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Cape Coral: A ‘waterfront wonderland’

By Staff | Nov 14, 2019

Surrounded by the Caloosahatchee, there are endless boating and water-themed activities to delve into. FILE PHOTO

Cape Coral is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and is the largest between Tampa and Miami.

With more than 400 miles of canals, the Cape has been dubbed a “waterfront wonderland” by residents, thanks to captivating – and remarkably affordable – waterfront properties with easy access to countless boating destinations.

An abundance of marine life – including dolphins, manatees and other aquatic treasures – can be found playing about the canals and waters of the Cape.

Surrounded by the Caloosahatchee, there are endless boating and water-themed activities to delve into.

The city has several boat launches with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as miles of freshwater canals and lakes.

Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Pkwy, Cape Coral.

There’s never a dull moment in the Cape, as the city is home to many of Lee County’s major events and street parties as well as offering a plethora of concerts and night life in its downtown entertainment district, the South Cape along and around Cape Coral Parkway.

Hop aboard an event trolley to tour local establishments in the South Cape, or go exploring along nature trails or the city’s numerous bike trails.

Not enough to entice you to make a day trip?

Catch a show at Cultural Park Theater or, during the summer season, hit Sun Splash Family Waterpark to cool down.

With nearly 40 indoor and outdoor park facilities, the Cape provides something for all walks of life to enjoy.

Iwo Jima Memorial at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. File photo

Cape Coral Yacht Club

A great spot to kick back, relax and enjoy a view is the city’s original waterfront landmark: Cape Coral Yacht Club.

Complete with a public waterfront beach, newly renovated, Jr. Olympic size community pool, kiddie pool and restaurant- relaxation awaits.

Bring your boat and drop it into the Caloosahatchee for a day of exploration on the water.

Or, bring your fishing rod and cast off the pier.

The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill on site serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer a unique experience: “Hook and Cook” You catch it, they cook it.

Grab your racket and play a match of tennis at the courts on site.

The community park also offers racquetball and shuffleboard courts, as well as a beach playground area.

Also on the property is the Tony Rotino Center, providing life enhancing opportunities, primarily for adults age 50+. Their staff is committed to encouraging personal growth, fostering new friendships and helping individuals maintain independent, healthy lifestyles.

The park is open 7 days a week and offers swill lessons, exercise programs, lap swimming, a Master Swim Program and summer youth camps.

5819 Driftwood Pkwy, Cape Coral.

Cultural Park Theater

The 184-seat community theater is the largest in Southwest Florida, and puts on a dozen productions each season. Along with its own shows, Cultural Park hosts second stage productions from local acts and performers. Its Broadway season, which begins each September and lasts until May, brings classic and contemporary musicals and plays to life. Shows usually run Friday, Saturday and Sundays, with tickets being $21 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for students and $10 for children under 12.

528 Cultural Park Boulevard

Cape Coral Historical Museum

The museum features a picture display of the history of Cape Coral, as well as a large mural of the former Cape Coral Gardens – or Rose Gardens – a Native American Room, a Military Exhibit, prehistoric fossils, an authentic Cracker House and more. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wed-Fri, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission for adults is $5 an free for children under 17 and students with ID. Tours are available, as well as a gift shop.

544 Cultural Park Boulevard

Eco Park

Cape Coral is a Purple Heart City, with a rich veteran population. If you head into the Cape via the Midpoint Memorial Bride, you’ll be welcomed by one-of-a-kind, stunning statues and dedications to the United States Military at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.

The 365-acre preserve is the second largest preserved green space in the city, located by Veterans Parkway.

A massive Iwo Jima Memorial catches the eye right way, as the iconic 20-foot statue depicts five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman raising the American Flag on the highest point in Iwo Jima. The monument in Cape Coral is not a replica, but one of three originals created by sculptor Felix de Wldon.

Other memorials include an Iraq War dedication, bricks in the ground that honor Vietnam Veterans, a Merchant Marine and Navy Armed Guard memorial and a Gold Star Mothers memorial.

Flags of nearly every branch of the military fly high over these monuments that represent all of the sacrifices made by those in times of war.

Approximately 6,600 feet of nature and walking trails await along boardwalks, taking you into shaded areas that lead to a canal where you can rent kayaks.

Mangrove roots along the trails almost give the appearance that the ground is “alive and walking.”

Wildlife sightings are also abundant, including eagles, ibis, herons, wading and migratory birds, raccoons, snakes and more.

A visitors center is on site to provide information on programs offered, wildlife and trail guides. The park is open from 8 a.m. till dusk year-round.

2500 SE 24th St, Cape Coral. Park Office: 239-549-7395

Southwest Florida Military Museum

Florida is home the third highest veteran population in the United States, and Cape Coral has a military museum rich with history and walls that will tell tales of yesterday.

The Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library is free and open to the public. It was started by the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation to honor the men and women of the military and to preserve military related artifacts.

Stepping into the museum is like stepping into a time machine. Relics of past battles, uniforms, flags, and depictions of war time canvas the facility.

The museum features a Purple Heart Exhibit, highlighting Florida’s 360 brave Purple Heart recipients who were killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001.

Other exhibits you can find accentuate the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam Wars and Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

The museum has grown to be the largest military museum in Southwest Florida.

4820 Leonard St, Cape Coral. swflmm.org