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Fort Myers vs Naples: Which City is Better?

Fort Myers vs Naples: Which City is Better?

If you are considering moving to Fort Myers, Florida or Naples, Florida and want some insight on the best place for you to live, this article will help.

We understand how difficult it is to pick between Fort Myers and Naples as a place to live. In this blog post we compare Fort Myers vs Naples so that it is easier for you to decide which of these two cities would be a better fit for your lifestyle needs.

Fort Myers and Naples

Both cities are located on Florida’s western coast and are only 40 miles apart. The city of Fort Myers is well-known for its laid-back atmosphere and close proximity to a variety of beaches, such as Fort Myers Beach. To the south, in Naples, the wealthy are catered to; meanwhile, south of there is more known for catering to a higher class.

While both Naples and Fort Myers provide a high quality of life, what you want will determine which city is ideal for you.

Fort Myers vs Naples: Which City is Better?

Fort Myers vs Naples

Factor # 1: Affordability

In terms of housing, Fort Myers is one of the most affordable big cities in Florida and is frequently recognized as one of the most pleasant cheap places to live. Fort Myers home prices have been rising, but it is still a bargain when comparing Fort Myers to Naples. Land and cost of living is significantly less expensive in Fort Myers than Naples.

In Naples, if you want waterfront property, be prepared to pay more for it. Other than that, there is not much of a difference in pricing between Fort Myers and Naples.

Factor # 2: Economy

The economy of both cities are steady and strong; however, there has been a larger growth rate in the economy of Fort Myers over the past few years.

The tourism industry in Fort Myers is thriving with many hotels, shops and exhibits. Naples also has a strong tourist economy but not as much as that of Fort Myers. Tourism plays a large part in the overall business environment for both cities. While there are no huge corporations or companies in either city, each have their own form of economic stability. Naples has the surrounding area to draw from for their businesses, while Fort Myers has tourism.

Factor # 3: Employment

The job market is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not a city is right for you. When it comes down to comparing Fort Myers with Naples this factor becomes more difficult. Although each is a part of the larger metropolitan area, the job market for each city is different.

Employment in Naples varies from retail to tourism and many more. The cost of living in Naples is higher than in Fort Myers, but wages tend to match that increase. Having a higher level of employment allows Naples residents to live comfortably without having to be concerned about employment. However, Naples has a lower rate of unemployment than Fort Myers and is continuing to grow in terms of job availability.

Factor # 4: Education

Both cities are very well educated; one reason the cities are thriving with young professionals. Fort Myers has several public schools to offer, both high school and elementary. The Lee County School District provides high quality education to all of the students in Fort Myers.

Another reason the population is so young is due to Florida SouthWestern State College being located in both cities. The college also offers many degrees, which allows for job opportunities after graduation. Naples likewise has schools through the Collier County school district. One other thing that makes Naples stand out is the private schools that Naples has to offer.

Factor # 5: Safety

If you live in either of these cities, you may not have to worry about safety as much as if you were living on the outskirts of either city. Naples and Fort Myers are both considered relatively safe and may sometimes be referred to as “Mayberry.”

However, with either city being relatively safe, crime can still occur. Homicide rates are not very high when comparing Fort Myers to Naples; however it is more likely that there are more instances of theft or breaking and entering in Fort Myers when compared to Naples.

Factor # 6: Transportation

The transportation system in Naples is better than that of Fort Myers. Living in either city, you are likely to have your choice of several different forms of transportation including car, bus or train. The LeeTran provides public transportation throughout the entire city of Fort Myers, but there is no light rail or trolley service. Naples includes these forms of public transportation in addition to a bus service, Amtrak train service and ferry boat rides to the islands outside of Naples harbor.

Factor # 7: Recreation

If you enjoy being outdoors there are plenty of activities for you to partake in either city. With both cities offering beautiful beaches, water sports are available everywhere along the coast. Both cities have public parks and areas to enjoy the outdoors. There are several golf courses in Naples, but Fort Myers has the Edison Ford Winter Estates which is a huge part of Fort Myers history.

Factor # 8: Weather

The weather in Florida throughout the winter months is mild everywhere along the coast with low humidity and a comfortable temperature. There is not much of a difference between the two cities when it comes to weather.

Factor # 9: Economics

If you are looking for an exciting job in either city, Naples has many business opportunities whereas Fort Myers has its large array of medical facilities and offices. The cost of living in Naples is higher than that of Fort Myers which allows Naples residents to have a higher income and live comfortably.

Factor # 10: Community Feel

Fort Myers is a large city, but it has a small town feel both in the downtown area and throughout its neighborhoods. Fort Myers has many smaller communities within itself whereas Naples does not have as much of this attribute. Both cities are spread out so it is important to consider the commute time both within and outside of the city limits.

Factor # 11: Healthcare

As previously mentioned, Fort Myers has a large number of medical facilities and offices throughout the town. Naples does not have as many healthcare facilities, but it is near to large cities such as Miami and Orlando which both offer many medical services.

Based on all these factors we can determine that Naples is the better place to live out of the two coastal cities.

Factor # 12: Food

With many different cuisines and restaurants at the coast, you will have an assortment of dining options. Naples has more restaurants to choose from including Italian, Cuban, Tex-Mex and seafood. However Fort Myers does not lack in these departments either.

Factor # 13: Things to Do

In Fort Myers, you will have a large number of things to do including taking in arts and entertainment as well as going on family friendly vacations. In Naples, you will also have the same as well as an assortment of museums including one at the Edison Ford Estates.

Fort Myers does not have access to a beach right outside of its city; however Naples does and you will have the option of enjoying the beach or heading south to Miami or north to Orlando.

Factor # 14: Community Feel

The community feel in both cities is wonderful. Naples has a large number of residents who call this city their home and will be available to help you if ever needed. In Fort Myers, there is a family feel with many residents who have been there for years and even generations. In both cities, you will find that the longer you stay the more your neighbors become like family.

Fort Myers has several different neighborhoods within it whereas Naples has very few of these smaller communities. There is not much of a difference between the neighborhood communities in either city.

Factor # 15: Nightlife

Many bars and clubs are available in both cities with Fort Myers having more options to choose from. There is not much of a difference between the night life in the two cities, but if you like to party late at night there are more choices in Fort Myers. Naples does not close down early either though so it is possible to find something to do until the early hours of the morning.

Fort Myers vs Naples: Which City is Better?


In conclusion, if you would like to live along the coast of Florida, either Naples or Fort Myers would be a perfect city for you. Both have their own attributes that make them great places to live, but some of the factors listed above favor one city more than the other. Depending on your interests and preferences, there is no doubt that you will enjoy living in one of these beautiful cities.

There are several factors that play an integral role in helping you decide whether or not it’s time for you and your family to move on from where you currently reside. If affordability, crime rates, and things to do are on top of your list of priorities, then you should definitely check out Fort Myers or Naples.