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal – Dress up your front yard with inexpensive flower blooms
- More Than Just the Down Payment – What other funds orsource of funds do you need?
- It’s Tax Time – Homeowner Deductions
- Credit Scores and Financing – My FICA Score is Not the Greatest!
See You in May!
We trust that you have enjoyed this issue of “Livin on the Cape”. Our mission continues to focus on being the good will ambassadors for Cape Coral and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida. If you are interested in more information or looking for that special place to claim as your new home send us an email by clicking on our email contact information at the top right hand corner of the blog. Thank you and Happy Spring!
It’s March in Cape Coral and everything in Cape Coral is “marching forward”! It’s an exciting and vibrant time for the city. New housing permits are on the rise up 37% from 2012. There is movement everywhere from the repaving projects in south Cape to the Pine Island road expansion. You may have noticed detours and construction signs on Trafalgar and neighboring areas. Yes the Utilities Expansion Project is also marching forward. Rolled out in phases throughout 2014 the project will bring city water and sewer to residents in the 4 square mile section called Southwest 6 and 7. Construction on the new Sam’s Club has started at the intersection of Pine Island and Hancock Bridge Parkway and the new Golden Coral Restaurant is open on Pine Island Road.
You can also feel the movement forward as a sense of community has taken shape within the city. Art festivals, cultural events, theater, the Farmer’s Markets off Cape Coral Parkway and the Surfside area, kayaking in the preserve, festive restaurants like Iguana Mia, Ford’s Garage and Pincher’s Crab shack are brimming with patrons both from locals as well as visiting snowbirds. Sunset festivals, chocolate festivals and of course Bike Night top off the events. It’s March spring is around the corner and we are still blessed with terrific weather compared to the rest of the country! It’s great to be in Cape Coral!
Real Estate Trends
Cape Coral Market Snapshot as of 02/01/2014 – Decreased inventory, increased median price and a decease in distressed properties – All good factors for a healthy housing market in Cape Coral
|Today||1 Month Ago||1 Year Ago||Change|
|Median List Price||$234,999.00||$229,900.00||$198,900.00||18%|
|Median House Size||1900||1890||1825||4%|
Trends Cape Coral Median Price of Homes
Population Trends on the Rise in Cape Coral
Back in the growth phase again, “Cape Coral the region’s most populous city, grew by 6,764 people between 2010 and 2013, UF estimates show. Nearly 160,000 reside in the Cape.”
“Just before the recession Cape Coral was one of the top five fastest growing cities in America,” recalls Kevin Pickett, a Lee County-based broker associate with Right Choice Realty. “With all the new construction, the availability of land to do new construction, we’re starting to see it come back to that. Many homebuyers are baby boomer retirees from the Midwest and Northeast, but a surprising number are younger, Mr. Pickett said. His office sampled 100 recent buyers and found that 60 percent were between age 35 and 45.” http://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/news/2014-02-12/Top_News/Florida_population_growth_returns_to_form.html
A Boaters’ Paradise!
Whether you are a permanent resident of Cape Coral or a seasonal visitor, you are in a boaters’ paradise. With so many canals and waterways you can take to the water and explore the many areas in and around Cape Coral and Fort Myers and even venture out to the Gulf of Mexico!
Let’s start with the Caloo waterway, the Caloosahatchee River runs along both shorelines of Fort Myers and Cape Coral all the way to the Franklin Locks, to Pine Island Sound and to the Gulf of Mexico. Up river, there is fresh water areas ideal for fishing and water skiing. There are public parks and marinas on either side of the river. Downstream takes you out toward Sanibel Island and the Gulf of Mexico.
Within the Cape Coral Canal System you can navigate to various lakes and freshwater areas. Over 400 miles of canals are found within Cape Coral. That’s what makes this city unique1 The canals come in different widths and sizes, some freshwater, some saltwater. Saltwater canals refers to those with Gulf access, freshwater canals do not! The freshwater canal system makes up for this with a large network of lakes and basins for freshwater fishing. There are numerous boat ramps and launches to accommodate any size craft. Cape Coral includes sailboat access canals, direct access canals, and partially restricted access canals. A common misconception is that “direct access” means no bridges are along the path: this is not necessarily true! Direct access means that there are no locks or lifts interrupting the flow of water. Multiple bridges still qualifies as direct access (and bridge heights can vary). If it’s completely uninterrupted canals you want, then you are looking for unrestricted, sailboat access canals.
Cape Coral Sunset Festivals
On the first Wednesday of each month at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, you’ll find residents and visitors gathering for the Sunset Festival. Sponsored by the City of Cape Coral, the festival is a great way to promote the community spirit of the city. I attended my first festival in February. There were close to a thousand people in attendance! My wife and I browsed the many vendor stalls offering a diversity of merchandise. There was music and food available and attendees were already finding their favorite spot on the beach or the fishing pier to catch the setting sun. Met some folks from the northeast and Midwest while walking on the pier and recounted our good fortunate that we were to be here on the beach in early February. Some great music with a local deejay played in the background as we watched the sun gradually dip in the west. Soon the hues of red and orange were replaced by violets and indigo as evening fell on the beach. We are making it a priority to attend the next festival. A great way to spend a Wednesday night and best of it’s free! A tip – come early parking fills up pretty quickly although there are additional parking areas a short walk from the beach!
Looking to catch a glimpse of bottle nose dolphins and enjoy a cruise on the waterways between Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island? Then the Fort Myers Princess Dolphin Cruise is your destination. We have done the cruise a few times with friends who have come to visit us. It’s true when you move to Florida, you’ll never be without visitors! We enjoyed our last trip with Charlene and Elias, friends of our from Mendon, MA. The Fort Myers Princess is located at 645 Old San Carlos Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach, under the skyway bridge behind “Nervous Nellie’s,” adjacent to the “Marina Village Resort Condominium” dock. Sailings begin at 12:30 on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday.
There is ample room with upper and lower deck seating. There is a full service beverage bar with snacks and do try the Paradise Punch a specialty! The cruise navigates up the San Carlos Bay and then out towards Sanibel Island. There is plenty to see from lavish waterfront homes to the shrimp fleet as well as countless numbers of water birds and of course dolphins. The crew will expertly navigate to the dolphin sightings and you can get some pretty good camera shots. The outbound voyage ends at Sanibel Light and then proceeds back to Fort Myers Beach. After the cruise you can stop for a bite to eat at Nervous Nellies Eatery or take a stroll down to Times Square on the beach, There is a large fishing pier at the beach and many restaurants and of course shopping long the beach area. It’s an enjoyable afternoon! See details at the following link: Dolphin Tour
What’s Happening in March!
March 1- South Cape Mardi Gras Party Crawl- 7-11PM Celebrate Mardi Gras South Cape style. Enjoy the many nightlife establishments that call South Cape home with exclusive drink specials, and an opportunity to win prizes
March 1-2- Irish American Festival- Cape Coral flows green as people come out to celebrate St. Patrick and the Irish at this family-friendly festival. Hosted by the Cape Coral Irish American Club, the Irish Festival brings to Cape Coral authentic Irish food, music and fun for the entire family.The Cape Coral Irish Club is holding its Tenth Annual Irish Festival
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 2, 2014, 11:00 a.m. (Roman Catholic Mass) to 9:30 p.m. Two Days of Continuous Irish Entertainment, Plus Games, Rides, Art & Crafts, Vendors Food and Refreshments! The United Irish will be sponsoring a tent at this event and we hope you will visit us. Pick up your Irish T-Shirt, Visor, Kooles and Especially those Raffle Tickets for the Irish Trip to Dublin! Come and Enjoy!!
For more information click on the link: Irish Festival
- Over 30 vendors selling arts, crafts, jewelry, and gift items
- Food & drink
- Fabulous SW Florida sunsets!
- Live music on the beach
- Free Admission
- Yacht Club Community Park Phone: 239-574-0806 for more information.
March 9 – Art Focus Festival -A Day of Art in Rubicond Park! Free and open to the public! Art exhibits, free class demos and more. 4355 Coronado Parkway, Cape Coral. Here is the link: Art Focus Fest
March 14- All Walks of Art Festival- This family friendly event promotes the number of artists we have in the area. Over 60 artists from all avenues present their works, as well as create art live at the event. Live music, food, and drinks are available, as well as raffles and silent auctions. More information at All Walks of Art
March 14- Sounds of Jazz & Blues Festival- Enjoy a night of dreamy smooth jazz and blues. Held at The Westin Resort at Marina Village, the event is a fabulous night filled with fantastic music, sumptuous food & beverages, and what is sure to be an evening to remember. More information at Jazz and Blues Fest
March 15-16 – Gathering of Giants- Cape Coral R/Seahawks present the 20th Annual Gathering of the Giants at Seahawk Air Park, featuring Jets, Warbirds, Stunt Planes, and more! This two day event attracts thousands who come out and marvel at the aerobatic stunts from the radio controlled airplanes. For more information click here: Gathering of Giants
March 16 Noon to 5PM – Gardenfest- This is a must do event for those who enjoy authentic German food and entertainment. Plenty of schnitzel, brats, potato pancakes, chicken, pretzels, beer and wine is on tap for this annual event. There will also be authentic live German music on the stages throughout the event. For more information click here Gardenfest
Download Your Free Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Guide 2014 Winter Edition here: http://publ.com/t1CwgP#1
Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Program Guide Winter 2014 (Jan – April) Download your interactive guide to all activities, programs and information on what’s happening in Cape Coral – from Arts to Zumba it has it all! here:
Visit the Housing and Mortgage News Page
Get insights on the housing market, mortgages and other helpful tips!
This Months Topics:
- 10 Real Estate Terms Every Buyer and Seller Should Know
- Flood Insurance Do I need It?
- How to Have Peace of Mind and Security for the Open House
- Benefits in Making that One Extra Mortgage Payment Each Year
- What’s Hot & What’s Not Kitchen Remodeling 2014
See You in April!
We trust that you have enjoyed this issue of “Livin on the Cape”. Our mission continues to focus on being the good will ambassadors for Cape Coral and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida. If you are interested in more information or looking for that special place to claim as your new home send us an email by clicking on our email contact information at the top right hand corner of the blog. Thank you and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE CAPE!
Hello It’s 2014!
Well, Santa has done his work, caught him relaxing at Fort Myers Beach the day after Christmas! The holidays rolled by with family and friends and New years Eve was alive in Cape Coral with numerous party functions at clubs, restaurants or right on your own lanai. So now here we roll into 2014!
The future could not be brighter for Cape Coral. A new mayor is in place, the water and sewer project for the Southwest area of the city is in full swing and the population has swelled by over 30% with all the visitors escaping the cold weather up north. Ands speaking of escape – Winter Storm Hercules will be adding to the desire to come south to enjoy some sun and surf! Cape Coral is open for business and welcomes the opportunity to provide some much needed R&R from the winter doldrums. And if you like it a lot you may even want to make the move permanent! We can help make that a reality if that is your desire. The housing industry continues to move forward at a hefty pace. New construction has taken off like a rocket and sales of existing homes continues to climb.
What’s Happening In January…
Never a dull moment Livin on the Cape…it may be winter doldrums in the colder latitudes; however, here in the Cape there’s a number of events to please everyone’s taste!
The Cape Coral Festival of Arts has grown to become one of Cape Coral’s largest events each year. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, the festival is entering into its 28th year in Cape Coral. The event attracts over 100,000 people and hundreds of artists to South Cape Coral during the two-day event.
This year the festival will be held January 11th and 12th with over 300 artists in categories to include: fine crafts, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, and sculpture.
The festival is fun for the whole family and includes kids activities such as; a rock climbing wall, a kids area and activity center. There is also a variety of food vendors and local restaurants.
For more information click on Festival
A carnival for a great cause! Attendees can expect much of the same rides, entertainment, food, and fun that has made the St. Andrew Festival the largest four day event in Cape Coral. Click on St. Andrews for details.
The bike tour offers a 15, 30, 60 or 100 mile course in the west and north sections of Cape Coral. Amenities of the event include: T-shirt, a continental breakfast, rest stations every 15 miles with refreshments, support vehicles, and a well mapped and marked route. In addition, there is a 5K Run on Saturday morning as well as a “Family Fun Bike Ride.” For more information on entry fees and location click on Bike
Feel like a Martini Competition – Cape Coral has one of those too! Shaken not stirred? Whatever your taste the 8th Annual Best South Cape Martini Competition takes place Janaury 25th 7-11PM Vote for your favorite martini!
For more information click on Martini
Sign at Visitor’s Center on Sanibel Island!
Are you planning to visit the SW Florida area? An escape from winter snow and ice? Take a look at our weather widget in the top right hand corner. That gives you an idea of the forecast and the abundance of sunshine awaiting your visit. There’s plenty of hotel space as well as seasonal rentals avaialble. If you are thinking of making the Cape a permanent address and your are seeking a condo or single family residence give us a call or email us we can help you with your search and if you come to explore also give us a call we’d be glad to give you a Tour de Cape !
Click on the Mortgage and Housing Tab up top to view articles on home financing and housing trends.
See You in February!
Yes it’s December….. it came so fast. Seems like we were just talking about Halloween and going into Thanksgiving Holiday and Boom it’s December!
There is a bunch of holiday cheer happening on the Cape! Take a look and mark your calender.
The holiday season is in full swing and so it is in Cape Coral and the surrounding area. For over 25 years, downtown Cape Coral has hosted the largest Holiday celebration between Tampa and Miami. Over 20,000 family, friends and neighbors will gather together to ring in the holiday season. Lots of holiday fun including the official tree lighting and Santa’s arrival. Yes Virginia Santa does come to Cape Coral even if we don’t have all that white snow! There will be a FREE Kidz Street play area, Tiny Tots Train ride, 25 ton Snowdrift Slide yes the snow is “imported” for the event. There will be over 25 holiday performances on 4 stages. There will be 3 food courts of festival foods, beer and soda. For more information click on FESTIVAL
To all our Northeast/MidWest Friends that are returning to Cape Coral for the season – Welcome Back to Cape Coral. And to our first timers Welcome to Livin on the Cape! New things on the Cape – new stores, restaurants and entertainment programs. Check out the new Ford’s Garage Restaurant on Cape Coral Parkway, the theater offerings at the Cultural Park Theater, featured artists and art courses at the Cape Coral Arts Studio. The Parks and Recreation Department have scheduled a host of activities and events. Browse the Cape Coral 2013-14 Event Guide for all the events available during yoru stay. Click on Event Guide to view.
The 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships will be held in Lee County, December 7-15, 2013 with action in 24 sports. Sports of the 2013 Florida Senior Games State Championships requiring a qualifying performance include Badminton, Basketball Shooting, 3-on-3 Basketball, Bowling, Team Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Track & Field.
For more information click on Senior Games
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/floridaseniorgames?ref=hl
It’s Bike Night …..December 14th 5-10PM
47th Terrace Big johns Plaza
The City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation is proud to being you Cape Bike Night! Motorcycle enthusiasts can get together and listen to live bands, eat great food, and just have fun at this great event! For more information, call (239) 573-3123.
For more information click on the Official Website
35th Annual Cape Coral Holiday Boat-A-Long
(Four Freedoms Park-4818 Tarpon Court)
Land Celebration starts at 4:00 PM
Boat Parade starts at 7:00 PM
Enjoy a parade of approximately 100 boats decorated in a festive holiday fashion with lights, costumes, elves, and whatever else their captains can think of. At Four Freedoms park. Landlubbers can watch the boats gather in the Bimini Basin before they begin meandering through the canals of south Cape Coral. Along with providing an ideal seat to watch the illuminated vessels, the park features live holiday music, decorated trees, Christmas crafts, and food and beverages for sale. This is a unique celebration of Christmas Florida-style. Click on Boat Show
December 21, 2013
The City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation department is proud to bring you a FREE “Movie in the Park” on our giant inflatable screen. Enjoy the movie and a free family night out. Bring a blanket, chairs, and dinner!
2013 Sand Sculpting Competition
Our version of playing in the “snow” in SW Florida!
Fort Myers Beach Nov. 22- Dec. 1st
Santa’s Big Day – Santa Visits All Good Boys and Girls in SW Florida!
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
See you in the New Year –
Best wishes to a bright and new