Critique my Naples trip

Old Sep 24th, 2003, 12:16 PM
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Critique my Naples trip

I am planning a trip to Naples in March 2004. My past Florida experiences have all been in Sarasota/Siesta Key area so I need something new. I am going to be 40 when I am there[ugh]. Here are some things I would like opinions on:
1. I have booked a room at the Trianon Hotel. It looks like a good location. Any particular section of the hotel I should request?
2.We plan on possibly taking the ferry to Key West from Fort Myers. Is it worth a day?
3. I see there are snorkeling trips from Homestead to Biscayne. Any thoughts?
4. The rest of the time we would like to seek out natural areas near Naples and do some birding. We will go to the Everglades but where else?
Any other info would be great. I am really looking forward because I enjoy Florida[I am from New York state and hate winters].
Thanks!
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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The Trianon is within a couple blocks of Fifth Avenue and is a nice hotel (started by the former manager of the Ritz Carlton). Mostly a business hotel, I've seen showings by reps there and the rooms are quite nice. There is no part of the hotel that I'd think would be better than another, and don't expect views at all. It's about a nine block walk to the beach, but your hotel is only two blocks from my home, and I do a beach walk almost every morning.

Personally I can't see driving an hour and a half (actually I'd allow at least that each way in March) to Ft. Myers for a several hour ferry ride each way just to spend a few hours in Key West. It's a lot more transportation time than enjoyment time, and the ferry is often rough -- sometimes cancelled, leaving people stranded in Key West overnight. If you really want to see Key West for a day, I'd suggest flying out by Cape Air from the Naples Airport, but that isn't cheap.

To go snorkeling, I wouldn't recommend anything other than Key Largo -- about a three to four hour drive each way.

In Naples area, in addition to the Everglades, do go out to Corkscrew Sanctuary and walk the long boardwalk. The place is run by the Audubon Society. Also do a trip to the Naples Conservancy on Goodlette Road. In fact, they are the people to help you with your birding and other nature excursions. If you are up for it, do a canoe or kyack there, or at least take their boat ride through the back bay. They can also send you to another area down near Marco. There are several other boat trips -- morning -- sunset -- cocktail cruises from boats at Tin City or the City Docks.

Enjoy Naples.
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 03:53 PM
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Patrick, I was hoping you would reply as I can see you really know the area. So, do you think we'll like Naples as much as we liked Siesta Key? Is the beach as nice?
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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As long as we don't have a bout of red tide, yes, I think the beach is just as nice. One of the nicest things about it is that heading south from Fifth Avenue South you'll never see a condo on the beach, just private homes (although I'll admit some of those private homes are starting to look like giant hotels).
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 05:34 PM
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I think Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is wonderful. It sounds as if you'd really like that place too!
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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What is red tide?
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 05:24 PM
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I'll answer the red tide question as I took a sabatical working on environmental problems in florida about 6 years ago. Red tide is an algae bloom that occurs in warmish water that removes the oxygen from the water causing fish to suffocate. There is much finger pointing as to the cause, but the effect is dead fish on the beach, air quality that causes a slight cough in some and more discomfort in others. Many swim in the water with red tide present with no ill effect. Most toxic algae blooms come from an excess of nutrient in the water.

No one wants to say what causes it but it can come from fertilizer run off , waste water, effluent from the Mississippi river that opens into the Gulf of Mexico. Warm water exacerbates the algae bloom which has caused the death of many manatees, a highly vulnerable threatened species in Florida.

LilMsFoodie with her environmental cap on.
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 06:27 PM
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Very thorough explanation.Thanks! It seems like the poor manatees have a lot working against them.
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Old Oct 24th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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There is also a boat ferry operation to Key West that runs out of Marco Island <less time at sea> .
I give private nature tours of the Everglades if you have an interest.
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