244 The Lee Island Coast, Florida
The name Lee Island Coast is in recognition of Lee County, which consists of the barrier islands of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Estero. Off the mainland, there are also over 100 smaller coastal islands. These areas have some of the most beautiful beaches that are the most popular attractions for visitors to this region of Florida’s coastline. Lee Island Coast covers roughly 50 miles of beaches, renowned state parks of lush sub-tropical foliages, and wildlife preserves with exotic creatures, with each distinct area having its own unique characteristics, that highlights the wealth of natural resources of the region.
Ponce de Leon is believed to have explored the barrier islands of Lee County when he ventured along Florida’s Gulf coast in 1513 and 1521. There was very little settlement in South Florida for many years before Florida became a U.S Territory in 1821, and as such, it remained a rugged, untamed, and isolated region. Thousands of years ago, the Calusa Indians roamed the Lee Island Coast and many sites have remained unchanged to this day. Pirates can be traced to the isles of Captiva, Sanibel, Pine, and Estero, and the locals are sometimes heard recounting thrilling tales of the legendary adventurers, José Gaspar, Calico Jack, and Black Caesar.
A 3-mile-long causeway connects Sanibel Island’s to the mainland, and is well-known for its shelling (more than 200 varieties of shell) and the “Sanibel Stoop,” which is the bent-at-the-waist posture used to collect seashells. Sanibel is the most popular of the islands, and it features 15 miles of white sand beach, 22 miles of bike paths, the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which shelters several species of exotic plants and animals, and the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the U.S. Captiva Island is reachable via a bridge, and offers the opportunity to explore the great outdoors.
Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island is a popular destination for boating and fishing, while Bonita Beach showcases some of the finest beaches. Fort Myers, nicknamed “City of Palms,” is home to the estates of inventor Thomas Edison and automobile magnate Henry Ford, and offers tours of exhibits including museum, botanical gardens and research laboratory.
Lee Island Coast is a region of natural splendor, with unique and inviting opportunities, ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
All sizes are approximate.
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