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

Water Sports

Naples is a great place to enjoy a variety of water sports, especially at the Delnor-Wiggens State Park. Delnor-Wiggens 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 include a variety of birds, manatees, alligators, dolphins, and mangrove swamps. Please check out our blog articles about these activities and Delnor-Wiggens State Park as well as other Naples locations.

Fishing Tours and Charters

If you are interested in fishing, you’ll find plenty of choices in Naples. A good place to start is the beach at Delnor-Wiggins Pass. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park offers a lot of activities for the whole family. As mentioned, you can fish from the beach, rent a dinghy, book a spot on a fishing tour, or charter a boat. Redfish, snapper, sea trout, tarpon, pompano, snook, and sheepshead are constantly brought in by the tide. You can choose a fishing spot in a stream, spill, or mangrove. The park is open daily from dawn until dusk so you can enjoy the benefits of early morning fishing.

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 replica of a Hindu temple and shrine. 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 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 to protect the land, water, and wildlife including the 133 endangered and threatened species in Florida. The Conservancy was started to fight the building of a road through Rookery Bay. The organization seek a balance between the preservation of 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 as well as 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 successfully live with people. 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.

Palm Cottage

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.

Golf

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.

Shopping

For those who want to enjoy an upscale shopping experience, Naples has many options including the Village on Venetian Bay and Fifth Avenue South. 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 historic and modern architecture. It offers upscale fashion and jewelry, one-of-a-kind gifts, home décor, artwork, fine dining, spas, and entertainment.