Here, we distill the best local nightclubs and bars down to an elite selection of ten that gives you the broad flavor of the destination's party scene. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just will not want to miss.
Naples may be best known for its Fifth Avenue South nightlife scene filled with twinkling lights, music and crowds. The city's beautiful people hit the street and its club-restaurants starting early with an older crowd and into the wee hours with the city's young executives and late-nighters. At first glance, the scene looks conservative, but it can get surprisingly rowdy. Newer, the bars and pubs of Mercato entertainment center in North Naples have sparked serious competition for downtown's scene.
You will find a lively scene throughout Naples and Marco Island. Although it is known for its sophisticated nightlife with upscale clubs such as the new Bar Tulia Italian gastropub and The Continental, the destination also has its funky fun bars filled with character - and characters - places such as Weekend Willie's and the Snook Inn.
When you are shopping for night-out options, do not forget to check out Naples' most high-brow nightlife - its famed performance art venues such as Artis-Naples.
Brought to you by the folks who introduced D'Amico & Sons and Campiello to Naples, this restaurant and tequila bar takes you South of the Border with stylized authentic cuisine and a connoisseur's selection of tequilas.
Categorizing its tequilas under headings such as crisp and luscious, bold, silky, rich and juicy and La Lista del Capitan, the tequila menu describes the nuances of each with the exquisite detail you find on a fine wine list.
Drink and dine streetside among lush greenery or inside where it's properly festive, but not in your typical tacky Mexican restaurant motif. The handsome bar dominates the interior with drama and style. (239-598-0887)
Its smart lounge and dining room make it easy to do dinner and a movie. Or you can go to the counter and order from a selection of gourmet to-go sandwiches such as mini-sliders or blackened chicken, grab a drink from the full bar and head into the theater with your meal.
The top-of-the-line seats with their soft leather upholstery and ample platform between them handily accommodate drinks and food boxes.
This experience is all about comfort and quality - the best digital projection and sound design plus ample seats and leg room. (Rows are set 60 inches apart rather than the traditional 45 inches.) (239-592-0300)
In the heart of Naples' home construction and design commercial district off Pine Ridge Road, this place is a favorite of the local working class. Regulars come for sports TV, pizza, wings, burgers, deli sandwiches, shots of Fireballs, cold beer and nightly live entertainment. It is one of those "where everyone knows your name" kind of neighborhood places. Happy Hour runs daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most people sit around the bar, especially at the end of the work day. But starting around 7 or 8 p.m., folks gather around the musicians' corner. There's also outdoor seating. (239-597-3333)
Chickee bars are a signature form of the Naples area party scene. Because of the destination's close proximity to Seminole and Miccosukee Indian tribes, many resorts and restaurants hire local tribesman to construct the open-air thatched structures for the best local color.
The chickee at Snook Inn overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and hosts live island music daily - what could be more purely Floridian?
Whether a soloist or a small band, the music starts at 1:30 p.m. Lunchtime attracts an older crowd that comes for seafood with their rum punch and dancing.
The music plays until 10 a.m., and the later crowd becomes younger and more local. (239-394-3313)
Off The Hook Comedy Club
This longtime fixture of Marco Island moved to a larger facility in North Naples in 2015. It has built a reputation for bringing in A-list stand-up comedians with national and even international followings. Shows are typically scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m. with 10 p.m. shows happening on some Fridays and Saturdays. Part of the Row Seafood complex, Off the Hook offers the option of seafood dinner and belly laughs to follow in a table setting. Comedy club patrons must be at least age 18. Happy hour specials in the bar and lounge from 4 to 7 p.m. nightly take half off all well and call drinks. (239-389-6901)
Formerly known as the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, it is dedicated to both visual and performing arts in one architecturally forward location.
The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra still calls the center home as does the Miami Ballet. And most Neapolitans still refer to it as "The Phil."
Its calendar of events cuts a wide swath of entertainment. A Broadway series runs during the winter season, when the snowbirds flock in.
The Artis hosts audiences of up to 1,425 throughout the year for touring orchestras, opera, comedians, modern dance and more than 400 events yearly. It also has a 200-seat black-box theater. (239-597-1900, 800-597-1900)
Billing itself as an Italian gastropub, Bar Tulia grew up next to big brother Osteria Tulia, a noisier, younger version with a more active bar scene. Unlike typical British or Irish pubs, the focus here is more on craft cocktail and fine food than beer. It DOES have one "birra" from Italy, the others from Florida and elsewhere. The craft cocktails run the gamut from twisted classics such as Bitter Mai Tai to creative ventures with names such as Cotton Panties and Bananarama. Some favorite noshes: Fried Pig Ears, charred octopus, fried oyster sliders, ceviche, deviled eggs, pizza, and pasta. (239-228-7606)
Blue Martini Naples
One of a chain of upscale bars nationwide (but mostly in Florida), Naples' Blue Martini has bars both outside and inside that fill nearly every night. Happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. discounts all drinks 50 percent.
Live bands typically play from 7:30 to 11 p.m., at which time the house DJ takes over, spinning the hits until 2 a.m.
The bar also offers weekly specials such as Wednesday Girls Night Out.
The over-sized Blue Martini is the signature drink - made with blue curacao and Cointreau and served with a glow stick. It matches the flashy glow of the inside bar, where the dance floor fills with party people all night long.
Food from light nibbles to full-blown dinners are available throughout the night. (239-591-2583)
An out-of-the-box steakhouse, its courtyard seating area turns into a hot music and dance arena as night falls. It also touts its reputation for craft cocktails, some of which fill glass orbs overhanging the outdoor bar. They include the Continental Innovation, blended with Death's Door gin, Cocchi Americano Bianco, Carpano Bianco and grapefruit bitters. Made to order craft cocktails include a Sazarac stirred with Old Overholt rye whiskey, yellow chartreuse, absinthe, and Peychaud's bitters; and The Church Key Four Roses small batch bourbon, blueberry-sage shrub and lemon. The Continental's savvy wine menu lists 25 by the glass and devotes one page plus each to "Chardonnay in Every Style," "Burgundian Descendants," and "Reserve List" bottles. Bar and late-night menus serve out-of-the-ordinary bar food until midnight. (239-659-0007)
7th Avenue Social
Enjoy your 7th Avenue Social experience around the bar or out on the patio with an Albino Manhattan (made with white whiskey and vermouth plus a dash of orange bitters) or a craft IPA from its extensive list. Whether you choose indoors or outdoors, the setting pleases. Mismatched tables and chairs make the bar funky and fun. There is a youthful vibe, although people of all ages find their way here for the good food, craft cocktails and live music. 7th Avenue Social, which opened in March 2015, serves food from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. It's known for its fresh and local ingredients, creative tacos and Caribbean flair.
About Chelle Koster Walton
Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and Naples guidebook (Countryman Press) is in its sixth edition. She was contributing editor for Caribbean Travel & Life for 12 years and has written guidebooks on the Bahamas.
A veteran travel writer, Chelle has published thousands of articles for Miami Herald, USA TODAY, Latitudes; has written/contributed to a dozen guidebooks, and produces travel shows for the local PBS station.
Read more about Chelle Koster Walton here.
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