Editors Note: The Naples Stone Crab Festival has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian. The festival will be rescheduled for a future date. Campgrounds mentioned in this articles have also been closed indefinitely because of storm damage.
NAPLES — The Naples Stone Crab Festival celebrates the opening of the stone crab season on the Naples waterfront.
The annual event 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 5:30 p.m. “cracking of the crab” at Tin City Waterfront Shops.
RV and Tent Camping near the Naples Stone Crab Festival
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 by calling (800) 326-3521 (8 am to 8 pm, M-F).
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 by calling (800) 326-3521 (8 am to 8 pm, M-F).
Web site: Naples Stone Crab Festival
Things to do near Naples:
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.
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.
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.
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Bob Rountree is a beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 12 years ago.