Naples is known as the crown jewel of southwest Florida, and it’s no wonder why. This beautiful, sunny town is perched on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s bursting with top-notch shopping, dining, golfing, and recreational opportunities. Naples attracts many visitors who want to indulge in all this city has to offer. In fact, the Travel Channel voted Naples the best beach in America in 2005.
Here are a few of the many great things that Naples has to offer:
* Multiple wildlife refuges and land reserves, such as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, national parks, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, a state forest and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
* Tons of beaches! The pristine Gulf of Mexico beach alone is more than 10 miles long.
* The Naples Zoo, which dates back to 1919.
* Various shopping districts, such as 5th Avenue South, the Village on Venetian Bay, the Waterside Shops, Tin City, Big Cypress Market Place, and 3rd Street South. Check out Gallery Row if you’re looking for art.
* Theater and music lovers have plenty of options to choose from, such as the Naples Players, Opera Naples, and the Naples Jazz Orchestra, just to name a few.
* Naples also is host to the annual Oliver Group Champions Cup and the Outback Champions Tennis Series.
* Lover's Key is just 9 miles away and is known for their beaches, dog beach, shelling, hiking trails, boat landings and picnic areas.
* The Naples Botanical Garden, an educational and beautiful collection of tropical gardens and natural habitats.
* Other outdoor options in Naples include snorkeling, scuba diving w/lessons, naval ship wreck diving, golfing, fishing, bird-watching, boating, shelling, hiking, walking, and exploring the Everglades, where you can hop on an airboat to float among alligators and egrets. Don’t miss the Collier-Seminole State Park’s hiking trails and campgrounds. Tip: Every Saturday, park rangers give presentations on a variety of interesting topics.