We love Naples. I think it is one of our favorite places in Florida.
Tucked away in the state’s South West on the Gulf Of Mexico, Naples boasts white sandy beaches, with beautiful blue water.
The city has a beautiful, clean feel with perfectly manicured nature strips. Every home looks like a mansion with lush green, tropical gardens. Add to that a vibrant arts scene and a plethora of delicious dining options and you’ve got a haven for a weekend getaway or a vacation stay.
Though we’ve visited Naples plenty of times, this visit we wanted to make a weekend of it. With budget in mind we went straight to AirBnB to find a decent looking place for $50 per night.
The house we stayed at was shared with other guests but was big enough that we didn’t really cross paths. The bathroom was a little dated and the pool had debris in it but it served as a great base for our days of exploring. There was also a Golf Course nearby which was perfect for a morning run!
Later in the day we went up to Delnor- Wiggins State Park to hit the beach. We were joined by some locals – tortoises who seemed to own the place and weren’t too phased by us.
With entry just $5-6 the state park is one of the cheaper access points to the beach. You’ll find a small trailer where you can purchase snacks or event rent kayaks and other water devices. The beaches in Naples are beautiful. On clear days you get bright blue water and white sandy beaches.
Further South you can also access the water at Vanderbilt Beach. This will typically be more crowded but they have added amenities, including beachfront restaurants, more places to rent water equipment like jet skis and you can even rent out shaded lounges! We’ve parked in the garage near Vanderbilt Beach for $10 for the day.
Once you’re done baking in the sun or splashing in the waves, you’ll likely have worked up an appetite. There are tons of food options around Naples. Downtown, on 5th Avenue you’ll find a mix of Italian, American fare and seafood. We’ve also eaten at Tin City which gives you waterfront dining.
This particular visit we opted for the Village Pub which is located on Inner Doctors Bay.
Their salads and desserts are delicious, all with a water front view! Our mistake was going for ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s after we had already eaten dessert!
Naples Botanical Gardens
The next day, to walk off the extra helping of dessert we went to the renowned Naples Botanical Gardens. Just driving into the place it isn’t hard to see how this place has such a well known reputation. This would have to be one of the most spectacular gardens I have ever visited.
For breakfast we headed straight to the Fogg Cafe and ate in Lu’s Garden, overlooking the serene and peaceful Water Garden.
After eating, we took a moment to see the rare ghost orchid which rarely flowers and was on display just for the day we were there. After, we enjoyed a relaxing day touring each of the gardens on display. We ventured around Lake Tupke, stopping at the bird tower to enjoy the stillness and serenity of the wetlands.
At every turn throughout the Naples Botanical Gardens, there is something new, something more colorful and more amazing than the garden before it.
Though it was a hot day, it was totally worth it. This is definitely an activity to add to your list the next tine you are in Naples.
There is plenty more to see in Naples. They have a range of events throughout the year, including street art and markets in the down town area.
Though we have been to Naples a few times, there is still plenty we want to go back and see! Things like the Naples Zoo, Marcos Island and Everglades City.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Naples?