Cape Coral Florida
Posted on 01/08/2017 | About Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral Florida was this year's destination for our family Christmas holiday. Located west of Fort Myers, it is referred to as the "Waterfront Wonderland" as it has over 640 km of waterways. It has more kilometres of canals than any other city in the world. We chose this area for its great beaches and hopefully warm weather.
We certainly weren't disappointed as far as weather went. Every day was sunny and hot with temperatures between 26 and 30 except for one day when a cold front came through and the high was only 20, a cold day to the locals.
There are beautiful beaches in the area. Fort Myers Beach is a very popular spot but you have to arrive early in the day. We left our house around 9:30 and got into stop and go traffic for over an hour and then had to search for a parking spot. We eventually found a spot to set up on the white powdery sand. The waves were perfect for the little ones to jump in. There are typical beach shops and restaurants along the beach. Pierside had a perfect location and delicious fish tacos.
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve was our destination the following day. Located in Cape Coral along the Calooshatchee River, its boardwalks and trails made for a family friendly hike through mangrove swamps and wetlands.
Another day we headed west to Pine Island, the largest island on the west coast of Florida. There are no beaches on this island so it has not been developed for tourism. The main industry on the island is tropical tree and plant nurseries. There are a number of preserve areas on the southern end of the island with hiking trails.
The best beach we found was on Cayo Costa, accessible only by boat. We booked a three hour beach and shelling tour with Captiva Cruises. Captiva and Sanibel are islands across a causeway ($6 toll) from Fort Myers. It was an hour drive from our accommodation and an early morning start for our 9 am departure, but well worth it. After a half hour ride on a catamaran, we docked on the edge of a mangrove swamp then walked for two minutes to the other side of the island to a kilometre long beach. The forty-three passengers on the boat were the only people on the beach except for the owners of three off the grid homes. The children and adults enjoyed picking out interesting shells and playing in the water. On the cruise back to the pier, the captain spotted some dolphins and got in front of them to attract them to the boat's wake. For several minutes, three dolphin surfed the wake, much to the delight of all onboard.
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had winter estates side by side in Fort Myers. Besides the houses, this popular tourist attraction has a museum, botanical gardens and Edison's laboratory. We visited on the last evening of their Holiday Nights celebration. The houses and grounds were decorated for Christmas and there were Christmas lights everywhere. Waltzing Waters was a spectacular display of colourful jets of water twisting, bursting and appearing like liquid fireworks set to Christmas music. The littlest ones in our party sat mesmerized through three sets before we could tear them away.
We had a fantastic time! Cape Coral delivered on sun, sand and fun.