SWFL Dining: My Top 10 Restaurant Recommendations

Whether you are new to the area or just looking to expand and excite your palate, SWFL dining offers some of the best restaurants in the world. The ambiance, the atmosphere, the weather, the people and the culture – it all adds to the overall experience.

You can look online to sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor, but nothing beats a good old fashioned personal recommendation. As a longtime resident, allow me to guide you to some of my favorite local hot spots.

My top 10 SWFL dining recommendations span Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island and Estero


  1. Seasons 52. If you are looking for fresh inspired cuisine that is always in season, Seasons52 is the place for you. Elegant delicious fare, a great wine and beer list and a relaxing upscale atmosphere. They are located at 8930 Tamiami Trail North, Naples,  FL,  34108 and can be reached by calling (239) 594-8852.
  1. USS Nemo. Amazing seafood with a creative twist. USS Nemo’s menu is unlike any other. Tucked into a small strip of shops this is a local favorite easily missed by tourists. If you are tired of the “same old, same old” – Venture into Nemos. Seating is limited, so call ahead for reservations.  USS Nemo is located at 3745 Tamiami Trail N, Naples, FL and they can be reached at 239-261-6366
  1. Cru. In the mood for rich and decadent? Cru is the place. Their ever changing menu allows their master chefs to really get creative with the food. There is even a back bar which wraps around the cooking area creating the feel of a live cooking show. Your mouth will water watching the outgoing plates being prepared. Tables are also available which are far more private for romantic dinners. At Cru, you choose the experience. Cru is located at 13499 S. Cleveland Ave. Fort Myers, FL 33907 (In the Bell Tower Shopping Center) and can be reached at 239-466-3663.
  1. Veranda Restaurant. Looking for a bit of the old south? Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Fort Myers. The Veranda will take you away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life to a bygone era of Antebellum charm. Relaxed yet upscale, the Veranda is one of Fort Myers oldest restaurants and a must experience. Steak, seafood and some of the most elegant deserts on the planet. They are located at 2122 Second Street Fort Myers, FL 33901 and can be reached by calling 239-332-2065.
  1. Rumba Cuban Café. Though small, this cafe has amazing food. Fresh as fresh can get and very homemade. If you go once, you will go twice. This hidden gem is loved by locals and seasonals alike. Rumba is located at 1265 Airport Pulling Rd. South, Between Davis Blvd and Estey Ave. Across From Naples Motor Sports, Naples, FL 34104. They can be reached by calling 239-659-2996.
  1. Wahoo’s (Formerly Jack’s River Bar and Grille). Located on Naples Harbour, Wahoo’s boasts an island getaway feel. This location allows you to sit outside and take in our gorgeous Florida weather while sipping a cocktail waterfront. Take break from boating, enjoy lunch with friends, or a reserve a sunset dinner with family. This hidden tropical get away has fantastic food and hearty portions. They are located at 475 North Road Naples, FL 34104 and can be reached by calling 239-213-1441.
  1. Verdi’s American Bistro. Located on the world renowned Marco Island this bistro steak house continually holds top ratings. Elegant yet comfortable Verdi’s has a transitional look and feel. Homemade food utilizing the freshest local cuisine available. Chef Upham is constantly expanding his skills and is continuously praised by our diners. Verdi’s is located at 241 North Collier Blvd, Marco Island, FL 34145 and can be reach by calling 239-394-5533.
  1. The Blue Coyote. Located at the Sanibel Island Golf Club, they are open to the public. Dining at the Blue Coyote is a full on taste experience unlike any other. Extra ordinary lighting, gorgeous art, and a relaxed yet upscale environment all set the stage for the unmatched culinary creations. If you are looking for a restaurant on Sanibel that is self-proclaimed as “Slightly less island and more sophistication”, make a reservation at the Blue Coyote. They are located at 1100 Par View Drive Sanibel Island, FL 33957 and can be reached by calling 239-472-9222.
  1. M Waterfront Grille. Waterfront luxurious dining. The M has it all. Location, ambiance and an incredible menu of cutting edge continental cuisine. Fine dining with a relaxed flair. Take in the views and leave feeling fully satisfied. The M is located at 4300 Gulf Shore Blvd. Naples, FL and can be reached by calling 239-263-4421.
  1. Roy’s. Roy Yamaguchi, world renowned chef, launched his own chain of high end steak house restaurants. We are lucky enough to have one located right here in Bonita Springs. Inspired bites and enticing cocktails. Roy’s is a staple that is not to be overlooked. They are located at 26831 South Bay Drive, # 100 Bonita Springs, FL 34134 and can be reached by calling (239) 498-7697.

 Live nearby the best SWFL dining

Once you fall in love with this area and our local cuisine, you may consider buying a home. To inquire about available properties in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and surrounding Southwest Florida, contact me, Rick LaVan of Treeline Realty Corp at 239-848-7403.

Originally Published: http://www.ricklavan.com/2016/01/swfl-dining-my-top-10-restaurant-recommendations/

Becoming a Florida Local

Moving from the colder climate states to the tropical weather of Florida is a huge change. Making that switch from tourist to resident takes some adjustment and a bit of time.

Everyone loves Florida in the winter. Its why Florida’s population and traffic increase so drastically come “Season” (mid-October through mid-April). What we here in the sunshine state consider “finally cooling off” most out of state visitors still feel as summer weather. Mid 80’s, sunny, breezy, reduced humidity – let’s face it. We live in paradise.

If you have moved here on a year round basis and you are not a snowbird (part time seasonal resident) there are some definite benefits.

  • You no longer need heavy winter sweaters, jackets or coats – the need for closet space decreases immensely.
  • Your car will never freeze shut again, nor will you ever have to shovel your driveway and you don’t need to change out your tires for snow tires.
  • You don’t have to deal with chapped lips and dry winter skin.
  • Outdoor plans rarely impeded here in Florida due to weather (unless we have a hurricane)
  • Drinking hot beverages becomes a preference not a necessity in an attempt to thaw yourself out.
  • When traveling out of state, be it business or pleasure, it is always nice to return home to the swaying palm trees and blue ocean water. Living in vacation land makes ending an actual vacation far less abrupt.
  • Sunshine on your skin for just 15 minutes a day allows your body to create Vitamin D, boosting your immune system and your overall mood.
  • Fresh fruit is available locally all year long and sea food doesn’t have to travel to get to your dinner table.
  • The beach is there to enjoy every month of the year as well, though you will likely reveal yourself as a new transplant if you do choose to go for a dip in the ocean in January while the rest of us huddle around a fire wearing hoodies on the beach.

The first couple of summers you spend in Florida may feel extra hot.

With daily temperatures in the upper 90’s with high humidity it tends to take people some time to adapt. It’s made easier by the fact that everything down here is air conditioned. Stores, offices, homes, cars – you move from one to the other pretty quickly and unless you so choose, don’t really have to spend that much time out in the heat. I will say though, that once you have been through a few summers, your body temperature seems to regulate. You no longer feel as hot and actually are able to enjoy the beaches and sunshine in the summer months. Along with that comes the added bonus that all of the seasonal visitors have returned home. The roads clear, the once crowded reservation only restaurants are now open and airy and you are easily sat at all times of the day, there are no lines at the grocery store and the welcoming sandy beaches can be nearly empty at times leaving you feeling like you have your own private oasis.

South West Florida is a wonderful place to live. The hustle and bustle of many northern cities doesn’t come into play here. The attitude and atmosphere is friendly and laid back. If you are just joining us, or thinking of joining us – We welcome you.

We know that relocating is a huge undertaking. If you do decide on the Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita, Estero or Sanibel Island areas give Sage Realty a call at 1-800-789-6618 or visit our website www.sagerealtor.com to search current listings. We look forward to working with you!
Originally Published: http://sagerealtor.com/2015/10/03/becoming-a-florida-local/