Destination Name: Florida's Paradise Coast
Florida County Name: Collier County
How to Get to Here: Fly into Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW)
Area Information: Get information on things to do, hotels, restaurants and more at ParadiseCoast.com
Geographic Information: Florida’s Paradise Coast includes the cities of Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City, as well as the metropolitan greater Naples area, and the towns of Immokalee (im-MAH-ka-lee) and Ave Maria. The coastal urban cities of Naples and Marco Island are surrounded to the east and south by vast expanses of undeveloped wilderness areas. The region includes the Gulf Coast entrance to Everglades National Park in Everglades City, the entire 729,000-acre Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges, three Florida state parks: Collier-Seminole, Delnor-Wiggins Pass and Fakahatchee (fack-uh-HATCH-ee) Strand; the magnificent Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and thousands more acres of both public and private preserved lands and waters. Despite the upscale, populated urban areas of Naples and Marco Island, over 70% of the area is park and preserve lands that serve as important habitat for endangered and threatened wildlife, water recharge areas, and wilderness recreation areas.
Top Activities Enjoyed by Visitors
There are more than 30 miles of white sand beaches in the area, from north Naples extending all through the downtown Naples area; the entire west side of Marco Island; the 8-mile long Keewaydin (key-WAY-din) Island (a popular boating getaway because of its deserted, white sand beach), and many island beaches in the Ten Thousand Islands and Gulf Coast part of Everglades National Park.
The area has a very high ratio of locally-owned and chef-driven restaurants – many in downtown Naples.
The area is known for high end art, fashion, home and interior design stores, as well as many excellent consignment and thrift shops.
Ecotours and Outdoor Adventures
Paddle a kayak through the saltwater part of Everglades National Park; watch for manatees on a sightseeing tour at Port of the Islands; hike on the many urban and rural boardwalks and trails to watch for wildlife and hundreds of species of birds.
There are 91 golf courses in the greater Naples area. Greater Naples is ranked by National Golf Foundation as having the most golf holes per capita in the U.S.
Anglers come from around the world to experience the fantastic shallow water and near shore fishing in the coastal estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands, as well as offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fish for bass, crappie and bluegill in Lake Trafford and the canals and waterways in the Everglades region. There are also many exotic freshwater species including cichlid, tilapia and peacock bass.
Pickleball is wildlly popular in the area. Naples is home to the annual U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. The next tournament is scheduled for April 27-May 4, 2019 at East Naples Community Park.