Naples is a wealthy enclave with lush, tropical neighborhoods and lots of natural beauty close and accessible. Here’s a guide to things to do outdoors in Naples and surrounding areas in summer and winter.
Southwest Florida is known for some of the best beaches in Florida, wildlife and birds, gateway to the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands and other outdoor getaways.
Here are some of our favorite places to begin your exploration of the area. Each of these stories contains links to places to kayak, hike, bicycle and fascinating historic sites.
- Everglades City, a historic fishing village known for its stone crabs
- Marco Island, a beach resort close to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands
- Naples, a good basecamp for exploration of nature-rich region
- Fort Myers Beach, an Old Florida beach town
- Sanibel, an unspoiled island where seashells litter the beach.
- Punta Gorda, natural beauty and historic charm
- Venice, Mediterranean-influenced city with old world charm
The following are recent stories about Southwest Florida.
With a beautiful beach, free pier, beach-side restaurants and a lively downtown, this is a classic beach town. It’s frozen in time while it awaits redevelopment.
Casey Key, a skinny 8-mile-long barrier island south of Sarasota, is a great destination for someone who wants to pedal a great bike trail in the morning, beachcomb amid natural beauty in the afternoon and then enjoy an authentic waterfront fish house for dinner.
Florida’s celebrity in the orchid world — the ghost orchid — is blooming at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, attracting orchid fans who want to spot this rare variety.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. And it keeps getting better. July 6, a new section opens extending the rail north.
The Lido Key Mangrove Trail is a well-known scenic kayak trail in Sarasota. In addition to friendly cormorants and shaded mangrove tunnels, this trail is popular in summer because there is a sandbar where you can swim.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a great destination: You can enjoy so many activities in one place – kayaking, surf-fishing & a one-mile-long powdery-white sand beach with shaded picnic tables nearby.
So many things that make Lovers Key State Park so lovable: A 2.5 mile beach lined with natural vegetation that is perfect for swimming, beachcombing and bird watching, and mangrove-lined waterways that attract both manatees and kayakers.
Clam Pass Park in Naples is a beach hidden behind a posh resort. It’s special: Tides in the little pass float you in and out of a lagoon like ia lazy river ride.
You can get gator tail and swamp cabbage at this festival. But the real reason to go is to revel in a last corner of small town America in Florida — beauty pageants, high school bands, armadillo races and a rodeo.