Visit Naples, Marco Island, and Bonita Springs
Naples is charming resort city on the SW coast of Florida. This is Paradise Coast! You will be abound by the area’s stylish atmosphere, which includes beautiful pedestrian walks with shops, art galleries and restaurants, along with palatial homes surrounded by tropical landscaping. The area is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, golf courses, fishing, boating, water sports, arts and culture and spectacular sunsets. Known as a winter escape for retirees, the Naples, Marco Island and Bonita Springs area has evolved to appeal to a wider, more diverse and younger audience with its vibrant downtown cafe scene. And for golf! The region is frequently either first or second in USA rankings of most golf holes per capita!
Naples' beaches are regarded among the finest in the world, and offer visitors a tranquil and beautiful escape from everyday life. Barefoot Beach Preserve, just north of downtown Naples, appears in the top ten of Dr. Beach's 2006 America's Best Beaches list issued every year by coastal researcher Dr. Stephen Leatherman. Travelocity also named Barefoot Beach as one of its Top Ten Secluded Beaches for the summer of 2005. Conde Nast Traveler put Naples on its list of Top Twenty Beaches in America in 2006. The Travel Channel named Naples America's Best All-Around Beach for 2005 because of the wealth of activity choices in the area along with its lovely white sands. Consumers at Yahoo! Travel voted Naples Beach in the Top Ten USA Beaches in 2003.
More families are discovering the delights of Naples. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is fully accredited by the national Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and offers unique shows and interactive animal experiences including the Meet the Keeper series, the multimedia Planet Predator show, and a boat ride past the zoo's primate islands where the residents live cage-free.
With nearly 90 golf courses in the greater A growing number of public courses provide ample opportunity for visitors to get into the swing, including the new Golf Club at Del Webb at Ave Maria.
In Naples alone, there are five major shopping areas within minutes of each other, each with its own unique attributes, plenty of ambience and tons of stores just waiting to be shopped.
Third Street South and the Avenues, Naples' business district at the turn of the century and now a recognized historic district, offers premier shopping and dining
Arts and Culture
Culture abounds in Naples. From theatre to dance, to its 100 art galleries and numerous fascinating museums, greater Naples is recognized internationally as a destination for the culturally minded.
Back to Nature
One of the beauties of Naples is that it is surrounded by thousands of acres of private, state and federally preserved land. Within a short driving distance, you can be bird watching or adventuring at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Lake Trafford, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Collier-Seminole State Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Picayune Strand State Forest, or Everglades National Park, with an entrance in Everglades City.
Right in town you can get back to nature at popular attractions including the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Naples Botanical Garden and Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens.
The City of Marco Island is just a short ride from the Florida Everglades and close to Naples and is the largest and only developed land in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. A quick two hour drive from Miami Int’l Airport, Marco Island is 16 miles (26 Km) south of the City of Naples. This tiny island suspended off the southern most tip of Florida boasts 6 miles by 4 miles of luxury living. Tropical and easy-paced casual best describes the life style on Marco Island. Marco Island's tropical climate and proximity to the ocean are huge lures along with beautifyl beaches and unspoiled parks.
Originally called 'La Isla de San Marco' by the sixteenth century Spanish explorers who noted it but never settled on what would have been swamp and mangroves at the time, Marco Island’s first development took place after 1870 by William Collier. (no connection with Collier County) A small hotel opened in 1896 and the island was served by ferry boat service from the Isles of Capri from 1912.
Barron Collier (who the County was named after and no relation to William) purchased a large part of Marco in 1922. The first rickety wooden bridge was constructed in 1938 and visitors could now travel here by car. Between the years 1927 and 1957 the island was known as Collier City.
In the 1960's the Mackle brothers Deltona Corporation started major tourism and housing development of the whole island which has continued to this day. The isand became the City of Marco Island in 1997.
The whole western and northern sides of Marco Island have a wide and unbroken strip of sand some 6 miles (9.6 Km) long where you will enjoy the white sandy beaches. At Tigertail Beach there is ample visitor paid parking off Hernando Drive and from the villa, Visitor facilities at Tigertail include restrooms, food and beverages, a children's play area and water sport rentals, etc. In the south near Cape Marco you’ll find South Marco Beach. Public access is from S Collier Blvd and paid parking is available at Swallow Avenue.
Collier Seminole State Park, just a few miles from Marco Island, has primitive camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, picnic grounds, and a mile-long nature walk. Narrated boat tours of the park run on a daily basis.
Briggs Nature Center features a half-mile boardwalk where Marco Island visitors can observe wildlife in its natural habitat. Also available: shelling excursions and self-guided canoe trips.
Be sure to capture nature on an air-boat tour in the Everglades where you’ll feel the wind in your faces as you skim the surface of the water, zipping through twisting mangrove tunnels. You’ll see unique Everglades plants and animals! Shelling is another favorite past time on Marco Island, explore
Cape Romano which is the southwest tip of Marco Island and northwest of the Ten Thousand Islands, where Calusa Indians founded the settlement; calling it Manataca. Take a tour and learn the story behind the Cape’s dome houses!
Bonita Springs is located about halfway between Fort Myers and Naples Naples and is known for its secluded Little Hickory Island Beach Park and Bonita Beach Park, with its sand dunes. And is perfect for dog lovers, fishing enthusiasts and anyone looking to embrace outdoor activities. Nearby, to the north, is Lovers Key State Park, a popular swimming and kayaking spot. Made up of 4 barrier islands, the park is home to manatees and dolphins. Everglades Wonder Gardens features orchids, parrots and reptiles.
Because it fits somewhere in between small-town community and booming tourist destination, Bonita Springs offers a unique hybrid of calm serenity and exciting amenities that ends up making it a perfect fit for many retiring boomers.
People began visiting Bonita Springs via the Fort Myers-Southern Railroad in the 1920s, but the big boom really happened following the opening of Interstate 75. After that, the town grew right along with its population as it quickly evolved into the Bonita Springs you will find there today.