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Along Estero Bay in Southwestern Florida, Estero is a Mellow Place with Abundant Wildlife and Beautiful Nearby Beaches
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Once inhabited by Native American Calusa and treasure-seeking Spaniards, mellow Estero was founded as a religious colony and Utopian society in the late-1800s. It sits along Estero Bay and the Estero River on the southwestern Florida coast and has grown 30% during the last 10 years.
Although Estero did not flourish as a Utopian society, its mellow character, abundant wildlife and vast opportunities for recreation still make it a desirable place to live. Residents enjoy kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing and other water activities, as well as weekend festivals and events, golf expositions and the Mound Key paddling tours. Several museums and galleries are devoted to the local Native American and Utopian history. Two large malls provide shopping opportunities. Established neighborhoods with ranch ramblers now coexist with sleek new subdivisions peppered with Mediterranean and Italian architecture. The closest beach is Barefoot Beach, about 10 miles away. It sits on one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida's southwestern coast and is often nearly empty.
The 10,000-acre Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve on the west side of town is Florida's oldest aquatic nature preserve. Mound Key Archeological State Park, a rich Calusa artifact site, is only accessible by boat, and Koreshan State Historic Site is the site of the original religious settlement.
Population: 38,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 72%
Cost of Living: 15% above the national average
Median Home Price: $510,000 Find the Best Real Estate Deals in Estero
Climate: This area has a humid subtropical climate, meaning two seasons a year. Summer and early fall are hot and humid. Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but eight miles south, in Fort Meyers, the Gulf Coast Medical Center accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but eight miles south, in Fort Meyers, the Gulf Coast Medical Center is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by LeeTran, but it is limited.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 45%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility, and Hurricane Ian in 2022 caused signicant flooding and wind damage in areas closest to the water.
Notes: Long time residents grumble about the recent growth. Home prices have increased 19% since last year. Some neighborhoods are still recovering from Hurricane Ian.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
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