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The golf capital of the world, Paradise Coast, Tin City, however, you refer to this Southwestern Florida city, you know it is worth visiting for its sandy shores, pristine courses, upmarket dining, and nature tourism!
Our guide, Fun Things to Do in Naples, Florida, reveals the very best activities to do by the water, on the water, and in the water so you can make the most of your trip to this colorful Gulf of Mexico city.
Best Things to Do in Naples, Fl
Sunbathe at Naples Beach
Naples Beach is a sandy stretch of seven miles that runs underneath the iconic fishing pier.
Most locals and visitors bring sun chairs and umbrellas with them, so pack accordingly.
There is some shade underneath the pier if you prefer to take shelter from the midday sun.
Glass and fire are not permitted on the beach; remember to decant glass bottled drinks into cool cups before you arrive.
This family-friendly beach has a restroom and a small tourist information shop.
You’ll need to leave your furry friends at home as dogs are not welcome at this Florida beach.
Paid-for parking is a block away, located at the front of Palm House.
The walk between the parking lot and the beach takes around five minutes.
Spending time at the beach is one of the few free things to do in Naples.
Note: Since the Gulf of Mexico suffers from the issue of Red Tide, which can cause respiratory illness and eye irritation, it is always best to check the Florida forecast on the NCCOS website.
While Naples isn’t quite renowned for its shelling activity, with its neighboring Marco Island being the more popular choice with families, you might still find a few beach souvenirs.
There is lots of variety when it comes to shells on the Paradise Coast, from worm shells to horse conch, sand dollars to moon snails, there is a good chance you’ll spot something unique.
Remember, it is prohibited for visitors to collect live shells, and it is punishable by a fine.
Naples historic pier is located at the west end of 12th Avenue South, stretching into the Gulf of Mexico.
It was originally built in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock.
Today, the 1,000-foot walkway is used for local strolls, bird watching, dolphin spotting, and pier fishing.
Naples Pier was damaged by Hurricane Ian’s ten-foot waves in 2022.
You can check out what the activity around Naples Beach and Pier is like via their live camera.
Give it a wave when you visit!
Do a Tour of Palm House
Step over the white picket fence and learn more about the city’s oldest house, Palm Cottage (137 12th Ave S), which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1892.
Built in 1895, visitors can join docent-led tours of what once was an annex to Naples Hotel.
The tour features period furniture placed throughout the cottage and decades-old photography documenting the city’s past.
The cottage also puts on seasonal events, so be sure to visit to see the house decorated if you are spending Christmas in Naples!
Third Street South
If you ask locals what to do in Naples, mooching around Third Street South will be on the cards.
Coined the ‘birthplace of Naples,’ this area is known for its restaurants, bistros, courtyards, and fountains.
Start the day with a sugary treat at Tony’s Off Third, then hit the stores for a spot of independent clothes shopping, antique hunting, or interior design.
After working up a hunger, dine al fresco at Campiello, Old Naples Pub, or Tommy Bahamas.
If visiting during winter through to spring, catch the Farmers’ Market for fresh produce, prepared foods, seasonal flowers, and live music.
Much of Naples entertainment is located around Third Street South, so consider this when booking accommodation if you plan to dine into the wee hours.
If you appreciate architecture, swing by Naples Depot (1051 5th Ave S) downtown on your way to Tin City.
The building is the city’s oldest structure, built in 1927 as part of the Seaboard Air Line Railway.
Tin City (1200 5th Ave S) is a fun entertainment hub by the water of Gordon’s River.
From the 1920s to the 1970s, Tin City was a busy hub for clam shelling, oyster processing, and boat construction.
Today, stores and restaurants are spread out over four tin buildings – you won’t find any chain stores at Tin City.
The area has parking and docking opportunities.
You can also hop aboard many of the Naples activities mentioned below from Tin City.
See Naples During the Segway Tour
Join an expert guide on this 1.5-hour Segway tour of the city.
Your guide helps you get accustomed to the Segway before scooting around Naples attractions, including the exclusive Port Royal neighborhood, the prestigious yacht club, and the stunning marina.
Segway tours are great for those short on time as you cover more ground than you can by walking, and let’s face it – the Florida sun is hot, so anything that conserves energy is welcomed!
Another benefit is that the tour can visit places that buses can’t.
Your guide also shares the history of Naples so you can learn more about the destination while you whizz around.
If you prefer three wheels, hop aboard the Naples e-trike tour, where you have the option to sit or stand while driving the trike as you see Naples tourist attractions.
During the 1.5-hour ride, your local guide directs you to the marina, million-dollar homes, Third Street South, and Naples Fishing Pier.
Do a Dolphin Tour
While visiting the Paradise Coast, it would be a shame not to see some sea life!
This 3-hour dolphin cruise sails past the fancy mansions, through mangroves, and along the region’s waterways, where you can often see dolphins and manatees.
The tour also includes a stop at Keewaydin Island, which is a great spot for shelling enthusiasts.
Pinchers (1200 5th Ave S) is a relaxed seafood shack at Tin City, popular for its crab dishes and fried fish.
The menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, seafood-sharing platters, and raw bar dishes.
Pinchers is also one of our favorite spots in Fort Myers if you’re in the area!
Kelly’s Fish House
Across the water from Pinchers is Kelly’s Fish House (1302 5th Ave S).
This institution has been serving seafood since 1952.
The menu consists of tons of seafood options and Shirley’s famous key lime pie, which is ideal if you’re not planning a visit to Key West anytime soon.
Turn the corner, and you’ll think you’ve been transported to Europe when you set eyes on the stunning Bayfront in Naples.
This Mediterranean-style waterfront neighborhood is upscale, attractive, and entertaining.
Grab a drink on the bay, dine al fresco, gallery hop, or enjoy a stroll along the bricked paths.
Bayfront is one of the best things to do in Naples at night for dining and drinks.
Tavern on the Bay
This lively bar offers bay views, indoor and outdoor dining, live music, and seasonal events.
Visitors enjoy the pub grub menu, happy hour prices, and sports games at Tavern on the Bay (489 Bayfront Pl).
Delicious BBQ and Beers
If you’ve had your fill of fish, consider a hearty plate of BBQ food at Industry Beer & BBQ (449 Bayfront Pl).
This super relaxed BBQ joint has a huge list of craft beers, lots of decor to look at, and big trays of meats and BBQ sides like mac in cheese and Texas toast.
Cambier Park is a family favorite.
The 12-acre park offers outdoor sports such as softball, tennis, and bocce courts.
Young children enjoy the playground, and the bandshell plays host to a schedule of events such as big band concerts.
The park gets its name from William Cambier, an engineer who helped with the development of the City of Naples in 1926.
This is one of the best things to do in Naples with kids.
Clam Pass Park
Clam Pass Park (465 Seagate Dr) is another option for those who want to spend time at the beach.
Located at the end of a mangrove-covered boardwalk, this hidden gem in Naples is a local secret!
If you can’t make the three-quarter-mile walk to the beach, you can hop aboard the free shuttle, but you may need to wait in line during busy times.
The beach has restrooms and a restaurant.
Visitors pay a day pass unless they have a Collier County Resident Beach Parking Permit.
No trip to Clam Pass Park would be complete without a dreamy meal or drink at Rhode’s End.
Opt for a casual lunch with friends and family or a romantic sundown drink with your partner at this beachfront bar and restaurant.
If you really like the sound of Rhode’s End, consider staying at the hotel it is attached to, Naples Grand Beach Resort.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park (11135 Gulf Shore Dr) is uniquely located on a barrier island near Naples.
Visitors head to this state park for peace and the opportunity to sunbathe, paddleboard, kayak, hike, bird-watch, and fish.
The park has a launching area into Turkey Bay, which leads to the estuaries of the Cocohatchee River.
The beach has restrooms, showers, chair hire, paid parking, and food delivery options.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park was sadly hit by Hurricane Ian in 2022.
Golfing in Naples
With 70 championship golf courses and a greater number of holes per capita, there is absolutely no shortage of golfing opportunities in Naples.
However, not all golf courses are open to the public so you do need to plan ahead if you want to score while visiting the Golf Capital of the World.
The Links of Naples (16161 Tamiami Trail E) is a relaxed golf course aimed at all levels, and the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down as The Links offers nighttime golfing sessions too.
Shopping in Naples
If you’re looking for something to do during your trip to Naples while your partner goes golfing, consider one of the following popular shopping areas in the city.
As previously mentioned, Third Street South has high-end stores for clothes and house interior shopping.
Fifth Avenue South is another option if you are looking for a mix of shopping, galleries, and dining like Third Street South.
You’ll also find some spas on Fifth Ave South.
Naples Design District is a creative and shopping area featuring design, art, architecture, and dining.
Waterside Shops is located to the north of Naples and offers an open-air mall experience with stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Village Shops on Venetian Bay is where you’ll find boutique stores and restaurants with the best views over the water.
Things to Do Near Naples, FL
Once you’ve exhausted all of the sightseeing mentioned above, consider taking a few day trips from Naples for more nature, wildlife, and beaches.
You pack a ton in during this 1.5 hour tour to the Port of the Islands and the Everglades!
During winter, you can go manatees spotting along the Florida waterways while keeping an eye out for alligators, dolphins, and birds.
Since Florida’s sun can be strong, the boat is covered for your comfort.
The tour also includes a knowledgeable and fun local captain who points out the wildlife as you cruise past them.
Marco Island Day Trip
One of the best attractions near Naples is the local favorite, Marco Island.
Marco Island is the largest and only developed area in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, and it is located on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Locals and visitors enjoy day trips and extended stays in Marco Island for its Tigertail Beach, marinas, golf courses, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Marco Island is also famous for shelling.
Another thing that makes this island stand out is its burrowing owl population!
The Burrowing Owls of Marco Island request that people don’t share the locations of owls they see, as they don’t want people to crowd them.
It is also important that visitors drive slowly at night just in case any of the owls are roaming about.
See Gators at the Everglades, Ethically
If you have experience with any of Florida’s tourist attractions, you will be aware that it can be difficult to learn more about the state’s wildlife and marine life while keeping animals safe and free from human interaction.
This is definitely the case with Everglades tours, where many of them allow you to pet baby alligators.
However, you can still enjoy the natural beauty and wild marine life that the Everglades has to offer during this airboat tour, which leaves from Everglades City, less than an hour’s drive from Naples.
The tour is thrilling as it zips through mangroves at high speed, slowing down to spot gators in the distance!
Another ethical experience we recommend is observing the manatees at Crystal River on the Nature Coast of Florida.
From historical structures to fresh seafood, cultural tours to state parks – there is something for every style of traveler, whether that be solo, as a couple, with friends, or family.
What Naples attractions will you do? Tell us in the comments.