Couples looking for a recipe to create a romantic getaway will find all of the ingredients needed in downtown Naples. This area has award-winning dining, unique shopping and a waterfront (the Gordon River), not to mention a close proximity to the beach at the Gulf of Mexico.
You’ll need to remember Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. These two streets are home to most of the action and great spots to observe the opulence found here. The parade involves couture clothing and cars that cost more than most people’s homes – an entirely different kind of romance.
Where to Stay
The Trianon is the perfect location for couples wanting the peace of a residential area, while still being close to the "scene." Two blocks from the action on Third, it is also within walking distance to the downtown waterfront and only five minutes from the beach.
The Escalante is a boutique hotel that sits on the corner of Fifth and Third. The rooms are all suites, some with private terraces, most opening to the pool courtyard: an oasis. The restaurant, Veranda E, offers mostly alfresco dining, under twinkling lights. This is one of the best-kept secrets of downtown.
The Escalante is a romantic oasis in the middle of downtown Naples — Photo courtesy of Gina Birch
For luxury and elegance, stay at The Inn on Fifth in the heart of Old Naples. Accommodations in the main inn are bright and spacious. Some have Juliet balconies opening to the action on the avenue. The club-level suites are across the street and come with your own personal concierge. Couples services are offered in the spa for the ultimate in relaxation.
Where to Eat
Just one block over from the bustling Fifth Avenue, you’ll find Ristorante Ciao (on Fourth Avenue South), an Italian spot full of old-world charm. The waitstaff dresses in bow ties and provides the kind of service that makes you feel like you are the only ones in the restaurant. The tables are dressed in crisp white linen with polished glass and silverware.
For another option, just the sound of a French accent can be enough to spark romance. Add that to the ambiance and food at Bleu Provence and you have a stellar combination. The food is not only beautifully prepared, but is also excellent on the palate.
Don't miss Bleu Provence's "The Cave," with 20,000 bottles of wine. Sitting just off of the waterfront of downtown, this restaurant, with its lush patio, is elegant yet relaxing.
Where to Party
For a more laid back vibe, spend the evening on Third Street South, exploring its courtyards, galleries, shops and restaurants. You’ll find lots of outdoor dining, restaurants with chic, crowded bars and a variety of music – not the club kind.
If the club vibe is what you are looking for, try Yabba Island Grill on Fifth if you are on foot. But if you have a car, take a fifteen-minute drive north from Old Town to the restaurants and bars at the Mercato Shops. You’ll almost always find a party at Blue Martini. The cocktail list is mind-boggling, and the bands beckon you to hit the dance floor.
The most romantic part of a trip to Naples comes at the hand of Mother Nature — Photo courtesy of Gina Birch
Regardless of what you choose for a romantic adventure in Naples, it would be criminal to miss a sunset, whether walking on the beach or taking a cruise aboard the Naples Princess. The three-level, air-conditioned boat also offers dinner cruises down the Gordon River to the Gulf of Mexico.
The ride offers spectacular views of some of the area’s finest waterfront mansions, wildlife and the star of the show, a stunning sunset. It's a perfect time to steal a kiss.