If you are going to look for an apartment rental in North Fort Myers, then you want to come prepared. For apartment complexes and some home rentals, you will fill out an application -- including references -- and wait for them to run a credit check. Then you will hand over a nice chunk for first and last month's rent, a security deposit and a pet deposit, if applicable. Then there are the deposits for the utilities, as most places are not all bills paid. On a positive note, you almost never need heat here. Some private homes and apartments dispense with everything but the money. You write a check and they hand you a key. Many people are very laid back and relaxed here. Welcome to Florida!
While in many cities of this size, you will find that neighborhood designations are more for real estate and tax purposes, but in North Fort Myers, there are a few neighborhoods that have a certain flair. Basically, they can be broken down into waterfront neighborhoods and inland neighborhoods.
Nalle: This neighborhood is prime real estate if you are looking for homes a bit larger, in the four-bedroom range, or for apartments that range from studios to three bedrooms. Take note that even the one-bedroom apartments are on the large side. There are some really trendy shops in this area, as well as great places to dine. It's close to the golf course, but then again, this is Florida, and almost everything here is close to a golf course! There is also a nice park nearby, and you are only a quick trip to the water.
Bayshore: Welcome to water world! If you are looking for an apartment to rent in North Fort Myers that is close to the water, start your search in this area. There is a catch to living here, but it's a good one. Many homes in this neighborhood are seasonal residences that are often left under the care of a maintenance company. Much of the year, you might find the streets fairly empty. Then, in winter, they fill up as their owners try to beat the birds migrating south! Most of the available rental properties in this area are single-family homes on the small side; typically no more than two bedrooms. If that size works for you, then you might just be able to realize your dream of living near the water in Florida!
Cleveland: If high-rise living is for you, then this is a really great place to live in North Fort Myers! You have a couple of choices here; there are medium-size rental homes that are seasonally occupied and can range up to three or four bedrooms. The other option here is one of the waterfront high-rise apartments. These range from executive suites -- a fancy way of saying studio apartment -- to three- and four-bedroom places. One really great bonus here is not only the amenities of the buildings, but also the views! There are some incredible views out over the river and the city.
Moody: This picturesque area of North Fort Myers has a nice mix of owner-occupied homes, seasonal homes and high-rise apartments. There is also an interesting mix of construction; the homes tend to be older and more established while the apartments are fairly new. Many of the apartment complexes were built after 2000 and come with beautiful views, great amenities and a quick walk to shops, restaurants and nightspots.
Suncoast Estates: If you are interested in studio apartments, two-bedroom apartments or medium-size homes with three to four bedrooms, then this is a great place to start looking! One interesting factor about this neighborhood is that there are a large number of seasonal and vacation homes. This means that during part of the year, the area may be far less populated than at other times. The other cool tidbit here is that many of these homes are older in construction, with many of the apartments hailing from the 1980's. While the vast majority have been updated, the entire area has a cool Miami Vice retro vibe that really lets the full impact of living in Florida sink in to you. This is also a great neighborhood for trendy restaurants and bars!
After you get settled in and unpacked, you are going to want to check out your new surroundings! For starters, this is a golf paradise. It's also a haven for those who like to fish. If you are serious about fishing, go and see Captain Joe at Fort Myers Fishing Adventures for the best in sport fishing charters. But that is only one of the adventures that awaits you in your new home!
If you were worried about finding a great place for dinner, then you must be new to the area! North Fort Myers has world-class cuisine, and for a real dining experience, stop in to Brew Babies Garden Bistro on Lafayette Street. This is fine dining at its most elegant, and while everything is exquisitely prepared by their chef, the Seafood Pomodoro is incredible. Looking for something a bit more casual for your seafood needs? That's easy; The Three Fisherman on Cleveland Street will fill your needs nicely. They have a wide selection of seafood choices, but it's only fair to warn you to avoid the deviled crab unless you want to make a habit of stopping in here -- it's probably the best deviled crab in the area.
Just because this is Florida doesn't mean that you can only eat seafood! There are plenty of other outstanding and casual choices. One of the favorites locally is the Firehouse Sports Grill on Cleveland. Their High Rise Nachos are outstanding, and their ribs are always cooked to perfection.
If you are looking for a watering hole, you will find plenty of options in the immediate area. An extremely popular sports bar in the area is Jerseys Sports Cafe on Cleveland. Sporting more than 35 televisions, they can pretty much show any game you could want to see. Just remember that their all-you-can-eat shrimp night is Wednesdays.
If you just want a place to meet friends for drinks, go to Jim's Pub on Tamiami Trail. The drinks flow freely and the pub grub is outstanding.
This is Florida, and people look at you funny if you hide from the sun! So go out and take a look around your new town. You will find trendy shops and stores everywhere you look. There are also several fish markets so you can get the freshest fish possible.
Other than shopping, galleries and a beautiful natural history museum on Jackson Street, the popular local activities include tennis, golf and swimming. But the activity that tops them all is sport fishing. You can buy or charter a boat and then head out for some serious fishing. It's strongly advised to have a guide the first few times you venture out because of the changing shorelines.
Florida is a tropical flower wonderland, and there are varieties growing in this area that are not found anywhere else in the United States. Gardening is virtually an all-year activity and the local parks are no exception. The grounds keepers for the parks keep the trails and paths free of debris and keep the flowers and plants looking beautiful. For even more of the local flora, pay a visit to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, where you can see some incredible gardens.
While you are outdoors, head over to Judd Park on Driftwood Drive. If you have a dog, then he or she can go with you to the Pooch Dog Park. This off-leash park is fenced with water, shade trees and separate areas for large and small dogs.