My parents decided to become snowbirds in Naples, Florida so it’s given our family the chance to make it an annual trip! Naples is definitely a destination that has grown on me over the years. I consider myself more of a ‘west coast is the best coast’ type of girl, but I definitely appreciate many things about spending a few weeks in the Sunshine State. While my full Naples Wild Bum Travel Guide has ALL of the deets, here are a few of our favorite things to do in Naples, Florida.
Let’s start with the obvious. I have to give it to Florida. The beaches are pretty spectacular. They get busy, yes. But, the white sand and miles and miles of beach walking, shelling and so on can’t be beaten here in the States. Nothing is better than a blanket, a glass of wine and watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico…the kind of sunset where the beach bums clap as it disappears beyond the horizon. Take your pick – Naples Pier, Vanderbilt, Lowdermilk – the list goes on and I have a full break down in my Guide. From relaxing with a good book to boogie boarding with the kids, Naples beaches offer something for everyone.
It’s taken me quite a while to find the hidden gems. I am a foodie after all. And, there are the fancy-ish spots all along Old Downtown and Downtown Naples, as well as popular areas such as the Mercato. But, I prefer to do a little extra work to find the really yummy spots. A family favorite is Mediterrano…dee-lish! But, then hidden in strip malls all over the city you can find some incredible spots. I LOVE Cafe Nutrients for a healthy bite and Kunjani Coffee for a great iced latte or matcha. Namba Sushi is a hot spot and totally worth a visit. We also love Lima Restaurant – authentic Peruvian cuisine. We’ve garnered quite the list of favorite spots. I also love perusing the 3rd Street Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Don’t miss the crepe lady!
This last visit we drove to Tampa to catch the Outback Bowl – btw, Tampa has AMAZING food spots. Our faves were Oxford Exchange and Taco Dirty (found in Brittney’s Tampa Wild Bum Travel Guide). But, we ended up spending a night in Siesta Key – right on the beach. It’s a gorgeous beach, perfect for SUP, kayaking, walking or simply relaxing. We also had an amazing meal at the Summer House.
Previous years we’ve driven to Captiva Island, Sanibel, and we’ve also taken the ferry to Key West.
We love walking the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. There’s also a great greenway accessed in the Naples Zoo parking lot. The Botanical Garden is also beautiful to walk around. Prefer to be on the water? We’ve done a great eco-kayak tour through mangroves. And, sunset sails are always amazing. While I spent quite a few years disappointed that Naples isn’t, well, Cali with mountains and awesome hikes – I’ve realized that there is still so much beauty to be seen. From lush greenery to spending time on the water – even driving through the neighborhoods near Old Downtown with its massive palm trees and gorgeous houses, it’s definitely become a nice respite from the cold Minnesota winters…and more importantly, precious time we get to spend with our kids!
There is definitely more that I could add to our favorite things to do in Naples Florida, but these are top of the list. As always – there is nothing I love more than chatting all things travel so please reach out anytime.
Happy Naples #wildbumming!