Exploring Collier County

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Fast Facts:

Population: 378,488

Geographical size by land area: 1,998 square miles

Median household income: $65,675

Median value of owner-occupied housing dwellings: $340,100

Mean commute time to work: 24.7 minutes

Incorporated cities: 3

(Source: U.S. Census, 2018 estimates)

Collier County is often touted as the largest county by geographical size in Florida, and more than 75 percent of the land is set aside for federal, state, and county parks and conservation. As a result, it is home to vast wildlands—swamp, prairie, marsh, and coastal ecosystems—along with rural and agricultural areas that thrive in the frost-free area. Collier County was one of the last frontiers in the American South, and it was named for advertising magnate Barron G. Collier who at one time was the largest landowner in Florida and fueled the completion of the construction of the Tamiami Trail. Today, it has three incorporated cities and many distinct communities throughout the unincorporated parts of the county. Here is a snapshot of the cities and communities:

Everglades City: Coastal Outback

Once the base for Barron Collier’s development of the Tamiami Trail, linking the east and west coasts of South Florida, Everglades City is located on the edge of Chokoloskee Bay. This remote incorporated city is renowned for fishing and its proximity to Everglades National Park and Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Its population of 400-plus residents is a hardy, tight-knit community still recovering from the direct impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Median price: $350,000

Marco Island: Relaxed Oasis

At 24 square miles, Marco Island is the largest barrier island within the Ten Thousand Islands and lies 35 miles south of Naples. With a permanent population of 16,500-plus and a peak winter season population of 40,000, it features six miles of beach and is crisscrossed with more than 100 miles of canals and waterways created when the city was developed in the 1960s. Marco Island is recognized for its high quality of life with a low crime rate, natural resources, casual atmosphere, and friendliness. While real estate is relatively expensive compared to many communities in Florida, there is a wide variety and price ranges for homes, condominiums, and vacation rentals. Median price: $560,000

Naples: Jewel on the Gulf

Naples was named for the romantic, eponymous town in Italy because of its shimmering bays and location on the Gulf of Mexico when it was founded as a resort town in 1888. As the county seat of Collier County, it is home to both city and county government offices, law enforcement headquarters, and courts. It has ranked among the top 10 wealthiest cities in the United States. Home to 22,000 residents, Naples has long been a popular winter destination, boasting more than 300 sunny days per year, rich cultural amenities, affluent residents, and sophisticated dining and shopping. Median price: $335,000

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