Beyond the Beach: 6 Ways to Family Fun on Florida’s Paradise Coast
While idling on the beach and taking dips in the Gulf are the premier pastime in Naples and Marco Island, there are plenty more places and activities in the area where you can soak up the sun and enjoy family fun.
When it comes to family fun on Florida’s Paradise Coast, it all starts with endless stretches of beach that run along the Gulf of Mexico — from the epic expanses of sand and sparkling waters of Marco Island on the southern end, to the untamed natural beauty of 2,000-acre Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park to the north. Absolutely spectacular — all of it.
You'll also find plenty of unforgettable adventures beyond the beach, from water park fun to wilderness excursions.
Here are six things to do that will delight everyone – from little ones and teens to parents and grandparents. (And often, all at the same time!)
Any visit to Naples, Marco Island the Everglades should include exploring a bounty of natural wonders, and the best way to do that is by going boating.
You’ll find numerous local companies ready to take you on eco-tours, mangrove tours, shelling tours, dolphin tours, birding tours and sunset tours; tours where you paddle a kayak, tours where you drive a jet ski, and tours where you sit back and relax on a big catamaran or motor boat. And for those who really love exotic adventure, you can even take a pole boat tour through the Everglades.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
You’ll see a wide array of mammals (yes, lions and tigers), reptiles (gators, naturally) and birds (parrots and macaws, check). Because the exhibits have been designed to carefully maximize space around decades-old trees, you’ll find yourself incredibly close to the animals — often only three or four steps away.
Naples Botanical Garden
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
Bathed in bright colors inside and out, the 38,000-square-foot, two story Golisano Children's Museum of Naples mixes learning and fun with an array of interactive exhibits and activities that will keep youngsters engaged for hours. The museum is recommended for kids 0-14, although it’s the youngest ones who will probably have the best time. By the way, a child must always be accompanied by an adult.
Airboat Rides in the Everglades
You haven’t lived until you’ve felt one of these machines tilt sideways and take a sharp turn into a narrow mangrove tunnel. You can choose from an array of operators situated in Everglades City and along US 41.