It began as a quiet and affluent beach community in southwest Florida located between Fort Myers to the north and the Everglades to the south. It is now a rapidly growing, upscale suburbia of subdivisions, condominium complexes, shopping districts and golf courses. Of course it still has its excellent gulf beaches.
With over 50 golf courses in the area, this may be a greater concentration of golf courses than any other place in the Florida, and in fact, it proclaims itself as the "Golf Capital of the World". Golfing here is a year round activity that is especially pleasant during the mild fall (autumn) to spring weather of southwest Florida. Our hot summers send golfers to the morning and late afternoon sessions.
If shopping were a sport (and certainly there are those who believe that it is!), then Naples would be an Olympic village of shopping. Several world-class shopping districts are located in here.
Third Street South in the downtown area is an elegant shopping area with nearly a hundred distinctive shops, restaurants, cafes and art galleries. There are abundant shops devoted to clothes and accessories with a wide range of sophisticated to casual styles. Third Street South is located in southern section of the town near the Gulf of Mexico.
Fifth Avenue South continues the shopping theme with a combination of a historic setting and a variety of chic boutiques, gifts stores, jewelers, hotels and restaurants. The Sugden Theater is located here and offers theatrical performances including musicals, comedies, dramas and children's' theatre.
Nearby is the Tin City Waterfront Marketplace, a rustic and casual waterfront market. It offers collections, clothing, gifts and dining. With its rustic boardwalks, tin-topped buildings, the bayfront shopping area offers a more casual atmosphere. These shops and restaurants overlook the working docks of Naples Bay.
Across from Tin City, is the Bayfront shopping, dining and entertainment area. Among the European architecture, one will find upscale boutiques and galleries along with fine restaurants.
"Experience the Extraordinary" at the Village on Venetian Bay where it distinguishes itself through a unique collection of intriguing shops. Most of its some 60 shops, galleries and restaurants are set right on the waterfront.
Saks Fifth Avenue and Jacobson's are among the 40 plus shops and restaurants at the Waterside Shops at Pelican Bay. Open-air walkways allow one to stroll among the Spanish-style architecture.
And for those looking for a traditional American-style shopping mall, the Coastland Center is the place to go. The climate controlled mall features approximately 150 stores and numerous restaurants.
Activities and Attractions
Explore the best of by riding on the Trolley Tour. The narrated tour on vintage trolleys explores nearly 100 points of interest. The fee for the tour includes an all-day re-boarding pass so one can deboard to shop, dine and site see as desired.
The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a nationally accredited zoo and historical botanical garden. A natural path through the zoo almost a mile in length winds past rare and beautiful animals and exotic plants. Additionally, various shows are presented throughout the day. In 2005 the zoo was voted "Best place to take kids" by the Gulfshore Life magazine.
Of course, the natural attraction has always been its beautiful white sand beaches. Along the gulf coast are many miles of beaches and beach parks that range from those with full facilities to those with simple access points for less populated areas.
Boating, water sports and fishing are ideal along the generally warm and tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Wide ranges of choices are available from open water deep-sea fishing, to fishing the backcountry mangrove estuaries. Numerous marinas service your needs from charters to rentals. Kayaking is also popular and rentals and guided wilderness tours are available.
The historic Pier is a favorite for fishermen and those who enjoy strolling along the rustic, 1,000-foot long pier. Fishing licenses are not required and the pier features a concession stand and bait shop.
Everglades Excursions offers half and full day tours through Everglades National Park. See our Everglades page for more information about this natural wonder.
Golfing is one of the premier activities. There are public courses, semi-private and private golf courses affiliated with area resorts. Check with the local hotels and resorts for their current golf vacation packages and course availability.
Florida Sports Park "Mile of Mud" oval racetrack features Swamp Buggy racing. Several times a year, the World Championship of Swamp Buggy Races is held - something that has to be seen to believe.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a 14-acre natural oasis. The center offers boat tours, nature trails and guided tours, canoe and kayak rentals, numerous naturalist presentations throughout the day and a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Philharmonic Center for the Arts hosts more than 400 events per year including world-class dance, opera, classical and popular music and Broadway shows.
The Museum of Art hosts a broad array of visual arts, paintings, sculptures as well as offering educational programs and lectures. The 30,000 square foot museum has 15 galleries and a glass dome conservatory.
On the surface, the town is an affluent beach suburbia. But,
when one looks further, it has much to offer the Florida vacation