Named after the coastal Italian city, Naples is known for its laid-back ambience, quiet luxury and world-class golf. Though Florida's version doesn't have the history, the sights, or the artwork of its namesake, its extravagance mimics that of European waterholes along the Mediterranean. With gently lapping waves on the white sand beaches of southern Florida's Gulf Coast, America's Napoli qualifies as one of the most relaxing and romantic beach destinations in ... continue»
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The best time to visit Naples is between March and May. The sun will be out, and you'll be on the beach or the links with daytime temperatures staying in the 80s. More importantly, you'll also miss the winter price hikes. Winter is peak season because many visitors are willing to absorb the exorbitant costs for high average temps in the mid 70s. Summer is popular because of school vacation, but 90s with high humidity, even at the beach, is uncomfortable. Naples' autumn features a 10-degree slide into winter; nothing remarkable happens except for a brief decline of hotel rates and crowds.Best Times to Visit Naples»
Naples is a wealthy resort town nestled along the shores of Florida's Lower Gulf Coast. Home to numerous gated communities, country clubs and high-end boutiques, Naples is not defined by different neighborhoods as much as by its beaches. The city is also easy to navigate since the streets are laid out in a grid pattern.
Old Naples was originally created in the 1880s. Today, it sits in the center of the city around Fifth Avenue and still contains many of its original structures. Because of building codes, there are no skyscrapers in Old Naples, just streets lined with palm trees and upscale boutiques and restaurants. One of the main attractions here is Millionaires' Row -- a line of beachfront homes built by prominent and wealthy figures. The strip sits next to the Naples Pier and the city's main beach.
Just north of Old Naples is the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, home to Madagascar's legendary carnivore, the fosa.
Lowdermilk Beach Park
Aside from the Naples Pier, there are several other beaches within the city's limits. Travelers who stroll north along Millionaires' Row will find themselves at Lowdermilk Beach Park, which has a pavilion and professional-quality volleyball courts.
Just north of Lowdermilk Park is Pelican Bay, home to the 35-acre Clam Pass County Park. Visitors can hop on a free tram that takes nature lovers along a 3,000-foot boardwalk that drives through mangrove swamps and past the homes of numerous species of birds and even alligators.
Heading inland from Old Naples and Pelican Bay will lead you to Naples' many golf and country clubs, including the Royal Poinciana Golf Club, the Wyndemere Country Club and the Tiburon Golf Club.
You'll find some of the best stretches of sand in the country at Vanderbilt Beach's Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Located just about 10 miles north of Old Naples, the park offers numerous outdoor activities, including canoeing, fishing and snorkeling. Park rangers provide nature tours throughout the year, but travel writers say that the most interesting time to go is between June and October during the loggerhead turtle nesting season.
If you have time, take an overnight trip to Marco Island, located about a half hour drive south of Naples. The island features sand for lounging and opportunities for activities on the water, like waterskiing and sailing.
The best way to get around Naples is in a car, which is the best means for you to adopt the local "three-stop routine" -- shops and restaurants, the beach, and your hotel. Old Naples, the downtown area that contains many attractions, shops and restaurants, is easy to navigate on foot or by car because the streets are on a grid. Naples Trolley Tours offers transportation between downtown and Vanderbilt Beach, but the trolley is more for sightseeing with the drivers providing narration along the route. Travelers usually reach the city by flying through Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), located in Fort Myers. From there, they take a cab or a rental the 35 miles into town.Getting Around Naples»