Destinations USA

Sophisticated Naples And The Wild Everglades, Florida

After the heat, humidity and the endless theme park  queues of Orlando we travelled to the beaches of the Gulf Coast for a relaxing end to our Florida break. We have previously visited Fort Lauderdale and Miami on Florida’s east coast but had never ventured to the west coast.

After extensive research, well actually after seeing it on Channel 4’s “A Place in the Sun” we decided to stay in Naples, perched on the south west side of Florida. Naples is a sophisticated beach community stretching along the fine white sands of the Gulf coast, there are actually 30 miles of beaches from Fort Myers in the north down to the City of Naples itself. These beaches are quiet and undeveloped with the shops and restaurants kept off the beach and restricted to streets and avenues of the town.

Downton Naples

As soon as you enter downtown Naples you can sense the relaxed atmosphere, the driving is sedate with a maximum speed of only 25mph – no one is in a rush.

We stayed at the Inn on Fifth in the heart of the restaurants of the downtown area of Fifth Ave South. Although Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the US the prices are reasonable and the quality and service is exceptional.

From the hotel, the beach is a 10 min walk and not far from the exclusive shopping area of Third Street South. If it’s too hot to walk, the hotel has a free golf buggy transport service to get you around.
Downtown, Naples

Tin City

Just a 10 minutes walk from the Inn on Fifth is Tin City, a historic waterside area transformed into a shopping and eating venue. You can rent boats and jet skis here so you can explore the extensive waterways of Naples and Marco Island.
Tin City Naples

Naples Beaches

At the end of every avenue are the fine white sand beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There is plenty of space to spread out and avoid the crowds. The picture below was taken around lunchtime on the beach at the bottom of 13th Avenue (the yellow tape was not a crime scene but a turtle nest containing eggs waiting to hatch).
Naples Beach

If the fine dining and relaxing by the beach get’s too much (life can be hard) then it’s only a short drive into the wilds of the Everglades.

The Everglades

Just over 30 mins drive from Naples is the Everglades National Park. Everglades City (just a small town rather than a city) is airboat central. There are plenty of “Captain This’ and ‘Captain That’ boat tours that take you through the mangroves.
Everglades City
On our tour a few alligators floated past looking at us like an open buffet, we also saw some raccoons and a couple of manatees. Don’t forget to take you bug spray especially if exploring later in the day.
The Mangroves

We really enjoyed our time in Naples  and would definitely go back. Hiring a boat to explore is recommended as this area is a water community with many houses backing onto bays and waterways.

Are you a regular visitor to Florida’s Gulf Coast? What are your recommendations for our next visit?

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  • Reply
    Michaela Williams
    June 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Love the video Mel! We are planning to stay at Fort Myers beach for 3 nights in October, so will certainly visit Naples one afternoon!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      The town can appear very quiet in the day, but gets busier as people come out for dinner in the evening. Naples would be a great place to live but those waterside mansions don’t come that cheap.

  • Reply
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    June 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    We went to Naples when we were in Florida and it’s just beautiful. Definitely somewhere I would happily live.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Definitely a place to live, the quality of life there feels wonderful.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    June 24, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Oh wow what an absolutely beautiful looking place it seems like somewhere you could be so busy doing, or just sit back and relax and people watch a bit. x

  • Reply
    June 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I definitely want to visit the Everglades some day it looks amazing and Miami is somewhere I really want to visit too x

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      The wildlife was amazing, even in the middle of the day which is meant to be the quieter time. Towards the evening the mosquitos come out.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Wow the Naples beach looks amazing, I’d love to holiday there.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Great video! I’ve never been to Naples, but it’s on my places to visit.

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    June 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    That’s one of my favorite areas in Florida. I grew up going to Sanibel Beach and I still love it.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      It was our first visit to the area, we will definitely be going back.

  • Reply
    Welsh Bloggers Round Up June - Welsh Bloggers
    July 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

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  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Naples looks so lovely, the Everglades frankly scare the life out of me – all those snakes.

  • Reply
    Michaela Williams
    September 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Going to stay there mid October, can’t wait!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      September 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      We would love to go again soon, it looks a really nice place to live.

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