This Southern Florida, Gulf Coast city is home to some of the country’s most luxurious shopping and endangered orchids.
Orientation Less than an hour south of Fort Myers on Florida’s west coast.
Nearby Marco Island and the Everglades.
Date incorporated 1925.
Namesake Naples, Italy.
Notable for Swamp buggy races, the ghost orchid, and stone crabs.
Stroll the palm-lined Waterside Shops along the Tamiami Trail, and you’ll find yourself window-shopping some of the most expensive and luxurious shops in the country. Find familiar names, like Tory Burch and Salvatore Ferragamo, among local gems, like child-focused Little Luxe and fine gems from Yamron Jewelers.
Nearby Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is home to some of the rarest flowers in the world, including the super ghost orchid. This delicate white endangered flower has drawn visitors from around the world due to its unnatural abundance in the preserve. It’s only pollinated by the giant sphinx moth and requires just the right amount of sunlight to bloom. For flower aficionados, it’s like winning the lottery to spot one.
Only harvested during mid-October to mid-May, the sweet claws of the stone crab are hard to come by but are well worth the wait. The flaky sweet meat is a cross between shrimp and lobster, and most often served cold with only honey-mustard dipping sauce or a simple lemon wedge. Learn the proper way to catch, release, and cook the crabs right from the fishermen themselves during The Naples Florida Annual Stone Crab Festival in October.
Cast a line over the Naples Pier for snook and Spanish mackerel without the hassle of getting a license (the city has instated a blanket license). The 1,000-foot-long upper deck is the perfect place to gaze out at the Gulf of Mexico, people watch, or just relax in the afternoon sunshine.
Live nightly music is easy to find here. Go formal with jazz at Mereday’s Brasserie along the bayfront, or try a more laid-back experience alongside plates of oysters and local bands at Rusty’s Raw Bar & Grill on Immokalee Road.
A hidden gem hangs from the ceiling of The Baker Museum: a rainbow of blown glass by the famous Dale Chihuly. Inside the 30,000-square-foot museum, you’ll find similar permanent pieces – like the Albert Paley colossal metal gates at the entrance – tucked between rotating photography, murals, and installations.
Where to Stay
Staying at the Edgewater Beach Hotel guarantees a beachfront vacation, suites with balcony views of the Gulf, and a short walk from area shopping.