While its Italian namesake might steal the spotlight, Florida’s very own Naples — a luxurious waterfront oasis teeming with natural and manmade attractions — is a worthy destination in its own right.
With seldom-crowded white sand beaches that dish up some of Southern USA’s most exquisite sunsets and incredible shopping and golfing opportunities, you’ll quickly realize why this sun-drenched city is ascending the tourist ranks.
If you’re not out taking a peek at dolphins and manatees, you can always unwind with a professional massage at the spa, or grab some clubs and head for the golf course.
And in between trips through some breathtaking forests and reserves, you can explore the seas like a high-roller on a chartered boat, where you choose the adventure!
Whether you’re looking to get your art fix (did someone say ‘Artis—Naples’?), wet your whistle and let your hair down (bar crawl, anyone?), or simply enjoy the rare and stunning nature and wildlife that the region has to offer, you’re bound to be impressed by the plethora of things to do in Naples, Florida.
1 – Admire the plants at Naples Botanical Garden
Want to feel like you’re lost in paradise… in a good way?
Then take a stroll around the 170 acres of gorgeous greenery that make up the Naples Botanical Garden, which has earned accolades all over the world.
With a tropical focus and some amazing cultural programming, this gorgeous environment has something for everyone.
Explore recreated environments from Brazil and the Caribbean, admire some vividly colored orchids, or simply stroll around and enjoy the tropical ambience.
2 – Discover Naples rich marine life on a manatee tour
For an unforgettable day out on the Gulf of Mexico’s shimmering waters, why not spend a day spotting manatees and other bubbly sea creatures?
People flock to the coast every year in the hope of getting up close and personal to these gentle giants — with a 2-3-hour boat ride, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Even if the wildlife is sparse, the boat cruise is an enjoyable activity in its own right.
3 – Zip around the city on a Segway tour
Walking around the city on a hot day doesn’t exactly scream relaxation, does it?
Rest those weary legs and dial up the relaxation with a smooth-moving Segway tour instead!
With Segway tours scattered conveniently around the city’s main areas, a friendly and knowledgeable guide will lead you to all of Naples’ most popular places, including Cambier Park, Naples Pier, Third Street South, and many more.
4 – Play Sherlock Holmes in an escape room!
A perfect activity for those days that are just a tad too toasty, escape rooms allow puzzle-solving visitors to race against the clock, solving riddles and uncovering clues in one of many uniquely themed setups.
Choose from themes like abandoned houses, mystical lairs, and Viking lore, just to name a few. So, think you’ve got what it takes to make it out in time?
Try two hip adventures in one at Brainiaxe and Escapes, which combines ax throwing and escape rooms for one unforgettable set of activities.
Or head over to Tropic Escape Rooms, and immerse yourself in adventures ranging from rock star mishaps to life as an island castaway.
5 – Learn about the environment at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Known as one of Florida’s most respected environmental organizations, the 21-acre nature preserve that is the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a delight for anyone interested in sustainability, ecology, and wildlife.
With more than 150 species of native and exotic wildlife within its (metaphorical) walls, the highly-regarded Conservancy offers hands-on exhibits, meet-and-greets, and a 45-minute boat ride on which the captain shares fascinating insights about the area.
6 – Kayak through the winding mangrove tunnels
Typically, mangroves form in places where saltwater and freshwater meet, welcoming a vast array of stunning (in their own way, right) wildlife — of course, Naples is no exception.
With a host of spectacular winding tunnel-like mangroves in and around the Naples area, they’re something that every visitor should see at least once.
Luckily for us, kayaking tours provide all the necessary equipment — just bring yourself and your camera!
7 – Chow down and enjoy Celebration Park
If your eating style is, “A bit of this, a bit of that,” you’ll want to head down to Celebration Park, pronto!
Conveniently situated near the Naples Botanical Garden, this unique space is designed to be a “permanent food truck rally,” making it a real treat for guests!
Wander around and sample some treats from around the world, then pop over to the nearby tiki bar for a fun beverage while admiring the waterfront – it makes for an ideal afternoon!
8 – Keep your balance on a stand-up paddleboard
Splash around the coastline and watch the sun bounce off the water as it sets on a relaxing stand-up paddleboard adventure — sounds pretty incredible, right?
Whether you opt to rent your own board by the hour or join a leisurely tour, during which the instructor will show you the ropes, a paddleboard adventure promises to be a wonderful way to soak in those Florida rays.
9 – Admire majestic creatures on a dolphin-watching adventure!
If you’re looking for things to do in Naples, Florida, dolphin watching should be at the top of your list!
Venture through and discover the unique ecosystem that Florida is built open; get up close and personal with these friendly and majestic creatures; and learn about their habits, habitats, and history.
Cruises can last up to 3 hours so make sure to pack some sunblock and a hat.
10 – Trek through the Bird Rookery Swamp (but watch your step)
The Bird Rookery Swamp offers visitors an up-close and personal look at nature in Naples.
Grab your hiking boots; there are plenty of different trails where people can hike or bike through and meet (but don’t touch) the wildlife in the area.
But visitor beware, it’s not for the faint of heart! There are plenty of alligators in this area so make sure to watch your step!
11 – Cruise around town on two (or three) wheels!
Sick of walking tours? Looking for a more adventurous way to see the sights in Naples? Well, a bike or electric trike tour could be just what the doctor ordered.
Locally-led bike tours whiz past beloved spots such as Port Royal, the Naples Yacht Club, Cambier Park, Naples Pier, the Naples City Dock, and more.
It’s a great way to meet new people and get off the beaten track.
12 – Glide across the water on a high-speed jet ski
Who says beaches are all about relaxation and sunbaking?
At the helm of a jet ski, a day on the Naples shores is an adrenaline junkie’s delight!
There are plenty of different places to rent jet skis by the hour, however, for the newbies out there signing up for a guided tour is typically your best bet.
13 – Look for clues in a scavenger game
No matter what Floridian city you find yourself in, scavenger games are always a fantastic way to explore the city and get off the beaten track — all while putting your detective skills to the test, of course.
Operated (usually) through an app that gives users a map to follow, the game prompts travelers to use the map and the clues provided to uncover certain must-see locations across Naples.
Race against the clock or race against your friends. Either way, it’s a great day out.
14 – Venture into the unknown with a deep-sea fishing adventure
Looking to learn something new? Then why not try your hand at deep-sea fishing!
Learn from the pros as they reel in redfish, grouper, mangrove snapper, sheepshead, snook, and more, and then, of course, catch a few yourself!
Most tours last from 2 to 4 hours; no experience is necessary, and all equipment (and some refreshing snacks) is provided by the captain;
15 – Get your adrenaline pumping at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
With the reputation of being the number one water park in all of Naples, Sun-N-Fun Lagoon presents as a great place for families to spend the day, keeping entertained and cooling down during the toast summer months.
The outdoor theme park offers a huge variety of water slides, man-made rivers (featuring a lazy river, of course), and pools suitable for kids of all ages.
There are also plenty of restaurants, restrooms, and seating areas for parents who prefer to stay dry and read a book.
16 – Unwind with a relaxing spa day
After a long few days of exploring the city and ticking off the staple tourist attractions, a day at the spa and a massage is exactly the kind of rejuvenation needed. So why not make it a part of your itinerary?
Or go all-out at Naples Grande Beach Resort, which boasts twelve different treatment rooms and options ranging from scrubs and baths to hair and nail options, all surrounded by relaxing waterfalls and green spaces.
Take your pick from a standard massage, a romantic couples massage, manicures, pedicures, facials, aromatherapy, and plenty more.
You deserve it — you’re on vacation, after all.
17 – Dial up the romance with a twilight cruise
A sunset sailing cruise in Naples isn’t just super romantic for couples, it can also be a blast for singles!
Most sunset cruises offer guests a night of tasty appetizers, an open bar (hence the aforementioned singles comment), and toe-tapping onboard live entertainment.
Guests can drink, eat, mingle, and dance the night away, making it easily one of the more popular things to do in Naples!
18 – Browse through the Third Street South Farmers Market
If you’re in town between November and April, the best place for produce and people-watching is undoubtedly Third Street Farmers Market.
Along with some utterly delicious local fruits and vegetables, this is the perfect place to get fresh flowers, delicious seafood, savory coffees, or even a couple of treats for your canine friends.
Throw in live music and unique stands, and you have a shopping trip that’s more of a privilege than a chore!
19 – Explore the stunning Marco Island
If you love nature then Marco Island is a non-negotiable for the Naples bucket list!
Catch one of many boats that make the 20-mile journey there every day; spend the afternoon marveling at the wildlife and marine life; and try your hand at one of the many tourist activities on offer: fishing, kayaking, shelling, and more.
20 – Hear the chirps at the Bird Gardens of Naples
The Bird Gardens of Naples is a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of wild parrots and parrot welfare.
Besides its colorful main residents, the popular attraction is also home to a wide variety of flora, fauna, butterflies, and bees, and over 100 different birds in total.
On guided tours, guests can interact with, hold, and take pictures with the beautiful birds.
21 – Stroll through the Everglades Wonder Gardens
For a blissful day out and about in the fresh air, the magnificent Everglades Wonder Gardens await.
Take a stroll through the botanical gardens and check out the animal displays too — the center houses turtles, alligators, flamingoes, pythons, macaws, and even Chinese golden pheasants!
Hot tip: check the website’s ‘special events’ calendar! If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself doing yoga with peacocks or hanging out with rainbow lorikeets!
22 – Experience the best of Florida on a Ten Thousand Islands day trip
Most tourists would describe a Ten Thousand Islands trip as one of the best things to do in Florida, so if you’re hitting up Naples, then a quick detour is a must!
While exact schedules change depending on who you book with, a typical tour includes a day of cruising along through the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge (home to a great assortment of marine life and birds), ride in a hair-raising Go Cats speedboat, and discover sights like the Cape Romano Dome House.
23 – Explore the Barefoot Beach County Preserve
While you’d assume that the best way to explore the preserve is on foot, in reality, it’s by joining a kayaking tour!
Exclusive tours take guests off the main roads and into the heart of the preserve where they can see marine life and birds of prey, and venture through the mangrove estuaries.
Most tours last for up to 2 hours and all equipment is provided. So, what are you waiting for?
Oh, and while you’re there, don’t miss the butterfly garden.
24 – Hike through luscious greenery at the Rookery Bay Reserve
Stretches a whopping 110,000 acres, made up of encroaching mangrove forests and bodies of protected waters, it’s fair to say that the Rookery Bay Reserve is a hiker’s heaven on earth.
Besides the plethora of trails, the reserve also has an environmental learning center, where there’s plenty to be discovered about the local ecology; as well as kayaking, fishing, swimming, and camping opportunities.
25 – Putt your way around Coral Cay Adventure Golf
From caves to waterfalls to winding putting greens, Coral Cay Adventure Golf offers an exciting day on the course.
The best part? It’s mini golf, so everyone can join in!
Grab the kids and play your way through some fascinating obstacles, surrounded by palm trees and cool structures that add some whimsy to the whole experience.
Whether you keep score or not, it’s bound to be a good time!
26 – Golf like a pro on one of many Naples fairways
If golf is your sport, you will be pleased to know that the list of world-class courses in Naples is as exhaustive as anywhere in the state.
Arrowhead Golf Club has 18 holes flanked by pristine lakes; Valencia Golf and Country Club often hosts professional and amateur tournaments, and Forest Glen Golf and Country Club prides itself as a destination for the more experienced golfers.
27 – Travel in luxury on a private boat charter
For the more bourgeois of travelers among us, this is your chance to discover the Naples coast in ultimate VIP style — with your own private vessel!
The day can be whatever you make of it — learn about sailing, explore hidden gems along the coast, spot marine life like dolphins and sea turtles; or just work in the tan, cocktail in hand.
28 – Discover ecosystems at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
A place that is filled with rugged, natural beauty just waiting to be explored, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is home to a range of endemic Floridian wildlife, including alligators, songbirds, and more.
The Sanctuary’s arguable highlight, however, is its boardwalk, one that goes deep inside its forests, immersing you in the sights and sounds of Mother Nature.
Located about 30 minutes outside of Naples, it’s an easy and convenient addition to any itinerary.
29 – Enjoy the meals and ambiance at the best restaurants
Some meals are experiences in and of themselves, and Naples has plenty to choose from!
Or indulge in some world-class fusion dining at Bistro 821, where the dishes incorporate elements from three different continents!
30 – Wander along the buzzing Naples Pier
A definitive crowd favorite in terms of things to do in Naples, Florida (for both locals and tourists alike), the Naples Pier offers spectacular views of the coastline and is always teeming with people and entertainment.
With a near-endless selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the area, it’s the perfect spot to unwind as the sun sets and the nightlife awakens.
31 – Spend a day in the sun at Lowdermilk Beach
Thanks to its warm, white sands, Lowdermilk Beach is considered one of the most famous pieces of shoreline in the Naples area.
It has been a local hot spot for decades and tourists are finally catching on — but with such a long stretch of sand, it seldom gets overcrowded.
Spend the day playing volleyball on one of the courts; have a picnic; keep the kids entertained on the playgrounds, or just read and relax on the sand.
32 – Learn all about automotive history at Revs Institute
With a formidable collection of over 100 automobiles that were built between 1896 and 1995, the esteemed Revs Institute is a haven for the kind of person who lives and breathes vintage cars.
On top of that, the venue boasts an extensive library where people can learn all about how the manufacturing of cars has transformed over the decades.
33 – Spend the day in the outdoors at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Boasting a wide variety of things to do including boating, fishing, geo-seeking, hiking, paddling, picnicking, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and wildlife viewing, there really is something for everyone at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park!
Its beach, in particular, is something to marvel at.
Keep in mind: the parking lot fills up and closes rather early, so it’s wise to arrive in the morning.
34 – Pay a visit to the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center
With its innovative programming and powerful exhibits, the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center offers powerful perspectives on a global tragedy.
Take the audio tour to get some extra context for the timeline before you, which traces Jewish life in Europe through the Nazi era and beyond.
It also includes some particularly poignant items, such as an actual boxcar that was used to transport prisoners to concentration camps.
While the stories and artifacts may be painful to witness, they offer lessons that are sorely needed in today’s world.
35 – Laugh with the hyenas at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Located within a historic botanical garden, the Naples Zoo is a surefire hit for anyone traveling with kids and the perfect place for getting up close to a long list of exotic animals.
With a collection of bears, cheetahs, hyenas, tigers, leopards, lions, alligators, and zebras, not to mention the impressive primate exhibit, the hours will fly by.
36 – Soak up the sun at Clam Pass Park
With white sands stretching over 35 acres of coastal habitat, it’s no wonder that Clam Pass Park has become a crown jewel among the locals.
Despite being one of the most popular things to do in Naples, the beach never feels crowded, with more than enough space to tan, read, have a picnic or BBQ, or just veg out.
Keep in mind: Unfortunately, this isn’t a pet-friendly beach, so Fido will have to stay at home.
37 – Watch a bizarrely thrilling Swamp Buggy Race!
Alright, we know what you’re thinking: “What on earth is a swamp buggy race!?” You’re about to find out.
As an exciting and high-action sporting event (that has been a tradition in Naples since the 1950s), at the Swamp Buggy Races, drivers gear up and zoom around the muddy track in their decked-out motor vehicles, all for your viewing pleasure.
In the same way that the demolition derby has become a sight to behold, so has this bizarre pastime.
38 – Take the youngsters to the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
Home to a range of interactive exhibits designed to ignite the imagination and inspire our next generation, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples covers topics including space, animals, engineering, earth, farming, and much more.
It’s regularly praised as a great place for kids not only to learn about the world around them but to experience it first-hand too.
Thanks to its location in the North Collier Regional Park, there’s plenty to do before and after the visit as well.
39 – Experience the vast entertainment at Artis-Naples
As the home of both the Naples Philharmonic and The Baker Museum (displaying a wonderful collection of modern and contemporary art), Artis—Naples is often described as Southwest Florida’s premier destination for visual and performing arts.
Offering a unique range of programs including exhibits from new artists, concerts, theatre performances, lectures, comedy shows, and dance routines, there’s never a dull moment with these walls.
Just make sure to check the schedule to see what’s on.
40 – Swirl and sip some different wines
After all of the sightseeing, you’ll want to relax a bit, so treat yourself to a wine tasting!
The Naples Winery specializes in tropical variants, with various fruits incorporated into each bottle.
And at Cooper’s Hawk Winery, you can browse through a marvelous range of reds, whites, and sparkling options; don’t miss the mulled wine in the winter!
As you sample a glass (or two), you’ll see why this region can hold its own against its Italian counterpart!
41 – Shop till you drop at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay
Looking for a souvenir? What about a fancy new bathing suit? Or even just a nice romantic dinner date? Either way, The Village Shops on Venetian Bay has got you covered.
Dishing up over 45 waterfront shops, as well as restaurants, hair salons, and much more, visitors can find all kinds of different stores that sell clothes, jewelry, shoes, home decor, and knick-knacks.
42 – Learn about the city’s history at the Naples Depot Museum
One for the history buffs, the Naples Depot Museum showcases a diverse range of exhibits that dive into the area’s unique past.
And when we say ‘unique’, we mean it — some of the exhibits explore the history of mosquitoes and mosquito control, the legacy of Barron Collier’s Bank of Everglades, art collections from local artists, and truckloads more.
43 – Step back in time at Naples Historical Society’s Historic Palm Cottage
Experience the rustic, hand-crafted charm of old Naples when you step into the historic Palm Cottage — the oldest standing house in the area built all the way back in 1895.
Tours through the cottage are led by educated guides who will fill guests in on all of the historic facts and colorful tales that Naples has to offer.
44 – Catch a play at the Sugden Community Theatre
One for the musical theater lovers, the Naples Players (at the Sugden Community Theatre) produces a variety of shows spanning classic plays to new musicals, kids theater, comedy shows, live book readings, and plenty more.
If you need a change of scenery from the sands and swamps, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better live entertainment.
45 – Learn about the first settlers at the Collier Museum at Government Center
If you’re eager to delve into American history and learn about its first settlers, then add The Collier Museum to your list of things to do in Naples
As you wander through its displays, expect to learn all about the different kinds of people that came together to make Naples what it is today.
Some of the notable highlights include tales of cattlemen, trailblazers, railroaders, rum runners, Indian traders, clam diggers, and hermits.
46 – Sip a cold brew at the Naples Beach Brewery
Do you love a cold beer on a toasty day? Or a cold beer or any day, for that matter? Then the glorious watering hole that is the Naples Beach Brewery should be your next stop.
The locally-adored brewery hosts all kinds of events including trivia nights, tasting, and parties.
After trying a flight of their craft beers in the tasting room — with some of the most popular brews being the Classic Ale, Cubano, and Irish Mike — grab a pint or two of your favorite and simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
47 – Go on a shopping spree at Tin City Waterfront Shops
Shopaholics, listen up. Tin City Waterfront Shops has a vast selection of stores just waiting to be explored.
After maxing out the credit card on new clothes; a plethora of restaurants, cafes, salons, galleries, and bars line the area.
On top of that, there’s even a boat ride available for tourists.
48 – Shop designer brands on Fifth Avenue South
As an iconic Naples street filled with high-end brands and notable restaurants, if luxury is what you’re after then Fifth Avenue South is the place to be.
Spend the day shopping, browsing through art galleries, getting a manicure in a salon, or eating fine foods — no matter how you plan your day, it’s a must-visit for the atmosphere alone.
And while you’re in the area, be sure to check out some of the other highlights of Downtown Naples, including the gorgeous waterside views of Bayfront, the exciting clothing boutiques of Third Street South, and the funky stores of Tin City.
49 – Explore the stunning Everglades National Park
While it might not get the same tourist attention as the likes of Miami or Disneyland, Everglades National Park is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets.
If you’re someone who wants to get up-close and personal with the wildlife — be that birds, manatees, or alligators — this is the place to do it.
Hot tip: don’t explore alone. Choose a guided tour, eliminate all the hassle, and let the experts show you the park’s most incredible sights.
50 – Meet the cats at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Far from your run-of-the-mill zoo or sanctuary, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge is one of few places not just in the state, but in the world, where exclusive panther habitats exist and are preserved.
With plenty of short and long walking trails that wind through the park, it’s a great option for a day of hiking too.
51 – Find hidden treasure by going on a shelling tour
Who knew that shells could be worth so much cash? No wonder it’s a popular pastime in places like Naples and Fort Myers!
A dedicated shelling tour promises to be a unique way to discover Naples Bay and all the beauty that surrounds it.
Board a ship with an experienced captain, make a few stops along the way on remote islands, fill your shelling bag with treasures that you find on the beach, and then cross your fingers for something valuable!
52 – Get crazy (and a little wobbly) on a pub crawl!
Is there any better way to get to meet fellow tourists and discover all of the city’s hottest pubs and clubs than a pub crawl? We’ll answer that one for you: nope, there’s not.
For those of you traveling alone or with friends, it’s a great way to meet a few new faces!
How to get to Naples?
Southwest Florida International Airport is the closest place to fly into, servicing both Naples itself and the surrounding region. But Fort Lauderdale Airport also offers a convenient nearby option as well.
Whichever option you choose, an airport transfer is the perfect way to get to and from the city.
Where to stay in Naples?
Putting enthusiasts will love the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, where you can walk right from your room to a 36-hole green, then head over to the pool, the tennis courts, or the lounge, with its lovely live music. FIX.
And at the Hilton Naples, you can unwind in style every step of the way, whether chowing down at the steakhouse or relaxing under the waterfall at the pool.
Edgewater Beach Hotel gets the vacation started right, with beachfront access, a fitness center, and a pool that’s perfect for swimming or sunning.
Meanwhile, the Capri Inn blends convenience with class; when you’re not chilling in the heated pool or unwinding with an evening drink in the lounge, you can readily explore the city center, which is just outside the door.
And Best Western Naples Plaza Hotel provides a relaxing atmosphere, as well as a business center to take care of any urgent tasks before heading out on your next adventure.
For some European-style glamor combined with pure Floridian natural beauty, you simply can’t beat the amazing things to do in Naples!
And if you want to explore thought-provoking museums or chow down on some of the freshest seafood around, the city’s got you covered there too!
Be warned: after visiting, you just might want to move there yourself!