This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, and you and your honey can sneak away to Naples for a long weekend in one of our vacation rentals. Our vacation rental houses each have a private pool with optional pool heating (that’s IF you don’t generate enough heat of your own…) ready for your luxurious swim under the South Florida stars, and our vacation rental condos are located in complexes with fun amenities, including community pools.
Naples is known for its pristine white beaches, gentle emerald waters, and romantic sunsets. Award-winning Vanderbilt Beach just north of Naples is sandwiched between two nature preserves. It’s a beautiful stretch where you can pack a picnic or, better yet, head over to the brand new Beach Box Café and pick up a boxed lunch specially designed for the beach in mind. At Beach Box Café, you can also rent bicycles or paddleboards, both favorite local pastimes for couples.
What’s more romantic than a technicolor sunset? Check the local weather forecast so you don’t miss out on the chance to see each other in your best light. Naples Pier is the standard for sunset awe, but this is peak season so expect company. For this special occasion, a sunset cruise might be your two tickets to paradise. A few outfits to try are Naples Marina and Excursions north of Naples on the Cocohatchee River (These guys also offer helicopter rides if your shortie thinks The Bachelor has set the standard on romance…), Pure Naples docked at downtown’s historic and Florida-funky Tin City, and Naples Princess docked at the Port-O-Call Marina next door.
For your romantic night out, may we suggest waterfront dining at the luxurious Baleen restaurant within La Playa Resort where the Gulf of Mexico is your wingman or the casual elegant vibe at The Turtle Club at Vanderbilt Beach, consistently been voted the top Naples waterfront restaurant. We also are impressed by the trendy Mereday’s within Naples Bay Resort featuring yacht harbor views on both sides of the restaurant.
Take it to the next level with aphrodisiacs at Osetra, a sumptuous caviar and champagne lounge within the luxury downtown Naples district Fifth Avenue South (also great sushi).
Be the cute couple afterhours on the dance floor of the classy hotspot Blue Martini within the Mercato. Later, light your fire at the worldly Burn by Rocky Patel (also within the Mercato) if you’re a cigar aficionado or just feel sexy with the indulgence.
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou… Sample extraordinary wines at Avenue Wine Café in downtown Naples. Pop décor and big, comfy couches have made this little venue a big hit with the locals. In addition to great wine, they offer an insane array of craft beers plus cigars and small plates. If you’re bound for the Mercato, the Wine Loft offers an upscale lounge atmosphere with loft seating overlooking the main floor. It’s another popular spot to partake of the vine.
Roses are red, Violets are blue… and Ceiba speciosa is what… Take your delicate flower to Naples Botanical Garden, and find out! Why just give her a stem when she can have five gardens of Eden for her pleasure? This 170-acre site with 7 different habitats just south of Old Naples has 2.5 miles of walking trails to explore.
How about a little oo-la-la? Naples might be named after an Italian city, but we do parlez-vous a little français. A few staff suggestions: La Laffayette, a charming spot where they spread fresh rose petals on the floor for Valentine’s, is within walking distance to the beach.
Cote d’Azur… It’s tucked in a strip mall in North Naples, but looks are deceiving in this case. Cote d’Azur was rate within the Top 100 American restaurants by Zagat. Also, Zagat-rated is the spectacular Bleu Provence. Anointed with various prestigious awards, Bleu Provence is know not only for its fine dining and décor but also for its extensive and hand-picked wine list, some 1,700 wines.
Savor the sweet taste of love at Grain de Café just south of Vanderbilt Beach Road on Hwy 41 (Tamiami Trial) in a shopping center anchored by Publix. To surprise her with breakfast in bed, pick up a bag of beautiful, crusty croissants – classic (you simply can’t use the adjective “plain” as an adjective), almond, or chocolate. Next door you’ll find some insane gelato at Cesibon and elegant macarons at Le Macaron French Pastries in the Mercato. Box up the ultimate in chocolate-covered decadence from the masters at Olde Naples Chocolate or at Norman Love Confections.
For dinner and a movie in the same spot – the Silverspot. Reserve seating online in this Mercato cinema,and check out the menus for dining outside the theater or in. Order a cocktail and bring it in with you to your cushy, leather seats.
Be a little more adventurous in love. If you and your amour are paddlers, check out Lover’s Key State Park, for years accessible only by boat. Located on County Road 865 between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach in Lee County, it’s said that only lovers ventured to the island for some alone time. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up this state park where you might spot manatees, dolphin, bald eagles, and roseate spoonbills, among other species of course. Hike along a boardwalk or hop a tram to a 2-mile beach. There’s a boat ramp at the park as well as kayak and canoe rentals and tours at the park’s concession stand.
Another wild hideaway south of Naples is Keewaydin Island, an 8-mile-long barrier island only accessible by boat. Rent boats at Marco Island to reach this wildlife sanctuary.
clothing optional …Well, not in Naples proper per se… but we won’t pry!