Love Where You Live
What often first attracts people to Lee County are its more than 50 miles of gorgeous beaches and pristine natural areas like the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Or they might have come to Lee County to catch a spring training game for the Boston Red Sox or Minnesota Twins and realized there’s a lot to love about the region.
The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall hosts touring Broadway shows and other performances, while spaces like the Florida Repertory Theatre stage much-loved and up-and-coming comedies and dramas. The Southwest Florida Symphony features a full season of concerts, and the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center offers jazz, chamber music, and other concert series throughout the year.
There’s always a festival or special event on the calendar in Lee County, including the annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, Sanibel Shell Fair & Show, and Fort Myers Film Festival. And the popular monthly Art Walk and Music Walk draw folks to the historic River District in downtown Fort Myers.
Thomas Edison once called Lee County home, and you can tour the prolific inventor’s Florida residence (plus neighbor Henry Ford’s pad) at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. IMAG History & Science Center offers more insight about the area’s past plus info on the local ecosystem via interactive, hands-on exhibits. “Southwest Florida is a unique place with wonderful natural things you can do, but now it also has more of these urban conveniences that it didn’t have 20 years ago, like places of gathering, events, and programs,” says Matthew Johnson, IMAG’s executive director.
Staying healthy is easy to do in Lee County with all the ways to enjoy the outdoors (Lee County is home to more than 90 golf courses and soon a Topgolf) combined with the area’s robust medical offerings. Local stalwart Lee Health — the largest public health system in the state of Florida — serves more than 1 million patients a year at four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals. It also runs urgent care centers, physician locations, and health and wellness centers throughout the county.
With no state income tax, 262 sunny days a year, and an average high temperature of 84.8 degrees, Lee County makes for a pretty great spot to live whether you’re a CEO, student, or something in between.
“We’re growing, but we’re also very conscious of preserving what we’re known for, which is our environment and our quality of life,” says Cecil Pendergrass, who represents District 2 on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners and sits on the executive committee for the Horizon Council. “In the last year, we’ve purchased more than 10,000 acres of conservation lands in Lee County. We will never look like the East Coast; we will have our green spaces and public access to our conservation lands. You can drive 20 minutes to the east and go horseback riding, and you can drive 20 minutes to the west and be on the beach.”