I like to keep an eye on what is being published about Naples from outside of Naples. I find it informative and interesting to hear other's perspectives... and sometimes I actually learn something new. Redfin recently published an article about the 10 things to love about the Paradise Coast. Since I am always sharing what I love about the area, I thought it might be a nice change of pace to hear some of things from another source!
Originally Published on Redfins website with credit to Marcello Klien. I have added my commentary to the article on things to love about Naples and differentiate it with [ ] as I did not want to change the substance of what he wrote.
Naples, Florida, is known for its natural beauty, outdoor attractions, and cultural offerings. From the Naples Botanical Garden to the historic Tin City Waterfront Shops and the Naples Pier with breathtaking sunset views, Naples offers an array of distinctive attractions and experiences that are not to be missed. So whether you’re looking at apartments in Naples, buying a home in the city, or considering moving to the Naples suburbs, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to know to immerse yourself in everything this coastal city truly offers.
1. It’s stunning beaches
Naples is known for its pristine beaches that are loved by both locals and tourists alike. The soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide a picturesque backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and a variety of water sports. Among the most popular beaches in Naples are the Clam Pass Beach Park, Vanderbilt Beach, and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, which offer facilities for picnicking, fishing, and boating. [Renee Add: We may not have deep expansive beaches like you will find in Daytona Beach or Miami, but what I like about our beaches in Naples is that the water is calm and clear, the sand is soft and beautiful and the vibe is calm and quiet. This area of Florida has always felt more residential to me and less commercial and touristy.]
2. Naples Botanical Garden
The Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, FL, is a 170-acre garden featuring various collections of plants from around the world, including tropical and subtropical plants, orchids, and bromeliads. You can take guided tours, attend educational programs, explore the children’s garden, and enjoy the gardens’ natural beauty, including several water features, walking trails, and a butterfly house. [Renee Add: We are so fortunate for the size town Naples is to have these kind of amenities. The botanical gardens is beautiful year round with special displays on certain holidays. Many residents will obtain an annual membership so that they can take visitors to it and/or enjoy it on the own. The grounds are breathtaking making it a great relaxing outing.]
3. Array of shopping options
From The Village Shops of Venetian Bay to Third Street South and Tin City Waterfront Shops, Naples, FL, is a hub for fashionistas looking for boutique retailers, restaurants, and galleries. Be sure to visit hot destinations such as Bayside Seafood Grill and Bar, Fish, or Riverwalk at Tin City. [Renee Add: There are certainly a lot of shopping options in the area from standard shopping to luxury items. We also have a lot of furniture stores, boutique shops and a nearby outlet mall. "Boutique" in general is popular in our area... boutique shops, boutique diners, boutique grocery, boutique real estate brokerages... you name it. Small and personal resonates with our community. But, we also never miss out on big box...Costco, Sam's Club, Dillards, Home Depot, Lowes, etc... in fact there are plans of a Restoration Hardware coming in the future.]
Artis-Naples is a cultural center offering various performing arts experiences, including concerts, ballets, operas, and plays. The center also houses the Baker Museum, which features a collection of modern and contemporary art. [Renee Add: Like Botanical Gardens, this is another one of those cultural pleasures that towns of our size rarely get to enjoy. Because of the wealth in our area and the commitment to invest in the community, we have a number of these establishments for creative outlets. We even benefit from private, local collections that are sometimes on display at the Baker Art Museum that would rival some of the most prestigious venues in the US. And... Artis is in the heart of Naples making it so convenient for patrons.]
5. World-class golf courses
Naples boasts over 80 courses, many of which are designed by famous golf architects and have hosted prestigious tournaments. Among the top golf courses in Naples are the Tiburon Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout, and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, which features two 18-hole courses designed by Greg Norman. The Naples Grande Golf Club, The Quarry Golf Club, and The Old Collier Golf Club are also highly rated and offer challenging play and breathtaking scenery. [Renee Add: Without question Naples showcases some of the most beautiful and exclusive golf clubs. The members of these clubs enjoy beautiful courses year-round. To give a balanced view, the only constructive thought I would add to #5 is that the majority of our clubs are private so if someone is here visiting or is local but doesn't have the time or funds to carry the membership, golfing options are more limited. Arrow Head is a favorite public course of mine in North Naples on the rare occasions where I can spare a day to get out on the course. Here is a nugget for you... a gift of sorts... A little known secret is also that you can obtain a PGA pass in the off-season that provides limited access to the area private clubs while traffic is lighter.}
6. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens offers several family-friendly attractions such as animal encounters, shows, and exhibits. You can see over 70 species of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears, as well as flamingos, lemurs, and reptiles. [Renee Add: Ok, I have been to "small-town zoos" before in places I have lived and been underwhelmed by the displays and limited animals. However, our zoo actually has great displays just on a smaller scale.. so you aren't limited to reptiles and monkeys in small gages... you can see the giraffes and elephants along with the wild cats at our zoo. It is another local favorite for annual memberships and is centrally located making it an easy commute for all.]
7. Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is an interactive museum offering various educational and entertaining exhibits for children. Explore the museum’s giant bubble room, a hands-on science lab, a miniature town, and a natural history exhibit. [Renee Add: Admittedly, I haven't had as much exposure to this establishment as I have the others just because of the ages of my kids... but I know it is hugely popular. The Museum does a good job with the variety of exhibits to make it engaging and interesting and the occasionally change them up to keep it fresh. This venue is in North Naples but, like others, is still relatively easy to get to as it is just off one of the main North-South traveling streets named Livingston Road. It is also nestled among a great park called North Collier Park where there is an aquatic center, soccer fields, and softball/baseball field]
8. Revs Institute
The Revs Institute is a museum dedicated to the history of automobiles, featuring a collection of rare and historic cars from various eras, including classic race cars, luxury cars, and experimental models. [Renee Add: I can honestly say that I have never been to Revs Institute, so I can't add much context or commentary about it. What I can share is that Naples is definitely a place full of car enthusiasts. A drive through the town and you will take note of many luxury and exotic cars. There are several exotic and luxury car sales establishments, impressive car garage facilities and a number of car clubs for the exotic car lovers and owners.]
9. Bird Gardens of Naples
This sanctuary and rescue center for exotic birds offers visitors a unique opportunity to see and interact with various bird species. Take a guided tour of the sanctuary and learn about the birds, their habitats, and conservation efforts. [Renee Add: This establishment is on the East side of Naples where land is much more affordable to set-up these sanctuaries. It is in good company on that side of town with other wild-life sanctuaries such as NGALA Wildlife Preserve, Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge Education Center, Kowiachobee Animal Preserve and Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
10. Naples Pier
End your day exploring Naples at Naples Pier, with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico during sunset and the opportunity to see dolphins and other marine life. The peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty of the pier under the night sky make it a popular stargazing spot. [Renee Add: At the time this is written, this is a tough one because Hurricane Ian devastated our popular, iconic pier. However, the community is committed to the restoration of this historical and popular place. Efforts are underway so that visitors and locals may ejoy the pier again in the future. The location of the pier is worth noting because you can incorporate a visit to the pier and then walk over to lunch and shopping on Third Street. Or, if it is a Saturday, make a stop to the very popular and well attended farms market just a short stroll up the street. ]
What is Naples, Florida Known For? Final Thoughts
Naples offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for all ages. From exploring the natural beauty of the Naples Botanical Garden to experiencing the cultural offerings at Artis-Naples, there is something for everyone to enjoy. [Renee Add: I agree that Naples is a pretty special place. It is the first place I had an address at that I didn't allow my corporate career to pull me out of after the typical two to three year stint I was allowed to stay at any given time. So, I jumped off the corporate executive train and built my local real estate business so that I could not only stay in paradise but help others come to find and enjoy the same things I love by becoming property owners in the area. If you are looking to make Naples a full time or secondary home, I would be honored to serve you. Just give me a call at 239.287.2576. You can also start your exploration on-line with tons of resources at https://www.yournaplesexpert.com/]