What to do in Naples

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As I have said many times before, the beach is my happy place. The sand, the salt, the sun. I love every bit of it and since I live in a landlocked state, I soak up every bit of the ocean whenever I am near it. I have been to many beaches around the US and the beaches in and around Naples are some of my favorite. The sand is white and powdery soft and the ocean clear and calm. The beach was only about a mile from our resort in Naples, but since we had a car, we also wanted to explore some of the surrounding areas.

Sanibel/Captiva Island

If you hate charming and colorful beach homes, palm tree lined streets, unique restaurants, fresh seafood, gorgeous beaches, and more shells and wildlife than you can imagine. Then Sanibel and Captiva Island probably isn’t for you. If not, then it definitely needs to be on your list of somewhere that is a must visit! Sanibel is located about an hour drive from Naples, but it is completely worth the day trip. Anthony and I absolutely fell in love with the charm of the island and hope to someday go back to stay for a full week.

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First on our itinerary was going to Bowman’s beach, which is famous for it’s shelling. We were not disappointed as I have never seen so many shells in my life! We spent hours combing the beach trying to find the perfect conchs, sand dollars, and unique shells to bring home with us. We originally planned to only spend around three hours here but enjoyed ourselves so much we spent six. Sounds great in theory, but along with photos and seashells, we also took home some pretty bad sunburns to help keep the memories.

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After leaving the beach, we headed over to Captiva Island to eat at The Bubble Room. I am quite a nostalgic person, and this is where we had eaten on a family trip to Captiva Island when I was young. I remember The Bubble Room being the COOLEST restaurant I had ever been in my short six years. Christmas all year round, a merry go round, memorabilia lining the walls, and cake the size of my head. What was not to love?! And to be honest, my twenty-four year old self loved it just as much. If you go, the Key Lime Colada, Crab Cakes, Bubble Bread, and Orange Crunch Cake are all a must!!! I am still trying to figure out how to recreate their amazing bubble bread on my own, but since I can hardly make toast without burning it, it’s not going so well…

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We ended our perfect island day watching the sunset and enjoying  the beautiful evening, feeling full of what could have been love, but more likely was the enormous amount of cake we consumed.

Catamaran Cruise

On our third day in Naples. we headed over to Isle of Capri to take a catamaran ride with Cool Beans Cruises. It was about a three hour cruise that included alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages as well as snacks. We also got to stop off at a secluded island to swim, sunbathe, and search for shells. It was so relaxing and an experience I am very happy we did. To top off our trip, we had two dolphins come right up to our boat and swim in our wake during the ride back to the marina. There are a ton of different boat excursions around Naples, and I would highly recommend doing one of them!

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TigerTail Beach

On our catamaran outing, a couple who frequents Naples often, told us about a great beach located on the nearby Marco Island. Since we had no plans in the morning the following day, we decided to wake up early and give it a shot. Now, I will say, if you decide to go this particular beach you will want to pack light. Basically, don’t be me and bring two different beach bags, snacks, a camera, and a massive flamingo named Flo with you. Do as I say not as I do.

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I recommend this because, in order to get to the actual beach, you will need to wade across a lagoon. We got there around 9 am and it happened to be high tide, but the water only ever came as high as my hips. It was hilarious watching everyone go across carrying their belongings over their head. While this may not be up everyone’s alley, I really think this added to the fun, adventurous and unique experience that is Tigertail Beach. You can also rent beach cabanas and paddle boards here, and we saw several people paddle boarding in the lagoon.

After crossing the lagoon and making our way through a beautiful mangrove lined path, we came to a lovely semi-secluded beach. During our day, we saw several dolphins, birds, and even a fisherman who caught a baby shark. This island had a wonderful tranquility about it, with seashells hanging from the trees and such a long stretch that you could easily feel as though you were on your own private beach. We walked the beach for hours and had the most peaceful morning.

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We had the best week exploring Naples and hope to get back there one day soon!

XO,

Emily

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