In my last post about How to Spend a Week in Naples, FL the overall theme was definitely RELAXING. Which, I get. So many people come to Florida to relax. However, there are also a huge handful who come to enjoy the sunny weather and want to be outside doing adventurous activities throughout the week. If you’re bummed you will be spending one week in Naples, FL and someone is telling you there won’t be much to do, think again. This post is a week itinerary providing a broad overview of what I did each day I was here.
DAY ONE – Arrive and enjoy apps and drinks
We landed around 7:30pm, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t make the most of our Saturday night. Hence, appetizers and drinks at Roy’s. I tend to automatically hate any chain restaurant. Even if people rave about the food, I immediately grimace and imagine Olive Garden quality (no offense to any OG lovers). Well, this is no Olive Garden. The food here is fantastic and the pineapple coconut martini didn’t hurt either. Now get some rest! There is a lot to do and we only have one week in Naples!
Update: I’ve recently discovered the Roy’s Naples location is currently closed. Too unfortunate and hopefully you are able to try it in a different city. My previous Naples post has an entire section of food suggestions in Naples. Check it out here.
DAY TWO – PARASAILING
Our second day we woke up early and drove up to Fort Meyers Beach. It took us about 20 minutes from where we were staying, but they are currently expanding the road in Fort Meyers causing some traffic pile-ups. The sand is so incredibly soft here and the area has quite a different vibe from Naples. Think bustling Spring Breakers versus the slow-paced retirees. After wading in the water and people-watching the rich anchor their giant boats to the sandbar, we decided we wanted to partake in some of the action. We headed down the beach and signed up for parasailing!
This was my second time parasailing and I was anxious to get back up there. There is truly no reason to be nervous about parasailing; it’s a low-key adventure. I do get nervous about heights, but once you are up there it is very quiet and calm. You can see for miles and you just steadily float along in the sky. The only reason your palms may get a little shaky is if it’s windy, but don’t worry – you’re harnessed in and the company will only allow you to go up there if weather conditions are safe.
After parasailing we continued to drive further north and check out Sanibel and Captiva. These two islands are famous for the beautiful shells that wash up on their shore. There are tons of cute boutiques throughout both of these islands. We had a great meal at Doc Ford’s in Captiva. If you like fish, get the Grouper. A great restaurant, if you’re not exhausted by this point, is the Green Flash. Head in there to have a drink. The views are great; it’s not rare to see manatees or dolphins through the windows!
DAY THREE – RELAX BY THE beach
You’re in Florida so you definitely need designated beach time! Today we set up shop at Barefoot Beach. This is a great spot for anyone – families, couples, and teens. You do need to pay $9 since it is a reserve, so keep that in mind. To be honest, there isn’t the best sand on this beach, a lot of broken shells and rocks. So Barefoot Beach seems a tad ironic. However, further down you can walk to Bonita Beach. Doc’s is a restaurant right on the water and you can order pitchers of beer or pizza and eat it under umbrellas on the beach. We chose to do some damage with Landshark lagers.
DAYs FOUR & FIVE – trip to Key West
The title of this post may be a bit deceiving. This is “kind of” one week in Naples that includes a side trip to Key West! It is actually very easy and reasonably-priced to get to Key Wet from the Naples area. This bubbly, party island is a blast and makes a great side trip for a couple days if you find yourself in South Florida. I have an in-depth post on a Key West Travel Guide. You can make this a weeklong trip itself, but I can’t keep up with the partygoers on Duval Street! Two days was plenty for me.
Day 6 – Canoe Trip
We have one week in Naples, but just because it’s vacation doesn’t mean we can’t get in a bit of a work out. I promise it’s as strenuous or as easy as you prefer! If you’re adventurous and want to see some Florida wildlife up close and personal, consider a canoe or kayak rental. The best area to do this is Lover’s Key State Park. In addition to its stunning, secluded beach, you can also rent one or two person kayaks and canoes for four hours or more. Check out their website for more information here. A few blocks away from the main beach you enter the estuary (basically where freshwater rivers connect and meet up with the saltwater ocean. I honestly had no clue what an estuary was and had to Google, lolz).
Anyhoo, the canoe/kayak path is 2.5 miles long, and definitely sounds easier than it is! We had to pretend we were completing a challenge on The Amazing Race to not give up paddling. Nonetheless, we were rewarded with close-ups of dolphins, manatees, and alligators! Seriously we could have touched the manatees and dolphin and our alligator popped under water as soon as we started getting close to him. I was cringing watching some girls jump off their paddle boards and just float in the water. The very poorly taken photo below wasn’t with zoom – we were in our canoe that close to 2 manatees.
We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach. Even at “peak” hours, there wasn’t a huge crowd. Further down there is also a “driftwood forest.” Gorgeous trees that have seen there last days due to the saltwater, but nonetheless very pretty to walk down to. If you get hungry, there is a snack shack with tables there as well.
Day 7 – Beach Day Ending with a night out on the town
Another gorgeous beach I can recommend is Lowdermilk. It’s extremely clean and has a beautiful white sand beach. No wonder it is consistently rated one of the best beaches in the area. There is some super helpful information regarding public parks/beaches through the Naples, FL government website. This here is specifically the page with information on Lowdermilk.
Ok let’s be honest, we’re in Naples and not Key West anymore, so a night out on the town for most means 8pm is a late night out. If you’re craving some night life, you need to go to the Blue Martini. The party gets started early for their happy hour (4-8pm), which is well worth it. Strong drinks and they usually have a live band playing. If you like spicy, I highly recommend the Jalapeño Passion Fruit cocktail.
No matter where I travel, Florida always feels like a second home. Even if I only have one week in Naples, I can always be assured I’ll return home rejuvenated and in a lifted mood. Something about sunsets and a bronze tan tend to help.