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Things to Do in Naples Florida: The Naples Zoo and Carribbean Gardens

Updated on July 9, 2011

It's All Happening at the Zoo

One of the coolest things to do in Naples, Florida is spend a day visiting the Zoo and Caribbean Gardens. The entrance to this top Naples attraction, just south of the mall on Rte. 41, is so nondescript that you may drive by without even noticing.

And if you do happen to notice the sign, you're likely to say, "A zoo, right there? Weird," as you continue south to toil away the afternoon strolling around Fifth Avenue South with all the other non-zoo-and-caribbean-garden-knowers.

That means they don't know.


What Don't They Know, Those Fifth Avenue South Strolling Non-Knowers?

They don't know that there is a spectacular, jungle-like wonderland awaiting their imaginations just south of the mall behind that nondescript sign.

They don't know about the orange bird of paradise, a flower that resembles a vibrant bird caught in mid-flight; about the mysterious council tree, whose roots drape down from the sky rather than through the soil; about the mango, papyrus, and banana trees; and the giant bamboo, whose stems grow to a diameter of 5 inches and a height of 60 feet.


Orangutans are Skeptical of Changes in Their Cages

Not to mention the animals. It is a zoo, after all. And that is really what is so special about this Naples destination. It's two attractions combined to create one single, unparalleled experience for everyone, from the youngest children to their great grandparents.

There are plenty of those wild and exotic South Florida native favorites, like the American alligator, the Florida panther and the Florida pine snake.

And then there is the dingo. Come on, say it with me now, and don't forget that Australian accent: Es that a deango, mate?

And that is just the beginning. The small and sleek ocelots, the painted zebras and the powerful Malayan tigers will captivate even those most stubborn of Naples visitors who were otherwise determined to have a terrible time wasting "the whole day" at the "stupid zoo" (who has the teenage daughters, you know what I'm talking about here).

Hotels in Naples Florida

To visit the Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens, you'll need a nice hotel to stay in. Here are some great hotel choices for your next Naples vacation.  There definitely are cheaper hotel choices in Naples, those listed below are the ones to stay in if you have a generous budget to work with.

The Edgewater Beach Hotel

The Edgewater, a Waldorf-Astoria resort, has one- and two-bedroom beachfront, Gulf view and Naples view suites. The hotel features the full-service Golden Door spa, on-site dining at Coast, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, golf, and tennis.

Naples Grande Beach Resort

The Naples Grande Beach Resort, also a Waldorf- Astoria resort, is a spectacular Naples resort and a terrific choice if you have the kids with you. In addition to the pool and beach bar and grills, the resort offers in-house dining at its two award-winning restaurants Aura and the Strip House, a New-York based unbeatable steak house. Spare no expense? go for the private bungalow, or the signature Gulf view 18th floor suite, with 1,150 sq. ft. of nirvana featuring sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico and a 200-acre mangrove estuary.

Ritz-Carlton Naples

Maybe you grew up with a butler named Jeeves, a driver named Carlton, and a nanny named Miss Wigglesworth. You need that white glove service. It's not your fault, it's what you are accustomed to, just a way of life. You'll find it here, at the Ritz. World-class restaurants, spectacular sunsets, and consistently superior service. Call Jeeves, tell him to pull the car around. We'll take the Silver Shadow.


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    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Lots of sun for you in Naples Sun-Girl! Enjoy!

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice and properly research work you actually did in here which i enjoyed reading from.thanks

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Hi GMA Goldie -- yes, LaPlaya is a great too! -- I actually stayed there for a short vacation before I lived in Naples . . . Definitely check out the zoo next time you are in town . . . you won't be disappointed :)

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I vote for LaPlaya. Check out or another of the Internet sites 24 hours beforehand for the very best deals. Beware, the parking is not free.

      I love Naples - the beaches are wonderful! The shops downtown are charming.

      Never thought of the zoo! I must return - simply another reason. Thank you!

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Yes, zoos are great for all ages . . . you probably have more kangaroos in your zoos than we do :)

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 6 years ago from Southern Spain

      love to visit zoos ! We enjoyed even when older !