Are you visiting Naples, yet looking for off-the-beaten tracks sites in the city, maybe because you’ve been to Naples before or you’re the type of travel who likes to visit atypical attractions when you travel?
Here is our list of some of the ten off-the-beaten path things you can do during your visit to Naples.
#1: Historic Palm Cottage
Located near the Naples Pier off of 12th Avenue South, Historic Palm Cottage is considered the oldest houses in Naples. It was originally built in 1895 for Walter N. Haldeman, who was one of the founders of Naples and also behind the initial construction of Naples Pier, which helped to promote commerce in the area.
Now owned by the Naples Historic Society, Palm Cottage is now open to the public for tours, held every Tuesday through Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm. A reservation for the tour of the cottage isn’t required, however there is a $10 admission fee per person, which includes the 40 minute guided tour of the cottage along with time to yourself to visit the Norris Gardens out back. Children under 10 can be admitted on the tour free of charge.
#2: The Naples Historic Society’s Walking Tour
For those who want to visit Historic Palm Cottage and learn more about Naples’ history, take this tour, which is held every Wednesday at 9:30 am. The tour first starts with a tour of Palm Cottage, a house built in 1895 for Walter N. Haldeman, who is one of the founders of Naples. From there, you walk along Third Avenue South, where your guide will give you details about what Naples was like at the turn of the 20th century.
The tour lasts about 120 minutes, including the first thirty minutes you spend touring Palm Cottage and the remaining 90 minutes exploring Third Avenue South. In order to reserve your place in the tour, call the Naples Historic Society at 239-261-8164 at least by Tuesday by 3 pm before the tour that week departs. You will be expected to prepay an admission fee of $16 (if you are a non-member of the society) per person.
#3: The Collier County Museum
Located off of Tamiami Trail East in the heart of the Collier County Government complex, the Collier County Museum houses exhibits and historic landmarks that help to retell not only the history of Naples, but the history of Collier County and of Southwest Florida as a whole.
The tour through the Collier County Museum is self-guided, and requires no admission fee. You start your tour through Exhibition Hall, which shows artifacts from Southwest Florida’s prehistoric past, to its Pre-Columbian origins, to its early days as a Spanish colony to the rise of Naples and many of the surrounding cities as major, pioneer boom towns.
The tour ends with a look at modern history of Collier County and Naples. From there, go outside of Exhibition Hall to see the authentic train, a replica of a Seminole village, and an actual 1926 cottage that was saved from demolition and moved to the museum for preservation purposes.
#4: The Naples Depot
Located in the heart of Downtown Naples near Fifth Avenue South and Tin City, The Naples Depot was originally a train station.
It is now a museum connected with Collier County Museums; it includes exhibits by local artists, classic cars, and a train museum featuring train cars, cabooses, railroad tools, Naples Depot memorabilia, antique boats and marine memorabilia, and artifacts from the Naples Army Air Field.
The Naples Train Museum is also located on this site, which is a privately run museum geared towards children. This museum includes an interactive model layout of a train and also a special train ride for the kids every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
#5: Tin City
Even though this site is often frequented by tourists, the reason why it is on our list is because of its ‘70s vibe and bohemian shops featuring local crafts and art.
For a more off-the-beaten path experience of Tin City, come here to buy souvenirs by local artists and craftsmen at shops like the Art Boutique at Tin City, Naples Olive Oil Company, and the Naples Soap Company. For great bohemian style shopping, visit Caribongo, City Bags of Naples, Tin City Magic, and Peace Frogs.
For a yummy local treat for you and the kids, get a cone of homemade ice cream from M & M’s Café, oversized cookies at 5th Avenue Confectionary, or homemade monkey bread at the Monkey Bread Factory. For a nice treat for the adults, stop by The Naples Winery for a nice bottle of wine bottled and aged in Punta Gorda for you to bring home as a gift or to drink at your accommodations after a long day of sight seeing!
#6: The Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum
Originally established in the 1990s as a history project by local middle school students, the Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum is now a non-profit museum that features documents and artifacts donated by the many local Holocaust survivors in the area.
They offer guided tours every Tuesday through Friday starting at 1 pm by a dedicated volunteer, who will show you the artifacts and tell you the chronological yet very personal history of how the Holocaust happened and impacted the lives of its victims and the people around them.
Admission to the museum is $10 per person; be sure to ask about their many lectures and special events throughout the year.
#7: The Baker Museum
Housed on the campus of The Artis in North Naples, The Baker Museum offers fine visual arts for the sake of educating and promoting appreciation in the visual arts for the community.
The Baker Museum features modern art by local artists and premier national and international artists, in addition to permanent exhibitions featuring various examples of fine visual art from around the world and various artistic periods.
Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, and $5 for children; the museum closes during the summer to reopen again in September for the winter season. You can tour The Baker Museum either with a free docent guided group, or tour the museum on your own.
#8: Collier-Seminole National Park
Located off of 41 about 15 minutes south of East Naples and minutes away from Marco Island, Collier Seminole National Park offers a great natural getaway with great opportunities to see wildlife. Come here to see some of the historical exhibits like the Bay City Walking Dredge, and the Seminole buildings.
Take a hike along the many trails, or take your kayak, canoe or paddle board with you for a prime experience along the water ways in the park. If you don’t have a kayak, canoe, or paddle board, visit Everglades Adventure Tours, which will hook you up either with a rental or give you a guided kayak or paddle board tour of the park’s water ways.
There is also a nice playground for the kids, as well as a picnicking area with on-site provided grills and picnic tables. If you are looking for an experience to camp, see about booking a few nights at the full-facility campground on-site.
General admission into the park is $5, with use of the campground costing more according to your needs and how long you plan to stay. If you want to book a tour or rent a kayak or paddle board with Everglades Adventure Tours, either call them directly at 800-504-6554 or book a tour with their kiosk located inside of the park, in front of the children’s playground, picnic area and dock area.
#9: Naples Botanical Gardens
Located off of Bayshore Drive in East Naples, the Naples Botanical Gardens is a great place to take the whole family for a nice walk and an educational experience to learn about local and exotic plants.
The Naples Botanical Garden has seven garden types: Asian, Brazilian, Caribbean, Children’s, Florida, The Preserve, and Water. Each of the gardens within the property offers the visitor an educational understanding of different kinds of plants, but also a themed atmosphere for a nice walk with the family, your friends, or even your pets!
The Children’s garden also features fun activities, led by their dedicated volunteers, to help teach children about the food they eat, how plants grow and to see how gardening can be fun!
Before you visit, make sure you purchase tickets online to the gardens or purchase your tickets on-site. Admission is $14. 95 per adult, and $9.95 for children ages 4-14.
#10: Barefoot Beach Preserve
Located in between Naples and Bonita Springs, Barefoot Beach Preserve is a 343-acre Collier County Park that is a nationally recognized beach and one of the largest gopher turtle preserves in Southwest Florida.
Come here not only to see and learn about the gopher turtles, but visit the beach and enjoy the water and warm Florida sun. There isn’t a fee for visiting the preserve, but you will have to pay a parking fee of $8.00.
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