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Going to Naples, FL in a few weeks - need suggestions please

Going to Naples, FL in a few weeks - need suggestions please

Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:02 AM
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Going to Naples, FL in a few weeks - need suggestions please

Hi,

I will be traveling to Naples 5/18/09 for 4 nights. This was a last minute mental getaway as I'm feeling a burned out at work. I will be traveling with my mom and a family friend so we will be a 37 year old and two 70+ year olds.

I got an incredible deal at the Hilton Naples so we will be staying there. I would have opted for a beach hotel but they were pricy and right now we need to be a bit frugal. However, this hotel looks nice and it offers a free beach shuttle to Clam Pass Beach.

Is Clam Pass Beach a nice beach?

What other beaches in the area would you recommend

We would like to stroll, lounge on the beach, people watch, shop etc.

The goal of this trip is ultimate relaxation.

Any suggestion you have on must do's in the area, please share.

Thanks,
Linda
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Hi Linda. Sounds like a nice trip you have booked. Clam Pass is a nice beach with facilities. There are 2 other public style beaches south of Clam Pass - Lowdermilk and Naples Pier. We are in Naples for four months every winter but have only been to Clam Pass twice as we usually go to the section of the beach between 1st Ave N. and 3rd Ave. N. which has no facilities but is quieter. However, for your stay Clam Pass is perfect. Naples sunsets are fantastic.

There are some really nice shops and restaurants along Fifth Ave and Third St. with lots of good people watching. These are the two major shopping/dining areas in the downtown core. There is one indoor mall - Coastland Centre - with the usual mall stores.

As you only have 4 nights and looking just to relax not sure what else you are looking for. I am assuming you will have a rental car.

Patrick is the local Naples expert on this board and am sure he will respond if he sees this post.

Have a wonderful getaway.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Hi Royal,

Thanks for the input. We live in Florida about 4 hours north of Naples so we will have a car. I do hear the sunsets are spectacular so we are looking forward that.

We'll go to the beach a few days, then maybe check out some malls. I was reading that our hotel is near and outside mall called Waterside I believe so we'll check that out too. We will definately stroll along Fifth Ave. and Third st. Is parking pretty easy to find along that area?

We'd love some nice meals that don't kill the budget so any restaurant suggestions would be great.

Thanks again
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Yes, Clam Pass is a nice public beach, but also one of the most crowded. One great thing about Naples is that the entire length of beach in the city is public. You can drive to the end of nearly any street and park. Take lots of quarters -- it used to be .25 for 15 minutes, but today at the beach I overheard someone say it was changed to 10 minutes. And be careful not to park where there is no meter as it is for residents with beach parking stickers only. To me the only real advantage of Clam Pass is that there are restrooms, although they also have those at the pier in downtown Naples or at Lowdermilk Park which is a little more than halfway from the Hilton to downtown. And I usually think trying to time the hotel shuttle is more pain that it's worth. (I'm guessing if you're driving you'll be bringing some beach chairs?)

A Naples must is sunset from the pier downtown, and usually surrounded by pelicans. It's at the end of 12th Avenue South, near the 3rd Street South shopping area. Then it's just a hop over to one of the fun outdoor dining places in the area -- Campiello or Tommy Bahama or Handsome Harry (in that order for my personal preference). Or the much more casual (and slightly less expensive) Dock at Crayton Cove or the Riverwalk or Pincher's at Tin City.

Waterside Shops is pretty close to you and it is extremely upscale. Bricktops and Brio are two indoor/outdoor restaurants which are quite popular there. And yes, don't miss Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, the two main shopping and restaurant streets of the town.

There's a great little breakfast spot near the Hilton (and I'm assuming the Hilton breakfasts are outrageously overpriced) if you're looking. It's call Skillets. Just to the south of the Hilton, on the other side of the street -- sort of opposite Perkins and MacDonalds and kind of behind Wendy's.

Enjoy Naples while you're here!
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Wow, thank you for all that helpful and detailed information NeoPatrick. Okay, I work at a bank so no problem getting the quarters . I will get plenty. We rather be at a less crowded beach so I think we'll check out Clam Pass but spend our lounging time at the others you and Royal mentioned. It's good to know that the beach areas are public. Yes, we will be bringing beach chairs.

Oh, I had a memorable meal at Tommy Bahama in Sarasota so I think we may just have to go there.

Breakfast is not included at the hotel so we'll definately check out Skillets.

Now I feel I can plan an itinerary for our 5 days there. I can't wait for 5/18 to get here.

Thank you both again.

Linda
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:29 PM
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I just realized that you will be here on a Monday through Thursday. The "crowds" should be no problem, including Clam Pass during the week in our "slow" month of May.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:38 PM
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I also like

1. Barefoot Beach, reached from Bonita Beach Rd, with plenty of parking - you pay when you enter the park, not using quarters.

2. Delnor Wiggins state park - 111th ave (similar to Barefoot - separated by an inlet. Plenty of parking close to the beach

3. Clam Pass - isn't there now a 2 level parking garage there?
3.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Linda - another spot to shop that is really nice is Venetian Village. Some good restaurants there but a little pricey.

For a special treat we love Gumbo Limbo at the Ritz Carleton. It's an outdoor restaurant and bar right at the beach and especially enjoyable watching the sunset.

If you are down on Third St. around lunch time check out Jane's Cafe which has good food, good prices and a lovely private outdoor courtyard setting.

Agree with Patrick that Campiello is our favorite on Third St for dinner.

Enjoy Naples - a beautiful place.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Thanks all for the added suggestions. I'm compiling and printing all your responses to ensure a fabulous trip to Naples.

Have a great day

Linda
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