Festivals / Southwest Florida

Let’s get crackin’: Stone crab season opens with Naples fest


Naples Stone Crab Festival – Oct. 24-26, 2014

stone crabsNAPLES — This is the fifth year for the Naples Stone Crab Festival, which celebrates the opening of the stone crab season on the waterfront in upscale Naples.

Sponsored by the Old Naples Waterfront Association, the festival shows off the historic center of Naples and the bayfront businesses that are this city’s signature destination.  It helps that this stretch of the Gulf Coast, especially nearby Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands, is Florida’s prime stone crab harvesting region. Most festival events are hosted at waterfront businesses.

Admission is free, and $5 parking is available at the former Grand Central Station, 388 Goodlette Road South. VIP Parking available for $10 at Bayfront.

Free water taxis will transport you to all waterfront locations participating in the festival.

The festival kicks off on Friday night with the 6 p.m. “cracking of the crab” at Pinchers Crab Shack in the Tin City Waterfront Shops.

Naples Stone Crab Festival Event Schedule

Friday, Oct. 24, 4-10 p.m.

  • Kickoff Party at Pinchers Crab Shack at Tin City, 1200 5th Avenue South. 4-10 pm. Live entertainment; Stone crab and drink specials. VIP tent.
  • Farmers Market. Bayfront, 465 Bayfront Place. 4-8 pm. 40 vendors selling everything from organic produce to handmade soap.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Tin City Waterfront Shops, 1200 5th Avenue South. 10 am to 9 pm. (Sunday until 5 pm) Block party with live music, stone crab specials, drink specials, kids events, stone crab boats, vendor booths.
  • Port O’ Call Marina/Kelly’s Fish House, 1302 5th Avenue South. 10 am to 5 pm. (Sunday until 3 pm) Sightseeing cruises, drink specials, stone crab, vendor booths and live music.
  • Bayfront Naples/Bayfront Inn, 436 Bayfront Place. 10 am to 8 pm (Sunday until 5 pm).  40+ vendors, live music, charity dunk tank, stone crab and frozen drink tents. Bike, kayak and Segway rentals.
  • Naples Trolley & Heritage Trail Museum, 436 Bayfront. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.
  • The Shoppes at Naples Bay, 1500 5th Avenue South.  Sidewalk sales and specials. All day Happy Hour and hors d’oeuvres. Wine flight for $10 and Mereday’s Fine Dining.

RV and Tent Camping Near Naples

Collier-Seminole State Park - In the wild and watery world of southwest Florida, Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples draws people who love the natural Florida for camping, hiking and paddling. It’s also home to the 1924 Bay City Walking Dredge, and how often do you get to visit a “National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark”? The park is 17 miles south of Naples right on the Tamiami Trail (SR 41.) There are 120 sites with hookups for water and electric. Dump station in the campground. Primitive camping is available along the park’s canoe and hiking trails. The sites are large, and some can accommodate RVs up to 60 feet in length. All are nestled among majestic royal palms and colorful gumbo limbo trees.  Pets are allowed. Sites are $22 per night, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance online through ReserveAmerica, or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.).  Related Florida Rambler article: Kayak, camping near Naples

Koreshan State Park – Florida’s wackiness goes back to its first settlers, and Koreshan State Historic Site celebrates one of our earliest eccentrics. Thanks to this cult leader, though, a lovely wooded site on the Estero River was preserved through the years for us to enjoy. So go enjoy it. Kayking and canoeing are popular activities. The river is a brackish tidal waterway which leads to the Estero Bay, approximately 3 miles west.  Bring your own, or rent a kayak or canoe at the park. There are 60 campsites with water and electric, including 12 sites set aside for tents. Other amenities include a utility area with a washer, dryer and sinks, a soft drink vending machine and a volleyball court. Pets are welcome in the campground. Sites are $26 per night, and reservatioins can be made up to 11 months in advance online through ReserveAmerica, or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). Related Florida Rambler article: Koreshan Park preserves wacky Florida history

Weather: 6-day forecast for Naples, FL

Web site:  http://www.stonecrabfestival.org/

More Things To Do Near Naples:

Tigertail Beach: Marco Island adventure - Tigertail Beach is for adventurers who love undeveloped, unspoiled beaches. Reach this beach by wading across a shallow lagoon. It’s also a birding hot spot.

Discover Hidden Beach at Clam Pass - Clam Pass beach in Naples is hidden behind a posh resort. It’s special because tides in the little pass let you float in and out of a lagoon like it’s a lazy river ride.

Collier-Seminole Park: Kayak trail, camping near Naples - In the wild, watery world of southwest Florida, this park draws people who love the natural Florida for camping, hiking and paddling.

Corkscrew Preserve: A sanctuary for us, too - This Naples sanctuary is an Audubon Society wildlife preserve where you can hike a boardwalk with good wildlife viewing opportunities.

Like your beaches wild? Try Barefoot Beach - One of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast with shells, sand dollars, gopher tortoises and unadorned natural beauty.

Lovers Key: Great beach, paddling and manatees - A 2.5 mile beach with natural vegetation. Perfect for beach-combing  bird watching, and waterways for manatees and kayakers.

Stone Crabs in Everglades City: Fresh from the source - If you haven’t had enough stone crab, mosey on down to the funky small town of Everglades City, about 36 miles south on the Tamiami Trail.

Smallwood’s store in Chokoloskee - Smallwood Store opened in 1906, when Chokoloskee was the Wild West and Ted Smallwood was a pioneer. Just south of Everglades City.

Beach camping in the wild Ten Thousand Islands - From Naples or Everglades City, take your boat, kayak or canoe to the outer islands and camp on a remote, pristine beach.

 

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