Of course, as in any coastal Florida city, the beaches are preternaturally beautiful here. But don't neglect the other aspects of nature or things to do, which include preserves, swamps and state parks where you can canoe, kayak or stroll on undeveloped beaches such as Barefoot Preserve Park and visit with tropical animals at the Naples Zoo. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a must for bird and wildlife lovers.
Like anywhere, rush hour can be a trial.
Hotels in genteel Naples, located on the southwest coast of Florida, range from budget options to high-end luxury resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, Naples and Edgewater Beach, A Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. With a healthy retirement and snowbird community converging every winter, the lodgings generally cater to guests of every budget. Family-friendly places like the Fairfield Inn and Suites, close to the airport in downtown Naples, abound as do resorts for sports enthusiasts, such as the LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort.
If you want to visit during the winter, make plans ahead of time as some hotels will sell out during the colder months up north.
Though prices may rise during season, you can find some lodging for less than $150 per night.
World-class restaurants in the main downtown district, most located on or around Fifth Avenue, can satisfy even the pickiest metropolitan visitor. Fare ranges from chops and steaks to local seafood served with American, Southern and Caribbean influences at places like Bay House Restaurant and Kelly's Fish House, two of the most respected entities in the region. The views at many of the dining venues in Naples are also preeminent, overlooking nature preserves and the bay. In short, you can have it all.
Chain restaurants; there's no need to resort to them.
Be Sure to Sample:
Stone crabs, pompano, grouper, red snapper, key lime pie.
If you're going to Naples for a rocking night life rife with all-night raves, you're in the wrong place. The community is a peaceful, restful place. That said, local pubs and taverns are the best places to blend in with residents, and you can usually scout out a band or two playing in a bar nearby. Venues including the Philharmonic Center for the Arts provide more sophisticated entertainment in the evenings.
Take It or Leave It:
Except for select venues, Naples tends to close down on the early side.
Outlet mall shopping is one of the biggest pastimes in Naples, and residents and tourists alike head to sprawling complexes like Miromar Outlets and Naples Outlet Center to take advantage of terrific deals. For more artful shopping, Olde Naples--comprising 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South--offers clothing and artisanal boutiques. In addition, The Waterside Shops and The Village on Venetian Bay are forums for fashionable souvenirs, and Bayfront Naples is a bright, upscale assortment of high-end shops and restaurants overlooking the water.
Coastland Center has the stores you expect to find at any mall across the country.