For retirees who are looking for lower taxes, cheap housing and a gentle climate, Cape Coral scores on all fronts. Home prices here, for example, have fallen more than 60% since the 2006 peak. For homebuyers, that means a lot of bang for the buck: A newly renovated three-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot house with a pool was recently bought here for $145,000.
Lots of Florida towns have seen dramatic price drops, of course, but Cape Coral has something else going for it: It's paradise for water lovers. The town is sliced with 400 miles of canals, half of which have access to the Gulf of Mexico, about 20 minutes away by boat.
This quiet place doesn't offer much nightlife. But there's a public golf course, a weekly farmers' market with live music, and a nearby outlet mall. Training camps for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins are just 15 minutes away.