Our vacation started in Miami with our flight from Phoenix to Miami is just under 5 hours arriving around 10PM. We decided to stay the night in Miami as its another 2 hours drive to Naples – the first part of our trip. Upon arriving in Miami they had a super rain storm that flooded all the streets to the hotel, as cars were being towed from the streets due to engine failure from the storm we were so thankful when we reached the hotel without having to call a tow company ourselves.
These days, when we are on vacation we try and take our time and enjoy our surroundings. So on the way to Naples we decided to stop off at a few locations along Alligator Alley (the old one).
– As most of the attractions were still closed due to COVID, we aimed to find a few interesting state park stops along the way. Our first stop was at Kirby Storter Roadside Park, this park has bathrooms and a picnic area. You can walk along the boardwalk and walk through the Cypress Trees to see the natural preserve. One thing I would like to add is that it must have been grasshopper season at this park because they were everywhere near the entrance, felt like I was kinda in a bad dream. Please go to check out this park, I’m sure they have moved on but did freak me out A LOT!!!!
– Another entertaining stop along the way is H.P. William State Parkwere we walked along a very short boardwalk and counted over 30 alligators in the water. I’m sure there were many more we didn’t see! Again, this is a nice break where you can use the bathroom and take a good stretch if you have been in the car for too long. 😉
Our hotel in Naples Staybridge Suites
This is a great hotel that has been recently remodeled. If you are lucky, you might be about to score an upgraded to a suite room – The Hilton Hotel is just down the street but Staybridge Suites are really nice properties to spread out a bit. We chose this hotel because they have a kitchenette that you can cook meals instead of going out and they also have bikes available for rent – which if you follow me, you know that we love riding bikes wherever we go. Seemed to be a ‘Bicycle Monopoly” in the area with rentals a bit pricey at $25 per day.
The Staybridge Suites also has a nice pool and hot tub as well a cute cabana boy serving drinks at the tiki bar. Again we were there during May 2020 so the tiki bar was closed but my hubby likes to jump and take care of things!
The best things to do in Naples
If you go in one direction (North) you can make an easy ride to Clam Pass Park, about a mile from the hotel. If you are in a car then park at the entrance, on bike lock your bikes up there.
There is a really long boardwalk through the marsh and mangrove swamp which that takes you out to the beach at the end of a peninsula. Its actually quite a walk that takes about 15 minutes to get to the end. There is also a tram, unfortunately when we were there it was not operational.
There is also a snack bar at the end of boardwalk called Rhodes End, check it out if you get hungry.
You can also head South and take a bike ride through the residential areas of downtown all the way to 5th Ave. area of downtown Naples. This is a longer bike ride of ~7miles one way. On our bike ride one of the days we stopped by the harbor, there are several to choose from.
You many want to make reservations because several of the restaurants we wanted to check out had a long waiting list.
If you are in the downtown Naples area in the evening, walk down to the Naples Pier to take in some incredible sunset pics on the beach. The pier is about a 10 minute walk from 5th Ave. downtown area.
Another excursion to check out is Rising Tide Explorers they have private tours that take you out to the mangroves to see mantees as well as a private beach either in a boat or book a kayak tour to get up close and personal.
On our tour we were able to go to a beautiful beach that felt like we were the only ones there
After the tour head over to Snook Inn for a bite to eat on Marco Island. They have great food and great views of the harbor.
The best things to pack
DJI MAVIC DRONE
This is the new drone that just came out from DJI. Just purchased this for our trips coming up, this is very light weight and easy to pack.
Summer Beach Bag
Summer is here and every girl needs a new beach bag. Love this bag, nice pockets on the side to hold your water bottle and its CUTE, more importantly!!!
Try and recycle waterbottles or even better yet bring your own bottle. Love this waterbottle from Pogo, comes in 7 different colors.