Where is the Best Place to Retire in Florida?

Posted by on Friday, July 3rd, 2020 at 1:32pm


Retiring in the Sunshine State is a goal for many people across the country. It’s hard to beat the year-round warm weather, white sugar sand beaches, boating on the Gulf of Mexico, golf courses and natural surroundings. But then the question remains: Where is the best place to retire in Florida?

Southwest Florida is the best place in Florida to live out your golden years and retire in peace and serenity. There are eight Florida cities to choose from:

1. Bonita Springs

2. Cape Coral

3. Captiva Island

4. Estero

5. Fort Myers Beach

6. Fort Myers

7. Naples

8. Sanibel Island

Breathe in the fresh Gulf air, dip your toes in the sand, sip your morning coffee on the porch and watch the sunrise, end the day on the beach to an impressive show of colors and do it all again the next day. Southwest Florida is the best place to retire in Florida and these eight cities all have something unique to offer. Your next retirement destination is waiting on the Gulf Coast.

1. Bonita Springs


If you’re dreaming of Florida’s beautiful natural surroundings, Bonita Springs is where you want to be. There are also a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from, so you’ll always have something to do. Visit the open-air shopping center at the Promenade at Bonita Bay. When you’re done, you’ll love enjoying a meal at DeRomo’s Italian Restaurant and Market. Another popular attraction is downtown Bonita Springs. It’s small, but it’s charming and it’s home to one of the oldest roadside attractions in the Sunshine State, the Everglades Wonder Gardens. There are also a handful of local restaurants you’ll love coming back to again and again. If you’re looking for even more shopping and dining options, you’ll love Coconut Point. From golf to shopping to dining, there is always something to do here.

2. Cape Coral

If you’ve ever heard that Cape Coral has more canals than the Italian city of Venice, the rumors are true. That’s part of what makes Cape Coral one of the best places to retire in Florida. It’s a boater’s paradise. Cruise around the city’s canals and the Gulf of Mexico and discover remote islands and live a true Southwest Florida lifestyle. Cape Harbour is home to great shops and restaurants. The downtown strip truly celebrates local businesses and the area is up-and-coming. Another reason people choose to retire here is due to the variety of quality homes for sale in Cape Coral. If you’d like any more information about living in Cape Coral, we’d be more than happy to answer them for you.

3. Captiva Island

Captiva Island is a little more remote than Sanibel. You’ll be on Captiva once you cross over Blind Pass. If you live where everyone wants to vacation, it’ll feel like a vacation every day. If you want to get on Island Time and feel like you’re always on vacation, we have plenty of homes for sale on Captiva Island. It’s no doubt this is one of the best places to retire in Florida. It’s almost like the island is frozen in time. When you live here, you don’t have to follow a schedule. There’s no rush. Go to the beach every day, hang out at the shops and restaurants in Captiva Village, or spend your days relaxing and doing nothing at all. If this sounds like you, let us know, we can help!

4. Estero


Estero is one town over from Bonita Springs. It’s the smallest municipality on this list, but it’s still one of the best places to retire in Florida. There are a variety of gated communities to live in and they all come with varying levels of amenities. Relax in the pool, play golf all day and enjoy the year-round sunny weather. Estero is also home to one of the most unique places in Southwest Florida. Koreshan State Park is a great place to spend the day hiking, canoeing or kayaking. It’s also home to the remnants of the Koreshan people and their village. The Koreshans believed they were going to live forever and that they lived in the center of the Earth. Estero Bay also has a lot of boating and water sport activities available. Miromar Outlets is full of shops and restaurants and the open-air center feels like you’re walking through a stunning European town. Estero may be small, but it’s very diverse.

5. Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach is one of the best places to retire in Florida. It’s between Bonita Springs and Fort Myers and many say it’s its own dreamy little world. If you mix laidback Key West vibes and the island lifestyle of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, you’ll get Fort Myers Beach. If you’re looking for a small town in the heart of Southwest Florida, you’ll love retiring in the close-knit community of Fort Myers Beach. The beach is usually just a short walk, bike ride, or drive away. You’ll also be minutes from Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Sanibel and Captiva Islands. You’ll be perfectly situated in the middle of everything when you want to explore the rest of Southwest Florida. But if you want to stay local, that’s ok, too. You’ll have everything you need right on the beach.

6. Fort Myers

Fort Myers was once the winter home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. If they thought Fort Myers was one of the best places to retire in Florida for the winter, it has to be good, right? Fort Myers is also home to a variety of shopping and dining opportunities. Visit the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall for concerts, Broadway musicals, dance performances and comedy shows. Baseball fans will be happy to know that Fort Myers is home to the official Spring Training homes of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, respectively. It’s also fairly centrally located when you want to venture out and explore other parts of the area, like Naples and Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

7. Naples


Naples, Florida has a captivating and charming downtown. It’s blocks away from white sand beaches and the Naples Pier. The historic downtown strip is full of delicious restaurants, unique local shops and high-end homes for sale. Go kayaking, lay in the sun all day or play golf on one of the challenging courses. There are a variety of options to choose from at all player levels. When you’re done, take a stroll down Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. Watch the sunset at the pier. It’s hard to have any worries at all when you’re retiring in a place as beautiful as Naples. It's no secret why Naples is a great place to retire. 

8. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is where many people go to vacation, but you can retire and live here year-round and enjoy it whenever you want! There is only one traffic light on the island and it’s all about enjoying the simple things in life. There are beaches and nature preserves nearly everywhere you go. The shelling is some of the best in the world. Locals love where they live and pride themselves on keeping the island’s laid back vibe and atmosphere intact. It’s a small town in a tropical paradise. We already know you’ll love living and retiring on Sanibel Island!

Find your Next Southwest Florida Retirement Home

Our Royal Shell real estate agents can help you find the perfect retirement home in Southwest Florida. Let us know what your wish list items are and where in Southwest Florida you’d like to be and we’ll start looking for your dream retirement home. You’ll love it here. There are so many reasons why Southwest Florida is the best place to retire in Florida and we can’t wait to help you discover them all. Contact us today to get started. 

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