Naples, Florida is a popular vacation spot because of its warm weather and beautiful beaches. Many tourists chose to limit their visit to the spectacular white beaches around the city, but others want to combine the beach experience with something else. For those people, Florida native Amid Bennaim has compiled a list of favorite day trips in the Naples area.
Popular Day Trips From Naples
1. Delnor-Wiggins State Park (About 10 miles north of Naples)
This state park offers many outdoor activities for any family that wants to spend a nice day outside. The activities include kayaking, having a barbecue or picnic, hiking and more. This state park is also known for having pristine quiet beaches. I recommend visiting the park (and any outdoor activities in Florida) during the dry season which is from around October to March. That way the heat and humidity will be relatively low, and you will be able to make it back to the car with dry clothing.
2. Tour the Everglades (Tour begins inside the city)
The word ‘Everglades’ means river of grass. The Florida Everglades is actually the widest river in the world! The best way to see the swampy beauty of the Everglades is to go on a hover boat tour. Not only will you see ancient dinosaur-looking alligators and graceful white birds, but you will also experience a noisy and unique mode of transportation. There are many companies that offer sightseeing tours of the Everglades so feel free to chose any of them, but we recommend Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides located at 20610 Tamiami Trail East, Naples FL 34114. I would also recommend stopping by one of the local restaurants in the area and trying some uniquely Everglades food like alligator tail or frog leg soup.
3. Go Deep Sea Fishing (Boat departs from the city)
The Gulf of Mexico’s cristaline waters are known for an abundance of fish that make fishing in them a truly memorable experience. There are two basic options for deep sea fishing. For experienced anglers that want to catch big game fish I recommend chartering a boat to go trolley fishing. There are many charter boat options in Naples and the price ranges from 400-600$ for the day. A more budget-friendly option is to go drift fishing. Drift fishing boats are larger and there will be strangers on your trip, but that makes them a place to meet new people and have lots of fun. We recommend a boat called the Lady Brett (1200 5th Ave. S Naples, FL 34102), get your ticket on Groupon and it’ll cost 65$ per person. Bring beer (or soft drinks) and snacks.
4. Kayaking Eco-Tour
Florida’s unique ecosystem relies on mangroves and estuaries that are full of life. Join a kayaking tour around the Naples area and spend the day with a local guide learning about the importance and beauty of the local nature. If you are lucky, you might see dolphins, manatees and birds of prey. This is also a fun way to excercise and keep the vacation belly from getting too large. We recommend booking with Finseeker which is a tour operator with four locations that range from Ft. Myers in the north to Newport Dr which is about 35 minutes (22 mi) south of Naples. They even have excursions that depart from Delnor-Wiggins State Park.
5. Haunted Fort Myers (43 miles from Naples)
If you’re the type of person that enjoys spooky ‘coincidences’ then this is the place for you. While I would personally scream like a little girl, many people would find this tour enjoyable. The visitor spends 70 minutes walking through haunted buildings and listening to the stories behind them. Being that Ft. Myers is not very close to Naples, I would recommend turning a visit to Haunted Fort Myers into an evening in the city and hitting up some local restaurants and/or bars. Haunted Fort Myers is definitely a unique way to spend your evening in Southeast Florida.
6. Jeep Wildlife Tour (26 miles from Naples)
Jeep tours are great ways of taking in the natural wonders of a region without having to spend all day hiking and carrying gear. Off-road Jeep rides are safe and fun for the whole family. We recommend Orange Jeep Tours a company that operates open-air Jeeps and prides itself in having knowledgeable guides that will explain the history of Collier County as well as the local ecology. Expect to see many animals and birds. I would warn those with motion sickness to take some dramamine before the tour or avoid it altogether since the dirt roads will have the Jeep moving in unusual ways.
This article was written by Amid Bennaim.