Beautiful beaches in Naples Warm water & miles of sugar-white sand
Naples is a crown jewel in the chain of what is appropriately known as Florida’s “Paradise Coast.” From Barefoot Beach Preserve to the north and Marco Island to the south, down to the tip of Florida with its magnificent Ten Thousand Island region of the Everglades, Naples is the perfect spot from which to explore the many facets of southwest Florida.
The City of Naples is located in Collier County in the southwest corner, and comprises 14.4 square miles with 7 miles of local white sand beaches, which extend for many more miles up and down the coast beyond Naples. The average temperature is a comfortable 83 degrees (28° C) with a calm breeze coming off the Gulf. The relatively small population of approximately 20,000 residents contributes to the charming overall atmosphere of this quaint city, famed for its pristine beaches, exquisite cuisine, and upscale shopping.
Naples beaches offer activities of quiet relaxation, natural exploration, or family fun in the sun. With so many various beach options to choose from, we offer information below to help you sort out some of the most popular patches of sand and the amenities and specialties offered by each.
NAPLES PIER at 12th Avenue South
A long standing icon, and popular fishing spot, is the Naples Municipal Beach and Fishing Pier, which reaches 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a city park open from 8am to 11pm and is centrally located near downtown Naples. This popular spot offers a beach with volleyball nets and room for throwing a frisbee, has full bathroom facilities and showers, and handicapped beach access. The fishing pier is a perfect spot to cast a line to catch your supper (no license or permit needed), read a book under the covered area, or simply watch for dolphins or view the sunset. There is a concession at this location that offers human edibles as well as fishing bait. Parking is available on the street and some metered nearby.
LOWDERMILK PARK at 257 Banyan Blvd
Open from 8am to sundown this beachfront city park is a great place to take the family, with its two playgrounds for the tykes and sandy volleyball courts for older kids to play. The refreshment stand has scrumptious beach food and ample picnic tables for snacking. Two gazebos are available to rent for gatherings. There are restrooms and a bath house with outdoor showers for rinsing off the salt and sand. It has a wheelchair ramp and has some beach wheelchairs available from the concession stand. There is parking with some spots metered and some requiring a permit.
CLAM PASS BEACH PARK at 410 Seagate Dr
This is a great place for the family of nature lovers. The park is open from 8am to sundown. There is a boardwalk that spans from the parking lot to the beach to take you across the fragile mangroves. For those who would rather not walk the half mile, there is a tram to carry your load. This locale is a great spot for canoeing and kayaking, which can be rented along with wind surfers, Hobies, and water bikes. The concession stand also rents umbrellas and chairs for those who prefer lounging to paddling. Beach wheelchair rental is an option here and bathroom facilities are available.
VANDERBILT BEACH at 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road
Vanderbilt Beach sits in a Coastal Hammock and is open from sunrise to sunset. It is situated near the Ritz Carlton and a few other elegant hotels. It offers the security of a lifeguard on duty. There is handicapped access to the beach and a parking garage. Once on the beach, you can rent equipment or buy food at the concession stand, have a picnic at one of the tables, or grill up something of your own. You can launch a boat or climb the observation tower. With proper attire, you can dash into one of the hotel restaurants to escape from the sun, down a cold beer or other beverage, and enjoy a meal.
DELNOR-WIGGINS PASS STATE PARK at 11100 Gulf Shore Blvd
Delnor-Wiggins Park is one of the most popular parks in Florida, and a nature-lover’s delight, with its natural beach ecosystem and opportunity for exploration along the mangroves. Open from 8am to sunset this is a prime location for snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Bring binoculars for bird watching and expect to see pelicans, egrets, and osprey. The boat ramp and boardwalk make for convenient boating and fishing. And the observation tower offers a spectacular coastal view.
This beachfront park offers tranquil family activities for the less athletic, too. There are picnic tables, BBQ grills and beach equipment rentals. A bathhouse is on site for rinsing off and changing clothes.
With the variety of activities offered, whether your preference is fun or adventure, it is no wonder that Delnor-Wiggins Park is favored by so many folks. And, it should be noted that it is one of the few beachfront parks that allows dogs. Canine pals are welcomed as long as they are ALWAYS on a leash, though not permitted on the beach itself. They can, however, take a dip in the boat launch area.
BAREFOOT BEACH STATE PRESERVE off Bonita Beach road in North Naples
This beach park open from 8am until sunset is actually a barrier island, which allows for multiple habitats in a relatively small area. That makes it a naturalist’s delight. Aside from the obvious water world, there are sand dunes, coastal hammocks, inland pines and mangroves to explore. These special habitats are even more unique at the edges where two biomes meet. The endangered Gopher Tortoise digs her tunnel in the sand on the backside of the dunes and in the brushy sea oats, while endangered sea turtles dig their nests in the sand high on the beach. Park rangers offer educational programs and tours for students and the public. Numerous trails and boardwalks provide easy access for visitors while protecting the fragile ecosystem.
The amenities at Barefoot Beach include a concession with beach vittles and equipment rentals, or bring your own for a picnic. There is handicapped beach wheelchair access and showers for rinsing off the salt when the day is done, as the orange ball of sun sinks into the Gulf waters.
ALL NAPLES BEACHES ARE PUBLIC BEACHES
Not typical of most coastal Florida towns, Naples takes great strides to avoid a “hotel-and-shop-cluttered” shoreline, while providing plenty of public access points to the beaches. Beach conservation efforts are implemented to preserve the native shorelines. Naples boasts uniquely shaped and patterned shells in abundance, but there are often restrictions to assure that continues, so ask first before collecting and NEVER take a shell with a live creature.
Endangered sea turtles frequently nest on Gulf of Mexico beaches, and conservation steps are in place to protect the nests from predators and other possible harm. If you are so fortunate as to witness a mother turtle drag her way across the sand, use her flippers to dig her nest, and deposit her 100 or so “ping pong ball” eggs before returning to the Gulf waters, it will be a profound and enduring memory. We dedicated a separate article covering this subject Florida's Endangered Sea Turtles.
When it comes to recreation, Naples beaches can’t be topped. Come visit and “recreate” those old ideas of a beach vacation. Let Naples fill you with dreams of what you’ll do on your return vacation retreat.
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