Looking for fun and exciting things to do in Naples this season? Here, we take a look at some of our favorite day-trip excursions, look ahead at the new restaurants cooking in Naples, great places to experience cultural offerings in the Paradise Coast and where to find some Naples and Southwest Florida’s best natural gems.
It’s stunning, the number of emails I receive as folks get back into town for the season.
Of course, they want to say hello and just generally touch base—maybe arrange dinner out or put together golf dates. There are two particular topics, however, they want to explore with me. The first one centers on food. What new restaurants are in town, which have closed, which restaurant has the best Italian food, which restaurant is easiest to get into and the most dangerous question—which restaurant is your favorite? I have more than one favorite, so I can escape being painted into that corner pretty easily. Getting the food/restaurant questions resolved is also easy and fun—especially for folks who have not been here for more than a year.
The second frequent topic kind of confused me at first. Here we are in paradise, where it’s warm, and we can swim the Gulf of Mexico and sunbathe on the beach. We have an incredible bounty of golf courses to play on and lots of people who want to play. That is not quite enough for many people who come to Naples—especially those who have family and friends coming to visit on a constant basis throughout the year. They want to know what to do and where to go for entertainment—for adults, children or both. I will try to answer as best I can with this Paradise Post.
The first source I go to when we have guests in town, especially folks who have not been to Naples before, is my phone book to get the phone number for Naples Princess Cruises (239-649-2275). I finally put the number on my iPhone contact list because I use it so often. I love going on that beautiful yacht even if just Bob and I are going out for a special evening event. Reservations can be made for a dinner cruise, but we usually like the Sunset Cruise with just cocktails, and everyone loves it.
Even those of us who live here all year forget that Naples is home to a world-class zoo. Each time Bob and I go, we are amazed at how big and well maintained the property is, and at the large variety of animals that thrive there. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a must-see for young and old alike.
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (239-514-0084) has been a great draw since the day it opened, and watching little children’s eyes light up as they experience the interactive learning and play areas is truly a joy. For those with grandchildren coming into town for vacation, this is a definite destination.
Just down the road is another wonderful adventure for the entire family. The North Naples Regional Park at 15000 Livingston Road and contains the popular Sun & Fun Lagoon Water Park (239-252-4024), the RecPlex Fitness Complex, eight soccer fields and eight softball fields—there is something for everyone.
Bob and I have been meaning to go on an airboat ride in the Everglades one of these days. A couple of our friends found that Captain Doug’s Everglade Tours (800-282-9194) was everything they hoped it would be, with lots of adventure found on the exciting ride and seeing so much of the wildlife for which this part of the country is so well known.
If the kids and grandkids are not in town, or if you are not up to a lot of adventure, there’s always another of my favorite things to do here in paradise. Dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants and a wonderful stroll on Fifth Avenue South or Third Street South. It’s all good here, and there’s something for everyone.