Soaking up the Sun and Surf in Naples, FL
With the nip of fall in the air and winter on it’s way, it’s time to plan your next warm weather vacation. If you’re seeking romance, pristine sandy white beaches, luxury resorts and hotels, excellent dining, upscale shopping, nightlife, and more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the United Sates, then book a trip to Southwest Florida.
What is known as the Paradise Coast encompasses the fashionable town of Naples, the quieter residential community (and golf haven) of Marco Island, and the Florida Everglades. With activities to please almost everyone and plenty of opportunity for relaxation, time spent in this very special part of Florida is like having your own slice of paradise.
We recently spent several days in Naples to see how things had changed since our last visit about 14 years ago. There’s still the elegant feel to the quaint little town filled with boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants; think Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous meets casual chic. Naples also has a very impressive arts community for such a small town, just 20,000 year-round residents. In addition to all of the local arts and theatre, Artis-Naples is home to The Baker Museum, which houses 30,000 square feet of gallery space, the Naples Philharmonic, and is the premier arts center for Southwest Florida.
And of course, the dining scene is ever expanding with a diverse selection of local restaurants and talented chefs choosing to make Naples their home. In 2014, Condé Nast Traveler listed Naples at number 17 on its Top Cities for Foodies Readers’ Choice Awards. There are casual sidewalk cafes perfect for bringing Fido and for people watching, excellent spots to experience local seafood, French bistros, notable Italian restaurants, and an impressive list of fine dining experiences from The Grill (white tablecloth steakhouse) at The Ritz-Carlton Naples to the recently opened Avenue 5 at the Inn on Fifth. Both were listed in the Top 10 Restaurants in Naples.