Naples on the Gulf
One could call Naples, FL, the Beverly Hills of Southeast Florida because of its well-to-do population of CEOs, statesmen, and even a few celebrities.
Located near Marco Island to the south and Bonita Springs to the north, it stretches languidly along the inviting blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Private planes and small charters fly into the Naples airport, but most air passengers arrive to Fort Myers’ Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).
Once an isolated outpost, developers first discovered Naples-on-the-Gulf, as it was originally called, in the late 1800s. This cultural oasis historically has appealed to the rich and the sporting.
It remained, however, a low-key, fishing destination. When the city’s first Ritz-Carlton opened in 1986, its future as a high-end tourist destination was sealed.
Today the state’s final frontier is known for its million-dollar waterfront homes, great golfing, art galleries, posh resorts, beautiful vacation rentals,world-class shopping, and fine dining.
Naples is much more than it’s glitzy, glamorous outer shell. The beach expands to more than 7 miles of gorgeous white sand.
The talcum-soft beaches are walking distance from the shopping areas of Third Street and Fifth Avenue.
Yet downtown Naples is less than 20 miles from the deep, rich, tropical wilderness nested in the Florida Everglades. Nature lovers will also enjoy the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which focus on local wildlife and its habitat.
Families, couples, and singles alike will find activities. The new Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON) is scheduled to open by 2012, and the downtown nightlife scene keeps the city lively after dark.