Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Beaches to Art Galleries: 30 Plus Things To Do Near Naples Florida

With its pristine beaches, vibrant art scene, and rich cultural heritage, Naples, Florida offers a captivating blend of sun-soaked relaxation and artistic inspiration. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or an immersive cultural experience, Naples has it all.

In this article, we will explore the many things to do near Naples Florida, and how to make the most of your time in this charming coastal city.

Step onto the powdery white sands of Naples’ stunning beaches, where crystal-clear waters beckon you for a swim, leisurely walk, or simply to bask in the warm sunshine. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, or even jet skiing. Naples beaches have it all.

After indulging in the natural beauty of the shores, immerse yourself in Naples’ thriving art scene. Visit the city’s renowned art galleries, which showcase a diverse range of contemporary and traditional masterpieces.

From thought-provoking sculptures to breathtaking paintings, these galleries offer a glimpse into the vibrant artistic expression that defines Naples.

But Naples isn’t just about beaches and art – the city’s rich history and cultural heritage are waiting to be discovered. Explore the historic districts, where charming architecture and fascinating museums await.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local cuisine, which blends fresh seafood with a dash of international flavors.

Get ready to embrace 7 beaches, 3 art galleries, and 13 outdoor activities. We have a truly unforgettable experience as we guide you on how to make the most of your time near Naples, Florida.

Delnor-Wiggins State Park has it all – remote beach, hiking path, bird watching and away from the crowds.

Exploring the Beaches of Naples

Naples, Florida, is known for its beautiful beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Here is a list of some of the popular beaches near Naples:

  1. Naples Beach: Naples Beach is the city’s main beach and is located in downtown Naples. It’s known for its white sand, calm waters, and the iconic Naples Pier. At sunset, you will find a crowd that wants to see the red globe dip into the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  2. Vanderbilt Beach: Located to the north of Naples, one of the must-visit beaches in Naples is Vanderbilt Beach. This long stretch of sandy paradise offers ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and beach volleyball. The calm waters are perfect for a refreshing swim or a relaxing float on an inflatable raft. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins playing in the distance.
  3. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park: For a more secluded and serene experience, head to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. This beautiful natural beach is nestled between mangroves and offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Take a stroll along the nature trails, go birdwatching, or have a picnic under the shade of the towering pine trees. With its unspoiled beauty, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a true hidden gem. This state park is located to the northwest of Naples and offers a more natural beach experience with opportunities for wildlife viewing and picnicking.
  4. Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park: Located north of Naples in Bonita Springs, this beach is known for its natural beauty and wildlife. It’s a designated preserve with a boardwalk and hiking trails.
  5. Clam Pass Beach Park: This beach is located in North Naples and is accessible via a scenic tram ride through a mangrove forest. It’s a unique and tranquil spot. Great place for a nature walk or stroll on the beach.
  6. Lowdermilk Park Beach: Located in the heart of Naples, this park features a beautiful beach, picnic areas, and a playground.
  7. Bonita Beach Park: Located in Bonita Springs, this beach park is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. This is one of the larger beach parks near Naples. It is located just across the boundary to Lee County.

We would also mention that Marco Island, 30 minutes from Naples, has some choice beaches and things to do near Naples.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, or even jet skiing. Many rental shops along the beaches offer equipment for various water sports, allowing you to explore the coastal beauty of Naples from a different perspective.

No matter which beach you choose to visit in Naples, be sure to bring sunscreen, a beach towel, and plenty of water. Enjoy the soothing sound of the waves, the gentle breeze on your skin, and the feeling of sand between your toes. Naples’ beaches are the perfect place to unwind and relax.

The beaches are high on everyone’s list of things to do near Naples Florida. The state and county keep the beaches in exceptional condition.

Please note that the accessibility, amenities, and conditions of these beaches may vary, so it’s a good idea to check with local authorities or visit their respective websites for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

things to do in Naples florida - Naples Pier
You cant talk about beaches in Naples without mentioning the very popular Naples Pier and Beach At sunset people come from all over the city to watch

Discovering the Art Scene in Naples

After indulging in the natural beauty of the shores, head for Naples’ thriving art scene. The city is known for its vibrant artistic community, with numerous galleries, art festivals, and public art installations.

One of the best ways to experience the art scene in Naples is by visiting the city’s renowned art galleries. These galleries showcase a diverse range of contemporary and traditional masterpieces, offering a glimpse into the vibrant artistic expression that defines Naples.

things to do near Naples Florida - Clyde Butcher Gallery
While we list three great Galleries in Naples below this gallery is in the middle of the Everglades and is a must see for art lovers Clyde Butcher Big Cypress Gallery

Must-visit art galleries in Naples

The Baker Museum: Located within the Artis-Naples complex, The Baker Museum houses an impressive collection of contemporary art. From thought-provoking sculptures to breathtaking paintings, this museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Naples Art Association: Situated in the heart of Naples, the Naples Art Association features rotating exhibits that showcase the work of local and regional artists. The association also hosts art classes, workshops, and events throughout the year.

Watson MacRae Gallery: Known for its focus on contemporary art, Watson MacRae Gallery represents both established and emerging artists. The gallery’s exhibitions often explore themes of nature, landscape, and the human experience.

Outdoor Activities Near Naples

Naples offers a wide range of outdoor activities for those seeking adventure and exploration. From kayaking through mangrove tunnels to hiking scenic trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

things to do in Naples - Naples Botanical Garden
You must see the Naples Botanical Garden. This outdoor attraction in southwest Florida is a renowned for its photographical beauty.

If you’re a nature lover, a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary should be on your itinerary. This 13,000-acre preserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species. Take a stroll along the boardwalk, which winds through the swamp, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this unique ecosystem.

But this is not the only place for nature and wildlife viewing near Naples. Collier County, Florida, which includes Naples, has numerous parks and recreational areas for residents and visitors to enjoy.

While it’s difficult to provide an exhaustive list of all the parks in the county due to the potential for new parks to be developed and existing ones to change, here are some of the well-known parks and recreational areas in Collier County:

walking dredge - things to do near naples florida
This walking dredge was developed to cut a path through the Everglades. The story and dredge is at the Collier-Seminole State Park.

Many are near the beaches we have suggested above, but the ones below also have hiking trails, nature walks, picnic areas and many have facilities to rent for large groups.

  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park: A popular beach park with picnic areas, nature trails, and water-based recreational opportunities.
  • Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park: A natural beach preserve with boardwalks, trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Clam Pass Beach Park: Known for its scenic tram ride through a mangrove forest to access the beach.
  • Lowdermilk Park: A beachfront park in Naples with picnic areas and a playground.
  • Freedom Park: A large park in Naples with sports fields, a playground, and walking trails.
  • Vineyards Community Park: Offers sports facilities, a playground, and walking paths.
  • Sugden Regional Park: Features a water park, sports facilities, and a lake for boating.
  • Golden Gate Community Park: Offers sports fields, a community center, and a skate park.
  • Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: A vast wilderness area with hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. This beautiful state park is on the edge of The Everglades.
  • Collier-Seminole State Park: Offers camping, hiking, and access to the Blackwater River for paddling. This is our family’s favorite park for learning about the Everglades and how the roads were cut across this wilderness with the walking dredge.
  • Picayune Strand State Forest: A forested area with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
  • North Collier Regional Park: Features sports fields, a water park, and a nature preserve. This is more than the usual little city park. Your family will love it!
  • Vanderbilt Beach Park: A popular beachfront park in North Naples.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many more parks, preserves, and recreational areas in Collier County.

The availability and facilities at these parks may change over time, so it’s a good idea to check with the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department or their official website for the most current information on parks and amenities.

alligator Tamiami Trail - Things to do near Naples Florida
You can’t talk about the Everglades without discussing alligators. They are things to see near Naples Florida.

Things To Do Near Naples in the Everglades

For a more active outdoor experience, head to the Everglades National Park, located just a short drive from Naples. Take an airboat tour through the mangroves, go fishing in the park’s abundant waters, or embark on a guided nature walk to learn about the park’s fascinating ecosystem.

Exploring the Everglades near Naples, Florida, is an exciting adventure with plenty of things to do and see.

 Here are 10 activities and attractions to consider when visiting this unique ecosystem:

  1. Airboat Tours – Take an airboat ride through the Everglades to experience the area’s iconic sawgrass prairies and wildlife. Many tour operators offer guided excursions. Wooten’s is our favorite airboat operator.
  2. Wildlife Viewing – The Everglades are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, birds, turtles, and more. You can observe these creatures from designated viewing areas and on boat tours. The Kirby-Storter Boardwalk is a good place to do viewing.
  3. Big Cypress National Preserve – Explore this adjacent preserve to the Everglades, which offers hiking trails, boardwalks, and scenic drives amid lush cypress swamps.
  4. Shark Valley Visitor Center
    things to do in the Everglades near naples - boardwalk at Kiby Storter
    Boardwalks into the Everglades is a great way to see wildlife, birds and habitat in a natural state. Kirby Storter Boardwalk

    – Located in Everglades National Park, Shark Valley offers tram tours and a 15-mile loop trail for biking, walking, and wildlife viewing.

  5. Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery – Visit the gallery of renowned photographer Clyde Butcher, known for his stunning black-and-white photographs of the Everglades.
  6. Bird Watching – The Everglades are a birdwatcher’s paradise. Bring your binoculars and look for unique species such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, and anhinga.
  7. Canoe and Kayak Trails – Paddle through the waterways and mangrove tunnels of the Everglades for a more intimate experience of the ecosystem.
  8. Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – This reserve includes hiking trails, educational programs, and opportunities for kayaking through the mangrove estuaries.
  9. Everglades City – Visit this small town known as the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands region for its unique history, local seafood restaurants, and water-based activities.
  10. Visit Smallwood Store Chokoloskee – This historic store is on the island of Chokoloskee just over a bridge from Everglades City.

Remember to respect the environment and follow any guidelines or regulations in place to protect the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades while enjoying your activities in the area.

things to do in Naples - 5th Ave Shops
As sunset nears the upscale shops on 5th Avenue get ready to close as the exclusive restaurants get ready for the evening rush.

Shopping in Naples

Naples, Florida, offers a variety of shopping experiences, from upscale boutiques to outdoor markets. The best place to shop in Naples depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for.

With so many options, shopping is one of the top things to do in Naples Florida. You can find some of the most unusual boutiques in Florida around Naples.

Here are some popular shopping areas and destinations in Naples:

  • Fifth Avenue South: This historic downtown district is known for its upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment. You’ll find boutique stores, art galleries, jewelry shops, and more. It’s a great place for leisurely strolls and upscale shopping.
  • Third Street South: Located nearby, this area offers more boutique shopping and dining options in a charming, historic setting.
  • Waterside Shops: If you’re looking for luxury shopping, Waterside Shops is a high-end outdoor mall featuring designer brands, upscale retailers, and fine dining.
  • Coastland Center: This indoor shopping mall offers a mix of stores, including department stores, fashion retailers, and dining options.
  • Miromar Outlets: Located a bit north of Naples in Estero, Miromar Outlets is a large outdoor shopping center with discounted prices on designer brands and a variety of shops.
  • Mercato: This mixed-use development combines shopping with dining, nightlife, and entertainment options. It’s a trendy place to shop for fashion, home goods, and more.
  • Naples Outlet Center: Another outlet shopping option in Naples, this center offers discounts on a variety of brands.
  • Tin City: Located along the waterfront, Tin City is a unique shopping village with boutiques, artisan shops, and restaurants in a rustic, nautical-themed setting. This place is a cool place for kids. Lots of quirk shops and fun games. Easy walking path from Bayfront Inn.
  • The Village Shops on Venetian Bay: This shopping area overlooks the bay and offers a mix of upscale shops, galleries, and waterfront dining. This is our favorite place to shop in Naples. Great to shop and dine all afternoon on the waterfront.
  • Naples Farmers Markets: If you prefer outdoor markets, Naples has several farmers’ markets where you can find fresh produce, artisanal goods, crafts, and more. The Naples Farmers Market and Third Street South Farmers Market are popular options.

Ultimately, the best place to shop in Naples depends on your personal style and shopping preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury items, unique local finds, or a relaxed outdoor market experience, Naples has shopping options to suit your needs.

Calusa Indian display at Marco Island Historical Soceity Museum - things to do near naples
Naples history includes the occupation by the Calusa Indians. A display of Calusa culture can be found at the Marco Island Historical Society.

Most Asked Questions About Naples Florida

Based upon Google searches on the Internet, below are questions most asked bout the town of Naples, Florida.

What is Naples Florida Known For?

Naples, Florida, is renowned for its natural beauty, upscale amenities, and a relaxed yet sophisticated lifestyle. Nestled on the southwest coast of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico, Naples has become a popular destination for tourists and a desirable place to live for those seeking a blend of culture, recreation, and stunning landscapes.

  • Perfectly Manicured Beaches

 Naples is synonymous with beautiful, white sandy beaches that stretch for miles along the Gulf of Mexico. The most famous of these is Naples Beach, which offers clear, calm waters and is complemented by the iconic Naples Pier. Vanderbilt Beach and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park are other favorites, each with their unique appeal.

 The city is known for its luxurious lifestyle. Naples boasts elegant, upscale communities, luxury hotels, and high-end shopping districts. Areas like Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South are lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants, making it a prime destination for sophisticated shoppers and diners.

Naples is often called the “Golf Capital of the World.” With an abundance of meticulously maintained golf courses and fair weather year-round, it’s a golfer’s paradise. Some of the top golf clubs and communities attract enthusiasts from around the globe. Annually, all three professional tours seem to find dates at courses around Naples for tournaments.

Despite its small size, Naples has a thriving cultural scene. The Artis—Naples complex is home to the Naples Philharmonic and the Baker Museum, showcasing a wide array of performing arts and visual arts. The von Liebig Art Center and numerous galleries contribute to a vibrant arts community.

The city is celebrated for its culinary excellence. With an abundance of high-quality seafood and international cuisine, Naples offers an array of dining options, from seafood shacks to gourmet restaurants. It’s an ideal destination for foodies who appreciate fresh, local ingredients.

 Naples is a gateway to some of Florida’s most incredible natural wonders. The nearby Everglades, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a haven for wildlife, offering airboat tours and opportunities to spot alligators and exotic birds. Corkscrew Swamp, managed by the Audubon Society, is an example of a place near Naples that is a natural oasis. It is a must-see for nature enthusiasts.

things to do in Naples florida - waterfront expensive home
There is no question that Naples has higher than average home prices because of places like this worth several million dollars. However, there are many affordable homes throughout Naples and many new one being built.

Is Naples Florida Expensive?

Naples, Florida, is generally considered an upscale and affluent area, and as such, it can be expensive to live in or visit. The cost of living in Naples is slightly higher than the national average, with factors like housing, dining, and entertainment costs contributing to the overall expenses.

While living in Naples can be expensive, it’s essential to note that there are different neighborhoods and housing options within the city, so costs can vary.

Additionally, if you’re a visitor, you can find ways to enjoy Naples without breaking the bank by seeking out more budget-friendly attractions and dining options. Ultimately, the perceived cost of Naples will depend on your personal lifestyle and budget.

Here are some of the reasons Naples is considered an expensive place:

  1. **Housing:** The cost of real estate, including both homes and rentals, is notably high in Naples. Waterfront properties, luxury condominiums, and upscale homes are prevalent in the area, contributing to the elevated cost of housing.
  2. **Dining:** Dining out in Naples can be costly, particularly at upscale restaurants and fine dining establishments. However, there are also more affordable dining options available. Fresh seafood is readily available at affordable restaurants in the area.
  3. **Entertainment:** Naples offers a wide range of recreational and leisure activities, from golfing to shopping, but some of these come with a premium price tag. Yet, there are other activities available that are free or inexpensive as in other areas.
  4. **Shopping:** High-end shopping is a big draw in Naples, with upscale boutiques and designer stores, so shopping here can be expensive. However, every major retailer has stores in the area. Walmart, Target, Bealls and many more offer affordable shopping experiences.
  5. **Taxes:** Florida is known for having no state income tax, which can offset some of the living costs, but there are other similar taxes that are found in other areas.
  6. **Tourism:** Naples is a popular tourist destination, especially during the winter months, which can drive up prices for accommodations and other services which is common in Florida.
  7. **Jobs:** Despite the seemingly higher cost of living than in some other places, the job market is brisk and wages are slightly higher than in other markets.

Overall, Naples is an active city with many inexpensive things to do near Naples, that may help offset other living costs.

Things to do near Naples Florida - sunrise Bayfont
Sunrise at the Bayfront Inn on the Gordon River in Naples. Affordable hotel near Tin City and downtown.

Accommodation Options in Naples

Naples offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury beachfront resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re seeking a luxurious stay, consider booking a room at one of the beachfront resorts along the Gulf of Mexico. These resorts offer stunning views, world-class amenities, and easy access to the beach.

For a more intimate and charming experience, opt for a bed and breakfast in one of Naples’ historic districts. These cozy accommodations often feature unique architecture, personalized service, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Naples, Florida, offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to cozy beachside inns. Here are 10 popular places to stay in Naples:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton Naples: This luxurious beachfront resort offers top-notch amenities, including a spa, golf courses, and multiple dining options.
  2. Naples Grande Beach Resort: Another upscale beachfront option with a spa, golf, and beautiful Gulf of Mexico views. One of Florida Travel Blogs recommended hotels.
  3. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort: Known for its stunning beachfront location and excellent service, this resort is a favorite among travelers.
  4. Inn on Fifth: Located in the heart of downtown Naples, this boutique hotel is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and galleries. In the middle of downtown.
  5. Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club: A classic Naples beachfront hotel with a golf course, spa, and excellent dining. One of the oldest resorts in Naples.
naples beach hotel - things to do in Naples
Beach hotels and golf are part of the Naples Florida experience.

You can’t go wrong with any of the luxury resorts above. Below we have a list of more affordable options and some special places to stay.

  1. The Naples Beach House: A more affordable option, located steps from the beach and within walking distance of the Naples Pier.
  2. Hilton Naples: A well-regarded hotel near popular attractions like Waterside Shops and Artis-Naples, with comfortable rooms and amenities.
  3. Bayfront Inn: This is our go-to hotel if we are just passing through town. It has easy walking paths to Tin Alley and downtown. Cool affordable waterfront hotel.
  4. Cove Inn: If you are traveling by boat, this is a perfect place to stay near the marina. This is an extremely affordable place to stay in Naples Florida.

These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Naples, catering to various budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious beachfront resort or a more modest, budget-friendly hotel, Naples has something to offer for every traveler.

Naples Florida Things To Do Are Plentiful

Naples, Florida is a destination that truly offers the best of both worlds. Whether you’re looking to relax on pristine beaches, immerse yourself in art and culture, or explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area, Naples has something for everyone.

Naples is also a perfect place to stop if you are traveling to Key West from places like Tampa and places north. From Naples, the realistic drive time is about 5 hours to Key West. Miami is about 90 minutes across Alligator Alley. And Key Largo, one of our favorite places in the Florida Keys is about 2 hours away from Naples.

Follow our guide to make the most of your time near Naples and create some lifetime memories at some of the many things to do near Naples Florida.

Originally published at https://floridatravel.blog/30-plus-things-to-do-near-naples-florida/

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