Naples has a reputation as a playground for the wealthy, but it also offers the best things in life that are free. With its close proximity to Everglades and beach environment, its best free things have to do with getting out in nature, taking a hike, paddling a kayak, watching birds, looking for seashells and soaking up the sun.
The mammoth expanses of land and water within Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge provide limitless opportunity to drive, walk, bike and paddle into sheer wilderness.
On the other side of nature, the beaches of Naples, Bonita Springs and Marco Island are all free and open to the public. Parking fees do apply, but if you arrive by foot or bicycle, you pay nothing. One of the most easily accessible and popular on Marco Island is South Marco Beach, an active, fun-lovers stretch that spreads wide and fluffy. At Naples Municipal Beach, which is within walking distance of free parking in the Third Street South shopping district, don't miss a walk along the free Naples City Pier.
Collier County also maintains four excellent historical museums that are free-of-charge and highly entertaining for kids as well as adults. Two are located in Naples proper, while the other two are in Everglades City and on Marco Island.
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