Day Trips and Tours from Naples, Florida

Day Trips and Tours from Naples, Florida

The dazzling southern Florida beach town, Naples, has a reputation for white sand beaches and wealthy residents’ mansions dotting the coast. Despite its swanky image, the area around Naples is teeming with wildlife.

Desert islands, mangrove forests, swamplands and sand bars welcome hundreds of species to their protected spaces.

The calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap against Naples’s sugar sand beaches and beg visitors to dive in or soak in the sun. Day trips and tours from Naples, Florida, will thrill nature lovers and hedonists alike.

Ten Thousand Islands boat tours

Part of the UNESCO-protected Florida Everglades, the Ten Thousand Islands is a national wildlife area that is home to hundreds of species. The estuary is dotted with mangrove-edged islets. The area makes for ideal dolphin and manatee habitats, and nearly 500 different kinds of birds can be found in the area.

Most Ten Thousand Islands boat tours zero in on wildlife sightseeing. You’re almost guaranteed to see dolphins, and your guide will point out other inhabitants of the archipelago. Keep your eyes - and camera - ready for glimpses of manatees, horseshoe crabs, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles and much more.

The mainly uninhabited islands are prime spots for beachcombing. Most boat tours pause for some time to either scour the sands for shells or take a dip in the warm gulf waters. Guides can help you get to know shallow water-dwellers like sea stars, octopi, sea urchins and creatures still housed inside their ornate shells.

Sunset wildlife cruises

Naples’s perch on the Gulf of Mexico makes for some of Florida’s best sunset viewing. Even better, board a boat tour and cast out into the waters for a few hours of unparalleled natural beauty. With ample animal sightings and a glowing sunset, any animal fan will be in heaven.

While you’re very likely to spot dolphins leaping in your boat’s wake, there are plenty of other sea creatures to look for. With many species being more active before sunset, you may spot sting rays, sharks or turtles.

Scan the sky and shores for birds like roseate spoonbills, ospreys and egrets hunting for their evening meal as the sun sinks beneath the horizon.

Personal watercraft excursions

Kayaks, jet skis, paddle boards and two-person catamarans provide a surprising variety of ways to explore the waters around Naples. With the variety comes fantastic options for families and people with differing fitness levels.

Kayaking and paddle board excursions are budget- and eco-friendly ways to venture into the mangroves and tour the islands. Soothe your conscience with an excursion without motors.  

Travel without disturbing the wildlife or polluting the ecosystem as you follow your naturalist guide to sites with the best chances of spotting wildlife.

For those who don’t want to travel by arm-power, Craig Cats, Go Cats and jet skis are novel and exciting ways to reach the Ten Thousand Islands. With a quick lesson, you’ll be ready to follow your guide to the area’s highlights.

Fishing charters

Catch once-in-a-lifetime fishing charter in the stretch from the Everglades all the way to Pine Island Sound. Wheelchair-friendly charters provide all you will need for a day on the water. All gear and live bait is provided as well as complimentary soft drinks.

The local captain knows the spots that will give you the best chances of a catch. You may hook trout, grouper, snook, jewelfish and more. While you wait for telltale nibbles, watch for dolphins, sharks and manatees.

Everglades adventures

Get to know the United States’ largest subtropical wilderness on a tour of the western Everglades. Whether by bike, boat or on foot, you’ll search for common and endangered species alike. With the help of a biologist guide, discover the habitats of wild boar, Florida panther, bobcats, otters, minks and burrowing owls.

Some tours combine boating, hiking and educational sessions. Learn about reptiles from a herpetologist-led demonstration and walk through the Corkscrew Watershed Marsh. Sit back on an airboat that will whisk you to remote reaches of the national park where you’ll have the best chances of spotting the famed Florida alligators.