Things to Do on the Florida West Coast
- Keewaydin Island –
Keewaydin Island is a unique barrier island in Florida that has no cars, roads or bridges. It boasts tropical warm waters and is great for shelling. You will have to rent a boat, go on a tourist boat, visit with a private individual who has a boat or call the Keewaydin Express water taxi service.
- Tennis –
Feel the need to learn tennis or brush up on your game, you’ll love the sport on this island paradise.
- Water Sports –
You’ve never been on any water craft, no problem! The team at Marco Island Water Sports has you covered. You can rent Jet Skis, Wave Runners and with a little instruction, you’ll be around manatees and dolphins in no time. If you’d like a guided tour, the knowledgeable staff offers those too.
- Nature –
Check out the Naples Botanical Garden or the Corkscew Swamp Sanctuary. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, gateway to the Western Everglades, is a 13,000-acre preserve and is home to the largest remaining stand of old growth bald cypress in North America. A 2.25-mile boardwalk trail is open to the public daily.
- Fishing –
Check out Naples Pier. You can find the Naples Pier jutting 1,000 feet into the Florida Gulf just off 12th Avenue South, right in the heart of Old Naples and it does not require a fishing license. Species of fish including: Snook, Trout, Sheepshead and Spanish Mackerel can be found here. Even an occasional Cobia can be found lurking in these 18-20 ft. deep waters. If you’d like to try your hand at deep sea fishing, contact a fishing captain that is licensed and insured. Most members of the Tampa Bay Fishing Guide Association cater to the novice and experienced anglers alike and encourage fishing with kids, teaching them about the ocean and the fish that swim in it. Kid-friendly charters are always available.
- Golfing –
Naples is one of the best places in the nation to hit the links! With literally dozens of courses in the surrounding areas, avid golfers, of all skill levels, will be sure to find a course that they will love to play. Naples offers courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and even Gary Player! If you love to golf, you need to make a pilgrimage to Naples!
What To Pack
If you plan on hitting the beach, make sure you bring some flipflops or water booties. The sand can be hot and you’ll often encounter sand-spurs walking to the beach. Western Florida is very casual and you’ll be prepared for almost any activity with shorts, t-shirts and sunglasses (remember a strap so they don’t fall off in the water while jet skiing!). Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and your camera For more packing tips, watch our Sundance Vacations Packing Tips video!
The closest airport to our locations is Southwest Florida International — RSW — which is located in Fort Myers, Florida, about 53 minutes away. The airport has a number of rental car companies, including Enterprise Rent-a-Car (tel. 800/325-8007 or 239/642-4488). For a cab call Action Taxi (tel. 239/394-4400), Classic Taxi (tel. 239/394-1888) or A-Okay Taxi (tel. 239/394-1113). Depending on the type, rental bicycles cost from $10 an hour to $40 a week at Scootertown, 845 Bald Eagle Dr. (tel. 239/394-8400; www.islandbikeshops.com), north of North Collier Boulevard, near Olde Marco. Scooters go for about $70 for 24 hours.
- January – Naples Winter Wine Festival, Swamp Buggy Winter Classic
- February – Everglades Seafood Festival, Naples national Art Festival
- March – Craft Beer Festival, St. Patrick Day Parade
- April – Balloons over Paradise
- May – Great Dock Canoe Race
- July – 4th of July fireworks!
- August – National Park Service Centennial
- September – “SummerJazz on the Gulf” concert, Cravings Fashion Event at Waterside Shops, National Estuaries Day at Rookery Bay, Blessing of the Stone Crab Fleet
- October – Sunflower Festival, Naples Boat Show, Brew-Ha-Ha Craft Beer Festival, Stone Crab Festival
- November – Naples International Film Festival
- December – Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony, Swam Heritage Festival, Christmas Parade
|Transportation to Destination||Amount of Time|
|Boat to Key West from Marco Island||3 Hours 30 Minutes|
|Drive to Naples from Marco Island||30 Minutes|
|Drive to Everglades from Naples||49 Minutes|
|Drive to Ruskin from Naples||2 Hours|
|Drive to Fort Myers||53 Minutes|
Florida DestinationsCheck out our destinations in Florida!
Travelers May Also Like
- Naples has two beaches on the Dr. Beach Top Ten USA Beaches list for 2014. Barefoot Beach Preserve Park is listed at #2 and the beach at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is listed at #10.
- Marco Island is ranked as the #1 US Island and the #4 Island in the World for 2014 by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice awards.
- Naples Zoo is the only zoo in the southeastern United States featuring the rare Madagascar predator, the fosa.
- Cape Coral is the largest city from Miami to Tampa and has more canals than Venice, Italy.
- The temperature in Naples has never reached 100 degrees, the record is 99 set in Sept. of 1986