Cape Coral is a city in Lee County, Florida, United States. With over 400 miles of navigable waterways, Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city on earth. According to estimates as of April 2008, the city had a population of 165,774, making it the largest city in Southwest Florida. The population estimate for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area 623,725 .
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Cape Coral is a vibrant and friendly community with all the beauty that you expect from Southwest Florida. With over 400 miles of canals – boating, fishing, and water sports are a significant enhancement to our quality of life.
Cape Coral is made up of 114 square miles of land and is the largest city in Southwest Florida and the largest between Tampa and Miami. With golf courses, tennis courts, boat ramps, athletic parks, natural preserves, and more, the quality of life in Cape Coral is second to none.
Our city has one of the best recreation departments in the state, providing all kinds of services for young and old. Cape Coral consistently ranks at the top for public safety in both Florida and the United States.
There are many sights, sounds and activities for visitors to our city. Whether you enjoy a round of golf or just want to float down the “Lazy River” at our popular Sun Splash Family Waterpark, there is much to see and do in Cape Coral and Southwest Florida.
Cape Coral History
Over the course of a few years, beginning in 1958, canals were dug, homes and businesses built, and a city was born. Celebrities were brought in to tout the benefits of “the Cape,” as it is known by the locals. The first building was a four-plex at the corner of Coronado and Cape Coral Parkway. This building was the Rosen’s company headquarters and the temporary home of Cape Coral’s first permanent resident, Kenny Schwartz, the Rosens’ new general manager. Cape Coral’s first four homes were completed in May 1958 on Riverside and Flamingo drives.
Through the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, development moved quickly, mostly on Redfish Point, south of Cape Coral Parkway. By 1963, the population was 2,850; 1,300 buildings had been finished or were under construction; 80 miles (130 km) of road had been built, and 160 miles (260 km) of canals had been dug. The yacht club, a golf course, medical clinic, and shopping center were up and running. A major addition for Cape Coral was the construction of the Cape Coral Bridge, which opened in early 1964. Before the bridge, a trip to Fort Myers was more than 20 miles (32 km), following the long haul up Del Prado, then over to the Edison Bridge to cross the river.
Since its inception Cape Coral had been known as a “sleepy” community with its large retirement population. This all changed with the population boom of the 1990s that brought with it young working class families. There is still a larger than normal retirement population. While some of the community still has to cross the river to Fort Myers for work and entertainment, this has become less of a requirement with new stores, restaurants and nightclubs opening up every year. Today, Cape Coral offers a lively strip of restaurants and stores along Cape Coral Parkway, Del Prado Blvd. and Pine Island Road.
Cape Coral City Events
The city holds an annual Independence Day fireworks festival known as Red, White & BOOM!! This is the biggest single day event in the city and also the biggest July 4 display in Southwest Florida.
Every October the local German-American Club holds an annual Oktoberfest styled after the original held in Germany. This has been the case since 1985.
The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is held the second weekend of January every year. The event takes place on Cape Coral Parkway and attracts over 100,000 visitors. Nearly 300 artists and craftspeople from across the nation line the street to make this one of the largest and best attended art festivals in Southwest Florida.