Naples is one of the most popular vacation destinations in southwestern Florida. Set along the Gulf of Mexico shores, much of the city’s allure lies in its inviting area beaches. These beaches stretch for miles and are all open to the public. The Naples area is also known for its golf. So much so, that the rather affluent and sophisticated city likes to refer to itself as the “Golf Capital of the World.” When Naples visitors aren’t relaxing on the beach or teeing it up for a world-class round of golf, they can often be found shopping or dining. Boutiques and restaurants abound. Other options for things to do on a Naples vacation include fishing, going on boat tours, and exploring the area’s major land reserves. Among these land reserves are such standouts as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Naples Municipal Beach
Stretching some six miles from Gordon Pass up to Doctors Pass, the Naples Municipal Beach is both easy to reach and easy to appreciate. It’s just two blocks removed from the Olde Naples downtown district. Parking can be found at the end of most of the residential streets between 7th Avenue North and 19th Avenue South. Many of the access points along this popular beach have outdoor showers for rinsing off, and at the end of 12th Street, you’ll find the Naples Fishing Pier. This pier essentially marks the midway point of the Naples Municipal Beach and is a center of activity. On the pier is a refreshment stand, and visitors can fish from the pier without a license. One of the best things about the Naples Municipal Beach and the majority of the Naples area beaches in general, is the fact that they have relatively little commercial activity. They’re also great places to watch the sunset.
Lowdermilk Beach Park
Situated at the northern end of the Naples Municipal Beach on “Millionaire’s Row” is one of the best beaches in Naples Florida — Lowdermilk Beach Park. This landscaped expanse features a variety of amenities, including a playground, a pavilion, picnic tables, a refreshment counter, volleyball courts, a duck pond, showers, and restrooms. Gulf Shore and North Banyan boulevards provide routes to the park, and metered parking is available. If you can’t find a metered spot in the immediate park area, there is another metered parking lot with beach access just a few blocks north beside the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Resort. Millionaire’s Row, for those who might be wondering, is a stretch of amazing beach homes that speaks to the affluent roots of Naples.
Clam Pass County Park
Heading north of the Lowdermilk Beach Park, you will come to another area that is not to be overlooked when searching for the best Naples beaches. This area is known as the Clam Pass County Park – or just Clam Pass for short. Covering some 35 acres, Clam Pass is relatively remote, in that access is via a 3,000-foot boardwalk that winds through mangrove swamps. Those who don’t want to walk the long boardwalk can hop on a free tram. While you can see the high-rise condos of the Pelican Bay development from various vantage points at Clam Pass, the park has the feel of a small wilderness area. This helps to make it ideal for nature lovers and anyone who is interested in a little seclusion. Amenities aren’t lacking, however. Among the main fixtures along the fine white sand beach is a restaurant-pavilion with a bar. Foot showers and picnic tables are also available, as are beach equipment rentals. Entry to the Clam Pass County Park is from a metered parking lot that can be found beside the Naples Grande Beach Resort on Seagate Drive. When a parking attendant isn’t present, visitors must print and display a parking receipt from a parking machine that only accepts $1 and $5 bills.
If you like beaches with a classic beach resort atmosphere, then you might end up putting Vanderbilt Beach at the top of your list of best beaches in Naples Florida. High-rise hotels and condominiums line this highly developed strip of sand to the north of Clam Pass, and both concessions and water sport rentals are available in good supply. Visitors can also find shops and restaurants in the beach area, so this is a bit of a break from the less commercialized beaches that are located in the area. Vanderbilt Beach can be found at the western end of the aptly-known Vanderbilt Beach Road, and ample parking is available. As is common among the Naples Florida beaches, Vanderbilt Beach has parking fees. Area residents are immune to these fees, provided that they have a Beach Parking Permit.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Rounding out this list of the best beaches in Naples Florida is the beach at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. It has actually been listed among the top 10 beaches in America. You’ll arguably find the area’s best picnic facilities at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, and there are also bathhouses and a boat ramp to take advantage of. Other things that help to make this beach such a delight include the wonderful shelling opportunities, the beach fishing, the fantastic fish viewing area 150 feet offshore, the ranger guided tours that can be arranged year-round, and the concessionaire that sells and rents all kinds of things. If all this sounds good, you can get to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park by heading north out of Olde Naples along U.S. 41 and then turning left onto 111th Avenue. This avenue turns into Bluebill Avenue as you approach the beach. Greeting you upon arrival will be a rather lush wildlife habitat.