23 Unique Things to Do in Naples, Florida

If you’re planning a trip to Florida, be sure to add Naples to your list of must-visit destinations. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples boasts stunning beaches, world-class golf courses, and a vibrant arts scene that is sure to keep you entertained throughout your stay.

With so much to see and do, Naples is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a fun and relaxing vacation in Florida.

Historical Significance

Naples, Florida, USA town skyline and city plaza at twilight.

Naples, Florida is steeped in history, with many historic buildings and estates that have been preserved over the years. Here are some of the most significant historical sites in the area that you won’t want to miss.

1. Naples Depot Museum

Note: As of July 2023, the museum is temporarily closed due to hurricane recovery.

Naples is a wonderful place that houses several historic buildings, lovingly preserved and restored to their former glory. One notable gem is the Naples Depot Museum, which was built in 1927 as a train station and operated until 1971.

Today, it proudly showcases the fascinating transportation history of the area, featuring captivating exhibits on the railroad and the rich heritage of the Seminole Indians.

2. Historic Palm Cottage

Palm Cottage in Naples

Another absolute must-see is the Historic Palm Cottage, lovingly cared for by the Naples Historical Society. It’s the oldest surviving house in Naples, dating back to 1895.

Step inside and take a journey back in time, experiencing life as it was over 100 years ago. With its carefully curated period furnishings and fascinating artifacts, the Palm Cottage offers a truly immersive and delightful glimpse into the past.

And the best part? It’s now open for public tours, so you can explore and appreciate this remarkable piece of history firsthand.

3. The Revs Institute

Don’t miss The Revs Institute if you love cars! This museum houses a significant collection of over 100 automobiles from the early 1900s to today.

It includes rare and exotic cars, some with a significant role in automotive history. The museum also has a public research library where you can explore the history of cars and their impact.

Naples, Florida is rich in history, with preserved historic buildings and estates. Naples has something for everyone, whether you’re into transportation, architecture, or cars. Don’t miss these fascinating historical sites during your visit!

Natural Attractions

You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for natural attractions in Naples, Florida. From the Everglades to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the diverse ecosystems of Southwest Florida.

4. Adventure at Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is a short drive away! The Everglades ecosystem is one of the most unique and biodiverse in the world, and Naples is the perfect starting point for an adventure into this wilderness.

Take an airboat tour to see alligators, birds, and other wildlife up close, or explore the mangrove swamps and bald cypress forests on a guided hike.

5. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

Wood bench on the white sand beach of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a beautiful natural area that offers a variety of outdoor activities.

Take a walk on the beach, go fishing, or rent a kayak to explore the mangrove-lined waterways. Keep an eye out for dolphins and manatees in the Gulf waters.

6. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

One of the nature trails at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a must-visit for any nature lover. This 13,000-acre preserve is home to diverse flora and fauna, including North America’s largest old-growth bald cypress forest.

Take a boardwalk tour to see the wildlife up close, including alligators, birds, and other species.

7. Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

Rookery Bay is a protected estuary home to various marine life, including dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles.

Take a guided kayak tour or boat tour to explore the mangrove forests and learn about the local ecosystems and wildlife.

8. Naples Botanical Gardens

Naples Botanical Gardens

For a more tropical garden experience, head to the Naples Botanical Gardens. This 170-acre garden features a variety of plants from around the world, including a water garden, butterfly house, and a variety of tropical plants.

Whether you’re interested in the Everglades ecosystem, mangrove swamps, alligators, birds, or want to enjoy the beauty of Southwest Florida’s flora and fauna, there’s something for everyone in Naples’ natural attractions.

Beaches and Water Activities

Naples, Florida is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect destination for water activities.

Whether you want to soak up the sun, go snorkeling, kayaking, or fishing, Naples has something for everyone.

9. Naples Pier

The Naples Pier is in the process of being rebuilt, but you can still enjoy the beach!

Note: A portion of the pier is not open to public due to damages sustained from Hurricane Ian. Click here for more information on the rebuild.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Naples is the Naples Pier. This 1,000-foot-long pier is a popular spot for fishing and watching the sunset.

You can also take a leisurely stroll along the pier and enjoy the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. You might even spot some dolphins or sea turtles if you’re lucky.

10. Clam Pass Park

Clam Pass Park with beautiful turquoise blue ocean sea water of Gulf of Mexico on a sunny weather day

If you’re looking for a secluded beach with white sand and turquoise waters, Clam Pass is the perfect spot. This beach is accessible by a scenic boardwalk through the mangroves.

You can spend the day soaking up the sun, swimming, or shelling. Clam Pass is also a great spot for snorkeling, as the waters are teeming with marine life.

11. Snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse marine life. You can go on a snorkeling tour and explore the underwater world of Naples.

You’ll see colorful fish, sea turtles, and even shipwrecks. Make sure to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture these memories forever.

12. Camping and Kayaking in Ten Thousand Islands

Camping in the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades

If you’re seeking a more adventurous water activity, kayaking in Ten Thousand Islands is a must-do.

This maze of mangrove islands and waterways is a haven for wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, and alligators. You can rent a kayak and explore the islands at your own pace or go on a guided tour.

13. Fishing in Marco Island

Fishing is a popular activity in Naples, and Marco Island is one of the best spots to cast your line. You can catch a variety of fish, including snook, redfish, and tarpon.

Make sure to get a fishing license before you go, and hire a local guide if you’re not familiar with the area.

Naples, Florida is truly a paradise coast, offering endless opportunities for beach and water activities. Whether you want to relax on the beach or go on an adventure, Naples has something for everyone.

Art and Culture

If you’re a lover of art and culture, Naples, Florida has plenty to offer. Here are a few must-see attractions that you won’t want to miss.

14. The Baker Museum

The Baker Museum is a premier cultural destination located within the Artis—Naples complex. The museum features a wide range of contemporary art, including works by world-renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly.

With over 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, there is always something new and exciting to see at The Baker Museum. Be sure to check out their website for current exhibitions and events.

15. Art Galleries in Downtown Naples

Downtown Naples is home to a thriving arts scene, with a variety of galleries showcasing works by both local and international artists.

Take a stroll down Fifth Avenue South and explore the many galleries that line the street. You’ll find everything from traditional paintings and sculptures to cutting-edge contemporary art.

16. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

A sign for the Naples Zoo

While not strictly an art or culture destination, the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the natural world. The zoo is home to over 70 species of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears.

In addition to the animal exhibits, the zoo features a variety of botanical gardens that showcase the beauty of Southwest Florida’s flora and fauna.

Shopping and Dining

You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a great shopping and dining experience in Naples, Florida.

The city is home to a variety of high-end shopping destinations and fine dining establishments that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

17. High-End Shopping in Fifth Avenue South

Fifth Avenue South is the heart of Naples’ shopping scene. This downtown shopping district is home to block upon block of locally owned art galleries, specialty shops, and more.

If you’re looking for high-end shopping, you’ll find plenty of options here. Whether you’re in the designer clothing, jewelry, or home decor market, you’ll find it all on Fifth Avenue South.

18. Tin City Waterfront Shops

If you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience, check out Tin City. This waterfront shopping district is located in the heart of Naples and offers a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, and more.

You’ll find everything from handmade crafts to gourmet food products. And when you’re done shopping, be sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area.

19. Fine Dining

Naples is known for its food scene, and there are plenty of fine dining establishments to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, Italian cuisine, or something else entirely, you’ll find it all in Naples.

Some of the city’s most popular fine dining spots include The French Brasserie Rustique, The Continental, and Osteria Tulia.

Events and Festivals

Naples, Florida is known for its vibrant events and festivals scene. Whether you’re looking for art exhibitions, live music, or food festivals, Naples has something for everyone.

Here are a few events and festivals you won’t want to miss.

20. Night Lights in the Garden

Night Lights in the Garden is a must-see if you’re looking for a unique and enchanting experience. This annual event takes place at the Naples Botanical Garden and features a stunning display of lights, music, and art.

Take a stroll through the garden and marvel at the illuminated sculptures and installations. You can also enjoy live music and food and drinks from local vendors.

21. Exhibitions in the Baker Museum

The Baker Museum is a world-class art museum located in Naples. It features a collection of contemporary and modern art and rotating exhibitions.

If you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss the exhibitions at the Baker Museum. From paintings to sculptures, there’s something for everyone.

Naples has something to offer no matter what kind of event or festival you’re looking for. Make sure to check out the local events calendar for upcoming events and mark your calendar.

From Night Lights in the Garden to exhibitions at the Baker Museum, there’s always something exciting happening in Naples.

Relaxation and Leisure

If you’re looking for some relaxation and leisure time during your trip to Naples, Florida, you’re in luck. Plenty of options are available to help you unwind and enjoy your vacation.

22. Spas in Naples

Naples is home to some of the best spas in Florida. Whether you’re looking for a quick massage or a full day of pampering, a spa in Naples can cater to your needs.

Some of the most popular spas in Naples include:

  • The Spa at Naples Grande: This luxurious spa offers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. You can also enjoy their sauna, steam room, and whirlpool.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Spa: Located at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, this spa offers a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. You can also enjoy their outdoor mineral pool and relaxation lounge.
  • The Om Spa: This eco-friendly spa offers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. They also have a meditation room and yoga classes.

23. Golfing in Naples

If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll love Naples. The city is home to some of the best golf courses in Florida.

Some of the most popular golf courses in Naples include:

  • Tiburon Golf Club: This 36-hole golf course was designed by Greg Norman and is home to the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship.
  • The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek: This 18-hole golf course was designed by Arthur Hills and offers stunning views of the surrounding wetlands.
  • The Old Collier Golf Club: This exclusive golf club is open to members only, but if you can get in, you’ll be treated to a challenging 18-hole course designed by Tom Fazio.

Bottom Line

No matter what your idea of relaxation and leisure is, Naples has something for everyone. From spas to golf courses to picnic spots, you’re sure to find something that will help you unwind and enjoy your vacation.

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