Golden Gate Places
If the city life does not appeal to you, then Golden Gate, with its slightly more rural feel and availability of larger parcels of residential land, may be more your style.
Situated in the eastern reaches of Collier County, Golden Gate was initially developed and marketed as a place where outdoorsmen and horse lovers could find ranch-like acreage on which to build their dream home. While the hub of what was called Golden Gate City was initially planned with smaller home sites, many sections of this community are comprised of parcels from 2.5 up to hundreds of acres, and those that live there enjoy a life style reminiscent of the early Florida days in the country.
The same development firm that undertook the massive Cape Coral community about 60 miles north also planned and sold Golden Gate, starting in the early 1960’s. Heavy marketing and advertising campaigns aimed at northerners and selling the good life in Florida did their job, and folks began to come south to investigate. Today, many Golden Gate residents are those that may have lived in a more densely-populated communities nearer to Naples and the coastline, and simply opted to add a little country charm and elbow room to their busy lives.
With the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary as its northern border, a huge State Forest to the south and a National Wildlife Refuge to the east, Golden Gate is in the heart of the natural beauty of the Florida Everglades. People here spend their leisure time riding their horses or all-terrain vehicles, camping and hiking the trails, and have a deep appreciation of life in the picturesque Florida outdoors.
The sheer magnitude of Golden Gate – about 112,000 acres with 880 miles of roadways and hundreds of miles of man-made canals – doesn’t mean Golden Gate is packed with people. About 75% of the community is still vacant, and as of the 2000 U.S. Census, about 20,000 folks lived there. Sometimes called the world’s largest subdivision, the city was first planned to offer 1.25-acre lots for sale, but it turned out that the infrastructure of Collier County at the time was not designed to accommodate the financial and operational stress a community of that size would bring.
These days, Golden Gate is a community of young families, baby boomers and retirees. There is a mix of residential housing options, including moderately priced condominiums to impressive, multi-story country estate homes with prices in the millions.
Golden Gate and its thousands of acres of natural wetlands, estuaries and waterways may be a few miles away from downtown Naples, but residents here have their own convenient amenities. Several schools, a library, its own fire and emergency departments and a host of shopping and dining options have helped make Golden Gate a setting with an old Florida feel that families of all ages call home.