Wherever you are in Naples, practically all you have to do is head west and soon you’ll be wiggling your toes in the sand, building sand castles and picking up pretty shells. We all love our beach time, but there is so much more for families to explore on the Paradise Coast. This summer, try these three adventures tailored to kids of varying interests and ages.
Chart a new path. Feel like taking a bike ride? Check out the new Gordon River Greenway. The paved nature trail follows the Gordon River alongside the Naples Zoo and the Conservancy. Watch for a great horned owl, bald eagle, raccoon or even a fox! Rent a bike at one of Naples’ bicycle shops, or join a group with Naples Bicycle Tours, which is open to ages 12 and up. Helmets, water and snacks are included.
Turn over a new leaf. At the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, youngsters can join the Little Explorers program, which is best for children 18 months to 5 years old. They can build a creature tunnel called a burrow, have fun with nature crafts, listen to stories and participate in other activities. The Conservancy’s Dalton Discovery Center also has more than 100 animals and interactive exhibits.
Discover scuba. Kids aged 10 and older can get scuba-certified in five days or less at Naples Marina & Excursions. Not 10 yet? Start with the Bubblemaker class, where kids as young as 8 are taught diving basics and supervised while swimming in the pool using scuba gear.
Look for these adventures and more, which are found in A Mostly Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades, by Karen T. Bartlett.