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Naples, Florida: Laid-Back Luxury
By Jennifer Weiss

Although Naples may be known for its 10 miles of pristine, white sandy beaches, a more accurate description might entail endless relaxation and a sophisticated atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic vacation. Away from the kids, basking in the warm Florida sun, everything moves at a much slower pace and you simply cannot help but escape the stress of daily life when you retreat to picturesque Naples.

While you might expect a stuffy atmosphere and an off-putting level of snobbery from this region of Florida, Naples is actually quite welcoming and charming compared to its east coast counterpart. There are certainly sprawling waterfront mansions and upscale boutiques and restaurants, but the locals offset any of that upper-crust feel with a laid-back atmosphere that feeds off the abundant sunshine and swaying palm trees. Rather than flaunting their riches and success, the people here prefer to showcase their lovely tans and create an environment that is inviting to all.

To head to Naples means you are in search of something a little less family-oriented, where adult activities reign and children’s attractions are scant. Although there is the Teddy Bear Museum and the Naples Zoo, this is a place for adults, and particularly couples, who want to surround themselves with the finer things in life and not have to worry about endless entertainment. A day in Naples may simply be spent strolling along 3rd Street South, window shopping or picking up a few art pieces, and then resting at a nearby café for a little people-watching. While this is perfect for a couple who wants to enjoy each other’s company, it is not so great for a child who wants to be constantly amused.

Well-known for its wide selection of fine dining options, no trip to Southwest Florida is complete without a stop by some of Naples’ best restaurants. If you are looking for an excellent steakhouse, Chops City Grill features some of the finest meats along with an upbeat atmosphere. Seafood lovers can rejoice at either the Bay House Restaurant, which offers not only delicious cuisine but also stunning views of Osprey Bay and the Cocohatchee Wildlife Preserve, or the Bayside Seafood Grill, where the sautéed pistachio snapper and oak-grilled mahi mahi are top-notch.

The good life is never-ending in Naples where beyond the exquisite cuisine and stellar boutique shopping lies some of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses in Florida. The two best courses, Calusa Pine Golf Course and Naples National Golf Course, are both private, so it certainly helps if you have a local friend who is a member at either one of them. However, there are also several excellent semi-private and public options to fill your itinerary, including any of the Lely courses, Tiburon at the Ritz Carlton, and the LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort.

Leaving quite possibly the best part for last, the soft white sands of Naples run all the way from Barefoot Beach in North Naples to the Municipal Pier located just south of downtown. You can access the shoreline from just about any east-west street that hits Gulf Shore Blvd. and participate in any waterfront pursuit you can imagine. Strolling the sand at sunset is always popular, while jet skiing, swimming, boating, fishing, and scuba diving are just a few of the ways to enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in this waterfront paradise.

With luxury at your fingertips and utter relaxation around every corner, it simply makes sense to surround yourself with the best of this sophisticated city. Naples vacation rentals allow you to live like a local in an extravagant home that sits along the fine sands of the Gulf or rests along the lush fairway of a picturesque golf course. Forget about cookie cutter hotels that make you feel like a tourist, and enjoy all of the comforts of home in a setting that will take your breath away with every glance out the window. Privacy, convenience, and unparalleled access to the best of this wonderful city can all be yours when you stay in a Naples condo rental. offers a comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes all over the world. For an alternative lodging option, consider Naples vacation rentals for your next trip to Florida.