Why Go To Naples
Named after the coastal Italian city, Naples, Florida, is known for its laid-back ambiance, quiet luxury and world-class golf. Though Florida's version doesn't have the history, sights or artwork of its namesake, its extravagance mimics that of European waterholes along the Mediterranean. Instead of archaeological treasures and divine Italian food, you'll find high-end restaurants and first-class hotels awaiting those who retreat from the shore. 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 the States. That said, party animals and young families will probably want to seek another beach because Naples doesn't have the distractions (oops, we mean attractions) they are looking for. Relaxation is the name of the game here, so leave the tots with your parents or the keg at the frat house, pick up your special someone, and venture down to Florida's city of love.
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Naples Travel Tips
Best Months to Visit
The best time to visit Naples is between March and May. Daytime temperatures hover in the 80s — perfect weather for the beach or the links. More importantly, if you visit during this sweet spot, you'll sidestep the winter price hikes. Despite the exorbitant costs, winter is peak season here thanks to high average temps in the mid-70s. Summer is another busy time in Naples (blame the school calendar), but 90s with high humidity, even at the beach, is uncomfortable. Naples' autumn features a 10-degree slide into winter and with it a brief decline of hotel rates and crowds.
Weather in Naples
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
What You Need to Know
- It's ritzy You've heard that Naples is "ritzy," but just how ritzy is it? Composed of only 16 square miles, this tiny city has two Ritz-Carlton resorts about 4 miles apart. Starting to get the picture?
- It's preppy The tiny, iconic polo player will be on the shirts of many male and female residents. If you would like to blend in, dress as if you were headed to the country club.
- It's tiny Old Naples, where many of the best restaurants and shops are located, is small enough that you might only need an afternoon to explore the whole town before heading back to the beach.
How to Save Money in Naples
- Choose a hotel Naples' hotels are normally cheaper than its resorts, and with so many public beaches, it should be easy to find a hotel that's near the shoreline.
- Find a rental If you're staying for more than a weekend and you brought the kids, consider a vacation rental instead of a hotel. Note that most homes, however, are set away from the beach.
- Go exploring Although most visitors spend their time cloistered at their resort or on the greens, Naples has many natural sights to experience, which are free to explore.
Culture & Customs
Although the city isn't showy or overtly snobby, Naples residents are still a wealthy set. The city is one of the snazzier in the state, so you might want to dress up a little. Swimsuits are OK for the beach but cover up when you're in town.
Naples also has a reputation as one of the most romantic cities in the U.S. Relaxation is the name of the game here, so you'll see very few of the little ones hanging around. If you're hoping to plan a family vacation to Florida, a better option might be a place like Disney World.
What to Eat
Some say that Naples has the best cuisine of Florida's western shore. And quality doesn't come cheap. It should come as no surprise that this city by the water has a hankering for seafood; menus are filled with shrimp dishes and large stone crab claws. For a Cuban twist on a Florida staple, try the grouper fillet and lobster bisque at Capt. Marcos. For a more upscale atmosphere, savor some of the Gulf Coast's freshest crab claws at Truluck's.
Those looking for something a little less damaging to the wallet will find a handful of chains dotting the area as well. If you're on a budget, you'll find the largest selection of eateries in Old Naples.
Getting Around Naples
The best way to get around Naples is by 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.