100 Things We Love About Naples

Collier County is marking 100 years. To celebrate, we enumerate 100 of the things we love about the greater Naples area

Collier County, carved from a vast, swampy backcountry and named for the man who owned most of the region and a whole lot more—Barron Gift Collier, is celebrating 100 years. The staff of Naples Illustrated gathered to enumerate all the things we love about the greater Naples area, and although there were many more than 100 reasons, we capped it at that. 

Eat, Drink, Shop

1. Aielli Group Restaurants

Fabrizio and Ingrid Aielli have achieved gastronomical success with their four high-end yet diverse restaurants: Dorona, Barbatella, Grappino, and Sea Salt.

2. Bayfront  

An upscale oasis awaits on Naples Bay at Bayfront, offering visitors a variety of shops, restaurants, and even a lively cabana bar at a colorful location. 

3. Blue Martini Lounge

Live music, people watching, and specialty martinis make for entertaining evenings at Blue Martini Lounge, located in Mercato. Enjoy a cocktail on the patio or dance to the live entertainment indoors.

4. Burn by Rocky Patel

Cigar aficionados love Burn by Rocky Patel, a dark and dreamy cigar lounge that plays great music and serves up an array of cocktails.

Celebration Park. Photo by Joshua Colt Fisher
Celebration Park. Photo by Joshua Colt Fisher

5. Celebration Park

Spanning cultures and flavors, Celebration Park is a food truck spectacular. Sample myriad dishes in this open-air food park. Arrive by land or by boat for libations, live music, and fun. 

Campiello's restaurant. Courtesy of Third Street South
Campiello’s restaurant. Courtesy of Third Street South

6. D’Amico Restaurants

Nestled on Third Street South, The Continental and Campiello Ristorante & Bar are hard to beat for alfresco dining, people watching, and fantastic food. A bit north in Naples, you’ll find Ziggy D’Amico’s Whiskey Bar & Diner, serving up American comfort food.

7. Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii

Located on Third Street South, this popular spot serves Hawaiian blends, including 100 percent Kona coffee, as well as breakfast and bakery treats.

8. Sails Restaurant

A true dining experience, Sails offers exquisite selections, including fresh seafood and handmade pastas, in an elegant environment with exceptional service.

9. Narrative Coffee Roasters

With locations in Mercato and off Central Avenue in Naples, Narrative Coffee roasts quality seasonal coffees and maintains a mission of putting people first.

10. Culinary Concepts Restaurants

With locations just steps away from one another on Fifth Avenue South, Chops City Grill, Pazzo!, and Yabba Island Grill—all restaurants from Culinary Concepts—provide excellent food and drink in modish surroundings.

11. Lake Park Diner

A fun, casual eatery with a focus on quality foods and sustainable practices, Lake Park Diner provides creative menu options that are enjoyed in a comfortable outdoor setting.

12. Hogfish Harry’s

From roasted Gulf grouper to grilled hogfish, some of Naples’ freshest seafood is served at Hogfish Harry’s, where tropical flavors abound.

Photo courtesy Island Gypsy Café and Marina Bar
Photo courtesy Island Gypsy Café and Marina Bar

13. Island Gypsy Café and Marina Bar

Upon the charming Isle of Capri, you’ll find the Island Gypsy Café and Marina Bar, where you can arrive by car or boat and relish a casual dockside vibe. 

14. La Playa Beach & Golf Resort 

La Playa Beach & Golf Resort is the perfect place to meet for a cocktail with the setting sun as a backdrop. The signature restaurant of the resort, Baleen, provides picturesque vistas of the beach.

Photo courtesy Mercato
Photo courtesy Mercato

15. Mercato

Mercato doesn’t disappoint, providing an array of shops, restaurants, and activities to visitors— from a Silverspot Cinema to Whole Foods and everything in between. 

16. Marissa Collections

Marissa Collections provides a superbly curated selection of luxury clothing and jewelry. Look for the hard-to-miss pink building on the corner of Third Street
South and Broad
Avenue South. 

17. Seed to Table

It’s a culinary celebration at Seed to Table, a 75,000-square-foot farmers market-inspired food and drink stop in North Naples that features several restaurants, bars, and live entertainment seven nights a week. 

Louis Vuitton at Waterside Shops in Naples
Louis Vuitton at Waterside Shops in Naples

18. Waterside Shops

If it’s a brand-name fix you crave, Waterside Shops, a luxurious outdoor mall venue, is where to head. Hermès, Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, and many other high-end retailers await. 

19. Three60 Market

Three60 Market, overlooking Haldeman Creek, offers an impressive selection of freshly prepared foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a wine shop known for its great prices. 

Photo courtesy Turco Taco
Photo courtesy Turco Taco

20. Turco Taco

The fast-casual Turco Taco—with locations in both north and south Naples—is committed to serving fresh, organic produce and hormone- and antibiotic-free premium meats.

21. The Vine Room

Located in downtown Naples on Fifth Avenue South, The Vine Room is a clandestine, sophisticated speakeasy that specializes in themed cocktails, small plates, and more. 

22. The Village Shops on Venetian Bay

The Village Shops on Venetian Bay offer more waterfront shopping and dining options than any other destination in Naples. Favorite restaurants include M Waterfront Grille, Fish Restaurant, Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar, and others.

Campagna Hospitality Group. Photo by Michael Caronchi
Campagna Hospitality Group. Photo by Michael Caronchi

23. Campagna Hospitality Group

Campagna Hospitality Group restaurants include Osteria Tulia, Bar Tulia, Bar Tulia Mercato, and The French Brasserie Rustique; they’re favorites for European flavors, the latest culinary trends, and excellent service. 

24. The Oyster Society

A Marco Island fave, this sensational seafood restaurant known for its raw bar specialties serves up hand-selected catches, many of which are local, in a lively, Art Deco–designed atmosphere.

25. Jane’s Café on Third

Indoor and alfresco dining are available at this breakfast and lunch mainstay, located off Third Street South. The menu includes a range of fare, including delectable eggs Benedict and omelet options. 

Stick Your Toes in the Sand

26. Clam Pass Park

A charming boardwalk wends its way through acres of mangrove preserve at Clam Pass Park, one of the most popular beach access points in Collier County that offers 35 acres of coastal habitat to its visitors.

27. Lowdermilk Park

Lowdermilk Park, open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., is a perennial favorite when it comes to beachfront parks, complete with sand volleyball courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, two gazebos for rent, a concession stand, and more.

28. Naples Pier

Though seriously affected by Hurricane Ian, the Naples Pier still stands proudly as an area icon. Slated to be restored by late summer, this long-standing landmark gives sightseers a chance to survey the Gulf of Mexico 1,000 feet from shore.

29. Tigertail Beach Park

Wade through a tidal lagoon and explore the coastal habitat of one of Marco Island’s most popular beach spots: Tigertail Beach Park. A barrier island in the making, it’s an exceptional place to bird watch, collect shells, and take in the golden hour. 

30. Vanderbilt Beach Park

Situated next to upscale hotels in North Naples, Vanderbilt Beach Park is a popular destination with a dedicated parking garage. White sand beaches attract visitors at this 5-acre park. 

31. Via Miramar Beach

When you want to spend a quiet day sitting at the edge of turquoise waters, Via Miramar Beach, just north of Doctor’s Pass off Gulf Shore Boulevard North, is the place to be. 

Day Trippin’

32. Ave Maria

Ave Maria, a quaint college town built around a spectacular church, is just a lazy Sunday afternoon drive away. Enjoy shops and restaurants or take in the sights of Ave Maria University, including the Mother Teresa Museum.

33. Baker Park

Baker Park, inclusive of a 1.3-mile trail that features vistas of the Gordon River, comprises 15 acres and is the perfect location for a morning or afternoon out with friends, family, and fur babies.

CREW Land & Water Trust Trails. Courtesy of CREW Land & Water Trust
CREW Land & Water Trust Trails. Courtesy of CREW Land & Water Trust

34. CREW Land & Water Trust Trails 

CREW (Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed) Land & Water Trust is a private, nonprofit organization with preserved areas in both Collier and Lee counties. Aside from its conservation initiatives, it offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails to take in Florida’s most scenic flora and fauna. 

35. Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center

With an array of indoor and outdoor exhibits and artifacts, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Nature Center connects people with Southwest Florida’s distinct ecosystem at its 21-acre preserve. 

Audobon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Courtesy of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Audobon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Courtesy of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

36. Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is home to a variety of creatures, from alligators to deer to turtles to sundry bird species. Venture into the heart of the Everglades ecosystem on a 2.25-mile boardwalk that traverses multiple habitats.

37. Crayton Cove

Beautiful Crayton Cove harbors fun restaurants and shops, as well as the Cove Inn, while sheltering a bevy of moored boats and yachts. 

38. Freedom Park

Just off Gold Gate Parkway, a wooden boardwalk meanders through 50 acres of restored wetlands at Freedom Park in the center of Naples. It’s a great spot to take in nature, including ibis and a variety of herons. 

39. Goodland

Goodland—believed to have been founded in the late 1800s—is a quaint fishing village with a relaxed weekend vibe visitors covet. Sundays are fun days here, with multiple spots for music, drinks, and dancing.

40. Gordon River Greenway Park

Gordon River Greenway Park is composed of 140 acres offering 2.5 miles of asphalt, mulch, and boardwalk trails that wind through six different native plant communities. Walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers are welcome, as are leashed pups. 

Keewaydin Island. Photo by Nick Shirgio
Keewaydin Island. Photo by Nick Shirgio

41. Keewaydin Island

Located 3 miles off Naples, Keewaydin Island is a barrier island with abundant untouched white sand. The northern tip holds a dozen privately owned cottages, while Boater’s Beach, so-called by locals, is situated at the southern tip of the island. 

Naples Botanical Garden. Photo by Paul G. Osborn
Naples Botanical Garden. Photo by Paul G. Osborn

42. Naples Botanical Garden

A world-class garden paradise spanning 170 acres is found at the Naples Botanical Garden; the garden welcomes 260,000 visitors each year to enjoy themed gardens representative of the tropics. 

43. Naples Art District

Stroll through Naples Art District and discover a vibrant alliance of artists and galleries showcasing their works. 

44. Naples Design District

Naples Design District is a shopping destination dedicated to innovative design, art, architecture, dining, and more. 

45. Naples Preserve and Hedges Family Eco-Center

Walk the boardwalk through a natural Florida habitat at Naples Preserve and Hedges Family Eco-Center. This 9.5-acre scrub oak community contains diverse plants and wildlife; environmental education programs are offered, too.

Courtesy of Naples Zoo
Courtesy of Naples Zoo

46. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

Experience the always-popular primate expedition cruise or take in giraffe feeding at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. These two encounters are a mere sampling of what’s found at a zoo offering fun for all ages.

47. Revs Institute

Declared the finest sports car collection in the United States by The New York Times, Revs Institute is home to more than 100 significant automobiles built between 1896 and 1995. 

48. Paradise Coast Sports Complex

This complex hosts many tournaments throughout the year, including for youth travel soccer, lacrosse, and football. However, here you can also listen to live music, eat from food trucks, or get fit at one of the most impressive outdoor gyms in Southwest Florida.

49. Rod & Gun Club

Established in 1864, the Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City allows you to step back in time to Old Florida. It’s a unique, rustic location to stay over, fish, dine, and watch the sunset. 

Sunset at Rookery Bay. Photo courtesy Rookery Bay
Sunset at Rookery Bay. Photo courtesy Rookery Bay

50. Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Learn about the vital estuarine habitat at Rookery Bay, a protected site spanning more than 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters that constitutes 40 percent of the Collier County coastline. 

51. Shy Wolf Sanctuary

Schedule a tour at Shy Wolf Sanctuary and learn about wild animals that are humanely rescued and rehabilitated. To date, more than 1,260 animals have been rescued.


Your next event—be it a wedding, gala, or corporate outing—comes alive at NGALA Wildlife Preserve, featuring animal encounters and state-of-the-art event facilities. Most animals found here were born in captivity and cannot be returned to their wild environments. 

53. Ten Thousand Islands

Ten Thousand Islands are a maze of water and mangroves and home to an abundance of wildlife, including land and sea creatures. Spots to explore include Turner River, Halfway Creek, Sandfly Island, and the East River.

Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón
Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón

54. The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón

Reserve a room and ride the waterslides at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón, the perfect place for a family-friendly vacation or staycation. If golf is your activity of choice, two 18-hole championship courses are available.

55. Local Farmers Markets

There’s no shortage of quality farmers markets in our area. Some of our favorite markets include Third Street South Farmer’s Market, Vanderbilt Farmers Market, Pine Ridge Road Farmer’s Market, and Rookery Bay Farmers Market.

56. Tin City

A shopping destination specializing in local items, historic Tin City is a waterfront marketplace offering several boutiques, restaurants, an ice cream parlor, and more.

Living and Learning

57. Naples Illustrated

The glossy Naples Illustrated perfectly captures the luxury lifestyle of Neapolitans. With a focus on local people, places, and events, the publication celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.

58. Naples Daily News

Visitors and residents with a 239 area code read all the local news—including the latest on sports and entertainment—in this publication, which was founded in 1923.

59. Naples Charity Register

Few towns are more philanthropic than Naples. A comprehensive event calendar is compiled every fall in the Naples Charity Register for those who want to support the area’s many philanthropies by attending parties, galas, and more.

60. Collier County Public Schools

Collier County Public Schools ranks as one of the top five districts statewide. The system boasts 63 schools, including eight high schools, 10 middle schools, and 31 elementary schools.

61. Florida SouthWestern State College

Offering associate degrees in arts or science, as well as bachelor’s degrees and various certificates, this college opened in 1992 and sits on an 80-acre site in south Naples.

62. The Naples 100

An annual publication, The Naples 100 highlights the area’s top leaders across multiple industries, including innovators, entrepreneurs, dedicated community builders, and other movers and shakers.

Artis—Naples. ©Albert Vecerka:Esto
Artis—Naples. © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Arts, Entertainment, and Events 

63. Artis—Naples

Home to The Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic, Artis—Naples is one of the area’s leading cultural resources with more than 300 productions every year. 

64. Cambier Park

Named after William Cambier—a town engineer vital to the early development of the City of Naples, Cambier Park boasts a playground, a baseball diamond, a bandshell, a tennis center, bocce ball courts, and more. 

Photo courtesy Cars on 5th Concours
Photo courtesy Cars on 5th Concours

65. Cars on 5th Concours

Cars on 5th Concours hums 19 years strong and is the largest annual one-day event in Naples, featuring more than 650 exotic and classic cars, including more than 150 Ferraris. 

66. Museum of the Everglades

This museum, located in historic Everglades City, features permanent and rotating exhibits that offer a glimpse at the more than 2,000 years of history in the area. 

67. Naples Depot Museum

Temporarily closed due to Hurricane Ian, the museum is situated in the heart of Naples and is the site of the privately operated Naples Train Museum. On display are Seminole dugout canoes, an antique swamp buggy, restored rail cars, and more.

68. Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch

Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch is a 13-acre historic site and the longest running ranch in South Florida. Exhibits and programs are available, and on site are 15 preserved buildings.

Key Marco Cat on view at Marco Island Historical Museum. Photo courtesy of Collier County Museums
Key Marco Cat on view at Marco Island Historical Museum. Photo courtesy of Collier County MuseumsPhoto credit: Courtesy of Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution (A240915)

69. Marco Island Historical Museum

Examine what life was like for Southwest Florida’s Calusa people via informative exhibits, including a re-created village scene. This museum is also home to the well-known Key Marco Cat, an important North American archeological discovery. 

70. Collier Museum at Government Center

Exhibits covering diverse historical influences reveal how civilization progressed in Collier County. Learn about the Calusa and Seminole peoples, as well as early pioneers.

71. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The largest privately funded parade in Florida, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naples draws approximately 40,000 people to the downtown area in celebration of Irish heritage and culture.   

72. Naples Pride Fest

Celebrating diversity and inclusion, Naples Pride seeks to educate the community on LGBTQ issues. Pride Fest, held at Cambier Park, features speakers, musicians and performers, vendors, and exhibitors.

73. Fourth of July Parade

This fun, patriotic event offers excitement for the entire family. Typically, the parade route runs from Broad Avenue South to Third Street South and proceeds north to Fifth Avenue South, eventually ending at Eighth Avenue South. 

74. East Naples Community Park 

This park offers activities for youth, adults, and seniors, as well as a playground, a community center, soccer fields, and more. It’s also home to the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships.

75. The Edge Johnny Nocera Skate Park

This skate park offers up an impressive 40,000 square feet of concrete and includes a variety of structures to practice skills, including those appropriate for beginners to advanced skaters. 

76. Evenings on Fifth

Make sure to visit Fifth Avenue South the third Thursday evening of every month for an array of live musical performances up and down the sidewalks at Evenings on Fifth.

77. Gulfshore Playhouse

Construction has begun on the new Gulfshore Playhouse, which is committed to enhancing the area’s cultural landscape through professional theater and unique educational opportunities.

Kayaking and paddleboarding around Naples. Photo by Vanessa Rogers Photography
Kayaking and paddleboarding around Naples. Photo by Vanessa Rogers Photography

78. Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Kayaking and paddleboarding options are plentiful in the many channels that wind through the mangroves.

79. Naples Art Institute

Professionally curated exhibitions draw visitors to Naples Art Institute, a vibrant cultural destination offering a place for artists—near and far—to share their work. Classes, workshops, lectures, and special programs are offered also.

80. Miss Naples Catamaran

This 48-foot custom catamaran (able to accommodate 48 people) offers daily trips, afternoon excursions, and sunset cruises.  

81. Naples Princess

Perfect for a daily cruise, a private charter, or even a unique wedding venue, the Naples Princess is a large luxury yacht affording wonderful views of Naples from the water.

The Sweet Liberty takes passengers from Naples Bay to the Gulf for day sails and sunset cruises.
Sweet Liberty Catamaran

82. Sweet Liberty Catamaran

Operating more than 25 years and leaving from Naples City Dock, this 53-foot catamaran offers a variety of cruises, including shelling, sunset, and sightseeing tours. It’s also available for private events.

83. Black Pearl

Located in Marco Island, the Black Pearl offers interactive pirate-themed tours, sunset cruises, and private charters to celebrate special events at sea.

84. Naples Trolley Tours

Hop aboard a vintage trolley and learn all about the area on Naples Trolley Tours. It’s a fun, interactive way to learn about the city. 

85. Off the Hook Comedy Club

Many laughs are to be had at this club that brings some of the biggest names in comedy to our area. Shows are performed every night, Thursday through Sunday. 

86. Live Fest

Country music fans clap knowing Naples plays host to outdoor honky-tonk music performances at Live Fest.

Courtesy of Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, C’MON
Courtesy of Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, C’MON

Charities and Organizations

87. Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, C’MON

Dedicated to children, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, C’MON provides educational fun in 30,000 square feet of space and two stories. 

88. Quick Draw Art Auction

Artists gather under the sun for three hours to create works that anyone can bid on and buy at the Quick Draw Art Auction benefiting Collier Legal Aid Services.

Joseph Byrne and Alyssa Haney as Robbie Hart and Julia Sullivan. Photo courtesy The Naples Players
Joseph Byrne and Alyssa Haney as Robbie Hart and Julia Sullivan. Photo courtesy The Naples Players

89. The Naples Players

Founded in 1953, The Naples Players performs great community theater at the Sugden Community Theatre, located in downtown Naples, which is undergoing substantial renovation.

90. Opera Naples

Internationally acclaimed artists perform some of the most treasured operatic works through Opera Naples, a community-based, nonprofit arts organization.

91. Baker Senior Center Naples

Supporting seniors in Collier County and beyond, Baker Senior Center Naples offers programs and services inclusive of respite support, geriatric case management, mental health services, and food assistance.

Escape to Margaritavilla at TheatreZone. Photo by Nick Shirgio
Escape to Margaritavilla at TheatreZone. Photo by Nick Shirgio

92. TheatreZone

You can find Broadway-quality productions in Naples at TheatreZone, in residence at the G&L Theatre on the Community School of Naples campus. 

93. Collier Community Foundation

More than 700 funds established by charitable individuals, corporations, and organizations are managed by the Collier Community Foundation to address the community’s most pressing needs.

94. David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health

David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health has provided much-needed mental health care services to the community for more than 50 years. 

95. NCH

A nationally recognized and ranked health care system, NCH provides an array of top-quality medical services at the center of town and at its satellite locations.

96. Greater Naples Chamber

The Greater Naples Chamber successfully cultivates a business-friendly environment for those who choose to invest in the community. 

97. Naples Winter Wine Festival 

A days-long wine extravaganza, the Naples Winter Wine Festival is one of the most distinguished wine events in the nation and arguably the world. Its proceeds benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation.

Naples Children & Education Foundation. Photo by Mila Bridger
Naples Children & Education Foundation. Photo by Mila Bridger

98. Naples Children & Education Foundation 

Naples Children & Education Foundation provides grants to organizations with effective charitable programs that benefit the lives of the county’s underprivileged and at-risk children.

99. St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew’s House provides a large umbrella of services and resources to care for those wounded by life’s circumstances. 

100. Generous Philanthropists

Naples Illustrated salutes Collier County’s many generous philanthropists who give, and give, and give some more to better our community. 

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