Naples/Marco Island OR Keys

Old Jan 6th, 2005, 04:03 AM
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Naples/Marco Island OR Keys

A friend and I are flying into Miami in three weeks. We need to find a nice beach resort with lots to do, but not the real party atmosphere. Will get a rental car. Any ideas? We have a travel agent that can find a place if we give her a location.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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If you want a beach resort you probably won't like the keys, where all beaches are man-made and most are very small.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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I can only speak of Marco (anyone have suggestions for Naples?). It's largely a senior citizen enclave with a gorgeous beach. It's the gulf, so there's rarely any large surf but the shelling is nice, easy to walk the length (5 miles?) and generally very pleasant. As for the restaurants or "lots to do", I would suggest the Marriot over any other resort. It's one of their star resorts with loads of water and non-water activities. Sits right on the beach, with two pools, spa and a couple of informal to formal eateries.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 06:43 AM
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How about Ritz Carlton or Royal Sonesta in Key Biscayne, FL.
Key Biscayne is a city now, but was part of Miami.
Very close to South Beach, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove. Both hotels are water front, nice beach.
Key Biscayne is very upscale.

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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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As a Naples resident, I'd have to say that Marco may have more in the way of "beach resorts with lots to do" than Naples unless you really don't care what you spend. If the sky's the limit, the Ritz Carlton, the Registry, LaPlaya, or Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club all offer lots to do as well. Of those, only the Naples Beach Hotel is really close to downtown Naples with all its restaurants and upscale shopping, but the others are in great beach spots and if you have a car you can go where you want and do other things. Kehsutton has accurately described Marco -- beautiful beach (and the Marriott is nice, but big) but not much to do in this hugely residential and strip mall environment. If you want to veg out on the beach it might be your best bet. If you want more to do and an upscale atmosphere, go to Naples. Key West is not known for its beaches but is known for its party atmosphere. It really doesn't sound like what you're looking for.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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There is no question where you should go to have "lots to do". Marco has nothing to offer other than beach. I found dismal little to do in Naples although it is a beautiful city. We used to joke in Tampa (where I live) that we were a one-day tourist destination -- Busch Gardens. That is the problem in Naples as well -- there's beach then not much else for tourists to do other than eat and walk the few blocks. The art galleries are high-end for big budget buyers, nothing particularly artsy, edgy or new. The restaurants are fine but how often and for how long can one eat? I'd say if you're going to be somewhere in that part of FL and you want lots to do, go to Key Biscayne as suggested, or Miami.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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Thanks all!!! Marco it is - one day in Naples, one day at beach and maybe spa if we stay at the Marriott, one day somewhere else. Any must see advice for the area is appreciated. All the advice helpd me make a decision.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Wow Tandoori Girl, it's too bad you didn't get directions for Naples first. There are over 150 art galleries in Naples -- not all high end, and yes, many are very artsy and edgy -- but you won't find them all just by walking the Third Street or the Fifth Avenue areas. Did you get out to the fabulous gallery of Jonathon Green? Did you visit the funky Denison-Moran gallery? Did you stop to see the great ceramics at the studio of Jim Rice?
And nothing to do?
After visiting Corkscrew Sanctuary, the Conservancy (actually two separate sites), the Carribean Gardens and Zoo, the Palm Cottage, taking a ride on one of the numerous boats, doing a an airboat or swampbuggy ride, visiting the new world class art museum at the Philharmonic Center, and the vonLeibig in Cambier Park, after seeing the Teddy Bear Museum, and arranging a tour of the amazing Collier car collection, visiting the pier, the city docks, and Tin City, then taking a ride on the Naples Trolley, it's too bad you got bored!!!
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Glad I checked this board again!! Patrick, your comments just solidified I won't be bored by choosing Naples/Marco over the keys. Any suggestions on specific things one must do if they only have a day or two in the area? (besides of course take Patrick to dinner)-- I think we'll be staying at the Marriott though I won't know for sure until I call the travel agent tomorrow. Two married women (40 and 50, but want to be and sometimes feel like they still 20)--any ideas restaurants or places that can't be overlooked. -- I'm a bit concerned with Kehsutton comment on senior citizens on Marco, but I guess I shouldn't expect perfection and the sky is not the limit. Have a great night.--thank for all your comments!!
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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Patrick, you really take this to heart too much. I didn't care for the art that I saw. But hopefully MissKimT will.

Jonathon Green is actually an acquaintance of mine but sorry to say I've not been to his studio in Naples. His house is lovely.

It's my opinion and that's all. You have yours, I have mine. And MissKim will have hers. I hope she enjoys fair Naples.

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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:04 PM
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It's not that I take it too much to heart, I just can't make a lot of sense out of indicating that you didn't like the art or trying to categorize it all. My point was if you really went to all 150 art galleries and saw ALL the art in Naples, then I can't imagine how you could also say there wasn't much to do. Just visiting all the galleries could take a week!

And Miss Kim, I like that priority of taking me to dinner (LOL). Marco is primarily a retirement community, but there are tons of tourists there too, so the age thing really isn't a big issue. Sometimes people say that about Naples too, but this entire area is changing drastically. The funniest thing is that now tons of 30 something "yuppies" from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale -- even South Beach come over to Naples for the weekend! Who'd have ever guessed that 5 or 10 years ago?
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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We are some of those people who went to the Marriott on Marco Island and just chilled out on the beach for a week. We had a great time! We did take a day trip to Naples - which was beautiful.

I wish I could add more - but those were my pre-Fodor days when I did not pay close attention to the names and locations of restaurants, shops, etc.

MissKim, Have a great trip
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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Naples is a beautiful community. And, Patrick, it is lucky to have you. I heard that Naples decided to forego its Chamber of Commerce and instead put you on line \/ Indeed, you are lucky you don't have all the sports teams Patrick. When that happens no one wants to put money into the arts.

And I think MissKim was hoping you'd pick up the tab...
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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LOL, Miss Kim will have to think again.

And here's a little known fact. Naples has had the world champion girls softball team for about 5 or 6 of the last 10 years.
Is golf a sport? If so -- Naples is rolling in sports!!!
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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OK, I admit I've not seen all the art galleries in Naples, not by a long shot. And yes, I'll say golf is a sport. But, Patrick -- the way it's played in Naples? With martinis? Noooo.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Things to do in the Naples area? I would definitely put the Corkscrew Swamp area run by the Audubon Society at the top of my list.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion birdie. As for Tadoorigirl and Patrick. It must be a love/hate relationship. Thanks for the thoughts. My travel agent lost the terrific fair to Miami so we're actually flying into Ft Myers. I guess it will save car time, since it didn't save any money. I'm sure we'll spend a day shopping in Naples and a day at the beach. Could a whole day be spent at Corkscrew Swamp? Any good restaurants on Marco?
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Miss Kim: That was Birder recommending Corkscrew and this is Birdie seconding Corkscrew. I would call it a half day trip rather than full day. Take the wave rider tour at the Marriott. That's a sure way to feel like a 20 yo again.
Patrick: I know two sisters that came out of the Naples softball program. They both received scholarships to Notre Dame and were in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Yes, I agree with Birdie that Corkscrew is a half-day trip. Here's their website: http://www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/corkscrew/

You are going to have a GREAT trip. I live in the Tampa area but we are so busy I don't really get a chance to enjoy the area the way I'd like to. It will be so nice for you to relax in the warm Florida sun, enjoying wildlife, the beach, and just relaxing.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Oh these screen names. Has this site gone to the birds?

Yes half day is plenty at Corkscrew. I recommend you get there though when it opens.

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