Naples, Florida is a popular tourist destination for a reason: the beaches are beautiful, the weather is warm, and there are many hidden gems throughout the city that are just begging to be discovered. But what if you want to explore more of The Sunshine State? There are plenty of great day trips from Naples that are certainly worth your time.
1. Marco Island
Marco Island is a beautiful barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico just South of Naples, Florida. This Gulf Coast retreat is well known for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation. Marco Island is a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you like camping or canoeing, visit Collier-Seminole State Park which lies partly within the great mangrove swamp of South Florida. Or venture to Briggs Nature Center which features a half-mile boardwalk where visitors can observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
The island is also home to some of the best restaurants in Florida. From fresh seafood to mouth-watering steaks, you can find something to satisfy any craving on Marco Island.
The Everglades is a natural region of tropical and subtropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of the Florida peninsula. It is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States. The Everglades are home to more than 1,500 plants, including at least 50 threatened or endangered species. More than 300 species, including the American bald eagle, nest in the Everglades, and alligators, crocodiles, and manatees are common inhabitants.
There are several parks that you can visit to explore the wildlife such as Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and the Ten Thousand Islands. These parks give you the opportunity to canoe through the beautiful Florida mangroves or boat around and catch some fish.
Miami is another great option for a day trip. There's plenty to do in Miami, from shopping and sightseeing to dining and nightlife. One of the best ways to explore Miami is by taking a walking tour. The city is very pedestrian-friendly, and there are many interesting neighborhoods to explore such as the Art Deco Historic District. Located on Miami Beach between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue, the Art Deco features 800+ buildings and structures built between 1923 and 1943.
While you're visiting, you should also see the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This is industrialist James Deering’s 1916 winter estate and also features 11 acres of waterfront Italian gardens filled with lush greenery and symmetrical designs. There are several tours available so make sure you plan your visit before you go!
If you're looking to enjoy weekend trips from Naples, consider driving to Sarasota. The drive is about an hour and a half, and there's plenty to do and see. Their beaches have been voted some of the most beautiful in the United States and their downtown district is rich with cultural influence from all parts of the world. One of the biggest Sarasota attractions is visiting the Ringling Museum of Art and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Circus Arts. This world-class museum is home to a vast collection of European paintings, sculptures, and other works of art and holds a huge part of Sarasota's history.
Other notable activities are the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens which showcases a tropical urban oasis with thousands of colorful and exotic plants and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium where you can explore the rich biodiversity of Florida's marine life, including sharks, manatees, and sea turtles.
Matlacha is a small town located in Lee County, Florida. This artistic fishing village is known for its vibrant, colorful buildings and a myriad of art galleries, each presenting a different style and medium. The Leoma Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens is a must-visit spot, famous for its flamboyant, eclectic art and tropical gardens. If you're a nature fan, then make sure to check out Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge and the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail which offers opportunities for bird-watching, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Plus, with Matlacha's roots as a fishing village, you're guaranteed some of the freshest seafood you can find. Local eateries specialize in mouthwatering dishes, from shrimp and grits to grilled grouper, providing an authentic taste of Florida’s coastal cuisine.
Moorings Park Communities is a vibrant community in Naples, with easy access to the warm Gulf waters, stunning state parks, and an exciting arts and culture scene. You'll find every opportunity to continue living your active lifestyle and enjoying your favorite hobbies. Contact us today for more information about living in Naples.