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Naples, Florida: Things to Do

Updated on April 29, 2012

Things to do in Naples

Have you ever been to Naples, Florida? Naples is located in Southwest Florida, on what’s known as the “Paradise Coast” section of the Gulf of Mexico. Once you see this region, you’ll understand why it’s called “paradise.” In fact, it looks like a tropical island, with white beaches, palm trees, lush foliage, and the sparkling gem-like waters of the Gulf. Allow me to interject something here about the Gulf of Mexico beaches, in general. Most of my family members and I LOVE going to the beach. We frequent Atlantic beaches in Florida sometimes, but when we just want to "hang out" on a beach and enjoy the water, we much prefer the Gulf beaches. Now, Naples isn’t just a pretty face, either - there are lots of things to do in Naples. It supports a dazzling array of activities for all ages and all interests. Join me in a quick tour of Naples, Florida and learn about things to do in Naples!

Enjoy the beautiful Gulf beaches.
Enjoy the beautiful Gulf beaches.
A glorious sunset at Naples, FL
A glorious sunset at Naples, FL
The whole family will love Naples beaches!
The whole family will love Naples beaches!

Naples Beach and Water Activities

The Gulf at Naples is breathtaking. The water is calm and clear, with intermingling patches of pale green, vibrant turquoise, and dark blue. The sand is powder-soft and white, inviting you to stroll the strand or bask in the sun. Hop in the Gulf for a swim, make some waves on a jet ski, or explore the backwaters in a kayak. Rent a boat and tour the area, or join a sightseeing cruise to see local points of interest, along with dolphins and manatees. Snorkelers and divers will love the clarity of the water. If you’re brave enough, you can enjoy panoramic views from aloft with parasailing.

Naples restaurants offer just about every type of cuisine you can imagine.
Naples restaurants offer just about every type of cuisine you can imagine.

Naples Restaurants and Nightlife

If you’re a foodie, you’ll find that Naples restaurants will not disappoint. Visitors and residents can choose among everything from posh, formal restaurants to laid-back waterfront dining. Plop down at a sidewalk café and enjoy the balmy breezes, or find a table in a trendy 5th Avenue grill or bistro. No matter what type of meal you’re craving, you’ll find it – Italian, French, Thai, Chinese, Caribbean, Greek, Irish, Japanese, Mediterranean, and Mexican. Naples has it all!

Naples also has a sizzling nightlife. You’ll find cozy cigar bars, rowdy sports bars, upscale nightclubs, casual pubs, and beachside tiki huts that feature live entertainment. If you still have any energy left after a fun-filled day of activities, you can get your groove on at a Miami-style dance club.

Shopping in Naples is a favorite pastime.
Shopping in Naples is a favorite pastime.

Shopping

Shoppers love Naples, Florida. Shopping is an art form in this beautiful city, and it ranges from discount outlets to chic boutiques. At the Village on Venetian Bay, you’ll think you’ve been transported to Italy. At the Shops at the Mercato, you can browse shops that sell books, apparel, furniture, jewelry, fashion accessories, artwork, organic foods, and culinary wares from around the globe. If you’re searching for real luxury items, check out the Waterside Shops. This gorgeous venue features names like Gucci, Cole Haan, Brooks Brothers, Hermes, De Beers, and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few.

A trip to Naples, Florida simply isn’t complete without spending at least a couple of hours at Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. Shop for antiques, collectibles, gifts, and art, or take a break at a café or ice cream shop. Even if you’re not in the mood for shopping, both these areas are a must-see, due to their stunning architecture and courtyards, fountains, and views of the Gulf.

Captain Mike, a big snook, and a very happy angler
Captain Mike, a big snook, and a very happy angler
On an eco-tour with Captain Mike Bailey, you can enjoy the antics of dolphins and manatees.
On an eco-tour with Captain Mike Bailey, you can enjoy the antics of dolphins and manatees.
Even the kids will love Naples fishing!
Even the kids will love Naples fishing!

Naples Fishing

Another activity that brings folks to Naples, Florida is the fishing. Desirable fish species find the Gulf just as inviting as the humans do. Surf fish, cast from a pier, or angle the backwaters for snook, redfish, cobia, and spotted trout. If you’re after larger prey, fish the offshore wrecks for grouper, sharks, and snapper. You’ll find some great Naples fishing charters with seasoned captains who know where the finned giants are lurking. This is a wonderful activity for just about everyone, from first-time fishermen to experienced anglers. While fishing, chances are that you’ll be greeted by friendly dolphins and curious manatees.

For an unforgettable fishing excursion, check out Naples fishing charters and eco-tours with legendary Captain Mike Bailey. Captain Mike is a second-generation Naples native and has been fishing the 10,000 Islands and the Gulf of Mexico for over thirty years. With almost 100 glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, you know he’s doing something right!

Parents will appreciate the gentle surf at Naples beaches.
Parents will appreciate the gentle surf at Naples beaches.
skimboarding on a Naples beach
skimboarding on a Naples beach

Naples, Florida and Kids

The kids will never be bored in Naples! The family can spend a day at the fabulous Naples Zoo, with more than fifty acres of jungle and lots of critters, including snakes, alligators, giraffes, monkeys, bears, lions, deer, lemurs, crocodiles, zebras, tigers, kangaroos, and more.

The Naples Water Park provides wet fun for all ages. Spend time relaxing on the lazy river, shoot down one of the waterslides, or engage in an epic battle with water pistols. Play areas for different age levels will keep everyone happy here.

For thrills and games, check out King Richard’s Fun Park. You’ll find enough here to keep the kids entertained all day, with video games, go carts, laser tag, batting cages, bumper boats, a roller coaster, and water play.

Play a round of beach volleyball.
Play a round of beach volleyball.

Naples, FL Activities for Teens and Older Kids

If you’re visiting Naples with older kids and teenagers, they’ll find plenty to do. Of course, they’ll want to take advantage of the beach and all the “people watching” there, and they might also want to engage in a game of beach volleyball, skimboarding, or parasailing. And speaking of volleyball, Lowdermilk Beach Park has some great courts! They’ll also enjoy laser tag, video arcades, racing go carts, and testing their skills at the batting cages. Naples also has numerous beach shops that carry cool items that teens will love taking home with them.

When the sun goes down, your older kids and teens might want to take in a movie at one of the Naples cinemas. They can also spend a few hours at one of the teen nightclubs. Vision Nightclub offers special nights for teens, usually on Sundays. A trendy hot spot for youths just recently opened in Naples – Evolution Teen Club. Check out the video below!

While you're visiting Naples, Florida, take advantage of an Everglades tour.
While you're visiting Naples, Florida, take advantage of an Everglades tour.
a 'Glades gator
a 'Glades gator

Nearby Outdoor Adventures

Naples, Florida is located near the Everglades and the 10,000 Islands. If you want a real outdoor adventure, take an Everglades safari aboard an air boat or swamp buggy. You’ll have the chance to see all kinds of wildlife, including bears, dolphins, manatees, bald eagles, and the most famous inhabitants of the ‘Glades, alligators.

Also nearby is the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, where visitors can view native birds, mammals, and reptiles on 14,000 acres of coastal habitat and cypress forest. If fate smiles on you, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Florida panther.

Swingers will love Naples golf courses.
Swingers will love Naples golf courses.

Other Attractions in Naples, Florida

Think you’ve seen all that Naples has to offer? Wait – we’re not done yet! Golfers can enjoy a round or two on beautiful courses designed by some of the best professionals in the country, and tennis enthusiasts will never be far from a court. If you’re into the arts, take in some music and dance at the Naples Phil, watch live theater with the Naples Players, or enjoy a performance at the Gulfshore Playhouse. There are also several museums and art galleries that you’ll find inspiring and fascinating.


Comments

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    • traveleze profile image

      Lee John 

      6 years ago from Preston

      Hi habeeHolle,

      What a great hub! Followed you and left thumbs up :) Id love to visit Naples sometimes i simply love Florida as well! Beautiful place, I write travel hubs check mine out and any feedback or comments will be highly appreciated :)

      Thanks again

      Lee

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Habee,

      You covered it all! Wow! I always enjoy your hubs and this one with the many great activities is sure to keep my vacation busy and fun!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      9 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Hi habee, great hub! I fell in love with Naples when I visited the city a couple of years ago (I visit Florida once a year and love it - just love it!). The drive from Miami to Naples is in of itself very scenic. The tranquility of Naples is really pleasant, especially if you're an individual trying to get away from the big city rut.

      Take care

      John

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Greentarpon, can I assume you enjoy saltwater fishing? lol. Thanks!

      htodd, great to see you!

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      9 years ago from United States

      Really very interesting ,Naples florida is really great place to visit

    • greentarpon profile image

      greentarpon 

      9 years ago

      Habee, Nice work well done

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      natures, I'm so glad you enjoyed my hub about Naples, Florida!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      drbj, we love the Gulf beaches. I love the Atlantic beaches in FL, too, but the water and sand on the Gulf are just so much prettier!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Many thanks, Rolly!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Alocsin, if you're ever in the area, be sure to check out Naples, Florida!

    • natures47friend profile image

      natures47friend 

      9 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      A very impressive hub. Great descriptions and photos. It's like being there. Thank you.

      Voted up, awesome!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      This was a wonderfully realistic Naples tour, Holle. I have visited most of the places you mentioned and you did not exaggerate. Naples does have something for everyone.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      9 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Well done Habee... love what you have put together here. Great place to visit.

      Blessings

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Sounds like a great stop when visiting Florida. Voting this Up and Useful.

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