Let’s be real: Naples offers more than enough opportunities to splurge, whether it’s on dinner and drinks at an amazing restaurant or seeing a show at Artis—Naples. But there are also plenty of free things to do in Naples, too—and we’ve rounded up nine of them here.
1 | VISIT THE GALLERIES AT NAPLES ART ASSOCIATION.
For more than 60 years, Naples Art Association has brought a healthy dose of arts and culture to the Naples community. From regular outdoor art shows in nearby Cambier Park to free contemporary art exhibitions featuring works by international, national and local artists, each provides an opportunity to enjoy original photography, painting, sculpture and more.
2 | STROLL THIRD STREET SOUTH AND ENJOY THIRD THURSDAYS ON THIRD.
With its explosions of flowers, beautiful architecture and charming courtyards, Third Street South is a beautiful place to take a walk any time of day. But the historic street is even more special on the third Thursday of the month, when free entertainment and live music lines the sidewalks during Third Thursdays on Third. We recommend stopping by before or after sunset at the Naples Pier, just two blocks away.
3 | BIKE, WALK OR RUN THE GORDON RIVER GREENWAY.
This scenic, paved nature trail takes you through the trees and over the Gordon River, making it an ideal spot for walkers, runners, cyclists, birders and nature lovers. There’s even water access for kayakers. Even better—leashed dogs are welcome!
4 | HIT THE BEACH.
Southwest Florida’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, proving that the best things in life are free. There’s no charge for entrance to any of our local beaches, and if you arrive by foot or bike, you won’t pay to park, either. However, parking is free at most Naples beaches with a Collier County beach parking sticker, or try your luck in the free public beach access point parking areas along Bonita Beach. Check out our Insiders’ Guide to Best Beaches for the full scoop.
5 | GO SHELLING.
Whether for souvenirs or just the thrill of the hunt, shelling is a fun and free way to spend time in Naples. Pro tip: We find we have the most luck finding unique, intact shells near Gordon Pass. Another pro tip: Please, please, please don’t take any live animals—starfish, sand dollars or the like—out of the water (even for a picture; it can kill them).
6 | VISIT THE NAPLES PIER.
If you didn’t make a visit to the Pier, were you really even in Naples? Perhaps Naples’ most iconic landmark, the Naples Pier at the end of 12th Avenue South in downtown Naples is beautiful any time of day, but it’s at its best at sunset.
7 | GO TO THE NAPLES ZOO.
If you’re a Collier County resident, you can get free admission at the Naples Zoo all day on the first Saturday of every month. Enter any time until 4 p.m. with no coupon required; just show proof of residency for adults.
8 | WATCH A MOVIE ON THE LAWN AT MERCATO.
What’s better than watching a movie outside under the stars? When it’s free. Once a month, they set up the giant inflatable screen on the lawn at Mercato and show a free movie—everything from classics to animated favorites. Just bring your blankets or chairs; coolers aren’t allowed. Check Mercato’s website for dates, times and movie selections.
9 | TAKE IN A SUMMERJAZZ ON THE GULF CONCERT.
The SummerJazz on the Gulf concert series is a long-standing tradition at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Held on the Watkins Lawn of the historic hotel one Saturday a month in June through September, the fun, free concerts combine a diverse selection of jazz entertainers with picturesque Gulf views, beautiful sunsets and refreshing breezes. If you’re not staying at the resort, you can park for free with your Collier County beach sticker at Lowdermilk Park, then take the complimentary trolley to the resort and back. Pack your chairs and blankets, but leave your coolers at home.