A Visit to Naples
Florida Guide > Other Florida
My parents first discovered Naples over twenty years ago and we have all have been back many times since. We find the best way to travel to Naples is to fly into Miami and then drive along Alligator Alley, none of us have ever seen an alligator! It is about 100 miles and is a fairly easy drive. We then travel up to the villa after a couple of days stay in Naples and eventually fly back to the UK from Orlando rather than driving back down to Miami.
If you are traveling to Naples from other parts of Florida it is about 40 miles south of Fort Myers and 190 miles south of Tampa.
We usually stay at a small motel where the owner sits in the corner with his dog telling stories of when not so many years ago it was literally a one road town. He is surrounded by today’s staff running a very busy motel all year round.
Naples apparently came into being in 1886, when a group of 12 Kentuckians and Ohioans bought 8, 700 acres fronted by a gorgeous beach, laid out a town, and started selling lots. They then built a pier and the Naples Hotel which had just sixteen rooms. Their first guest was President Cleveland’s sister Rose and this was followed by her and other well off people building beach homes that became known as Millionaires Row.
This area is now known as Olde Naples, a visit here is a must if you spend time in Naples.
High-rise buildings now line the beaches north of Naples. In the 1940s an Ohio manufacturer Henry B. Watkins bought the old hotel and the entire town' s undeveloped land and created the very wealthy, but environmentally friendly city that is Naples today.
Naples still has a sleepy relaxed atmosphere whilst being known as Southwest Florida’s most sophisticated City. It is not as up market as Palm Beach but we find the people far friendlier. It has its share of waterfront mansions, country club golf courses and prestigious shops and boutiques. It is not unusual to see men with scruffy shorts and Hawaiian shirts looking as though they have little wealth in life jump into a Bentley or even onto a huge yacht!
It is well worth having a ride on the Naples Trolley. We usually just enquire at the motel’s reception desk for times (it stops off at the motel) but you will usually find brochures in most places in Naples advertising the Trolley and its time schedule. It costs about $20 for adults and $10 for children and this is for a two hour narrated sightseeing tour where you can hop on and off the bus at any of its twenty five stops.
Just one word of warning if you visit Naples between January and April and intend to dine out plan your evening carefully as the restaurants can be very busy at that time of year with long wait times for tables.
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