We are slowly approaching Summer in Naples. Permanent residents enjoy this gem we call home year round and Summer brings with it the break needed to enjoy all the opportunities it offers more easily. Access to shopping be it for groceries, gifts, clothing or automobiles is much less crowded and can be taken at a leisurely pace not available in the midst of Season.
In Summer when we see friends while out shopping we are likely to do more than merely acknowledge them with a nod and a wave of the hand as we dodge other customers. We spend time talking in the grocery aisle or the shops catching up on the latest news be it family or community. Dining out becomes quieter, less hectic with no rush to leave your favorite restaurant or club. Staff has more time to provide individual service without the scramble brought on by a full house and many waiting.
Summer is a wonderful time to embark on a sightseeing cruise in the middle of the day on the Naples Princess. You will have many fellow passengers but rarely a full ship. You can stand at the bow and watch dolphins, wildlife and scenery along our waterway. Take a guided trip back into the Ten Thousand Islands, the sights and quiet will take you back 75 years. This is about the closest you can get to the Naples of old.
At least once during the Summer take the drive to Immokalee and shop for produce. Yes, you can get it in town but you can’t get the feel of Immokalee – its people, the smell of the fields. Stop for a meal at any of the numerous mom-and-pop restaurants, the food is delicious.
Go to the Naples Pier and walk for 20 minutes to the North one time, the next time walk 20 minutes to the South. Feel the Gulf breeze on your face, the sand give way as you walk. Imagine these same beaches 40 years ago. Grab a bite at The Pier concession stand, no better one around.
Get up early and walk Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, window shop as you walk by. Grab a coffee, a bite to eat from the coffee shops and settle in with the morning paper. Something pique your interest as you window shopped? Circle back and purchase it to support our small businesses. As you stroll, stop and sit in Sugden Plaza or the mini parks along the way. There is no hurry.
Walk the Greenway, see great wildlife perhaps even a Florida Panther (yes, they are around!) Enjoy a sunrise at Baker Park or walk across the bridge to the other side. Notice the art placed around the
park, it is an unexpected delightful surprise. The many galleries in our community cover all spectrums of art and are well worth the time to visit and explore. Take in a professional theatre performance at Gulf Shore Playhouse or some of the best community theater with The Naples Players.
For a more structured time visit the Naples Zoo. Our accredited zoo can put to shame zoos in cities bigger than Naples. It has engaging exhibits, learning encounters and a primate cruise. Take your children and watch their wonderment as they see the animals. No children? No problem, go by yourself or with a friend and become a child again as you remember your first time seeing a zoo.
Someone asks you, What is there to do in Naples in the Summer? I’m not certain you can do everything here in just one Summer.