Estero is a village on Estero Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico located on the west coast of Florida. Some of the earliest settlers were fishing families and a utopian community known as Koreshan Unity. Now, the town is a family-centric area known for its good weather and nearby diversions, such as world-class shopping malls and golf courses, and close beaches. Estero is also the location of Florida Gulf Coast University.
Going to the beach is about a 20-30 minute drive from Estero, but there are amazing outdoor activities right outside your front door. One is the Estero Bay Preserve State Park, the first aquatic nature preserve established in Florida. There you can fish, boat, canoe, hike, or bicycle — just keep an eye out for the bald eagles and gopher tortoises. There’s also Mound Key Archaeological State Park, a small island only accessible by boat where bones, shells, and pottery pieces believed to be made by the Calusa Indians have been dug up. At Koreshan State Historic Site, you can visit the historic structures and beautifully landscaped grounds first settled and maintained by the Koreshan Unity. If you want to retreat inside, Estero is known for its great shopping, including at Coconut Point, Miromar Design Center, and Miromar Outlets. And, if you like to golf, make sure to check out Old Corkscrew Golf Club and Stoneybrook Golf Club.
Estero is only about an hour away from the famed Florida Everglades, so spend a day journeying out to the marshlands and take a boat tour or explore on foot the beautiful scenery — but watch out for the alligators! For a complete change of pace, you can also make the two hour drive to Miami, one of Florida’s biggest cities. While there, walk around the Art Deco District in South Beach to enjoy the architecture, restaurants, and beaches. Also, make sure you sample some Cuban food, visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and go to the Miami Zoo.
The most expensive areas of Estero are on the east side of the city, near the Stoneybrook Golf Club. There you’ll find relatively new homes in gated communities. If you’re looking for prime walkability, however, stay near the town center. Estero’s downtown is home to restaurants and shops, and many college kids live in the area. Otherwise, stay on Estero’s west side, which touches the bay. Residences here tend to be smaller, but if you’re looking to spend a lot of time kayaking and birdwatching, this is the place.
Estero is served by LeeTran, the public transportation system for Lee County. Route 140 on LeeTran travels from Fort Myers to Coconut Point Mall, and Route 150 travels to Bonita Springs, stopping at Coconut Point Mall. Routes 60 and 600 also run through Estero. Traveling from Estero to Fort Myers or to the beach are simple, however to get to other areas of Florida, having a car is recommended.
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