Naples Botanical Garden#3 in Best Things To Do in Naples
Located just 4 miles southeast of downtown Naples, Naples Botanical Garden offers nature-loving visitors access to a wide variety of flora (and even some fauna). The 170-acre nature sanctuary showcases more than 1,000 species of plants throughout its nine tropical themed gardens and untouched 90-acre preserve. For those looking to learn more about the expansive plant collection, the garden offers daily tours at 11 a.m. from November to April, as well as different educational children's activities monthly in the Smith Children's Garden. When visiting be sure to budget ample time to peruse the grounds; recent visitors recommend at least a few hours.
Outside of inclement weather, the garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday through Monday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. Although there is an admission fee of $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 14 and younger, students, teachers and military personnel qualify for a membership or holiday discount. Additionally, no outside food or beverage (except bottled water) is allowed in the preserve, but items can be purchased at the on-site Fogg Café. Restrooms are located within the Chabraja Visitor Center.
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#1 Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
About 12 miles north of Old Naples is the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, one of the best beaches in the city. Covering 166 acres of land, the beach here has great facilities, including plenty of parking, bathrooms, beach rental equipment, food stands and picnic spots. The water is clear and serene while the sand, according to many visitors, is covered with shells but has plenty of soft spots to sit on. The park also offers quality spots to snorkel (you can rent gear here too) at a reef offshore.
You can also get a feel for the rest of the flora and fauna that call the park home with a nature tour. Rangers guide you through the area; if you're an avid watcher of Animal Planet, you might try and time your visit for the loggerhead turtles' nesting season (May through October). You're also bound to see a variety of colorful birds during your tour.
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