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The Port’s Picks

Check out our monthly blog for our favorite local finds and the best area events, attractions and in-the-know ideas. 

  • swampmorning

    Explore Wildlife and Peaceful Surroundings Off the Briggs Boardwalk

    Thanks to our close proximity to the Everglades, we’re no stranger to the beautiful, natural surroundings that South Florida has to offer.

    If you’re looking for another opportunity to soak up the scenic views, look no further than the Briggs Nature Center. Nearby on Marco Island, the Briggs center offers peaceful nature paths and wildlife in their natural habitat off Shell Island Road and the Briggs boardwalk. Catch sight of gorgeous nighthawks, American alligators, tortoises and much more as you make your way through the various habitats. The center has a number of volunteers close by, ready and willing to answer any wildlife questions you may have. Choose going on foot or remaining in your car down the main road, however you want to explore, you’ll surely reap the rewards of spending time with nature. Just a step away from civilization, the Briggs Boardwalk is exactly what South Florida is supposed to be—peaceful, diverse and entirely unique.

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  • juicycrab

    Crab Claws and Great Company at the Stone Crab Fest!

    Just because the fall season has begun doesn’t mean the summer festivities have to end!

    You can enjoy the best of weather and seafood at the annual Stone Crab Festival all weekend long October 26-28. Taking place at several locations throughout the Old Naples Waterfront (including Tin City, Bayfront, Port of Naples Marina and Experience Naples), the crab fest is our invitation to you to say goodbye to your diet and indulge in some delicious bites. Throughout the entire weekend, you can enjoy cool activities, art booths, live music, and the freshest stone crab claws you can get your hands on! Round up your family, grab some great food, and soak up the great weather and company Friday, Saturday, or Sunday afternoon. You’ll love the food, but you’ll love the fun atmosphere and community even more.

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  • fashionablewoman

    Open-AIr, Waterfront Shopping at The Esplanade

    We’ve talked about the fun festivals and tourist stops at nearby Marco Island, but we’ve yet to share one of our favorite places for when you’re in desperate need of some retail therapy: The Esplanade Shoppes.

    Located on the stunning Smokehouse bay, the coastal village-style shopping is home to small boutiques, popular high-end retailers, and fine dining restaurants. Perfect for an afternoon or special evening out with your significant other, The Esplanade Shoppes provides the ideal setting for a waterfront stroll—complete with the best shops to peruse and sift through. Admire the detailed architecture and lush landscape of bright florals, plants, and fountains, the Esplanade Shoppes are like your very own tropical oasis, tucked away. Whether you plan on arriving by foot, car, or boat (yes, it’s possible!), you’ll love the relaxed feeling of an elegant stroll in coastal Italy, right here in Florida.

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  • freshstrawberries

    Start Your Day at the Open Air Farmers Market

    Nothing says ‘good morning’ like fresh produce and community spirit. Every Saturday morning beginning at 7:30 you have the chance to start your day right at the Naples Open Air Farmers Market.

    A popular weekly event for both locals and visitors, you can find all of the fresh produce, baked goods and artisanal products you ever need right in one place. Consider your morning breakfast taken care of with a fresh, juicy piece of fruit, or gather your favorite items to bring back for a night in. While one of the best parts of vacation is discovering all the amazing dining options available, sometimes there’s nothing better than a whole meal to wind down an amazing day. Located in the 3rd Street South area, the Open Air Farmers Market is perfect to stroll with friends, family, or solo to experience a fun Naples weekly tradition.

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  • drumsforanightperformance

    Enjoy Live Music and Breathtaking Views of the Gulf

    The Gulf’s summer festivities go far beyond the 4th of July.

    Throughout our summer months—and really, they last nearly all year—you can experience beach fun by day and great jazz music by night. Summer Jazz on the Gulf is Naples’ concert series where you can catch live jazz music while soaking in the dreamy views of the Gulf of Mexico. With a variety of jazz performers, there’s always a little something for everyone during the concert series, and attendees will love the gorgeous sunset start to the evening. Grab your friends and family, or travel solo, and relax in lawn chairs on the green at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. Once the evening wraps up, grab an ice cream on your way back to our grounds and unwind as you head back to our hidden oasis—we’ll be waiting for you!

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  • abirdstepsintomarshes

    Summer at the Everglades

    Joining us in June? You’ve come at the right time. Visiting the Everglades in the summer months may lend for higher temps and tropical rain, but it also means fewer crowds on your trip.

    At times, it even feels like you have the place to yourself. The official end to the dry season is Memorial Day weekend, and after that, you can immerse yourself into a unique time at the Everglades. The summer months are when the wetland prepares to create a new thriving habitat for the wildlife. And while spring is saved for alligator mating season, in August you may even hear the cries of new baby alligators first starting to explore their home. Come prepared with a hat, plenty of water and SPF, and you’ll be able to experience the Everglades in a way not most get to see. Whether you’re on foot or boat tour, summer is a wonderful time to explore the national park.

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  • manplayssaxophone

    StayInMay Brings the World of Art to Naples

    Travel the art-globe without leaving Naples as the StayInMay Festival continues on with fun, artistic events through May 12. Every year, StayInMay—originally known as the ArtsNaples World Festival—brings the very best of the cultural arts to our very own Naples.

    With artists from Russia, Latin America, Italy, France, and more, the festival gives audiences a glimpse into the vibrant art created and performed all over the world. Although the celebration officially started at the end of April, May is continuing strong with events including performances by Seraphic Fire (Florida’s Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble) and an Organ Tour with Pipedreams Talk-Show Host Michael Barone, the Art Deco Meet, and a Mind & Music event with Angela Sanders and Glen Estrin. Each event is held at a different location, so it’s also a fun way for you to tour all of Naples most popular spots. Purchase tickets ahead of time here.

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  • Frog peeks through the water filled with small leaves

    Nearby Boat Tours to Take You Through the Everglades

    What’s the best part about being the gateway to the famous Everglades? In addition to the breathtaking views, it’s our close proximity to a number of boat tours that can take you on a ride right through the national preserve.

    If you’re planning an Everglades afternoon—and we highly suggest you do!—consider a few of these nearby companies:

    Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides: Cruise through the scenic waterways of the expansive preserve for a chance to spot alligators, turtles, osprey, and more.
    239-389-7433

    Double R’s Fishing and Tours: The fully narrated tour boasts a knowledgeable guide and the possibility of spotting popular wildlife including alligators, dolphins, and even the American Bald Eagle.
    239-642-9779

    See Manatees: Run by Captains Barry and Carol, Manatees are the main focus on these tours, though tours also offer guests a view of other wildlife in their natural habitat.
    239-642-8818

    *tours cannot guarantee any wildlife sightings

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  • Plates of Crawfish Lined Up at  Festival

    Dig Into Great Food and Music at the Marco Island Seafood + Music Festival

    The 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival March 23-March 25, will have you living on island time with great music, food, and drink to enjoy. 

    Looking to spend your time here the laid-back Floridian way? There’s no better way to live like a local than to eat like one. And you’ll have the chance to do so this March, when Marco Island will host the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival March 23-March 25. Join in on the weekend’s full schedule of fun live music and great food and drink. Participating vendors will be cooking up some of the freshest seafood around including crab, lobster, and shrimp, while beer and wine vendors will bring their favorites to wash it all down. Bring the young ones to the kid’s zone with a bounce house, rock climbing wall and trampoline, and be sure to check out all of the arts and crafts booth. And while we boast incredible weather year round, there’s nothing quite like an island spring day enjoying good sunshine, food, music and company.

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  • A cut watermelon on a colorful beach towel

    Your Perfect Day Trip to Marco Island

    Just a 20-minute drive from our grounds is the beautiful Marco Island with of miles of sandy beaches, sunny marinas, and plenty of  activities for the whole family. 

    Just a 20-minute drive from our grounds is the beautiful Marco Island. A barrier isle situated in the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is a retreat of miles of sandy beaches, sunny marinas, and plenty of recreational activities for the whole family. Here are a few of our favorite stops on the island:

    The Rookery Bay Reserve is the home of over 100,000 acres of coastal estuaries and provides visitors with an opportunity to kayak off the reserve for a peaceful ride through nature’s beauty.

    Frank E. Mackle Community Park is your ideal picnic spot with plenty of space to spread out and get comfortable. The park has a playground for the young ones, as well as shuffleboard, bocce, and sport courts to pass the time together.

    Tigertail Beach is a must-see. This white-sand sanctuary has a tidal lagoon, a bathhouse, and colorful seashells to sift through along the shoreline.

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  • Older couple strolling along marina with boats docked

    Port of the Islands Marina: A Boater's Dream

    With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Ten Thousand Islands—the backside of our famous Everglades—the Port of the Islands Marina is a boater’s dream, and also one of the largest live aboard marinas in the state.

    One of the things we love most about the Port of the Islands is how close we are to so many tropical destinations. Through us, you can truly make the most of your retreat with a new adventure each day. And the Port of the Islands Marina will make sure that’s exactly what happens. With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Ten Thousand Islands—the backside of our famous Everglades—the marina is a boater’s dream, and also one of the largest live aboard marinas in the state. Vacation rentals and boat slip rentals are available, but they also offer live shrimp and fishing charter services, and fun manatee and eco tours too. Get a rental for the afternoon and soak up the sun while cruising up the coast of Naples. Whatever has you yearning for a day on the boat, the Marina will help make that dream a reality. 

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  • White birds walking through everglades waters

    Expedition Everglades

    With so much to do, a day spent at the Everglades is simply an unforgettable trip. Beautiful coastal mangroves, marshes, and pine flatwoods will create the perfect backdrop for whatever outdoor activities are in store. 

    With so much to do, a day spent at the Everglades is simply an unforgettable trip. This U.S. National Park protects the southern 20 percent of the original Everglades and provides ample outdoor activities to partake in while exploring over the 1.5 million-acre wetlands. Beautiful coastal mangroves, marshes, and pine flatwoods will create the perfect backdrop for whatever fun activities your family will get up to. Hop on a few bikes to check out Shark Valley, Snake Bight Trail, and the Long Pine Key Nature Trail. Or, sign up for a guided boat tour through the water to spot alligators and other wild wonders in their natural habitat. If you forget your "sea" legs, some of southern Florida's most beautiful and diverse landscape is best seen on your own two feet. Go for a leisurely walk on trails like the Flamingo, Pine Island, and more. No matter what you do, the Everglades are bound to be a beautiful, sunny--so don't forget that sunscreen!--and memorable adventure. 

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