Of course, as in any coastal Florida city, the beaches are uncommonly 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. Looking for culture? A number of museums, the Artis--Naples performance art hall and art galleries galore accommodate.
Avoid: Like anywhere, rush hour can be a trial.
Hot Tips: Got kids? Don't miss the Golisano Children's Museum of Naples.
Hotels in genteel Naples, located on the southwest coast of Florida, range from a few budget options to mostly high-end luxury resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, Naples and Edgewater Beach Hotel. The resorts cater to families with kids programs and to sports enthusiasts with water sports, golf courses and tennis courts.
Caution: 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.
Hot Tips: Though prices may rise during season, you can find some lodging for less than $150 per night.
World-class restaurants in the main downtown districts of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, 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 The Dock at Crayton Cove, two of the most respected entities in the region. In recent years, North Naples has caught up with downtown for its number and great variety of restaurants, particularly at shopping centers such as Mercato and Shoppes at Vanderbilt.
Avoid: 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 Artis--Naples 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.
Hot Tips: Check out the lively club scene at the Mercato complex in North Naples.
Outlet mall shopping is a popular pastime 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 Fifth Avenue and Third Street South--offers clothing, jewelry and artisanal boutiques interspersed with great dining. In addition, The Waterside Shops and The Village on Venetian Bay are forums for fashionable souvenirs.
Avoid: Coastland Center has the stores you expect to find at any mall across the country.
Best Local Souvenir: At Crayton Cove, two art galleries sell the work of local artists.