Naples On a Budget
SightsThe Naples area is home to several major land reserves, including the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Picayune Strand State Forest. The best known of these is probably the Everglades, to which visitors can arrange a variety of tours and excursions. The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located closer to the city, with a two and a half mile long boardwalk winding through some of the area's 11,000 acres of landscape and wildlife - while the Naples Botanical Gardens and Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens offer close to nature experiences without having to leave the city at all.
Along the coast, Naples Pier is the place to be for unbeatable views of the shore and magnificent sunsets. Other popular beaches include Fort Myers Beach with more shops and sightseeing, Vanderbilt Beach with freshwater showers, lifeguards, grills, picnic tables, boat ramp, observation tower, restrooms, and bath house, and Clam Pass Park Beach - a closer-to-nature experience with 35 acres of shoreline habitat with wildlife and a nature walk boardwalk.
Neighborhoods5th Avenue South is one of Naples' hubs, more specifically the main shopping district in central Old Naples. The area features a number of unique stores, sidewalk cafes, hotels, galleries, and fine dining along palm-lined streets just a few blocks from the water. Also nearby is Third Street South, an area of with some 100 fine clothing stores, gift boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. Old Naples, an area with beautiful artwork, sculptures, and fountains everywhere you turn, is centered on 5th Avenue. There are mainly galleries here, as well as some restaurants. Also nearby in Downtown Naples is Tin City, originally a fisherman's wharf on the Gordon River, the place now houses a large collection of shops selling trinkets, clothing, art, and other miscellaneous items. Naples City Pier, on the other side of downtown, is another bustling hub known for fishing, bird-watching, dolphin-spotting, and scenic sunset views.
ActivitiesNaples is a place thriving with all kinds of activity by land, shore, and on the gulf. Inland there is plenty of city entertainment to be found from shopping in any one of the downtown hubs, sight-seeing, museum-going, gallery hopping, and golfing. Escape from the bustling side of Naples for lounging down by the beach, watching the sunset on the pier, exploring a wildlife park, or taking an excursion to any of the other nearby natural areas like the famous Everglades National Park. As far as fun on the water goes, hop on a boat for a dolphin and manatee tour or ask around for the best local fishing spots. There are plenty of marinas and tackle shops for boat rentals, tackle, and advice - plus places where you don't even need a boat to fish. Other activities offshore include kayaking, jet-skiing, and paddle boarding, amongst others.
Food and DiningLike any popular vacation destination, Naples has plenty of dining options to satisfy all tastes and budgets. There are a number of places serving anything from small bites to indulgent meals, especially in the downtown area. With its location along the gulf coast, Naples also has a number of great seafood restaurants to match. From rustic oyster bars and open-air cafes to candlelit restaurants, any eatery in in the city will offer a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood. Though the seafood is sure to please, you can also find familiar chain restaurants and other eateries serving just about anything you could crave - steak, sushi, wood-oven-fired pizzas, authentic Asian cuisine, or a hearty hamburger. Some of the top restaurants as rated on TripAdvisor include Mediterrano, Rumba Cuban Café, Fuse Global Cuisine, Bah! Bah! Bistro, Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs, Naples Flatbread and Wine Bar, Jimmy P's Charred, Citrus Seafood Restaurant, and EJ's Bayfront Café. Most dining options are concentrated in downtown Naples, especially on 3rd Street, just a few blocks from Naples Pier.
TransportationThe nearest major airport is Regional Southwest Florida International airport in Fort Myers, about 42 miles from Downtown Naples. Amongst the airlines flying here include United Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, United Express, Spirit Airlines, Jet Blue, Frontier, Delta, Southwest, and AirTran Airways. From the airport, the best option is to rent a car and drive to Naples. Taxis and rentals can be arranged in advance.
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