Florida beach cities have gained the reputation of being playgrounds for the well-to-do. While that may or may not be true, the Gulf of Mexico beach city of Naples offers visitors and residents many beautiful things to see and do that are free of charge. Try these fascinating venues.
1. Naples Pier
Fishing, watching the dolphins play, experiencing the stunning sunsets, reading a book, sketching, meditating, or just catching some rays are free to do on this iconic and historical (built in 1889 to transport people, goods, and mail from Punta Gorda to this pier.)
2. Third Street South
Every city has its historic or culturally interesting streets. This city has Third Street South with its dining, shopping, and events throughout the year. Look up the Third Street South Farmers Market, the Bon Marché Sidewalk Sale in October, and you mustn’t miss Santa Paws! on Third in December.
3. The Naples Preserve
In 2000, residents cleared out and cleaned up nine acres of land to keep developers from ruining a natural beauty preserve. Did you know that the ecosystem goes back 10,000 years? You’ll be able to explore the flora and fauna that flourish here, thanks to those residents. An eco-center is available from nine to five to show you an interactive program, diorama, and exhibits of the flora and fauna. The whole thing is free of charge.
4. Naples Depot Museum
Most free things to do in any city or tourist destination involve tramping around in the woods hoping to see a cool wild animal. That’s available here, too, but you can get tired of tramping or boating on scenic waters. How about touring a railroad museum?
Railroads changed lives when they were introduced. Cities and towns were suddenly and quickly open to visitors. Food, flowers, logs, and other goods were speedily transported where they were needed. People hopped on the train for a shopping trip to the nearest big city. Life was changed, and most pleasantly.
Keep your eyes on the windows, because a movie runs every seven minutes. You’ll view a c. 1927 Orange Blossom Special arriving at the station. Three original railcars are parked beside the station along with a completely restored lounge car.
5. Paradise Coast Blueway
If you ever wanted to float around the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge portion of the Everglades like Horatio Caine in CSI: Miami, then nab yourself a paddle. It’s 73 miles long, but there are shorter day-trip trails available. You’ll see hidden beaches, birds, fish, dolphins, and manatees. You’ll see mangrove-covered islands surrounded by shallow waters.
Enjoying the attractions and things to do in beach towns doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of free things to see and do, some indoors while others are outside. Welcome to the beach!