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Cape Coral in Florida.
Cape Coral is a large municipality located in Lee County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. Founded in 1957 and developed as a master-planned, pre-platted community, the city grew to a population of 162,852 by the year 2009. With an area of 120 square miles (310 km2), Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and Miami, and the second largest city in Florida by area. It is a principal city in the Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population estimate for the area was 645,899 for 2009. The city is known as a 'Waterfront Wonderland", since with over 400 miles (640 km) of navigable waterways, Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city on earth.
The city features a sandy beach and fishing pier on the Caloosahatchee River at the public Yacht Basin & Club. Cape Coral is home to the expansive SunSplash Water Park, more than 30 recreational parks, and seven golf courses. Cape Coral offers a variety of Gulf beaches in its immediate neighborhood, such as Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. The area is known by birding enthusiasts for a wide variety of wildlife and the largest population of burrowing owls in the state of Florida.
Cape Coral’s 400-mile (640 km) canal system provides many residents with waterfront living with access to the Gulf of Mexico via the broad Caloosahatchee River and Matlacha Pass. The Parks and Recreation Department maintains three public boat launching facilities. The Gulf of Mexico provides access to smaller tropical islands, rookeries, and sports fishing grounds.
Cape Coral’s cultural assets include the Historical Museum, the Art Studio, the Cape Coral Art League, and the Cultural Park Theater, a 187-seat performing arts facility that serves as home to community actors. In addition, there are several regional arts and performance venues in the immediate area, including the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Several parks and ecological preserves allow observation of the local wildlife. Elevated nature trails wind through the mangroves at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.
Mike Greenwell founded an amusement park called "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park" that opened in February 1992.
The area supports waterfowl, wading birds, migrant songbirds, gopher tortoises, dolphins and reptiles. Rotary Park is home to wading birds, raptors, butterflies, foxes and other wildlife. Nature enthusiasts can track exotic birds and native fish from the boardwalk at Lake Kennedy and watch the West Indian Manatees at Sirenia Vista Park. Cape Coral is home to the largest population of Burrowing Owls in Florida.
Cape Coral is home to 3 invasive species. The Green Iguana and the Spiny-tailed Iguana and in 2009, the apex predator Nile Monitor was discovered. The iguanas are found throughout southern Florida and generally do not pose a threat. The Nile Monitor is however a large (7–9 feet), fast traveling, fast swimming, carnivore with a wide diet which can include fish, fowl, and small mammals. The city's many waterways work against its capture and provide an easy transportation route around the city.
* The city holds an annual Independence Day fireworks festival known as Red, White & BOOM!! This is the biggest single day event in the city and a large July 4th display for Southwest Florida. Red, White and BOOM is presented annually by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral.
* Since 1985, the German-American Club holds an annual Oktoberfest, styled after the original held in Germany.The event draws on average 30,000 visitors.
* The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is held the second weekend of January every year. The event takes place on Cape Coral Parkway and attracts over 100,000 visitors. Nearly 300 artists and craftspeople from across the nation line the street to make this one of the largest and best attended art festivals in Southwest Florida.
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