We had quite a few visitors while in Naples, some because we had a couple of crazy work travel schedules between the two of us and had some lovely people come down to dog sit and well, who doesn’t want to come to Florida and hang out at the beach. Besides all of the other food options that are in the other blog posts on Naples, here were some of our favorite places and things to do when people came down. And that we would recommend.
If you haven’t tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding, I highly suggest that you get an actual lesson, that is where Sweetwater Paddlesports comes in. They have very stable and sturdy paddleboards and with a quick lesson will have you standing up and going in a matter of minutes.
This is one of those places where I would call beforehand to schedule, since they can book up and the weather and wind can be a big factor or when and where you can go. This is closer to Estero, so great for those in North Naples or Estero.
I have two favorite parts of the Naples Zoo, one is feeding the giraffes and the other is the pure presence of the honey badger of YouTube fame. The zoo is pretty small, so it doesn’t take a lot of time, even for animal obsessed kids. And lines for food and the boat tour around the monkey islands can be pretty long, so I would plan ahead and go early or right after a meal if you can.
Check out Groupon for some discounted memberships during the summer. I would be well worth it for a wintertime trip.
Naples Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is well worth a visit any time of the year. The gardens also opens on specific weekends and times for dogs to walk through the garden and in the Preserve. The birding in the Preserve is really great especially in the winter. The children’s garden is a very special place and the Orchid Garden is spectacular. It is well worth the trip and checking out any of the special events that are happening.
The Fogg Cafe is also a good lunch option for a leisurely and relaxing stop where you can just sit and enjoy the gardens.
If you are staying in Marco Island, I would highly recommend spending a few hours on Keewaydin Island and a trip on the Keewaydin Express. If you are in Naples, it is a bit of a drive down, but totally worth it. I would also recommend calling before booking, to make sure that you get your right spot. Even though it is officially on-leash for dogs, it is a dog friendly spot and the boat is dog friendly. I did a short few hours trip down and the dogs loved being on the boat and it was a beautiful spot to just relax and spend a day. Bring a cooler, but there are some food options and food boats present.
Bonus Spots and things I miss from Naples:
Norman Love Chocolates –
If you don’t come out with a beautiful box at the Naples Chocolate Salon, you are missing out.
If after reading all of the food posts, you really are wondering wow, how did she not gain a hundred pounds with all of the good food in Naples, you can leave that to Pure Barre.
Whenever I had friends come to visit, one of the requirements was for them also to take a barre class with me. Olga, Lenka and the whole team are awesome and friendly and you can’t beat the workout. If you haven’t tried out a barre class at home, why not try one out on vacation. And then transfer your obsession to one of their local studios across the US.