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Safe, Affordable Suburbs in Fort Myers in 2024

Relocating to Fort Myers? The City of Palms is one of the best places to live in Florida—with affordable housing and easy beach access providing homeowners with their very own tropical oasis. Here are five safe suburbs offering affordable living in Fort Myers!

Cape Coral

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  • Home Price: $173,400 median purchase price; $1,095 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Florida cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Cape Coral is a mid-sized suburb found just across the Caloosahatchee River that’s filled with plenty of safe neighborhoods near Fort Myers. Known as one of the most affordable places to live in Florida, Cape Coral’s housing styles range from charming ranches and new executive estates, to Mediterranean-style waterfront properties. With 400 miles of waterways, many residents travel by boat through Cape Coral’s explorable canals, though the LeeTran bus is convenient for quick commutes throughout the Fort Myers metro. Though the suburb’s abundant outdoor recreation opportunities offer easy access to residents, including Gulf Coast beaches, lush parks and nature preserves, fishing spots, golf courses, and more. Not to mention—Cape Coral’s eclectic food scene is home to many dive bars, fine-dining establishments, and restaurants on the water.

Things to Do in Cape Coral

Go paddleboarding, catch some fish, or observe the manatees during the winter months at Sirenia Vista Park. Spend a day bird-watching or kayaking at Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve. Sample imported German beer and food, take your kiddos to explore the carnival area, and more at the annual Cape Coral Oktoberfest—or support other Cape Coral festivals, like the Cape Coral Art Festival & Market Place and Taste of the Cape. Peruse exhibits, artifacts, and photographs that showcase the history of Cape Coral at the Cape Coral Museum of History. Dine on dishes made with fresh ingredients like Steamed Mussels, Creole Gumbo, or Crispy Pork Shank at Point 57 Kitchen & Cocktails. Watch a game on the big screen while sampling plates like the Triple Bacon Cheeseburger, Parmesan Truffle Wings, or Nevermind “Mac and Cheese” at Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery. Or listen to live music while sipping drinks like a High Noon, Merlot, or Dos Equis at The Dek Bar.

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Cypress Lake

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  • Home Price: $127,300 median purchase price; $1,014 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 41% of Florida cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

If you’re looking for an affordable Fort Myers suburb to call home, Cypress Lake may be the place for you! Bordering historic McGregor Blvd, this laid-back community provides quick access to green spaces, stunning sandy beaches, popular fishing destinations, golf courses, and country clubs. Plenty of fun can be found indoors here, too—including shopping malls like Cypress Lake Plaza. Families, in particular, are drawn to Cypress Lake for its many highly-rated schools, like Bright Beginnings Early School, Cypress Lake Middle School, and Cypress Lake High School. For those interested in going back to school, Florida SouthWestern State College is also located within the area and offers a variety of resources for adult learners. Trendy condos, spacious ranches, and single-family homes are popular in Cypress Lake—and esteemed retirement communities like Brookdale Fort Myers Cypress Lake and The Summit of Fort Myers are great options for seniors.

Things to Do in Cypress Lake

Take the kids to the playground, walk your dog, or play a game of baseball at Rutenberg Park. Schedule a tee time at historical, private golf course Cypress Lake Golf Club. Challenge yourself to a game of tennis or bocce ball at the members-only Golfview Golf & Racquet Club. Grab tickets to concerts, musicals, or comedy shows at FSW’s Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Order Seafood Gumbo, an Oyster Sandwich, or a Shrimp Po Boy for lunch at Deep Lagoon Seafood & Oyster House. Savor Italian favorites like Homemade Lasagna, Rigatoni Ala Vodka, or Fettuccine Alfredo at Pizza Pub Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Get your fix of seafood dishes like Shrimp Bisque, Fried Calamari, or Pine Island Clams at Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market. Try plates like the Gyro Sandwich, Souvlaki Salad, or Greek Chow Mein at Greek eatery, Nomiki’s Plakka Greek Restaurant.

Fort Myers Beach

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  • Home Price: $367,800 median purchase price; $1,076 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 87% of Florida cities
  • Perfect For: Retirees

Located on Estero Island—a thin stretch of land reaching 1.5 miles wide—the Fort Myers Beach suburb is a safe and exciting oceanside community. Not only does Sea Reaper Fishing Charters offer residents fun deep-sea fishing experiences, but there’s also plenty of opportunities to sail, scuba dive, surf, and soak up the sun here! Not to mention, Fort Myers Beach is home to many local restaurants and parks, as well as the Mound House—which offers fun social activities and events like the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival. While there are beachfront properties and condominiums in the area, many retirees are drawn to the community atmosphere found throughout Fort Myers Beach’s island resorts—like the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and DiamondHead Beach Resort. Older residents can also get involved with the Bay Oaks Social Seniors (BOSS), which hosts several monthly programs like “Out to Lunch Bunch” and “Game Day.”

Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach

Learn about the marine ecology of southwest Florida or tour the largest fishing operation in the Gulf of Mexico—the San Carlos Shrimping Fleet—at the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center. Take a stroll on the beach, set up a picnic, or go bird-watching at Bowditch Point Park. Set off from the paddle-craft landing, go for a hike, or take in views of Estero Bay in the 60-acre wildlife sanctuary, Matanzas Pass Preserve. Support local artists by attending individual shows and events, or create your own masterpiece when you join a Plein Air painting group at Fort Myers Beach Art Association & Gallery. Begin your day with an Egg Sandwich, Cinnamon Roll, or Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich at Mom’s Restaurant. Chow down Coconut Shrimp, Fish & Chips, or a BLT Panini at Eats at the Beach. Order the BBQ Chicken, Shrimp Scampi Pizza, or Chicken Club Wrap and admire beautiful waterfront views at Matanzas on the Bay. Or eat The Junkanoo Steak Bomb, Fish Hook Fried Seafood Platter, or Beachy B.L.T on the oceanside patio at Junkanoo Below Deck.


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  • Home Price: $200,000 median purchase price; $1,129 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of Florida cities
  • Perfect For: Retirees

Nestled on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay, Iona is a coastal community perfect for retirees or those looking to settle in a peaceful area. Mediterranean bungalows and condos at different price points line this area’s neighborhoods, alongside retirement communities such as the Island at Shell Point or Seaside at Fort Myers. Iona’s picturesque vibe is also seen in the rolling greens at places like Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club and Kelly Greens Golf & Country Club. And while Iona doesn’t boast many beaches, there are plenty of marinas and companies offering yacht and boat rentals for a fun day of cruising on the water. Though, Iona residents can head to nearby Bunche Beach for 700 acres of white sands, mangrove forests, and salt flats!

Things to Do in Iona

Venture out on a full or half-day Everglades Tour complete with a nature walk, boat tour, and plenty of flora and fauna at Everglades Day Safari. Play a round of tennis, soak in the sun on the waterfront, or relax at the spa at the member-owned, private Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club. Shop for thrifted clothing, accessories, or jewelry at Lucille’s Boutique. Putt-putt through waterfalls and caves, score a hole-in-one, and feed live alligators at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf. Grab a Triple Berry Flax Crepe, PB & Banana Toast, or Grape Vine Oats, and shop locally-crafted coffee at Chocolatte’s. Grab a seafood favorite like the Gulf Oysters or selections like the Bayou Burger and Key West Chicken Bowl at Salty Papa’s Shrimp House. Sample the Lobster Ravioli, Chicken Ricardo, or McGregor Baked Penne at Citrola’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria. Or listen to live jazz while enjoying the Seafood Fra Diablo, Chicken Homard, or Baked Dijon Encrusted Baby Rack of Lamb at The Roadhouse Cafe.


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  • Home Price: $121,100 median purchase price; $1,023 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 37% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

The Villas area is great for those who can’t decide between living in Downtown Fort Myers, Cape Coral, or the quieter beach towns of southwestern Florida. Since FL-41 runs through the middle of Villas, residents get easy access to the Fort Myers metro to the north and the beaches and preserves along the coast to the south. This draws commuters in particular, but Villas still provides plenty of employment opportunities right at home for residents through the Chico’s FAS headquarters, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, and more—in addition to employment and enrollment at Villas Elementary School and the Montessori School of Fort Myers. And with a wide range of housing options, like modern condos and townhouses, and Spanish Colonial and Mid-Century Modern ranches with large yards, there’s plenty of choices for your dream home!

Things to Do in Villas

Walk your dog, take a hike, or go rollerblading on the paved trail at John Yarbrough Linear Park. Fish, boat, or stroll through the children’s garden and community garden at Lakes Park. Check out the live steam scale locomotives and tracks in the museum or ride through woods, lakes, and small villages on the train ride tour at the Railroad Museum of South Florida. Try to escape in adventures like Treasure of the Seven Keys or Brandon’s Totally Tubular Bedroom at Escape Room Adventures. Grab breakfast favorites like a Fresh Banana Waffle, Cranberry Pecan Pancakes, or My Big Fat Greek Omelet at Skillets. Try fresh dishes like a Pesto Grilled Chicken Salad, a Bistro Turkey Melt, or Cuban Panini at the European-American Bakery Cafe. Sample the Wings or Buffalo Chicken Salad while munching on a couple slices of Grandma’s Pizza at Blue Moon Pizza. Or go out for date night and enjoy happy hour with drinks like a Kentucky Mule, Hot Sake, or Cosmopolitan at Ember Korean Steakhouse.


Planning on living in Fort Myers? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities located near Cape Coral, Gateway, Buckingham, Tice, and Palmona Park to help you with your move. Find climate-controlled self storage in Fort Myers!

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Ariel view of the city of Fort Myers and the ocean.

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.