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20 Facts About Naples, FL

Updated on April 4, 2017
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

The historic center of Naples, Florida.  The city was founded in the 1880s by ex-Kentucky U.S. Senator and Confederate general, John Stuart Williams, and businessman, Walter N. Haldemanduring.
The historic center of Naples, Florida. The city was founded in the 1880s by ex-Kentucky U.S. Senator and Confederate general, John Stuart Williams, and businessman, Walter N. Haldemanduring. | Source

1. The city gets its name from promoters of the area claiming that the bay was better than the one in Naples, Italy, with its mild, sunny weather, and plentiful amounts of fish and game.

2. The city has a population of 21,653, according to the 2007 census.

3. The annual Naples Winter Wine Festival has been rated by the Wine Spectatoras the top charity wine auction in the world.

4. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Naples area had been occupied by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. At the time when the Spanish came it was inhabited by the Calusa tribe.

A Florida Museum of Natural History diorama of a Calusa chief.  The Calusa were a indigenous culture who lived in southwest Florida when the Spanish colonists arrived in the area.  Their complex culture was based on fishing and agriculture.
A Florida Museum of Natural History diorama of a Calusa chief. The Calusa were a indigenous culture who lived in southwest Florida when the Spanish colonists arrived in the area. Their complex culture was based on fishing and agriculture. | Source

5. The city was founded by former Kentucky U.S. Senator and Confederate general, John Stuart Williams, along with businessman, Walter N. Haldemanduring in the late 1880s.

Confederate General and Kentucky Senator John Stuart Williams who co-founded Naples, along with Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman.  Williams died in Mount Sterling in 1898 and was interred in Winchester Cemetery.
Confederate General and Kentucky Senator John Stuart Williams who co-founded Naples, along with Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman. Williams died in Mount Sterling in 1898 and was interred in Winchester Cemetery. | Source

6. Naples has been called "The number one Small Art Town in America", due to its impressive range and amount of community art centers, art galleries, art fairs, plus the Philharmonic Center for the Arts complex.

The Naples Players are a nationally recognized community theatre company who are based in Naples.  Founded in 1953, the company perform at the Sugden Community Theatre, located in downtown Naples.
The Naples Players are a nationally recognized community theatre company who are based in Naples. Founded in 1953, the company perform at the Sugden Community Theatre, located in downtown Naples. | Source

7. The city’s climate is tropical, with average summer high temperatures of 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33C) and average winter lows of 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12C).

8. Naples’ population is thought to contain a bigger proportion of millionaires than any other Floridian city.

In Naples, Fla., I met a self-made man, a multimillionaire, whose round penthouse apartment is home to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Henry Moore, and Mickey Mantle. He had purchased the most coveted items auctioned by the Mantle family at Madison Square Garden in December 2003.

— Jane Leavy

9. There are more than 80 championship golf courses in the Naples area, which has been called the Golf Capital of the World.

The Naples area is a great place for golfers, boasting more than 80 championship courses in the area.  It's no wonder that Naples is often called the "Golf Capital of the World"!
The Naples area is a great place for golfers, boasting more than 80 championship courses in the area. It's no wonder that Naples is often called the "Golf Capital of the World"! | Source

10. The Naples Municipal Airport began life as a small Army Air Force air field built during World War II.

11. Both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins have spring training facilities near Naples, Florida.

Places of Interest in Naples

Keewaydin Club - Historic site.

The Naples Players - Nationally recognized community theatre group.

Naples Botanical Garden - 170 acres of cultivated gardens representing 7 different habitats and ecosystems.

Theatre Zone - Equity Theatre Company.

Palm Cottage - Historic home located in the Historic District.

Naples Depot - Historic Seaboard Air Line Railway depot.

Gulfshore Playhouse, an Equity Theatre Company.

The Naples Preserve.

Freedom Park.

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

Consisting of 170 acres of cultivated gardens and preservation land, the Naples Botanical Garden represents seven ecosystems and has over 1,000 different species.  Founded in the early 90's, the garden is located at 4820  Bayshore Drive.
Consisting of 170 acres of cultivated gardens and preservation land, the Naples Botanical Garden represents seven ecosystems and has over 1,000 different species. Founded in the early 90's, the garden is located at 4820 Bayshore Drive. | Source

12. Despite the courthouse being located in the unincorporated community of East Naples, Naples is the official county seat of Collier County.

13. In 2006 "Dr. Beach" chose Barefoot Beach near Naples as one of the top 10 beaches in the USA.

14. Located along the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades, Ochopee Post Office is the smallest post office in the USA.

The Ochopee Post Office is the smallest post office in the USA.  The one time storage facility for irrigation pipes was made into a post office in 1953.  The post office is fully functional and owned by the Wooten family.
The Ochopee Post Office is the smallest post office in the USA. The one time storage facility for irrigation pipes was made into a post office in 1953. The post office is fully functional and owned by the Wooten family. | Source

15. Naples Zoo began life in 1919 as a personal garden project of botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling. After Nehrling’s death, the project was neglected for two decades before being opened to the public as the Caribbean Gardens in 1954. The gardens converted to a zoo in 1969.

16. Naples fishing pier is one of the best-known landmarks in the area.

Naples Pier.  The historic pier is a well-known area landmark popular with both sightseers and fishermen (fishing from the pier does not require a fishing license).  The pier is also a great place to catch the Naples sunset.
Naples Pier. The historic pier is a well-known area landmark popular with both sightseers and fishermen (fishing from the pier does not require a fishing license). The pier is also a great place to catch the Naples sunset. | Source

17. It is the main city in the Naples–Marco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 315,839, according to the 2007 census.

18. Nearby Everglades City is known as the Stone Crab Capital of the World. Fishermen take only one claw from the crab and then return it to the sea, where the crab gradually regenerates the missing claw. Everglades City also holds an annual Seafood Festival, which is popular with seafood enthusiasts.

Famous People who own Homes in Naples, Florida

Buzz Aldrin - Space astronaut

Larry Bird - Former NBA basketball player

Ben Bova - Sci-Fi author

Bill Gates - Microsoft founder

Alex Lifeson - Guitarist with Canadian rock band, Rush

Rick Scott - Current Governor of Florida

Tom Cruise - Movie actor

Donald Trump - Real estate developer

Rocco Mediate - Pro golfer

Robin Cook - Author

Hugo award winning science fiction author Ben Bova currently lives in Naples.  As well as producing over 120 works of fiction and fact, Bova has served as president of the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Hugo award winning science fiction author Ben Bova currently lives in Naples. As well as producing over 120 works of fiction and fact, Bova has served as president of the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. | Source

19. There are several major land reserves in the Naples Area, including the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, which is home to the extremely rare ghost orchid.

20. Collier County is the primary habitat for the Florida panther, which was chosen to be the Florida state animal in 1982, and is severely endangered.

Located twenty miles east of Naples, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge was founded in 1989 to protect the protect the Florida panther and other endangered inhabitants.  There are designated hiking trails for the general public.
Located twenty miles east of Naples, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge was founded in 1989 to protect the protect the Florida panther and other endangered inhabitants. There are designated hiking trails for the general public. | Source

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© 2012 FloridaFacts

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