Like I said in the intro, this tour of Naples starts and ends on Piers. We are starting out at the historic Naples Pier. I really don’t want to be friends with anyone who doesn’t walk out on every free pier that they come by, so let’s get out there!
Wanna know how far out you will have to walk to get to the end of the pier? It’s about 1,000 feet and totally worth it to experience the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. I can guarantee you will at least get a small breeze and a beautiful view. Halfway down the pier there is a kiosk that sells snacks and fish bait. Make sure you don’t get those mixed up in your head.
Speaking of bait, you don’t need a license to fish from the Naples Pier, so that is good news. Ask the locals what kind of bait they are using and what they are catching!
One of my favorite things here is to just watch the pelicans and gulls hanging out on the pier, hoping for a stray piece of bait. Also, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins schools in the gulf!
Go ahead and hang out here for as long as you want. I’ll meet you on the corner of 12th and Gulf Shore Blvd, on the left side of the street.
Have you ever wondered where the oldest home in Naples is located? Well look no further. On your left is the Historic Palm Cottage and it was built in 1895. This house was constructed of tabby mortar. Never heard of it? Well it is a hand-made concrete mix with sand, shells and water.
As one of Naples' founding residents, Walter N. Haldeman built this 3,500 square foot home. It is currently filled with original and donated artwork, plus furniture and tools that date back to 1895.
Oh, and quick trivia question: How much did it cost to purchase all of Naples, Florida back in the day? I’ll let you think. Ok, Walter N. Haldeman paid $50,000. For all of it. Oh my how times have changed.
Go ahead and follow 12th Avenue until you reach Gordon Drive. We will be turning right there.
You know what else is great about Naples? There’s a Farmers Market that operates ALL YEAR LONG! Only on Saturdays between 7:30 until 11:00am, but ALL YEAR LONG! You can get everything from fresh bread and vegetables to my personal favorite, authentic baklava. Got a furry friend? Bring them too, this market is not only family friendly, but dog friendly as well.
Well It's 5 O'clock somewhere, so why not come and enjoy it at the first and original Tommy Bahamas.
Founded in 1993, it was created by Tony Margoli and Bob Emfield and it’s mission was to embody their dream to “never leave the beach”. Now it lives on as a Third Street icon, so sit back and smell the salt of the ocean.
Enjoy some happy hour margaritas or some of their world-famous coconut shrimp. You may even want to soak up the sun after eating here, so luckily for you the Tommy Bahamas clothing store is attached. You can find all your beach necessities from bathing suits to beach chairs so you can soak up as much sun while you’re here.
See anything you like? Cross the street and meet me at 3rd and 12th street.
Make sure to look at the stores on your way down, a great store to find your own style is Marissa Collections. This multi generation, family owned boutique was started in 1975 as just a small boutique offering only a few curated items.
Now it has grown to over 10,000 feet of designer items, you won't find a shortage of runway favorites like Gucci, Prada and Valentino. Whether it's a new handbag or pair of shoes their on site fashion consultants will help you pick out something you will leave feeling absolutely stunning in.
Find something but don’t have room in your luggage? Not a problem, they offer shipping for anything you see in-stores or on their website.
Want to see the different types of art Naples has to offer? Well come on in to Arsenault studio and Bayan Arts Gallery. This gallery is home to the artwork by Paul Arsenault, a contemporary impressionist painter who has made Naples his muse, showcasing Naple’s beauty through bright rich colors and vibrant texture.
Other artists showcased in this museum include Black and White photographer Clyde Butcher, nicknamed “The next Ansel Adams”. His photography of the Everglades has helped bring awareness to preservation and restoration efforts.In addition to hosting a wide range of local artists, the showrooms are often the venue of many fundraisers and lectures.
This gallery is a great way to see Florida through a different and artistic lens.
Did you know Naples was named #1 Small Art Town in America with over 100 art galleries in Naples alone? A great place to check out is the Baker Museum, which, along with hosting multiple traveling exhibits, The Baker Museum is home to one of the largest collections of 20th century Mexican Art in the Southeast.
If you want a more intimate art experience, be sure to visit the Naples Master Winter Art Festival. The festival invites over 60 skilled artists across disciplines to exhibit and share their artwork. The size of the festival makes it a more personal art experience, allowing people to speak with the artists themselves.
Whether you’re an artist looking for inspiration or a collector looking for a new piece, Naples has it all.
If you didn't know, the paradise coast is considered one of the best places to birdwatch in the United States? This is because Naples is situated in one of the World’s most traveled flyways as well as a huge spot for migrating birds.
If you want to see some feathered friends,a great bird watching spot is Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary which is only a short 25 minutes away from Naples. The sanctuary’s mission is to help preserve and protect the wildlife of the Everglades.Your $17 admission ticket goes directly to helping this precious wildlife.
Here you will see a wide variety of birds such as White Ibris, Roseate Spoonbill and the federally protected Osprey. Keep your eyes peeled, you may even see a bird on your tour today!
Naples has gone through some phases of restoration after Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma was the most recent hurricane to directly impact Naples since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Irma was an Atlantic hurricane that made its way to Naples in the fall of 2017.The hurricane made landfall on September 10 as Category 4 but soon weakened to a Category 3.
An estimated 6.5 million Floridians were evacuated, making it the largest evacuation in the state's history. The total damage is estimated at 77.16 billion and is still considered one of the costliest hurricanes to have hit america.
Since then, Naples has moved forward and rebuilt including renovating the Naples pier you saw earlier which cost over 275,000 dollars to repair.
Naples City dock is just at the end of this street. This is a dock frequented by yachts and pelicans alike. You’ll see a mix of vessels docked here from luxury yachts to small inflatable boats, Naples attracts all walks of life to its docks.
The Naples city Dock has seating available, making it a pleasant place to watch boats or even spot Manatees. Did you know Manatees are federally protected? So if you see one, make sure you don't touch or feed them unless you want a hefty fine.
You’ll find this a great place to spend a day fishing or just taking in the sun and talking to tourists and locals alike. The best time to go though is at night. The boardwalk is lit up at night making this a romantic and breathtaking stroll.
All good tours end with food, right? Check out the Dock at Crayton Cove. Formerly a building for Walden University, now this fabulous restaurant is a Naples staple. Crayton Cove first opened its doors to the community in 1976.You can enjoy the freshest sea-food dishes while sitting in open air and directly on the water. Their brunch is where they shine with delicious favorites like their crab egg benedict to their secret recipe Bloody Mary. If you’re they're for dinner, you can go wrong with their dock shrimp nachos or sparkling rose popsicles.
As well as a restaurant, Crayton Cove founded the Great Dock Canoe Race in 1976. Originally started as an end-of-year-party for staff, it has transformed to a beloved Naples tradition.This Naples tradition has thousands of participants and spectators alike to the Naples Bay to celebrate the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
Well, this concludes our tour of the great town of Naples, nestled between the bay and the ocean giving twice the amount of amazing seaside views. Stay awhile and kick your feet up. Now if I might suggest something… On your way back, whether you decide to walk or get a taxi, take 13th street. Just backtrack to 7th street and turn left, then turn right on 13th. There aren’t any sidewalks there but the houses are just amazing and well worth it. Just be sure to carefully watch out for cars if you are walking! Also don’t forget to call Fred for any questions you may have - 561-702-3757. I hope you had as much fun as I did and I hope you will join me again soon for another UCPlaces tour. Until then, so long and happy touring!