Here, you’ll find the winners for our Best of Naples section. Just browse the article to see some of our favorite things to do in Naples, Florida.
It doesn’t matter how much time you’re spending in Naples, it’s safe to say that you want to take in as many sights and sounds as possible. Fortunately, there’s things to do in Naples (and the surrounding area) for every visitor.
Like many, you may be visiting Naples to spend time at the beach. From the pearly white sand to the clear blue water, beautiful sunsets, you can be rest assured of an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
The best of Naples, including best attractions, restaurants, hikes, beaches, shops and activities:
1. Naples Pier
The historic Naples pier known for fishing, bird-watching, dolphin-spotting & scenic sunset views. Located on the Gulf of Mexico at the West end of 12th Avenue South. Even folks just driving through town stop for a walk on the 1,000-foot long Naples Pier. First built in 1888, it’s been rebuilt five times after hurricanes. On-street parking is supplemented by a parking lot one block East, with additional parking at beach ends on the avenues to the north and south.
2. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Officially established in the 1950s by the Audubon Society, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is one of the most unique, arguably the most unique place related to the Audubon Society in the United States. What makes it unique is the fact that it is the only privately owned park that belongs to the Audubon Society, and that its property contains one of the few remaining, in-tact pine forests in the Southeastern United States.
3. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Garden
If you’re a parent, then you know all about drool and runny noses. But you’ve probably never experienced it like you will at Naples Zoo. Get ready for an exciting, up close adventure that will be remembered by both you and your kids for a lifetime as you feed giraffes, watch alligators being fed, take a cruise and watch fun, educational shows.
4. Lowdermilk Beach Park, Naples, FL
Lowdermilk Park is a beautiful beach front area that is popular with both residents and visitors. It has a little something for everyone in your family to enjoy. There are two playgrounds for the children. Athletes have access to two sand volleyball courts. Lowdermilk Park also has picnic tables, benches, restrooms, and shower facilities. If you’re planning an event, there are even gazebos for rent to ensure your group has a place in the shade.
5. The Revs Institute, Naples, FL
The Revs Institute presents the Collier Collection of over one hundred significant automobiles built between 1896 and 1995. The automobiles on display at Revs are some of the rarest and most important cars ever built at anytime, anywhere. They are the ones that variously blazed technical pathways, redefined aesthetic standards, made history, and changed the world.
6. Bird Gardens of Naples
The Bird Gardens of Naples is located in the green space of Corkscrew Swamp with a variety of flora, fauna, bees, and butterflies. You will have the opportunity to see, learn, and interact with 100+ birds from origins around the world. If weather allows, groups can enter the large macaw aviary with opportunities to take photos and hold birds. Guided tours last approximately two hours with two miles of walking trails.
7. Conservancy of Southwest Florida
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers daily nature center programs as we explore the natural environments of Southwest Florida, meet native species up close, and discover how Conservancy of Southwest Florida works to protect Southwest Floridas water, land, wildlife, and our future.
8. The Baker Museum, Naples, FL
The Baker Museum is one of the foremost fine-art museums in Southwest Florida. Emphasizing modern and contemporary art, the museum hosts several traveling exhibitions annually to complement installations of works from its permanent collections.
9. Bird Rookery Swamp
The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail officially opened in July 2011. The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail offers 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, including a 1500-ft. boardwalk with wheelchair accessibility. A 1/4-mile crushed shell path leads to a 1500-ft. boardwalk, then the trails become ground level, sandy/grassy, relatively flat berms with swamp on both sides. The trails are actually old tram roads used when the area was logged many years ago.
10. Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Office in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
11. Clam Pass Park, Naples, Florida
The Park consists of 35 acres of mangrove forest, coastal dunes and 3200 linear feet of beach on the Gulf of Mexico. There is a boardwalk, which provides access to the beach, for paddle boarding or sunbathing, through a mangrove forest. The boardwalk is about three quarters of a mile long and can be walked or you can catch a ride on a free tram that runs continuously throughout the day.
12. The Village on Venetian Bay, Naples, FL
Home to more than 50 top-tier shops, art galleries, and a selection of waterfront Naples restaurants, The Village Shops On Venetian Bay has been heralded for its award-winning design, Village waterfront setting, and eclectic mix of specialty retailers. A classic Mediterranean theme includes meandering courtyards, Venetian-style facades, and a relaxed bayside ambiance.
13. Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) is Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station.
14. Tin City, Naples, FL
Tin City is a popular tourist destination in Naples. Located near Fifth Avenue South in the heart of Downtown Naples, Tin City was originally a pier built in the 1880s, but transformed into a marketplace in the 1970s. Today, it is still a shopping center with great waterfront dining and is the launching center for boats run by Pure Naples, a local touring company that runs sight seeing cruises and charters boats for fishing trips.
15. Naples Depot Museum
The Naples Seaboard Air Line Railway Station is a historic Seaboard Air Line Railway depot in Naples, Florida. It is located at 1051 5th Avenue, South.
16. Naples Historical Society’s Historic Palm Cottage
The Naples Historical Society’s Historic Palm Cottage is a historic home in Naples, Florida. It is located in the Naples Historic District. The antiques filled cottage, is a rare example of tabby mortar construction.
17. Collier County Museum, Naples, FL
This museum offering includes historical exhibits about early settlers & American Indians in Southwest Florida. Stalk prehistoric mastodons with Florida’s first big-game hunters, or travel even further back in time, when colossal sharks cruised the warm tropical seas that once covered Southwest Florida.
18. Crayton Cove
Located on 12th Avenue South and 8th Street South, and NW on Naples Bay by sea. Beautiful Crayton Cove is an old salt’s delight. Crayton Cove harbors the Naples Yacht Club, Naples City Dock, the famous Dock Restaurant, Naples Ships Store, The Cove Inn, and a variety of shops salons, and eateries. Crayton Cove is also home to the Naples Horse and Carriage Company. A traditional carriage ride is a wonderful way to see Old Naples. If charter fishing and sailing are on your list of things to do, the charter boats are ready.
19. Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
Sun-N-Fun Lagoon Water Park has plenty of fun water-based attractions that kids and adults both love. There are five water slides, each with a different speed and path. They start from a 38-foot wooden water tower, which kids love to climb again and again! The Sunny River is a classic lazy river. Grab your inner tube and float along in the sun as the stress melts away. Feel the water cascade over your head when you visit Family Falls. The Tadpole Pool is just for toddlers, and the Turtle Cove is reserved for children 5 to 12. If you want to get in a little exercise while your children play, the Dolphin Dive and Lap Pool has lap lanes and two diving boards.
20. The von Liebig Art Center – Naples Art Association
The von Liebig Art Center is the permanent home of the Naples Art Association. A mainstay of the community, it is visited each year by approximately 100,000 guests who come to attend its changing exhibitions as well as art classes, workshops and lectures.
21. The Naples Players at the Sugden Community Theatre
The Naples Players continually seeks to enrich, educate and entertain our community through a superior theatre experience. A premier community theatre, seeking to inspire passion for the performing arts through life-long opportunities to participate in vibrant theatrical experiences in Naples Florida.
22. Naples Beach Brewery
Naples Beach Brewery has unique beers on tap, like their Naples Classic, which is an ale hybrid, their Triple C, which is a coffee stout, and an American ale brewed with mango and ginger which they call Line Dropper. Initially founded in 2012 by Will Lawson and Mike Conley, The Naples Beach Brewery is the first and currently the only microbrewery in Naples. Nonetheless, it is continuing the microbrewery revolution that was brought to Fort Myers and Marco Island years earlier.
23. Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
One of the most amazing places that you can go in Florida is the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands. Located off of the southwest coast of Florida, its remote and vast and a veritable maze of mangrove islands. Wildlife Service recommends only seasoned canoeists and sea kayakers attempt unguided trips.
As you can see, there’s something in Naples for every type of visitor. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in history, fun in the sun, or local culture, there’s something here to keep you busy.
Even though Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, there are plenty of budget friendly activities to immerse yourself in. Keep an open mind and you’ll be surprised at what you find.
So, the next time you find yourself visiting Naples on the Gulf, make a list of things you want to do and get ready for some serious fun. There’s no better place for a vacation!