A Naples, Florida, travel guide cannot be included in a single blog post. The surrounding area of the city is rich in history and has diverse leisure activities that cater to adventure junkies, foodies as well as art enthusiasts. In this post, we’ll break down the top 10 day trips from Naples Florida, that are suitable for all tastes and profiles.
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
Shopping Day Trips Around Naples, Florida
Shopping can, a lot of times, be a cure for the soul. And fortunately, there are several small shops located in Naples, and you can visit them for a heart-warming retail therapy experience. You can go to stores like Audrey’s, or True Fashionistas, or even take a day trip to an all-in-one shopping mall like Bonita Springs, or even straight to the outlet located on the outskirts of Naples.
The Gulf Coast beaches, the Little Hickory Island Beach Park, the Bonita Beach Park with its sandy dunes, and the Northern Lovers Key State Park are some of the most popular visitor hotspots in Bonita Springs. But this is not all: Bonita Springs, which is located within a 15 minutes ride away from Naples, also offers one of the best shopping experiences in the area. For a pleasant outdoor shopping spree, go to the Promenade Shops, an open-air mall that gathers some of the finest retail stores and boutiques in the region.
Located within a half-hour driving distance from Naples, Estero is a village in Lee County, nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast. And if great sales are what you’re seeking, Estero is the perfect destination for you. You can go either to the Coconut Point malls, which is home to stores like Apple and Michael Kors, or to the Miromar Outlets, which has more than 140 designer and brand outlet stores. In case a smaller mall is what you want, the Corkscrew Village Naples FL is the place for you.
Beach Family Day Trips from Naples, Florida
Naples, Florida, is famous for its Naples Pier, which stretches about 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. While you shall not miss watching the sunset there, also try to spot a dolphin swimming in the ocean in the morning! If you’re with your family, also visit the infamous Naples beaches with calm waters and fine white sand. In Clam Pass Park and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, for instance, there are several Naples destinations for family day trips.
Located a 30-minute ride away from Naples, Fort Mayers is a fairly large town. It offers beautiful beaches and plenty of family leisure activities for your day trip. During your family vacation, make sure to go to Fort Myers Beach, which has both educational centers, including the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center. The place showcases the local marine life, aside from organizing leisure activities like parasailing in Estero Island and hiking in wildlife in Bowditch Point Park, for both adults and kids.
Sanibel Island and Captiva Island
Located a bit further from Naples, about a 45-minute drive away from the city, the Sanibel and the Captiva Islands are a great place to go if your kids are of school age. Sanibel Island, for instance, is great for exploring the local wildlife and, once in there, you can also take the kids to see the famous Sanibel Lighthouse.
To get to Sanibel Island, you must go take the Sanibel Causeway, which is a 3-mile long wooden bridge (toll: $6 for motor vehicles; $3 per additional axle; free for bicycles).
As for Captiva Island, shelling is one of the most popular leisure activities for families there. Apart from collecting shells while watching the picturesque sunsets at the beach, you can also go on a cruise to watch dolphins at the South Seas Resort or even learn to sail at the Offshore Sailing School.
Cultural Places to Visit Near Naples, Florida
Immokalee means “my home” in the Seminole language, which was spoken by the ancient Calusa tribe. They were the early occupants of Immokalee, a small town in Florida inhabited by migrant workers from all over Latin America. It’s a great place to visit if you want to learn and explore the history of Florida. Fun and with great flair, the city offers authentic Mexican food, a traditional farmer’s market, and a great museum named Immokalee Pioneer Museum, where you to learn about Florida’s History.
Want to have an immersive experience in the wilderness? Then visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to walk marshlands, birdwatch, and see alligators in the swamp.
Matlacha and Pine Island
An hour ride from Naples lies Matlacha and Pine Island. Just imagine a hippie dream of painted camper life, art all around you, a beach located less than a feet away from you. Sounds like a plan? Then plan a day trip to Matlacha. One of the Pine Island communities, Matlacha is a small island filled with colorful shops and galleries, waterside restaurants, and even a community park. Once in there, go to the Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens, and to the Wild Child Art Gallery, which will give you a proper cultural immersion. Nature and art rule the lifestyle in Matlacha, and that’s what makes this place so irresistible.
National Parks to Visit Near Naples, Florida
Florida Everglades National Park
Located about an hour south of Naples, the Florida Everglades is one of the greatest natural treasures of not only the United States but of the world. The city is home to the Everglades National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park consists of a 1.5-million-acre wetland, which is placed right on the southern tip of Florida, and it’s home to more than 400 species of birds, aside from terrestrial animal species like the leatherback turtle, the Florida panther, and the West Indian manatee.
To get to the park, take the Interstate I-75 north-south known as Alligator Alley going between Naples Florida, and Fort Lauderdale.
When driving through Everglades, the Tamiami Trail it’s highly recommended, as it gives travelers the chance to see a beautiful scenery.
Founded in the 1920s as the Collier County seat, Everglades City offers you plenty of family-friendly experiences like kayaking, canoeing, experimenting with paddleboarding, and fishing. One of the best day trips from Naples for an adrenaline-filled weekend!
Big Cypress National Preserve
The Big Cypress National Preserve is located less than an hour from Naples. One of the best day trips for nature-lovers, the park is home to a mix of tropical and temperate plant species, aside from playing host to a diverse wildlife. The Big Cypress is America’s first national preserve, and it was Established on October 11, 1974. With 729,000 acres (larger than Rhode Island), Big Cypress is a freshwater swamp ecosystem, providing the largest contiguous acreage of habitat for panthers in south Florida.
Gourmet Travel Guide and Fine Dining Near Naples, Florida
Many don’t know about that, but Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. It sports second place in millionaires per capita, just after New York. And, naturally, where money flows, good food follows. Fine dining experiences near Naples are a must for foodies, so it’s good to know where are the best places to eat before your day trip. And this is especially true if you are going on a gourmet journey! Take a look at some of the best fine dining experiences near Naples.
Located a 30-minute ride away, Marco Island can be a life-changing experience for foodies. Aside from watching the sun kiss the waves during the blood orange sunset in Marco Island, you enjoy some amazing food and good wine during your day trip. After a day soaking up the sun on Tiger Tail Beach and walking by the Lagoon, head over to Marek’s or to Sale e Pepe, which are two of the finest restaurants on Marco Island. Marek is a renowned restaurant focused on seafood and Continental cuisine. Sale e Pepe is a Beach Ocean Resort’s dining room, that specializes in Southern Italian dishes made from scratch.
Located about 31 miles north of Naples, Cape Coral offers a great experience for food lovers. In case you’re in the mood for Northern Italian flavors, go to Ariani Ristorante. Named Ariani the Top 500 restaurants in the state for three years in a row, Ariani has a range of heart-warming Italian dishes, like bolognese lasagna, and the traditional Fettuccine Alfredo. Their specialty? “Comfort food, common wines, and uncommon hospitality”. For a dinner coupled with a live jazz concert in Cape Coral, go to the Roadhouse Cafe, which is well-known for its seafood-based dishes.
How to Get Around in Naples, Florida
Having a car is the best way to truly enjoy a day trip from Naples. It’s also the best way to have access to natural attractions, like the Everglades National Park, in Everglades City.
If you do not have a car, we recommend renting one. You can also get around Naples taking the tourist two-hour tour trolley to get a feel of the city. Running daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the trolley won’t, however, be a budget option, since tickets are priced at $27 for adults and $13 for kids.
Where to Stay in Naples, Florida
If you’re planning a day trip, you might consider staying in a vacation condo. Look up the best deals HERE.
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