Located in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples was founded in the 1880s. The Naples Pier was built in 1888 and is a good location for fishing and dolphin watching. The beaches offer calm waters and fine white sand. Watersports, sightseeing, golf, shopping, and dining are favorite activities in Naples.
Things to do in Naples, Florida
Naples is a great place to enjoy various water sports, especially at the Delnor-Wiggins State Park. Delnor-Wiggins State Park offers swimming, sunbathing, hiking, fishing, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, birding, jet skiing, and hiking. You can rent equipment or bring your own. You can also take self-guided or guided tours. Wildlife that you might see includes a variety of birds, manatees, dolphins, and more in mangrove swamps and on the beach. Please check out our blog articles about these activities and Delnor-Wiggens State Park and other Naples locations.
If you are interested in fishing, you’ll find plenty of choices in Naples. A good place to start is at Delnor-Wiggins Pass. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park offers many fishing opportunities for the whole family – you can fish from the beach, in the pass, or the mangroves, either from shore or by launching your boat or fishing kayak from the boat ramp. The park is open daily from dawn until dusk so that you can enjoy the benefits of early morning and late afternoon fishing. Furthermore, Naples has many options where you could also rent a boat for the day or book a spot on a fishing charter. Redfish, snapper, sea trout, tarpon, pompano, snook, and sheepshead are constantly brought in by the tide.
Take a Cruise
Taking a cruise on the Gulf of Mexico is a popular activity in Naples. You can choose a tour from a variety of boats or charter a boat. Cruises can last a few hours or all day. There are lunch, dinner, and sunset cruises. Taking a cruise can be a family adventure or a romantic date.
Naples Botanical Gardens
The Naples Botanical Gardens features a waterfall, a birding tower, and a Hindu temple and shrine replica. The planning began in 1993 with building beginning in 2008. The Gardens’ displays include Deep Lake, Lake Tupke, Smith Children’s Garden, the Smith River of Grass, Kapnick Brazilian Garden, Kapnick Caribbean Garden, Lea Asian Garden, Garden Club of Naples Idea Garden, the Water Garden, the Scott Florida Garden, the Buehler Enabling Garden, LaGrippe Orchid Garden, Kathryn’s Garden, Irma’s Garden, and Kapnick Hall. The Naples Botanical Gardens are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Founded in 1964, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida covers a five-county area. Its mission is to educate the public and protect the land, water, and wildlife, including the 133 endangered and threatened species in Florida. The Conservancy was founded to fight the building of a road through Rookery Bay. The organization seeks a balance between preserving our natural resources and the demands of a growing community. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida includes walking trails and recreational games for children at the nature center. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm.
The Bird Gardens of Naples
Located in Corkscrew Swamp, the Bird Gardens of Naples is a parrot refuge for abandoned and abused parrots and parrots needing a home for other reasons. They do place some parrots into safe homes. They also support the conservation of wild parrots and educating the public on issues of the well-being of parrots and their ability to live with people successfully. With a lifespan of up to 100 years, parents can outlive their owners. The parrots at the Bird Gardens of Naples share a green space in the swamp with butterflies, bees, and a variety of flora and fauna. The Bird Gardens offers free tours every Thursday through Sunday at 11 am. You must schedule your two-hour tour and arrive 15 minutes early. There are over 100 parrots at the park.
Located near the Naples Pier and built in 1895, the two-story, 3,500-square-foot Palm Cottage is the oldest home in Naples. The museum is furnished with original and period furniture, tools, and artwork. The walls are composed of tabby mortar made from sand, shells, and water. Guided tours include the Norris Gardens and the former guest house that is now a viewing center for a video about the history of Naples. The 45-minute tours are available Tuesday through Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm and Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Reservations are required.
With 80 championship courses, Naples is reported to have more holes per capita than anywhere else in the world. Public courses number around 22. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, and Arthur Hills are among the designers of golf courses in Naples.
Naples has many shopping options, including the Village on Venetian Bay and Fifth Avenue South, for those who want to enjoy an upscale shopping experience. The Village on Venetian Bay has more than 45 waterfront restaurants and shops. It was designed to resemble the architecture of the Italian city of Venice. As part of Old Naples, Fifth Avenue South consists of historical and modern architecture. It offers upscale fashion and jewelry, one-of-a-kind gifts, home décor, artwork, fine dining, spas, and entertainment.