South Beach vs. Naples?

Old Dec 9th, 2003, 06:07 PM
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South Beach vs. Naples?

My wife and I are in our early/mid-30's and are looking for a quick getaway from the Washington DC area in January. We're interested in relaxing by the pool, swimming in the ocean, and taking walks on the beach. We don't plan to hit the bars until all hours of the night, but don't want it to be too quiet and would like to find good restaurants (non-chain) for dinner. We've narrowed our decision to South Beach vs. Naples. We think Naples sounds like more our speed, but we're not sure if the crowd/atmosphere in Naples would be too old. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-) We just would like some activity and don't want the restaurants to be empty by the time we arrive at 8pm.

Can you help us choose between South Beach and Naples?
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 06:30 PM
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I've lived in "downtown" Naples for 26 years. I used to be the "youngster" in a sea of retirees. Not only have I grown older, but the average age in Naples has done a reversal so that now that I'm in my 50's I'm really an oldster, especially when it comes to Fifth Avenue South (the restaurant and bar row of Naples). I do theatre and walk down Fifth everynight going home about 10 to 11. This week is kind of quiet -- traditional quiet time before Christmas. But I assure you in January there will be tons of action along Fifth -- and no you won't be too old. I'd say mid 30's is about the current average for the night life. You will definitely need reservations for 8 at all the top restaurants. Eight to 8:30 are the top reservation times. The "oldsters" that do go to Fifth will mainly be heading home by that time, but the younger crowd will just be getting started for the night.
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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lakers-

I LOVE Naples- it is way way more sophisticated than South Beach...More laid back but still with a nice nitelife..

If I was 30 and INTO PARTYING, then Definitely SOUTH BEACH..However, if I was with my hubs and wanted a romantic getaway still with nitelife ( just not hip hop etc) then Naples is my 1st choice..

Aim for the Ritz Carlton Naples on Vanderbilt Beach or the Registry Inn on the Beach..you won't be disappointed in either place...and follow Patrick's advice..

There are so GREAT restaurants in downtown Naples..

Naples actually reminds me of a laid back Palm Beach without the super snooty attitude ..You know there is immense wealth in Naples but it doesn't hit you in the face...It's ideal!
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:36 AM
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My vote would be for Naples .I have been a part time resident for 22 years . Patrick is right about the Age thing .If you have enough time You could do a day trip to South Beach it's not that bad of a ride about 2 hours so you can get the best of both. Also if you fly check the rates for Ft Lauderdale Airport vs Ft Myers. (RSW)
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 06:53 AM
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thanks all for the advice. we were thinking of Hotel Escalante in Naples. Ritz is out of our budget and the Registry is on the cusp - if the Registry is really worth it we would splurge, but Escalante looked nice and is a lot cheaper. Also, do we need/would we want a car while in Naples? We were thinking of arranging for a shuttle to transfer us to/from the airport and then going w/o a car in Naples (since we'll only be there 3 days and probably will not do much other than lounge at the pool, beach and walk around Old Town Naples). thoughts on whether or not we need a car? thanks again.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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I was in Naples a few months ago, visiting from Tampa. I noticed there was a boat trip that left in the AM for Key West, returning later in the day. If you look at a map, you'll see how close you are to Key West from Naples. It was inexpensive (about $50 rd-trip/person) -- anybody know if it's still running? I thought it would have been fun, but I didn't have time to do it.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Frankly I'd get a car. I don't know if you can get a round trip transfer from RSW to downtown Naples for two people for any less than you will pay for a 3 day rental car. Even if you don't really use it, it will be a convenience, especially if (God forbid) you had some bad weather or rain like today! But you couldn't be in a better spot than the Escalante for convenience of beach walking and doing the restaurants of Olde Naples.

I'm aware of a boat that goes from Ft. Myers to Key West and makes a pick-up and drop-off in Marco. I'm not aware that they've restarted service from Naples.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 10:48 AM
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I would definitely get a car- Naples is a drivable city..

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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:28 PM
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lakers, another lover of Naples checking in here (though I have ten years over on you). You'll have a wonderful time strolling on the beach, shopping downtown, and eating out. There are so many interesting galleries in the Fifth Avenue area! I don't think you'll find the water warm enough to swim in though. The pool's preferable.
 
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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Funny, I asked this exact same question about 2 years ago... You will certainly get Naples advocates on this site!

I ended up picking South Beach and don't regret it. We stayed at the Delano which was fantastic.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:54 PM
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If you decide on the Escalante in Naples, go to the Travelaxe website and get if for about $205/night as compared to much higher quoted prices
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 01:46 PM
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aquaman, I'm not saying you did wrong, Naples isn't for everybody, just as South Beach isn't. But I think it's funny you said we certainly get Naples advocates here -- of course, just as we get South Beach ones, Hawaii ones, or anywhere else considered "paradise".
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 01:34 AM
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The shuttle Bus service from RSW TO Naples Is 45.00 per Person one way . A taxi would be cheaper But the rent a car would be the best option . Also if it Rains you could adjust you plans .
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 02:29 AM
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Hi Lakers...

It sounds as if your mind is made up and I'm sure you will love your decision. I frequent Naples quite often myself.

For anyone else reading this long posting regarding the question header, "South Beach vs. Naples," I feel you really should at least try both places at least once in your lifetime. The cities are both so very different from each other; beautiful and unique in their own special way.

I noticed, for instance, you mentioned not renting a car. In South Beach, this would be a great decision for a weekend getaway. In Naples, I would highly suggest obtaining a rental car to be able to fully see the city. Additionally, Patrick is correct when he mentioned the price of a car rental would be very close to the cost of limo service from RSW to your hotel (I've personally done both).

This may be the year that you should take a weekend in South Beach instead of Naples. The length of your intended vacation is what makes me suggest this thought. For my own personal tastes, I could take a weekend in South Beach and not want much more. To visit Naples, I would want at least a full week.

There are so many terrific cities in the state of Florida... I'd aim for trying to see as many as possible!

Have a fantastic getaway.
Paul
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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Zowie! The shuttle is $180 for two round trip? I knew it was expensive but that's outrageous. You should be able to rent a car for three days for about $90 or even less!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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thanks to all for your helpful comments - we will let you know where we wind up next month!
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Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:50 AM
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RSW Airport fares to Naples go to website /www.swfia.com/rswtrans/rswtaxi/taxifees.html
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 06:05 PM
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My husband and I will be in Naples between 12/26 and 1/03. Does anybody have any restaurant suggestions? Also, we are renting a condo near Tin City and we were wondering if anyone has any suggestions for New Years Eve. We are in our mid 40's.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Dusty, I've posted many times in detail about Naples restaurants. Put Naples restaurants in the search function and you'll find lots of reading. Most of the places are doing special New Year's Eve dinners, price going up according to first, second, or third seating. Right by Tin City, my first choice would be Syrah. In the same complex is Il Bellagio and Stoney's Steakhouse. All three are excellent depending upon their New Year's Eve specials and if you can still get a reservation. Best part is you can walk to any of them. Naples is notorious for road blocks for drivers who have been drinking on New Year's Eve. You don't even have to show any evidence of having been drinking to be stopped.

I'm curious. What condo are you in? I live just a few blocks from Tin City myself.

One brief word of warning. While here you'll see a big "quaint" place called Joe's Crab Shack, right along the Gordon River Bridge. You'll be tempted to go there as it is also on the water. DON'T!
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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 10:12 PM
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Patrick - what's the deal with Joe's Crab Shack? we were actually thinking of going there on our last trip. Do tell!
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