|Home to the Calusa Indians
until the early 1700's, and then to the Seminoles in the mid 19th century,
and always to an incredible population of wildlife, Southwest Florida is
rich in human and natural history. Our first European visitor was Spanish
explorer, Ponce de Leon, in the sixteenth century, and many famous figures
of history have followed since, including Teddy Roosevelt. On May 8, 1923,
Collier County was founded by and named after entrepreneur Barron Gift
Welcome to Naples, a paradise of
sun, shore and nature harmoniously blended with the cosmopolitan and
cultural center this city has become. Despite its metropolitan population
and myriad housing developments, Naples remembers its Indian and early
pioneering rental heritage. This diversity combined with its host of attractions,
amenities and activities make this a great place to live and visit.
Our population during the off-season is about
21,000 but from November to May we swell to over 36,000 as Winter residents
and visitors arrive, usually shortly after the first cold snap in the
Northern regions. Fortunately, the City of Naples and surrounding Collier
County are used to this influx and are prepared to deal with it.
The City of Naples has wonderful rentals, lodging
and dining, as well as world-famous shopping and sightseeing opportunities.
With our miles of pristine Gulf beaches and gentle surf, the City of Naples
is a wonderful beach destination, but that's not our only attraction. We
have excellent fishing, both salt and fresh water, within a short drive or
boat ride from the City, as well as on the Naples Pier where fishing is free
for all residents and visitors since the city maintains a fishing
license for the Pier.
The city of Naples and surrounding Collier County have excellent rentals and Golf and
Tennis facilities, with over fifty golf courses in the County, many the work
of top golf designers such as Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus. We have an
excellent tennis location right in Cambier Park, across from City Hall and
run by the City of Naples, and Collier County attracts top players each year
to events such as the Nuveen Masters Tournament.
Nature lovers will have a field day in the Everglades or in any of the
area's many parks and wildlife preserves. The Everglades, which has been
called the "River of Grass," is the only ecosystem of its kind in the world.
Florida's state reptile, the American alligator, thrives here, as do
raccoons, black bears, panthers, bobcats and marsh rabbits, along with 300
varieties of birds and butterflies, and over 45 indigenous species of plants
and trees. Inhabiting the rich salt waters of The 10,000 Islands, are gentle
dolphins and manatees, and 600 kinds of fish
Various ways to explore the Everglades include
hiking and canoeing. But outside the National Park's boundaries, you can go
airboating in the wetlands and marshes, and swamp buggying in the cypress
swamps. Guided tours in these unusual Floridian contraptions are offered by
Wooten's. Visit their Animal Sanctuary, where you can handle baby
alligators, and see up close the rare American crocodile and endangered
Florida panther, not to mention a writhing selection of deadly snakes.
The Conservancy's Nature Center provides a
science museum, lectures, and an animal clinic for injured native wildlife.
There are also free guided nature trails through a subtropical hammock and
45-minute boat tours through the mangroves. Or you may prefer to rent your
own canoe or kayak.