Naples, Florida, is a touch of paradise. Located down south on the west coast, it lies like a glittering jewel on the Gulf of Mexico. Pure white beaches and crystal blue waters are the main attraction for many, but stroke the surface of this sunny city and you’ll find wonders beginning to unfold everywhere you turn your head. Naples is the perfect location for a family holiday, but if you’d prefer a quiet getaway with your lover, the Paradise Coast will enchant and delight your senses.
From the unblemished white sands of Naples to the dark and mysterious Everglades National Park, there are attractions to suit all moods. Go for a sub-par score on one of the many world-ranked golf courses, then dance till the early hours at Zoe’s Nightclub. If you prefer a more traditional evening, hit one of the Irish Pubs and listen to some great music while you dine and drink. Diving, fishing and swimming are great ways to spend your time, but Naples also abounds with culture, as you’ll see when you visit any of the local museums and galleries. Whatever it is you’re into, Naples, Florida, will be sure to float your boat.
Naples’ Top 10
10. Rent a boatat Naples Bay Resort and look for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.
5. Get to the Naples Museum of Art, check out the latest exhibitionand get a good dose of world-class culture.
9. Head to Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples for a designer shopping experience you won’t soon forget.
4. Take the kids to Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, make faces at the monkeys, and hand-feed the herd!
8. Take a walking tour of the Naples Historic District when you visit the National Historical Society.
3. Spend an idyllic afternoon at Naples Botanical Gardens, and take a stroll through the seven themed gardens with the one you love.
7. Charter a fishing boat, drop a line into the deep blue sea and feast on nature’s bounty for dinner.
2. Book A Shurr Adventure and see some alligators in the wild on aGuided Kayak Eco-Trip in the Everglades National Park.
6. Do an eco-tour and see the Manatees atthe Port of the Islands Marina, just down the coast from Naples.
1. Take a walk andlook out for dolphins from Naples Pier, and stay for a once-in-a-lifetime sunset experience.
- Keewaydin Club - Historic inn opened in 1934, once accessible by ferry, which is now part of its museum structure.
- Palm Cottage House Museum - The oldest house in Naples, constructed with shells and mortar.
- Naples Seaboard Air Line Railway Station - The 1927 home to the USO that was briefly an airline and then a railway station.
- Caribbean Gardens - Exotic plants and animals, some rare, on 52 acres established in 1919.
- Crayton Cove - First sheltered mooring settled in 1915.
Naples Art & Culture
- Naples Museum of Art - A 30,000-square-foot gallery covering three stories full of incredible exhibits.
- Evening on the Fifth - The second Thursday of every month on Fifth Avenue S offers a relaxed evening of sidewalk music.
- Philharmonic Centre for the Arts - Over 400 annual performing arts events are held in this cultural centre.
- Naples Fishing Pier - No fishing license is required, so this is a great place to watch the fishermen.
- Naples Players - Community theatre company established in 1953.
- The Fresh Market - Popular draw offering fresh foods and specialty items for the discerning gourmet.
- Olde Naples - Historical section of town well known for curious treasures and antiques.
- Tin City Waterfront - Unique shopping experience with a galleria feel, good for finding artsy items.
- Waterside Shops - High-end clothing, brand-name shopping and fashion.
- Fifth Avenue - Luxury and upscale shopping and classic dining for an exclusive crowd.
Gay & Lesbian Naples
- Bambusa - A well-established, semi-upscale eatery/pub with a casual gay and mixed setting.
- Pier South - Into the night, from the pier to the 16th to 18th Avenue beach and Aqualane Shores area is a cruisy spot.
- Snapper’s Night Club - Drag friendly, the Sunday T-dance brings out the finest flirts in one of Naples's gayest spots.
- Lowdermilk Park - Mixed, but well known for discreet gay crowds, especially toward the south and at night.
- The Real Macaw - Tropical birds, a relaxing atmosphere and gourmet food with live blues offers more than an island-getaway feel.
- Beaches - Over 10 miles of sparkling clean beaches are available for the sun lover or the people watcher.
- Naples Botanical Gardens - Themed gardens including Butterfly House, Asian, Water, Children’s, Caribbean, Florida and Brazilian gardens.
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - Wildlife and nature preserve in Big Cypress with an over two-mile long boardwalk through it and lots of wild orchids.
- Bay Cruise - Dolphin watching and sightseeing in Naples Bay.
- Everglades National Park - Expansive wildlife area that protects a quarter of the Everglades and is a popular attraction at which to see crocodiles and mangroves.
- Rent a boat or pontoon for a fun day out on the water.
- Bike Naples’s annual Thanksgiving Day Gobble Gobble four-mile race.
- Fish up a monster out of the bay from a boat, the beach or pier.
- Enjoy the healthy fairways of one of Naples's over 80 golf courses.
- Cheer onyour favourite participant at Great Dock Canoe Race in early May.
January in Naples opens with the Annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival. Take a field trip and check out the local flora and fauna.
Bid for a bottle later in the month at the Naples Winter Wine Festival, an annual charity auction held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
In February, gorge on fresh fish and other culinary treats at the Everglades Seafood Festival in Naples, and enjoy the entertainment while you’re there.
Later in the month get up to speed on the latest designs at the Annual Ferrari Show on 5th Avenue South in downtown Naples.
Witness a Civil War battle in March at the Big Cypress Shootout Seminole War Reenactment at Clewiston, and then head out to the islands off of Naples for the Marco Island Seafood Festival at the end of the month.
May in Naples hosts the ArtsNaples World Festival, an annual celebration of world culture, showcasing a different country every year.
In June catch a fish and win a prize at The Back Country Classic Catch and Release tournament in Naples.
Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Naples Botanical Gardens and enjoy the annual Red, White &; Bloom Festival.
Get your feet wet in August at Naples’ Big Cypress Gallery Annual Labor Day Open House. Take a swamp walk and dry off while listening to some great music afterwards.
It’s all about arts and crafts in September when Naples hosts a whole city full of exhibitions, including the Florida Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition and the Show of Shows Exhibition.
When To Go
Naples has a balmy climate, with October through April being the most comfortable time of year to go. The average temperature around this time is about 70°F (21°C), which climbs to about 80°F (27°C) in the summer.
Rainfall is highest in summer with around 8 inches (200mm), but it drops to a low of about 2 inches (50mm) in the winter.
Naples is beautiful all year round, but the summer attracts more tourists, so be prepared for more crowds in those months.
Naples has its own domestic airport, but the closest large airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, is located just 27 miles away from the city centre. Serviced airlines include American, Continental and Delta Airlines.
There’s a bus service to get around the local area: the CAT, or Collier Area Transit System, which is cheap and reliable. However, if you want the best holiday experience in Naples, hire a car and drive yourself, or rent a pushbike and take your time.
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