As Naples continues to grow each year, changes are happening daily and businesses do transition to help keep themselves current. Years ago, the only free activity was to go to the beach, today, there are a number of free or inexpensive things to do, as well as, go to the beach. Parks, such as Lowdermilk Park, Avalon Park, Wiggins Pass Park, Vanderbilt Beach Park and Barefoot Beach Preserve Park offer beach access with various amenities and facilities to improve the experience.

One of the newest areas of outdoor activity is the Gordon River Greenway, which feature over two miles of a multi-purpose pathway that starts by Freedom Park, on Golden Gate Parkway, and goes through pine wood flats, by the Naples Zoo and will eventually end well south of there. The Naples Botanical Garden is located on Bayshore Drive and features 170 acres of world class tropical plants and more, creating an entertaining habitat for all to experience. Naples area offers numerous preserves to visit and spend quality time. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Rookery Bay Estuary, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp and The Naples Preserve are a few worth mentioning.

If looking for some history, Palm Cottage, near the Naples Pier on 12th Avenue South, is the home of the Historical Society. Then follow 12th Avenue South to historic Crayton Cove in Old Naples, home of the Naples City Dock where fishing or sailing boats can be chartered. The docks are a great place to stroll and watch the
boats come in and filet their catch. A treasure trove of pelicans can be seen trying to get in on the action. This village-style destination is the oldest commercial area in Naples and offers the opportunity to visit the artist studios/galleries by long-standing artists, Phil Fisher & Natalie Guess. Random Acts of Art, Pure Design, The
Cove Inn, The Naples Ship Store, along with the restaurants; The Dock at Crayton Cove, Bleu Provence, Chez Boët and Napoli On The Bay, offer a variety of solutions for those searching for an area with more to offer and a view of the Bay.

October 13th, the Galleries of Crayton Cove will start its season of Art After Dark events Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., where the public is welcome to stroll the open galleries and studios while enjoying live music performed by Naples talents such as Jeff Fessenden & Alchemy. The Galleries of Crayton Cove are a unique artist community all within a one-block walk by the Bay where 8th St. S. and 12th Ave. S. meet by the flagpole. Over
the years, Naples has grown and does have a lot more to offer. It’s worth the time to check these things out and experience some of these events and special places that won’t be here in the future as Naples continues to grow and change. or   

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