Discover Florida's Paradise Coast of
Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades
In an area where beaches abound, you're bound to find a shore that suits your personal
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. Spend the morning with the rare and exotic animals at Naples Zoo,
and check out the three children's play areas as well as two live-animal presentations.
Planet Predator and Serpents: Fangs and Fiction. The Naples Botanical Garden also is a treat, with a
spectacular interactive Children's Garden that is sure to delight kids of all ages.
Lunch at the Dock at Crayton Cove, a laid-back, family-friendly waterfront restaurant.
Tin City, which overlooks the working docks of Naples Bay, and which features tin-roofed shops and
Stroll along the white sands near the Naples Pier, one of the best places in Florida to watch a sunset.
After the beach, cool off in the lazy river, pools for all ages and on the
waterslides at Sun-n-Fun Lagoon inside Naples' North Collier Regional Park.
On quiet Marco Island, life moves at a slightly slower pace than in Naples. The main attraction is the
beautiful, white-sand beaches, where long beach walks, boat excursions and shelling are favorite
Marco Island's four-mile horseshoe shaped beach welcomes visitors. On both ends of the beach is the
public accesses of Tigertail Beach Park and South Beach. Both beaches juxtapose natural with manmade
South Beach's palm-lined walkway and Tigertail's dunes and lagoon contrast the island's skyward
Tigertail Beach Park rates with families for providing nice-to-haves among nature. A playground, sand
volleyball court and picnic area with grills help stage the quintessential family beach day, facilitated by
concessions for beach equipment and refreshments, parking, showers, restrooms and handicap access.
Take a guided WaveRunnerŪ eco-tour of the mangrove jungles of the Ten Thousand Islands with an Airboat
ride. An experience enjoyed by the entire family.
Tigertail's amenities improve on its natural assets: a butterfly garden, tidal lagoon, picturesque dunes and
boardwalks that grant glimpses of numerous bird species. The beach is a site on the Great Florida Birding
Trail, as is Naples' Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. It's equally celebrated for its mangrove forest and
tidal pools that support a variety of marine life including loggerhead sea turtles. An observation tower,
boardwalks and boat ramps greet guests at this barrier island escape.
For dolphin (and other wildlife) sightings, take the Marco Island Ski and Watersports guided WaveRunner
tour, departing from the beach in front of the Marco Island Marriott and Hilton.
When you've had your fill of sand and surf, head to the Captain Brien's Seafood & Raw Bar, a casual,
New England-style restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining.
If you bring your own boat, you can put in at Goodland Boat Park's new public launch. If you don't have
your own boat but still want a customized experience, many area motorboat rentals let you hire a captain.
Renting a boat yourself is not as hard as you might think. You don't need a captain's license, the boats
are easy to operate and the rental companies provide basic instructions along with user-friendly maps.
Many rental homes have private docks in the back yard. Hop out of the private pool, jump into your boat
and catch your own dinner.
If your kids love adventure, visiting the Florida
Everglades will likely be the highlight of their vacation.
But even the most timid of tykes find loads of fun in the
Everglades City area.
One way to see the Everglades and its wildlife -
alligators, wild boars and all types of birds - is by airboat.
Kids love riding in these propeller crafts, which speed
through mangrove tunnels and skim alongside the "River
of Grass." Check out Everglades Island Air Boat Tours
for a trip to Totch's Island or Speedy Johnson's Fun Cruise for a fast ride through mangrove tunnels. Eden of the Everglades offers both airboat and small boat tours.
Before leaving Everglades City, drive south to Chokoloskee to see the Smallwood Trading Post, a
general store established in 1906. When it closed its doors in 1982, 90 percent of the original goods
remained, and the store was later reopened as a museum. Smallwood's celebrated its 100th anniversary
Here are some great places to stay while enjoying the Paradise Coast: