This friendly and sunny Florida, USA city is definitely a worthwhile spot to visit on holiday. It’s best from November through March. When other American cities are snowy and cold, Naples will be sun kissed and warmed by gentle gulf breezes.
We drove to Naples and the scenery was beautiful. The sweet scent of fresh oranges as we passed through the many orange groves made our mouths water. Once on the gulf coast, the sun was setting on the water and it surely was a sight to see. Alternatively, you could fly into the neighboring city of Fort Myers and then drive to Naples.
The first sightseeing excursion was the boat tour at Naples Bay Resort. The Gulf of Mexico looks like it goes on forever. The cool, salty breeze in combination with the gentle movement of the water proves to be invigorating. Watch the beautiful water carefully as you might see dolphins seemingly dancing across the water or manatees foraging for an afternoon nosh. Before long, the boat will arrive at Keywaydin Island.
This private island is a spectacular place to explore. The white sandy beaches are pristine and soft beneath your feet. It is the perfect spot for finding colourful seashells or enjoying a quiet and romantic afternoon together. Be sure to watch for the monstrous mansions of Port Royal on your boat ride back to the mainland.
Another fine outing is a visit to the Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens on Goodlett Frank Road. There is a lovely cruise that takes guests around Primate Island which is home to apes, lemurs and monkeys. Loads of other wildlife exhibits and shows are not only educational but entertaining for the whole family.
The shopping district is known as Olde Naples and is on Fifth Avenue. Exclusive shops line the quaint streets and offer visitors high end merchandise of all sorts. The gourmet restaurants and specialty cafes make for a lovely dining experience. A leisurely stroll down the avenue is a great way to relax after a day filled with fun activities.
By following 12th Avenue South down to the gulf, visitors will arrive at the famous Naples Pier. Both locals and visitors enjoy lingering on the six hundred foot historical landmark. The original pier was built in 1888 but was damaged by both fire and hurricanes. It has been restored and is a hot spot for fishermen hoping to make the catch of a lifetime.
The beaches are some of the cleanest and most beautiful ones around. Naturally, sunbathing and swimming make for the perfect day on Naples Beach but shelling is also popular too. A variety of shell specimens can be found simply by strolling along the water’s edge.
Naples is a golfer’s paradise. There are nearly one hundred different golf courses to choose from in this city. Avid golfers must visit the Naples Beach Hotel golf course. It is the oldest in the city of Naples and started out as a wee course. Charles Lindberg used to land his plane there and play nine holes before flying off. Be sure to scan the sky often as you might catch a glimpse of an Eagle or Osprey in their natural habitat.
A tour of the Naples Botanical Gardens will be a feast for your eyes and nose. The smell of fragrant flowers permeates the area and the colourful blooms of the tropical plants will astound you. Although the gardens themselves are beautiful, the general area surrounding them is not. The Bayshore area of Naples is under construction as dilapidated low-income buildings are being torn down and new condominiums are being constructed. The rejuvenation project should be completed by 2014.
For concerts and other shows, a trip to the Naples Philharmonic would prove fun. The hall is host to theatrical plays such as Carmen and Les Miserables. Concert offerings such as Foreigner, the Blues Brothers and Lynda Carter are also hosted there. Naples Philharmonic is the main cultural establishment in Naples.
A drive down Tamiami Trail, which is also called Route 41 in the direction of Miami, is a must for nature enthusiasts. Both sides of the road have areas for cars to park in and look at the wild alligators. Don’t get too close to the edge of the water as it is steep and slippery. On more than one occasion, a person has fallen down and been attacked by one of these marvelous creatures.
After a long day, visitors will enjoy experiencing the nightlife in Naples. There is live Irish Music nightly at McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill. Jazz music abounds through the luxurious Campiello’s restaurant. For funkier music, The Jolly Cricket pup is the place to go. The menu options are as varied as the music so there is something for everyone in Naples.
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