The Rookery at Marco Golf Club's eighth hole offers multiple challenges and a majestic view of the area foliage.
Forget roses and neckties -- this year's go-to gift for Mother's Day and Father's Day is a golf getaway. Reserve a tee time, then see where a weekend in Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades can take them. With nearly 90 golf courses and a host of extracurricular activities to choose from, you can create an itinerary with your parents in mind. After all, didn't Mom and Dad teach you it's the thought that counts?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:Tee Time
Play greens known for tempering their challenges with views of the area's flora and fauna.The Rookery at Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort
reveals water hazards and deep bunkers amid forests, lagoons and wetlands, and is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.
In Naples, Eagle Lakes Golf Club
features water on most holes, but five sets of tees make the course enjoyable at any skill level, as does the prospect of spotting the resident pair of American bald eagles.
At The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
, wind, hazards and a thick rough test players, though it's justifiable to blame the mesmerizing mix of oaks, screw pines and Poinciana fringing this historic public course.
The area's newest course, Panther Run Golf Club
in Ave Maria, is friendly despite narrowing fairways and ever-present water; nearly 30 lakes attract alligators, eagles and hawks.
A variety of trees and shrubs surround The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.
Follow the boardwalk at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
through uplands, marsh, prairie and the country's largest remaining stand of virgin bald cypress trees. Surprise yourselves with glimpses of butterflies, birds, reptiles and more.
Broaden your scope to dolphins and manatees along the Paradise Coast Blueway
. Outfitters can equip you for a day paddle or kayak fishing excursion along Phase 1 of the waterway, which winds from Everglades City to Marco Island.Naples Bicycle Tours
provides another perspective with guided cycling tours of the Everglades.
Gather 'round the table at Everglades Seafood Depot and Market
serving local seafood from fresh grouper to alligator inside Everglades City's original train station.Capt. Brien's Seafood & Raw Bar
on Marco Island features a serious fresh seafood selection complemented by homemade cornbread.Tee Time
The exclusivity of a resort experience translates into first-rate service and pristine conditions on the greens.
Fitting for The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
, the area's only Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort, Tiburon Golf Club
hosts the PGA's Merrill Lynch Shootout and earns 4 stars from Golf Digest
for both of its 18-hole courses. Tiburon is also open to guests of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
At LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort
, recognition comes from Conde
LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort rewards golfers with an easygoing course and plush amenities, such as a full-service spa.
as a Top 100 Golf Resort staple, and from players who appreciate the echo of the resort's beachfront calm in the course's relaxed pace.Golf Digest
also lauds Naples' Lely Mustang and Flamingo Island Golf Clubs, with eye-pleasing settings and satisfying challenges at GreenLinks Golf Resort & Conference Center
Soothe golf-fatigued muscles with a sports massage at The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
or LaPlaya's SpaTerre
. SpaTerre emphasizes beachfront bliss with outdoor relaxation tubs and a seaside salt glow.
Once refreshed, browse the art galleries and fashion boutiques of Naples' Fifth Avenue South
and Third Street South
.Naples Botanical Garden
presents an equally artful experience with an award-winning tropical mosaic garden, and you'll score additional points with Mom with a Naples Players
Turn dinner into a special occasion at LaPlaya's BALEENnaples
(intensify the celebrated Florida flavors by reserving a barefoot beach table).Sale e Pepe
at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort and Naples' Bleu Provence
bring the tastes and ambiance of Italy and France, respectively, to the area courtesy of European chefs, scratch-made specialties and wine lists that have pleased the palates at Wine Spectator
At the end of the day, nothing says "thank you" like time spent together. Stroll the beach together and snap a sunset photo for the family album.