I first visited Naples Florida during Winter 2017 when my fiance (then boyfriend) invited me down for the Holidays. He had told me about how wonderful the city is and how great it is to escape the cold winter for this beach haven. In our first trip down we explored every inch of downtown Naples, my camera feverishly snapping away at all the bougainvillea-draped buildings and indulging in the Naples sport of boozy lunches. This beach town always has something new to offer each time we come and I wanted to put this guide together to help you plan your next trip here from a semi-locals perspective. I compiled this list to help you plan a beautiful and delicious vacation to Naples Florida.
Naples was overflowing with a bounty of beauty between the bougainvillea around every corner, the French bakeries that dot the town, the freshest seafood you’ll dive into, and the happiest people you’ll ever meet plus if you like golf and checking out classic cars, this is the place for you! It’s a perfect escape during the winter and I’m very excited to share all of my favorite nooks and crannies in this Naples Florida Travel Guide.
Where to Eat
The French: French food at the beach would normally leave me saying “no” but The French that will leave you screaming “oui!” in no time! This place was overflowing with charm from the courtyard with a live musician to the patio area overflowing with linen-clad patrons, and interiors straight out of Montemarte. You can’t go wrong with the wine list and you must order the steak tartare.
Campiello Naples: Campiello is my own piece of Italian heaven. If you can’t find a place to sit on the patio, don’t worry because they have an interior courtyard that’s crawling with ivy and streaming with natural light. But if you can have a seat on the patio, grab one and enjoy an Aperol Spritz while you’re there. We recommend you order the Local Tomato and Burratta and the Caesar Salad, you can’t go wrong with any of their pizzas either for lunch.
Jane’s on Third: Jane’s Garden Cafe is one of the best no non-sense breakfasts you’ll have in downtown Naples. Located on 3rd street, the restaurant is much bigger than it would lead on. It’s laid back atmosphere hosts plenty of different people in the morning, from the swimsuit-clad children to the just-off-the-course golfers, you won’t find it hard to fit in here. We had a crepe and an omelet last time. It was the perfect start to our day.
The Continental: If Campiello is booked, hop down the street to The Continental. Their open courtyard typically plays host to a fun and energetic band during the day and there is plenty of seating so you won’t typically have to wait to grab a spot for lunch. I highly HIGHLY recommend the fried grouper sandwich. It has to be the most delicious fish sandwich I’ve ever had, and even though it was fried, it really wasn’t horribly heavy.
Ridgeway Bar & Grill: The Ridgeway Bar & Grill is the perfect place to grab a light lunch while you’re out. The restaurant has a beautiful patio that is covered and in the open air. What I love about Naples is that the menus always have fresh and light options on them, like the Caprese salad I had here with house-made mozzarella.
5th Avenue Coffee Company: When you need to get your coffee fix in Downtown Naples, look nowhere else than 5th Avenue Coffee Company. They have every kind of caffeination you may be craving as well as a few sweet treats. Chances are the line is going to be long unless you get there when they open, but it’s always worth the wait.
What to Do
Third Street South Farmers Market: I’m a farmers market connoisseur back in Atlanta, so when we came to Naples the first time and I heard about their downtown Farmers market, I knew we had to go to the Third Street South Farmers Market. This farmers market blows me away every time. There are tons of vendors selling the freshest fruit and vegetables and exotic flower vendors. My favorite attraction is the Paella guy who brings in huge pans of Paella and serves paella until it runs out and trust me, it runs out. This is a MUST DO while you are in Naples.
Naples Botanical Garden: Naples itself is like a botanical garden with the wild orchids blooming and the bougainvillea pouring over every garage, so I can imagine the Naples Botanical Garden is even more spectacular. This well-groomed jungle features different exhibits and fun events, like cocktails in the garden. Make sure to pop in if you need extra floral envy on your trip down here!
Stroll 5th Avenue: Fifth Avenue is where everyone goes to see and be seen. You’ll typically find cool cars cruising down the street, women dressed in high fashion, and there are plenty of great restaurants to pop into if you need to enjoy some sit-down people watching. We love walking down here to see what kind of cars have come into town, you’ll typically see something rare rolling by!
Look at the Amazing Houses on Gordon Drive: My favorite pastime is driving down (or biking) Gordon Drive and checking out all the amazing houses. Some of the homes are larger than the hotels nearby and they boast spectacular curb appeal. It’s always fun to stroll by these homes and wonder at their grandeur.
Take in the Sunset: I’ve seen a lot of sunsets and nothing compares the sunsets in SouthWest Florida. They typically take on a lot of rich orange and soft pinks, casting the colors onto the turquoise waters and it illuminates the sand as well. Each night the sunset draws in tons of crowds, and our favorite place to watch the sunset is from the Ritz Carlton in Pelican Bay. The beachside bar rings a bell each night that the sun dips below the horizon. Everyone claps and cheers. It always brings a smile to my face.
Where to Stay
The Ritz Carlton: Fantastic Sunsets, multiple pools, tennis, great dining, and more, once you check into the Ritz Carlton in Naples, there is really no reason to ever leave the hotel. We typically wander over here to indulge in sunsetting and cocktailing at their beachside cocktail bar. Plus, the entire building itself looks like a sandcastle, I just love coming over here and stealing little glances of it. Oh and it has a Moet & Chandon vending machine in the lobby, how fun is that!?
The Escalante Hotel: Naples only boutique hotel, the Escalante Hotel looks like a little slice of Spanish heaven and I’ve always wanted to dive into the pool here! Even if you’re not a guest you can still pop in for lunch, social hour or dinner. Happy hour is every day from 3-6, so if you can squeeze some time in, definitely try to visit it then!
Each time we come to Naples, I always try to see and explore something new. There are quite a few things that have just opened up so keep this post pinned for future travel! On our list to try in the future is Bleu Provence, Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, The Claw Bar at the Bay House, The Turtle Club, Brambles English Tea Room, Sea Salt, and Celebration Park.