Monday, April 8, 2013

Naples = Paradise

Naples, Florida--What’s not to love? Imagine massive green palm trees, spectacular white sandy beaches that reach out to meet the warm, turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and plentiful upscale restaurants, shops and communities.

 Named by developers after the lovely Italian city of Naples, this area seriously has it all. With average January and February temperatures reaching the mid-seventies and the average lows only dipping to the mid-fifties, it is a temporary home to snow birds from Chicago and the mid-west, as well as Canadians and northeasterners.

Tourism is their industry, and the traffic during January through March proves it. I have to admit that when I visited Naples in March, 2013, an unusual cold front had crept in, and one full-time resident announced, “I don’t even have clothes for this kind of cold weather!” The chilly spell didn’t last long, however, and life was soon back to perfectly normal in sunny Naples.

Visitors and residents are blessed with a multitude of options for filling their time. There are an infinite number of tours, attractions and activities. Naples has a Hop-on/Hop-off narrated trolley tour, Everglades excursions, nature preserves, casino cruises, a Murder Mystery Dinner Train, water sports of any type that you could hope for, express boats to Key West, para-sailing, wine vineyards, Jet Pack Adventures, riverboat cruises, fishing expeditions, a pirate cruise, ample opportunities for golf and mini-golf and close proximity to peaceful Sanibel and Captiva Islands, known for the best shelling around and sunsets so moving that they will seem almost like a spiritual experience.

 If all of that doesn’t get your vacationer’s heart pumping, consider that the Naples vicinity is a mecca for showcasing the arts. Offering opera, a regional orchestra, Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, art and craft shows, dinner theatre and much more, there is no need for arts withdrawal while staying in this community. The shopping barometer represents high levels of fabulous shopping to satisfy the tastes of even the most discriminating. From the Miromar Outlets to the Village on Venetian Bay, the Waterside Shops, Mercato, downtown Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South stores and boutiques, charm is exuded from every corner.

Warning*Warning*Warning--shopping is not for the faint of wallet unless you happen to be here in the summertime off-season.

Florida is Florida, but there is something special about Naples that will keep pulling you back year after year as long as your budget enjoys ample cash flow. It is about as close to being in paradise as one can find on this earth.
The Village on Venetian Bay
Venetian Bay