Naples is a small town on the southern Gulf Coast of Florida. The city itself has barely more than 22,000 inhabitants and leads a rather shadowy existence next to the larger and better known city of Fort Meyers. Naples is known for being the residence of the Snowbirds. Older, wealthy people from the East Coast spend their winters here in pleasant temperatures around 24 degrees. The average age is around 65 and, unlike other American cities, there are hardly any African-American residents in Naples.
The city itself has few attractions worth seeing. It is rather quiet and contemplative. The front gardens are meticulously mown. Magnificent houses, villas and boutiques line 5th Avenue, the city’s main street. Otherwise, as in all of Florida, there are still plenty of golf courses. Much more interesting are the surroundings of Naples and how to get there, especially if you are coming from Key West.
It is definitely recommended to take the Tamiami Trail (US 41). This is a simple two-lane road that leads directly from Miami through the Everglades. It used to be an Indian trail, hence the name. The road passes huge bald cypress forests and numerous airboat stations with which you can explore the Everglades. Alligators line the bridges and warm themselves on the heated stones. Signs on the roadside also warn of panthers, which can suddenly cross the road here.
After a good two-thirds of the way, you pass the “world’s smallest post office”. ( 38000 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141, USA). The best thing to do, however, is just to stop. If you are lucky, the post office is open and you can use the opportunity to send a postcard with an official stamp. As I said, it is an official post office of the US Postal Service. Otherwise, it is always a highlight for a photo next to the little hut 🙂
The “Inn of 5th” is a very good, not quite cheap hotel in the heart of Naples – Florida. It is located directly on 5th Avenue, the centre of Old Naples. The hotel offers very spacious and comfortable rooms. A swimming pool, whirlpool and sun loungers can be found on the very beautiful roof terrace. Unfortunately, the hotel does not offer breakfast or a bar. However, there are very good restaurants and cafés in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
As a good “breakfast address” we can recommend “The Cafe“. It takes less than 2-3 minutes to walk from the hotel (821 5th Ave S, Naples, FL 34102, USA) to the cafe. For the evening meal, we recommend “Shea’s At Lansdowne Street” It is located right across the street from the hotel on a side street (720 5th Ave S suite #113, Naples, FL 34102, USA). This is a great place to end the evening with burgers, ribs and many other American specialities. If you prefer something a little more refined and expensive, you can dine at “Ocean Prime”. This fine restaurant is located in the same building as the hotel.
The beach is also within walking distance, but you should plan on a 10-15 minute walk. Like almost everywhere else, it is a public beach. Unfortunately, sunbeds and umbrellas are not for rent here. Unfortunately, sanitary facilities can only be found at the pier. This is a small drawback for those who like to lie by the sea.
The hotel also offers a shuttle service for destinations in and around downtown Naples.
699 5th Ave S Naples, FL 34102, USA P.: 239-403-8777 F.: 239-403-8778 Website
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Naples – Florida is a 5-star luxury hotel with 295 rooms. In terms of service and comfort, no wishes are left unfulfilled.
In addition to a breakfast restaurant, the hotel also has a bar, a café, bowling, a fitness room, tennis volleyball and various pool areas. Of course, you will also find first-class golf courses at the hotel.
The beach can be used free of charge via the Ritz-Carlton Beach. There is a free shuttle service to the beach. However, the prices for this fantastic hotel range from 320 to 470 euros/room, depending on the season. Certainly not an inexpensive pleasure, but on a round trip through Florida, you can treat yourself to such a hotel for one night.
2600 Tiburon Drive Naples, FL 34109, USA P: 239-593-2000 Website
Whoever is in Naples should not miss a visit to “Joe`s Diner“. It is one of the best diners in Florida. Perfect American breakfast in an iconic atmosphere. Eggs in any form or squeaky pink waffles with tons of whipped cream or maple syrup, there is something for everyone here.
The diner is located at 9331 Tamiami Trail N #14, Naples, FL 34108, USA.
Another destination from Naples is Sanibel Island, and Captiva. These beautiful nature reserves can be reached in less than an hour’s drive from Naples in the direction of Fort Meyers. The beautiful, flat island of Sanibel, with its many sandy beaches, is not a place of mass tourism. There are no hotel complexes here.
No house may be higher than the palm trees. The beaches are full of shells. They are said to be the largest shell deposits in the entire USA. Over 200 species of shells can be found here. Otherwise, it is pleasantly quiet here. Just under 7000 inhabitants live on the island, which is about 20 km long and 5 km wide. Captiva and Sanibel were one island until 2004. But on 13 August 2004, Hurricane Charley separated the two places and from then on there were two islands.
Furthermore, you can of course make beautiful trips to the Everglades. Whether you have to take an airboat here with a lot of noise is something everyone can decide for themselves. My experience is that if you stop at a small airboat station, preferably one run by the Seminoles, you can see much more and, above all, much closer to everything, in addition to eating delicious food. Most of them have an alligator farm.
In the canal just behind the houses you can experience the Everglades up close. Seminole stations are easy to recognise. Their flag usually flies in front of the stations or the tops of the masts are painted in their colours. Take the flag of Germany and add a white stripe on top 🙂
Shopping is also available in the Naples area, just a 30-minute drive north. there is the “Miromar Outletcenter” (10801 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, FL 33928, USA) with over 140 shops.
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