Naples' Best Attractions: Things to See and Do in Town

Most people begin their Naples explorations at the beach, and this list suggests two favorites: Delnor-Wiggins State Park and Naples Municipal Beach and Pier. The former takes you away from city life to experience the region's rich bird populations while the latter is within walking distance of some of Naples' best shopping and dining.

The beach, however, is not Naples' only habitat environment. Much more extensive and teeming with wildlife, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge forever preserve vast acreage of environment that ranges from sea and estuary to marshlands and hammock forests. Naples' many nature attractions interpret the mind-boggling range of public lands and conducts tours and programs for satisfying interaction with nature.

Between beach and wilderness lies a most enchanted, thoroughly civilized land of wealth-driven culture, shopping, dining and golf.  At the area's various historical museums and sites, learn how the town developed from Florida's final frontier to a mecca for the rich and famous seeking winter warmth. 

This list picks the best options for experiencing the Naples area in a well-rounded manner that takes in its greatest treasures - its beaches, environment, history and culture. For families, we've thrown in the new Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (C'MON)

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


The Environmental Learning Center at the reserve does a stellar job of interpreting the habitat of the estuary in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. The first floor holds a gallery that hosts changing exhibits of wildlife art in addition to...  Read More

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Photo courtesy of Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB


Nationally accredited, the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is one of the best attractions in the city. Celebrated by locals and travelers, this 52-acre park features exotic creatures such as panthers, alligators, leopards, bears and lions. ...  Read More

Baker Museum
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Part of the Artis--Naples cultural center in North Naples, The Baker Museum polishes Naples' reputation for the fine arts. The three-story, 30,000-square-foot museum boasts 15 engaging galleries filled with paintings, sculpture and drawings. The...  Read More

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


The Conservancy's Nature Center, which underwent a major up-design in recent years, comprises an indoor and outdoor complex with many facets. The Dalton Discovery Center is an interactive museum where visitors can explore the eco system of...  Read More

Big Cypress National Preserve
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


For nature lovers traveling on a budget, it doesn't get any better than the land and water trails of Big Cypress National Preserve. This behemoth freshwater neighbor to Everglades National Park covers more than 700,000 acres and is home to such...  Read More

Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (CMON)
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


A microcosm of Naples culture and nature in pint-sized stature, C'MON opened in 2012 in a park setting in North Naples. The Naples Trolley is the centerpiece as you enter the 30,000 square-foot hall of the colorful ship-shaped building....  Read More

Naples Municipal Beach and Pier
Photo courtesy of Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB


A staple in the community for more than 100 years, the Naples Fishing Pier is a must-see attraction close to the downtown goings-on around Third Street South. Once the entry point for those who arrived to Naples by boat, the main mode of...  Read More



Recognized as one of the best beaches in the US, the sandy shore at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is all-natural and devoid of the high-rise backdrop and development of most of the other local beaches. A nature trail leads to an observation...  Read More

Naples Botanical Garden
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Highlights of its beautifully designed 170 acres include a Caribbean Garden with a traditional re-created chattel house, a dramatic waterfall feature with giant lilypads in the Brazilian Garden and preserved natural wetlands with a birding...  Read More

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary


While Naples is famous for its pristine beaches, the city also has flourishing wetlands such as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - known for its ancient cypress forest and colony of nesting American woodstorks. The Audubon facility is also the...  Read More


Meet 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...  More About Chelle