2023 Destination Fact Sheet

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Naples | Marco Island | Everglades

Florida's Paradise Coast



Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades – provides an array of luxury, adventure, vacation, and business travel options year-round. Featuring endless horizons and world-renowned Gulf of Mexico sunsets, the destination is bordered by a 30-mile coastline ribboned with white-sand beaches and the gateway to the Everglades, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. With more than 80 percent of Collier County a dedicated “green space,” visitors and locals alike are surrounded with beautiful open-air spaces and spectacular tropical flora at every turn.
Renowned for its luxury lifestyle and sophisticated ambiance, travelers to the destination indulge in dining experiences from farm-to-table concepts to culinary classics. A globally inspired arts and culture scene offers a full schedule of live theatre, opera and philharmonic events, complemented by a line-up of museums that offer fine arts, historical artifacts, and interactive exhibits for the young and young-at-heart. Shopping experiences abound and include home décor and decorating ideas in the design district to luxury designer boutiques on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South. The lively downtown area, known as Old Naples, is the perfect location to sip a cocktail while enjoying the “see and be seen” vibe of people-watching as luxury, exotic, and classic cars parade down the avenue.
The stellar line-up of outdoor adventures and activities include access to a multitude of national, state, local and private parks for swimming, boating, fishing, nature trails and wilderness treks. Throughout the destination, more than 90 public and private golf courses create elegantly manicured vistas while numerous nature preserves offer a home to rare and endangered wildlife, including more than 350 species of birds.


Where the High Life Meets the Wildlife

Naples is a charming resort city on the coast, offering the ultimate in luxury, fresh local cuisine, great shopping, a thriving arts and culture scene, and much more. U.S. News and World Report rated Naples the No. 1 “Best Places to Live in Florida,” No. 2 “Safest Places to Live in Florida,” No. 3 “Best Places for Quality of Life,” No. 4 “Best Places to Retire,” No. 4 “Fastest-Growing Places,” and No. 7 “Best Places to Live,” by weighing factors of weather, safety, economy, education, health and quality of life. The area is famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches, golf courses, fishing, boating, water sports, arts and culture and spectacular sunsets. Dedicated to enriching the community with visual and performing arts and education, Naples is home to more than 100 art galleries featuring local artists, as well as numerous private and public museums featuring interactive exhibits to fine art collections.
Flanked by nearly 100 miles of islands, bays and estuaries that will never be developed, Marco Island is the largest of Southwest Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and pristine mangrove estuaries on the other. Immediately to the south of Marco Island is the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf Coast portion of Everglades National Park. This pristine saltwater wilderness extends all the way to the tip of mainland Florida and is recognized as a top spot for anglers, many of whom come from across the country and around the world to fish for top Florida gamefish, including tarpon, snook, redfish, permit, seatrout and more. Visitors to Marco Island enjoy iconic white-sand beaches, fresh seafood, and water activities, including backcountry and offshore fishing, boating, and paddling. A nature lovers’ retreat, Marco Island was voted third in the category of “Best Islands in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020.
South of Naples and Marco Island, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America and is part of the largest wetlands ecosystem in the United States and one of 24 World Heritage Sites in the U.S. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center – one of three main entrances to the park – is in Everglades City, the original County Seat for Collier County. This quaint Old Florida-style small town sits on the edge of the wilderness. It provides access to the breathtaking Ten Thousand Islands and Wilderness Waterway sections of the park, where visitors access this saltwater wonderland area via boat tours, fishing charters and guided paddling adventures. In addition to alligators and rare American crocodiles, adventurers will spot bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles, along with a large variety of birds of prey and wading birds on display in the Gulf Coast Everglades. Just outside Everglades City is the expansive Big Cypress National Preserve, which provides even more and varied outdoor recreational opportunities than Everglades National Park, including hunting, off-road vehicle access, hiking, paddling, biking and several long wilderness drive areas. Big Cypress was the first to receive the National Preserve designation in the U.S. National Park system.
More than 80 percent of Florida’s Paradise Coast, within Collier County, Fla., is dedicated to parks and nature preserves, with much of this area covered by the Everglades ecosystem and its many inhabitants, including hundreds of species of colorful birds, fresh and saltwater fish, alligators, bobcats, Florida black bear and the rare, endangered Florida panther.


Accommodations in Florida’s Paradise Coast range from luxurious gulf front beach resorts, such as the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort and Edgewater Beach Hotel, to historic inns and cozy value-priced hotels. Trendy boutique hotels, such as Inn on ,Fifth Inn at Pelican Bay and Bellasera Resort, vacation rental homes, condos, and outdoor camping sites offer visitors a wide variety of accommodations. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort and The Naples Grande Beach Resort offer golfers the perfect blend of a challenging 18-holes and a great night’s sleep. Naples Bay Resort & Marina is the only resort in Southwest Florida with a marina and direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Resorts and hotels offer seasonal family activities and package deals throughout the year, and many of them welcome furry friends with special “doggie bags,” drinking bowls and biscuits. For a change of pace, The Seminole Casino Hotel provides a night of entertainment and a fling with “Lady Luck.”

Outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home at the many campgrounds, fishing lodges and rustic accommodations that offer a peaceful respite in the heart of the Everglades. Explore endless miles of natural habitat along the Wilderness Waterway and Paradise Coast Blueway. Discover the magic of the Ten Thousand Islands coastal mangrove estuary or spend a leisurely day at any one of dozens of beautifully maintained local parks, nature preserves and state parks. 


With more than 30 miles of soft, white-sand beaches, visitors to Florida’s Paradise Coast enjoy the fun of a lively beach scene or a perfect secluded spot. North of Naples, beach access at Clam Pass Park is ideal for family beach days or paddling in the calm waters of this 35-acre coastal habitat and preserve. A three-quarter-mile long boardwalk winds through a mangrove forest to the sandy beach. Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park sits on 342 acres of natural land and one of the last undeveloped barriers islands on Florida’s southwest coast. The park is home to the land-dwelling Gopher Tortoise and a variety of sea turtles that nest on the beach. Visitors experience unspoiled beaches, surf fishing, shelling, picnicking and even scuba diving along the natural hard-bottom reef of Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park. The area abounds in birdwatching opportunities where sightings of eagles, ospreys and owls and is a great location to witness the migratory shore birds in the fall months.

Between Naples and Marco Island lies the barrier island of Keewaydin Island, which boasts eight miles of untouched beach that is only accessible by boat. The island is also the only pet-friendly beach in the Naples/Marco Island area. The natural environment in and around Marco Island provides the perfect backdrop for both relaxing and adventurous activities. Tigertail Beach Park and surrounding sandbars offer some of the best shelling in the world. A casual stroll along Marco Island beaches will reward the shell seeker with a wide variety of shells including whelks, olive shells, scallops, and hundreds of other gems of the sea.


Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades are renowned worldwide for a variety of incredible restaurants. Foodies take advantage of the many distinctive dining options throughout the Paradise Coast, including fresh-off-the-dock seafood at waterfront cafes, sophisticated cuisine at top tier restaurants and numerous locally owned, independent restaurants. Known as the Stone Crab Capital of the World, Everglades City provides restaurants throughout Florida with this fresh delicacy annually from October 15 through May 1, Florida’s official stone crab season. About 40 of the area’s locally owned restaurants belong to Naples Originals, an organization that promotes the concept of locally owned and operated restaurants. Sizzle Week, is a three-week long community driven event that celebrates the culinary landscape in Collier County during the month of September.

Arts & Culture

Visitors enjoy the Paradise Coast’s thriving arts scene which features exhibits at institutions such as The Baker Museum at Artis―Naples, renowned Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery, the Naples Art Association Galleries and the Marco Island Center for the Arts. For live music and the performing arts, Artis— Naples is home of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Broadway productions, concerts and other performances; Sugden Theatre, home of the Naples Players; or Theatre Zone and Gulfshore Playhouse for musical and dramatic performances. Opera Naples performs between November and May. The rich history of the region, from the ancient Calusa civilization to turn of the century Gladesmen and pioneers is on display at the area’s many historical museums. The Naples Botanical Garden, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center are all brightened by regular and traveling exhibits.

¡ARTE VIVA! is a year-long celebration of Hispanic art and culture that takes place at multiple locations throughout the destination. The one-of-a-kind experiences hosted at museums, performing arts centers and art districts across Florida’s Paradise Coast bring to life the beauty, excitement and diversity of the Hispanic culture. ¡ARTE VIVA! Event Listings.


From historic districts to waterfront plazas, Florida’s Paradise Coast offers visitors a variety of shopping options, including: 

  • Trendy Third Street South presents art galleries, fashion houses and boutiques, antiques, jewelry, home décor, outdoor cafes and popular restaurants, all within walking distance of the beach. The street is one of the few in the U.S. to have its own Street Concierge. The concierge booth is staffed daily to answer questions and provide advice on dining, events, shopping and more.
  • Fifth Avenue South is a dynamic, pedestrian-friendly area featuring a variety of art galleries, as well as clothing, gift and design boutiques, restaurants and bars, the Sugden Theatre, and the Naples Art Association. The street was named the No. 2 “Best Alfresco Dining Neighborhood in the U.S.A.” by editors and readers at USA TODAY’s 10 Best travel section.
  • Located on the Gordon River leading into Naples Bay, Tin City is an eclectic, historic tin-roofed shopping area that served as a fish and clam processing facility featuring in the early 1900s. Visitors will find nautical and nature-themed gift shops, clothing and souvenir shops, casual seafood restaurants on the water and treat shops offering homemade ice cream, cookies, monkey bread and more.
  • Waterside Shops is a beautiful, upscale center accented by flowing water and fountains that is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Top brands with stores at Waterside Shops include Hermes, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and many more.
  • Naples’ Treasure Trail along Tenth Street in the Naples Design District is a collection of consignment and resale shops with donated items for sale, often including those from top-name designers.
  • Other shopping options include Bayfront, Village on Venetian Bay, Mercato, Coastland Center Mall, the Naples Outlet Center. North of Naples and just south of Southwest Florida International Airport visitors can find Miromar Outlets, Gulf Coast Town Center and Coconut Point Mall.
  • Locals know some of the best shopping in the area is found at the gift shops at several area attractions and resort hotels. Nature and animal-focused children’s games, stuffed animals and toys can be found at the gift shops for Naples Zoo, Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary – all open for shopping without having to pay an entry fee. Another “insider” shopping tip: the gift shops at several resorts, including JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort can be gold mines for unique gifts and clothing. Both Ritz-Carlton, Naples resorts feature the colorful pottery of Jim Rice, renowned for his fish plates.

Family Fun

Multi-generational families enjoy the array of activities, attractions and events throughout the Paradise Coast, including the Naples Pier, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Naples Botanical Garden.
One of the most interesting activities for families is a cruise on the Dolphin Explorer, which allows passengers to serve as “Citizen Scientists,” assisting dolphin researchers with the ongoing 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project. This experience was recognized in the 2013 National Geographic book, “100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life.”
In addition to the beautiful beaches lining the Naples and Marco Island coastlines, there are numerous boats and waverunner tours for dolphin watching, shell collecting, sightseeing, and viewing the sunsets, as well as airboat rides in the Everglades.
The Sun-n-Fun Lagoon water park at North Collier Regional Park offers water slides and a lazy river for tubing through the park. The park is primarily open during local school breaks in the winter and during the summer months. Author and photographer Karen T. Bartlett’s “A Mostly Kids Guide to Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades,” available on Amazon.com, is filled with great recommendations for family fun.


The Paradise Coast is a popular destination for sports league events and tournaments for youth, as well as adults, with many events hosted at North Collier Regional Park. Naples hosts the Pro Watercross World Championships in the fall along with the U.S. Minto Open Pickleball Championships in April, both highly anticipated events for sports enthusiasts to participate in or to watch as spectators.

Southwest Florida is also now home to one of the greatest sports facilities in the country with the opening of the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The state-of-the-art facility is entering Phase II of its buildout and will ultimately feature 21 full-size fields including a combination of rectangles and diamonds for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football and flag football. The 3,500-seat multipurpose stadium features a full video board, multiple party suites and concessions. Specialty areas include The Factory, an open-air pavilion with an obstacle course, weight room, classroom, fitness court and trail with MoveStrong fitness stations; The Cove Beer & Wine Bar, a social hotspot for tournament attendees and locals; and The Great Lawn, a multipurpose area that can transform to accommodate anything from social gatherings to beach volleyball courts. The $120 million county-owned sports complex is located near Collier Boulevard and I-75 in East Naples.


There are more than 90 golf courses in Florida’s Paradise Coast, which has placed the area as the destination with the most golf holes per capita in the U.S. Many of these courses are private; however, several area resorts allow guests to play at their private courses. Golf enthusiasts can choose from multiple resorts with their own courses, stay in accommodations that have affiliate relationships with private clubs or choose from the area’s excellent public courses. Resorts with courses include: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Marco Beach Ocean Resort, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort and GreenLinks Golf Villas at Lely Resort. Top public courses include TPC Treviso Bay, the Flamingo Island and Mustang courses at Lely Resort, Panther Run Golf Club and Arrowhead Golf Club.
The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) named Florida’s Paradise Coast the “Golf Destination of the Year – North America for 2014.”
Three professional tournament events are held in the area each year, the CME Group Tour Championship, the season ending event for the LPGA Tour, comes to The Ritz-Carlton, Tiburón, Naples in November. The QBE Shootout is held at The Ritz-Carlton, Tiburón in December and The CHUBB Classic PGA Champion’s Tour tournament is held each February.


The beautiful waters of the Paradise Coast offer a variety of activities for visitors. The largest artificial reef in the Western Hemisphere was deployed several years ago off the coasts of Naples and Marco Island. Thirty-seven artificial reef modules make up seven reef complexes offshore from Marco Island, Naples, and northern Collier County.
In addition to miles of gulf front beaches, the area’s many bays and rivers provide a network of waterways for boat cruising, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing or relaxing. The Paradise Coast is a paddler’s heaven, featuring easy to challenging waterways for adventurers to navigate. The Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile paddling waterway from Everglades City to Flamingo, and takes at least one week to traverse, with no civilization to be found along the trail.
From backcountry flats fishing to offshore charters in the Gulf of Mexico, fishing is an incredibly popular activity throughout the Paradise Coast. Professional fishing guides provide private or group boat charters, offering anglers a chance to catch tarpon, snook, redfish, grouper, kingfish, snapper, grouper, and other popular game fish. The renowned waters of Ten Thousand Islands are perfect for kayak fishing, with multi-day fishing and camping eco-trips available in the winter season.
Marco Island's beach and the surrounding deserted barrier island sandbars offer some of the best shelling in the world, with prizes such as whelks, olive, scallops and hundreds of other types of shells. Several tour operators provide short boat trips to deserted sandbars and beach islands that are covered in shells and free from crowds, providing a relaxed atmosphere to search for these treasures.
The Ten Thousand Islands stretch endlessly from Marco Island's southern edge, winding past Everglades City and Chokoloskee all the way down to Flamingo at the southern tip of Florida's mainland. A large percentage of the Ten Thousand Islands is located within the boundaries of either the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge or Everglades National Park, providing a haven for numerous rare and endangered animal and bird species.
Area parks include Everglades National Park’s Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City; Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge; Collier-Seminole State Park; Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park; Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, with a beautiful white sand beach named as the No. 9 beach in the U.S. for 2015; Picayune Strand State Forest; Big Cypress National Preserve;
and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Great hiking is available at three locations under the protection of the CREW Land & Water Trust northeast of Naples.
The Greenway is a 140-acre ecological corridor located along the Gordon River in the heart of Naples. The park offers visitors the chance to view native wildlife and build an appreciation for Southwest Florida’s natural beauty. It provides 2.5 miles of walkways (asphalt, mulch, and boardwalk) that meander through six different native plant communities. The Greenway connects The Naples Zoo to the North, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Baker Park to the South. Designed for recreational activities, such as jogging, walking, hiking, biking, rollerblading, and skateboarding, it is a great location for the entire family to enjoy a day in nature.

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary provides access to the world’s only remaining old growth bald cypress forest. For visitors looking to explore these parks and preserves, there are many ranger-led and self-guided tours, in addition to paddling, hiking and swamp buggy excursions.

Everglades National Park, with its Gulf Coast Visitor Center entrance in Everglades City, contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, rare orchids, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly wading birds such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron, and egrets, as well as birds of prey, including ospreys, bald eagles, swallow-tailed kites, Everglade’s snail kites and more. The refuge is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist in the same habitat. Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.

Hidden Gems

The Revs Institute is more than a car museum – it is a place to see society through a different lens. The working educational institution is dedicated to the study, preservation, conservation, and restoration of historically significant automobiles. The institute houses one of the largest private car collections in the world and showcases classics, such as the 1926 Bentley-3-Liter Super Sport Skiff; a 1924 Miller 122/91 Racing Car; a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer; and an 1896 Panhard et Levassor Wagonette. The stars of the show are the sleek and sexy 1995 McLaren F-1; a 1971 Porsche 917 K; a 1967 Eagle Gurney Weslake Mk1 Formula 1; and a 1950 Cadillac Series 61 Le Mans “Le Monstre.” This exhibit is a “must-see,” once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the beauty and incomparable engineering of some of the world’s most treasured automobiles. The museum has limited admissions and viewing hours per day and tickets must be purchased in advance.
The iconic Naples Pier is Naples’ most visited attraction. The pier is the perfect location to stroll with the family at sunset, play a game of volleyball in the sand or cast a line to catch “the big one.”
Historic Palm Cottage, where the Naples Historical Society is housed, is the oldest home in Naples. Built in 1895 by one of Naples’ founding residents, Walter N. Haldeman, the home sits just a block away from the famous Naples Pier and showcases Southwest Florida’s early charm with authentic artwork and antiques.
Marco Island Historical Museum is home to the famous Key Marco Cat sculpture. This priceless piece of early American Calusa Indian art is currently on loan from the Smithsonian Institute along with other artifacts from a Smithsonian archeological expedition in 1896. This display share insights into the life and culture of Marco Island’s earliest inhabitants.

Meetings & Weddings:

Meeting planners are increasingly sold on Florida’s Paradise Coast as a location for meetings, conferences, and incentive gatherings. The beauty of the destination and the diverse range of locations, services, support and activities for attendees set the stage for picture perfect events. The Naples, Marco Island and Gulf Coast Everglades area provides the perfect backdrop for groups, conferences, association meetings, family gatherings and more. Planners are attracted to the many values available at the area’s excellent hotel and resort-based conference facilities, and the area’s small city charm is enhanced by world class amenities often found only in much larger destinations. Begin planning at www.ParadiseCoast.com/meetings.
Florida’s Paradise Coast is known for spectacular sunsets, gentle waves and soft sugar-sand beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for weddings, honeymoons and milestone celebrations.
From waterside luxury beach resorts situated along the miles of pristine coastline, resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Naples Grande Beach Resort, Edgewater Beach Hotel and the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort offer all the elements for a picture perfect beach ceremony and reception. Cityside options in Naples’ downtown area offer classic and boutique locations that welcome brides and bride-to-be. Fifth Avenue South and nearby Third Street South offer scenic areas alive with art galleries and boutique shops. Naples Art provides galleries filled with modern works of art just across the street from Cambier Park, a charming setting for a casual, outdoor ceremony. For those who prefer a marina setting, the Naples Bay Resort & Marina is a stellar option for upscale receptions and waterside ceremonies.
For a more casual setting and those with a more adventurous spirit, the Everglades offers natural wonders and a taste of Old Florida. Accommodations and reception venues include The Ivey House Everglades Adventures Hotel and the historic Rod & Gun Club.
A safari-style affair can be had at the NGALA Wildlife Preserve which offers a one-of-a-kind setting, complete with exotic wildlife and authentic entertainment options. Fine dining can be enjoyed under the stars or a state-of-the-art luxury tent.

Getting Here

Easily accessible by car, the region is an hour and a half from Fort Lauderdale, two hours from Miami and 2.5 hours from Tampa. Major airports servicing the area include Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Miami International Airport (MIA) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

Get Social

When visiting Florida’s Paradise Coast, visitors are encouraged to share their experiences: 

  • Facebook: @TheParadiseCoast
  • Twitter / Instagram: @ParadiseCoast
  • YouTube: youtube.com/c/NaplesMarcoIslandEvergladesFlorida
  • Pinterest: pinterest.com/paradisecoast
  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/florida%27s-paradise-coast
  • TikTok: tiktok.com/@floridasparadisecoast


Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
www. paradisecoast.com
2660 N. Horseshoe Drive, Suite 105
Naples, FL 34101
U.S. Toll-Free: 800-688-3600
Email: info@paradisecoast.com 

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Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
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