It’s been a long year with probably at least a few canceled trips. Here, we’re rounding up our favorite local businesses that are adopting all recommended health and safety guidelines—including where to stay, where to eat, and what to do—so you can vacation safely in Naples again.
WHERE TO STAY IN NAPLES
Ensure plenty of personal space when you opt for a luxury vacation rental instead of a standard hotel. You can customize your vacation even further by choosing which part of town you want to stay in, which type of rental (condo vs. house), whether you want a pool, a waterfront view… the list goes on! The Holiday Life offers a variety of luxury vacation rentals in Naples and Marco Island at a range of price points.
To address safety concerns due to COVID-19, they have instituted several new policies, including allowing at least two days between each check-in and check-out, deep cleaning each space in between visits, and ensuring property managers wear masks and follow safety protocols. You can read more about their updated COVID-19 policies on their website.
VIEW THE HOLIDAY LIFE VACATION RENTALS
NEW THIS WINTER
SoCe Flats is a mixed-use building being built at First Avenue South and Eighth Street South, just blocks from bustling Fifth Avenue South. These 18 new condo-hotel residences will be available for purchase or rental even on a nightly basis with The Holiday Life (a unique opportunity compared to the majority of the City of Naples, which requires a minimum stay of one month for vacation rentals). Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedrooms options are available.
DINING SAFELY IN NAPLES
Besides its beaches, one of the things Naples is best known for is its amazing and plentiful dining opportunities. During times of COVID, Naples restaurants have upped their game in terms of cleanliness and distancing. And did we really need another reason to have dinner outside on a beautiful patio? Here are a few of our favorite Naples restaurants with outdoor seating.
THE BAY HOUSE
This hidden gem is located directly on Naples’ Cocohatchee River and offers spectacular waterfront dining and unparalleled views of the Cocohatchee wildlife preserve. Outdoor seating is available on The Bay House‘s riverfront deck or around the fire pit on the front terrace. The cuisine ranges from all types of seafood to Southern-influenced dishes. (We wholeheartedly recommend their Chilled Seafood Towers!)
799 Walkerbilt Drive, Naples
Reservations: (239) 591-3837
BAYSIDE SEAFOOD GRILL & BAR
For 26 years, Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar has held a top spot as one of Naples’ most beloved waterfront restaurants. We’re partial to the open-air, waterfront setting at the Upper Deck Bar and outdoor lounge (the live music on weekend nights is an added bonus). Indoor seating is also available. Any spot you pick, you win; there’s not a seat here that doesn’t offer a view of picturesque Venetian Bay.
4270 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples
Reservations: (239) 649-5552
Inspired by coastal cuisines from around the globe, Coast at Edgewater Beach Hotel is open to the public and offers a waterfront dining experience with both beach and pool views. Seating is available on the terrace of the hotel, or go more casual and dine at the poolside tables near the Pool Bar.
1901 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples
THE TURTLE CLUB
Want to experience toes-in-the-sand dining and excellent coastal cuisine? The Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach is one of only a few beachfront restaurants in Naples. Reservations are recommended, as this place always fills up quickly—especially at sunset.
9225 Gulfshore Drive N., Naples
Reservations: (239) 592-6557
The Bevy is the kind of place that you notice for its chic, al fresco setting but come back again for its inventive menu and fresh craft cocktails (bevys, if you will). Their recently updated menu includes everything from octopus ceviche to tacos de carne to multiple vegan options. Brunch more your thing? They do it every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
360 12th Ave. S., Naples
THE CLAW BAR
Located in the Bellasera Resort, The Claw Bar features the same fresh seafood you’ve come to love at their original location within The Bay House in North Naples, but with a swanky downtown address and a poolside al fresco setting. (It’s super romantic at night!)
221 Ninth St. S., Naples
Reservations: (239) 231-3912
The French is a slice of the Belle Epoque in the heart of Naples, paying homage to turn-of-the-century Parisian brasseries. Enjoy quintessential country and coastal French dishes amidst a casual yet bustling, vibrant atmosphere with a laidback streetside setting.
365 Fifth Ave. S., Naples
RIDGWAY BAR & GRILL
Ridgway Bar & Grill is an icon in the historic Third Street South district. With its open-air garden, European-style courtyard and covered terrace, Ridgway has plenty of options to enjoy dining outdoors. If wine’s your thing, you’ll love their Master Wine List, which features more than 600 selections, including boutique and limited-production wines found only a few places in the U.S.
1300 Third St. S., Naples
Reservations: (239) 262-5500
NAPLES ACTIVITIES WITH SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING
HEAD TO THE BEACH
It’s no surprise that Naples and Marco Island are best known for their beaches! We’ve got more than 30 miles of them, which means plenty of space to spread out, social distance, and enjoy the sun and sand. For all the details on local public beaches—including locations, what makes each beach unique and parking details—check out our Insiders’ Guide to Best Beaches.
And if you’re staying in Naples a while, consider a membership at the Edgewater Beach Club, where you can take advantage of the hotel’s private beach, two Gulf-front swimming pools and fitness center, as well as enjoy discounts on food and room reservations—all the good stuff that comes along with vacationing at a top resort.
GET ON THE WATER
The most perfect days in Southwest Florida are on the water. And your options are plentiful: Rent a boat and explore on your own. Take a private fishing charter, where your guide will lead you to all the best fishing spots. Or head out for a shelling, sightseeing or sunset cruise in the Gulf. For air-conditioned luxury, the Naples Princess is a newly renovated, 105-foot yacht that offers daily excursions, as well as regular wine tastings (our personal favorite!) Or hop aboard the Miss Naples, a brand-new sailing catamaran, and set off for Keewaydin Island, where you can get off, explore and pick up seashells. For rentals or fishing charters, we recommend Port O Call Marina; their boats are clean and new, with the friendliest service.
One of our most favorite spots is Naples Botanical Garden. This world-class botanical garden encompasses 170 acres with plants from all over the world, as well as a nature preserve that’s home to a variety of animals. Dogs are welcome for walks on Sundays and Tuesdays, too. During COVID, the Garden has enhanced safety guidelines, including timed entry. Tickets can be purchased online.
Not far from Naples, you’ll also find a variety of state and national parks, including the world-famous Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Indulge your wilder side with a hike, paddle, kayak or cycle through these natural preserves, where you can experience Florida just as it looked hundreds of years ago. Find more on these outdoor opportunities from Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Naples is known as the golf capital of North America, thanks to its 90 beautiful yet challenging golf courses. During the summer months, many private golf clubs open their courses to the public (a little insider’s tip for you!) If you’re ready to hit the links and play where the pros play—while maintaining plenty of personal space—visit the Paradise Coast’s online golf resource for a listing of local golf courses.
LET US PLAN YOUR NAPLES VACATION FOR YOU
Let The New Naples create a customized, day-by-day Naples itinerary just for you! We’ll spend time getting to know your and your travel companions’ priorities, interests, budget and travel style, then put our local expertise to work with thoughtful planning and seamless logistics.
You can also download one of our instant Naples vacation guides, filled with where to eat, what to do, and fun activities in between, all tailored to your type of vacation, from romantic to family-friendly.