Weekend Itinerary for Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades

A family walks along the pristine waters of Florida's coast.

Looking for an adventurous weekend escape on Florida's Gulf Coast? Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades offers everything you’re looking for in one easy-to-get-to destination: stunning beaches, exhilarating outdoor activities, abundant wildlife, unforgettable dining, and more. Get ready to dive into an unforgettable weekend with our curated itinerary featuring some must-do activities.

Explore Pristine Beaches

Start your weekend basking in the sun on the beaches of Naples and Marco Island. Sink your toes into 30 miles of soft white sands, take a dip in sparkling Gulf waters, and revel in endless coastal vistas. Vanderbilt Beach, Naples Beach and Tigertail Beach are some of the most popular spots for beach lovers. Keewaydin Island is the top pick for beach-lovers who want to enjoy a bit of the boating life as well. The 8-mile long barrier island is only accessible by boat and is the only beach where you can bring your furry friend along for the day.

Discover Wildlife in the Everglades

Want to experience something you won’t find anywhere else? Then embark on an adventure into Everglades National Park where you can explore the amazing mangrove mazes of the Ten Thousand Islands on a guided kayak tour. If you’re looking for something more exhilarating, take an airboat ride from one of the many locations in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, manatees, and an array of bird species as you immerse yourself in the beauty of this untamed wilderness. 

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Satisfy your culinary cravings by stopping for lunch and exploring the dining scene in Naples and Marco Island. Offering everything from elegant downtown restaurants to charming dockside grills, you’ll find a diverse range of dining delights that take full advantage of fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood and Florida fresh produce. Treat yourself to succulent Gulf shrimp, seasonal stone crabs (available October 15 through May 1), and other Florida favorites.

Fresh seafood is a staple on The Paradise Coast.

Fresh seafood is a staple on The Paradise Coast.

Visit the Naples Botanical Garden

For a more relaxed day, escape to the enchanting Naples Botanical Garden, a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. Explore themed gardens, such as Kapnick’s Brazilian Garden, the Lea Asian Garden and Water Garden, showcasing an array of flowers, tropical plants, and exotic orchids. Don't miss the opportunity to unwind in the serene butterfly garden.

An image of a fountain at Naples Botanical Gardens

Spend some time exploring Naples Botanical Garden.

Photograph Wildlife at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Immerse yourself further into nature's wonders at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Walk along the boardwalk through wetlands and the ancient cypress forests. Keep your camera ready to capture sightings of herons, egrets, alligators, and if you're lucky, the elusive Florida panther.

A person is standing on a dock in a wildlife preserve with his camera ready.

Photographers will enjoy the scenic nature of the sanctuary. 

Go Fishing in the Gulf

Experience the thrill of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. You can charter half- or full-day expeditions, led by experienced captains who will guide you to the best fishing spots. Whether you're an experienced angler or just someone who wants to give big-game fishing a try, the Gulf always guarantees an unforgettable day on the water.

Enjoy a Sunset Cruise

Whatever you put on your day’s itinerary, be sure to end it with a Florida Paradise Coast sunset. While they’re gorgeous from the beach, make plans to view one from aboard a leisurely boat cruise. Tour operators will take you into the Gulf on luxurious yachts or catamarans, giving you breathtaking views of beautiful mansions and even more beautiful skies. Many cruises offer dinner or cocktails, adding a touch of luxury to your evening.

A boat at sea during sunset.

Take a sunset cruise when you visit Naples.

A weekend getaway to Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades promises an exhilarating blend of casual luxury, outdoor adventure, stunning beaches, and abundant wildlife, one that should not be missed. Plan your visit soon!