Explore the Delights of North Naples
North Naples has been on the rise for quite some time, evolving into a bastion of outdoor activity and luxury in its own right.
Not all the fun on Florida’s Paradise Coast takes place in downtown Naples or Marco Island. Here’s what you can expect to find in North Naples:
Beaches in North Naples
North Naples encompasses a breathtaking stretch of sand that continues uninterrupted for about five miles. On the southern tip is Clam Pass Park, a 35-acre public preserve with a beach, boardwalk, trails, a lagoon and guided nature tours. Northward, you’ll find Vanderbilt Beach Park, one of the most popular public beaches in Florida’s Paradise Coast. On the far northern end is Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, whose 2,000 acres include the most untamed beach on Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Dining & Shopping
Mercato is an all-in-one shopping and dining hub in North Naples. With dozens of retail shops, a Whole Foods, and 20 restaurants and bars, it’s a place that buzzes with activity. One of its locally owned bar/eateries, The 239 Naples, serves until midnight. The center also includes Blue Martini, regarded as the most popular nightclub in the area.
Vanderbilt Beach is home to the Turtle Club, where you can eat and drink with your toes in the sand, as well as on the deck or in the dining room. No matter where you’re seated, the sunsets are spectacular. The Bay House offers lavish dinner service overlooking the Cocohatchee River.
The eating and drinking possibilities in North Naples aren’t limited to these options, though. Just head to the area and find something that strikes your fancy.
Arts, Culture & History
North Naples houses some of the Paradise Coast’s most important and well-respected arts institutions, most notably Artis—Naples, a beautiful complex that includes the world-class Baker Museum of art and two performance spaces. The 1477-seat Hayes Hall is home to the Naples Philharmonic, and also hosts Broadway plays and other events. The more intimate Daniels Pavilion hosts performances of jazz, comedy, and chamber music.
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (or C’Mon! for short) is a true marvel — a two-level, 38,000-square-foot, color-bursting wonderland for children (recommended age: 0-14) and their parents.
On the more serious side, the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center displays artifacts and photos that tell the individual stories within the larger history of the Holocaust.
Green Spaces & Water Parks
On the eastern fringe of North Naples you’ll find North Collier Regional Park, a vast complex that includes a state-of-the-art playground, an exhibit hall, lots of green space to run around in, and — perhaps best of all — Sun-N-Fun Lagoon, a water park with five awesome waterslides, pools, lagoons, a lazy river and more. The place will keep the family cool and happy for hours.
Where to Stay in North Naples
North Naples contains three of the Paradise Coast’s finest resorts — The Ritz-Carlton Naples, on Vanderbilt Beach, and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, four miles to the east, as well as LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort (which includes Baleen, one of the Paradise Coast’s more celebrated restaurants).
Golfers staying at the resorts have access to some distinguished courses: LaPlaya Golf Club and the Ritz-affiliated Tiburón Golf Club, which includes two championship courses, The Gold and The Black. These resorts also offer “day-cation” pool passes for people not staying there.
Another worthy lodging option is the smaller Vanderbilt Beach Resort, an intimate family-owned hotel that exudes what it calls “authentic Olde Florida style.”