Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Naples, FL

  • Published 2022/06/02

Picture pristine, white beaches, calm, blue waves, limitless views of the skies, and warm, toasty, tropical weather.

Those are some of the things you’ll find when you take a trip to Naples, Florida.

Established in 1886, the city received comparisons from magazines and newspapers to the sunny Naples of Italy, leading to the Florida wonder getting the same name.

Besides gorgeous beaches, Naples is also home to several golf courses, zoos, parks, museums, and other popular tourist destination spots.

Here are the best things to do in Naples, FL:

Watch Dolphins at Naples Pier

Daytime view of Naples Pier

lunamarina /

The Naples Pier is a long boardwalk that stretches about 1000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, putting guests closer to the ocean breeze and waves.

It’s a popular spot for fishing, especially since it’s free and doesn’t require a fishing license.

A walk along the path can take you to a few concession stands selling various items related to the pier, such as refreshments and fishing supplies.

The view from within Naples Pier

ESB Professional /

The pier is also well-known for sweeping views of the gulf, marking it as a scenic spot to watch the sunset.

Another highlight of Naples Pier is its animal wildlife; people have seen pelicans, seagulls, and dolphins around the area.

With its establishment in 1889, this pier became part of the local community, thriving in the heart of Naples, Florida.

Aerial view of Naples Pier

Philipp Hoffmann /

Relax at Lowdermilk Park

End of the boardwalk leading to Lowdermilk Park

SunflowerMomma /

If you come to Naples for the beaches, you can visit the Lowdermilk Park, located along Gulf Shore Boulevard.

It’s one of the best beachfront parks in the city, offering you easy access to the beaches along with full park amenities.

Two beach chairs on Lowdermilk Park's white sand

SunflowerMomma /

Their park has several facilities to explore, including a children’s playground, two pavilions, beach volleyball courts, and a concession stand for beach necessities and snacks.

The beach area features fine, white sand, powderlike on your feet; the water is clear and shallow, perfect for casual swimmers.

Head to Lowdermilk Park for a relaxing day out in the sun and enjoy the premium beach that comes along with it.

Scenic sunset at Lowdermilk Park beach


Stroll along 5th Avenue South

Intersection at 5th Avenue South

EQRoy /

A walk around 5th Avenue South is a beautiful cultural experience.

See the glamorous and sophisticated side of Naples at 5th Avenue South, complete with buildings inspired by modern and historic architecture, along with lush floral decor and luxurious shops.

It was built in 2010 to establish a thriving commercial business within the district.

People walking along 5th Avenue South

EQRoy /

The non-profit organization 5th Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) guides the district’s development.

Check out upscale stores and premium products such as jewelry, clothing, fine dining, and home decor.

However, you don’t have to buy anything to enjoy a leisure stroll around the area and admire the sights.

Feel free to visit 5th Avenue South, nestled right in the heart of downtown Naples.

5th Avenue South decorated for Christmas

Roberto La Rosa /

Grab a Beer at Naples Beach Brewery

The Naples Beach Brewery stands as the first craft brewery in the area.

Their beer flavors are incredibly creative, from blueberry, mint, mango, lime, and other unique concoctions.

The place has a simple, homey feel with classic wooden chairs, flag decors, and a single TV in the middle of the bar.

There’s often live music to lift the atmosphere and make drinking more enjoyable.

Stop by this brewery and taste their interesting flavored beers.

Meet the Animals in Naples Zoo

A person feeding a giraffe at Naples Zoo

Aries410 /

Fun and family-friendly, Naples Zoo is a great place to explore with children.

Naples Zoo has many familiar and exotic animals in its care, from popular animals like lions, giraffes, and elephants to rare creatures like their giant anteater.

The zoo started in 1915 as a humble tropical garden.

Pretty flamingos at Naples Zoo

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It wasn’t until Dr. Nehrling became inspired to protect animals from humans that the garden also became a haven for all animals.

Go on a safari, watch an animal show, and explore their exhibits to help support the organization’s noble aim.

A sloth at Naples Zoo

Benjamin Paquette /

Cool Off at Sun N Fun Lagoon

Naples also has its fair share of thrilling destinations like the Sun N Fun Lagoon.

This lagoon is home to fun water recreation, including five water slides and four varied pools with different functions and purposes.

One pool, for example, lets you lounge on your tube as the waves take you around the waters.

There’s also a pool explicitly made for young kids, featuring water buckets, animal decors, and worms that squirt out water.

Learn History at the Naples Depot Museum

Welcome sign of Naples Depot Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Through their exhibits, Naples Depot Museum tells the inspiring tale of how the city became a prosperous destination in the 1880s.

This museum focuses on the power of transportation; most artifacts showcase trains and a collection of a few classic cars.

A classic car on the grounds of Naples Depot Museum

SunflowerMomma /

Some exhibits recreate the interiors of old trains, display trains’ outdoor features, and show miniature versions of historic trains.

Overall, this museum can provide a short but meaningful learning experience about a significant turning point in Naples’ history.

The place is also free of charge!

Steering wheel of a car at Naples Depot Museum

SunflowerMomma /

Smell the Flowers in Naples Botanical Garden

Welcome sign of Naples Botanical Garden

Kristi Blokhin /

One hundred seventy acres of natural landscapes brimming with vibrant floras and plants await those who visit the Naples Botanical Garden.

Since 1993, the founders of this garden have worked to create a shared special place for plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world.

It’s gained international recognition, having won the prestigious Garden of Excellence award in 2017.

Lush greenery of Naples Botanical Garden

Jillian Cain Photography /

Explore their gardens filled with exciting attractions such as the butterfly house, splash pad for children, and alligators in specific waterscapes.

The gardens are impressive, with diverse themes inspired by Asia, the Caribbean, orchids, and even dinosaurs.

The Naples Botanical Garden is the perfect place to find inner peace, surrounded by nature’s wonders.

A snowy egret on Naples Botanical Garden's water lily pond

brm /

Create a Masterpiece at Naples Art

You don’t have to limit yourself to admiring beautiful art at Naples Art.

Instead, you can take art classes, which they offer to both children and adults, to make your masterpiece right inside the gallery.

You can also browse a diverse collection of artworks if you’d prefer to appreciate the works and styles of their talented artists.

The gift shop at Naples Art is also one of a kind.

Their featured artists create handcrafted items for sale, each designed to be a unique product with a distinct trait.

The Naples Art may seem like your typical museum, but they offer much more!

See the Wildlife at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

People at the entrance of Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Jillian Cain Photography /

The Audubon Corkscrew Swamp is an oasis for tropical wildlife.

This sanctuary covers about 13,450 acres attached to the Western Everglades.

In those lands are animals, such as alligators, deers, turtles, birds, and otters, living in their natural habitats.

The long boardwalk of Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Kjersti Joergensen /

This sanctuary offers a different side of nature apart from Naples’s pretty beaches and scenic trails.

It features a rugged environment with swamps, muddy waters, and sticky mud.

Still, it’s home to precious animal wildlife, so people must also preserve it like the others.

An alligator at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Food Photography Florida /

Hike at the Naples Preserve

A banyan tree at Naples Preserve

P,TO 19104, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For leisure and scenic hikes with nature, check out the Naples Preserve.

It features a simple wooden boardwalk to guide your path around the preserve and explore the grounds.

The boardwalk goes through two specific habitats: pine flatwoods and rosemary oak shrubs, where you can spot a few tortoises.

From beautiful, verdant plants to bright, dainty flowers, the Naples Preserve has plenty of natural decor with the bonus of information plaques to educate curious guests.

Go Kayaking with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Guided boat tour on the waters of Naples

a-image /

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida puts a twist on guided tours around nature.

You can do them while kayaking or boating across the waters.

The conservancy ensures that Florida’s ecosystem remains unchanged as time passes by.

They have operated since 1964 and have become one of Florida’s most respected environmental organizations.

Their most popular tour involves kayaks which bring guests to a mangrove habitat, while their guides talk about Florida’s natural wonders, from plants and flowers to passing wildlife.

They also have a gallery with real-life animals and sculptures, where you can learn on your own, in their visitor center.

Play at Coral Cay Adventure Golf

The Coral Cay Adventure Golf is a fun leisure activity for family and friends.

It’s a tropical-themed mini-course with two types of 18-hole landscapes.

The Coral Cay Adventure Golf has operated since 1993.

While it’s a miniature golf course, there are challenging terrains with curves, water traps, and waterfalls to test your golfing skills.

There are plenty of gorgeous flowers and shrubs to support its tropical island vibes.

Bring your family and friends to Coral Cay Adventure Golf!

Shop Local at Third Street Farmers Market

Sign at the Third Street Farmers Market

Kristi Blokhin /

If you’d like to try the local flavors and craftsmanship of Naples City, then go to the Third Street Farmers Market.

The farmers’ market is where local producers sell their products directly to the consumers.

All the items on sale are locally sourced or locally produced within the community.

Get fresh groceries like fruits and vegetables, or try their coffees and wines!

Besides edible products, you can also buy jewelry, baskets, and other products.

Bring Your Kids to Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples

Learning can be fun at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples.

Established in 2002, this colorful museum has been dedicated to fostering children’s natural curiosity about the mysteries of the Earth through engaging exhibits.

This museum focuses on hands-on learning with a kid-friendly, immersive environment to encourage children to learn.

Some of their exhibits include an art studio, beach, produce market, space, farm, cafe, and many other themes that appeal to young kids.

Your child can try being a chef, an astronaut, an artist, or even a farmer.

Final Thoughts

The city of Naples is perfect for lounging on pristine white beaches and reconnecting with nature in peaceful preserves and parks.

Still, the city does offer its fair share of thrilling and unique attractions like water parks, kayak adventures, miniature golf, luxury streets, and museums to explore.

There’s a reason for its name, after all.

The city features plenty of diverse attractions to make it a worthwhile destination.

Book your trip today!

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