Introduction to Naples, Florida
Naples is located in Collier County and has a tourist based economy. Naples along with the Everglades and Marco Island are known as the Paradise Coast. Several large land reserves are nearby. The local beach is considered to be one of the top beaches in the country. The town is well known for its large number of Fortune 500 CEO's residents.
The area was inhabited by the Caloosa Indians. Roger Gordon and Joe Wiggins are recognized as the first settlers in the region. They arrived during the late 1860's. The Naples area was bought by a group of prosperous citizens from Kentucky led by Walter N. Haldeman in the late 1880's. The town soon became a very popular winter resort. The name of the city is due to promoters of the area claiming the bay was superior to the bay in Naples, Italy.
In 1911, Barron G. Collier arrived at Useppa Island and purchased more than a million acres of swampland which included the vast majority of Naples. He believed the area could enjoy the type of boom that had occurred on the east coast of Florida. To achieve his goal, roads and a railroad needed to be constructed in the area. With the help of a large contribution by Collier, the Tamiami Trail was built and was opened in 1926. The highway connected Tampa and Miami.
The city is home to the Naples Municipal Airport. The Southwest Florida International Airport also serves the area.
- Corkscrew Swamps Sanctuary.
- Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
- Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
- Big Cypress National Preserve.
- Everglades National Park.
- Picayune Strand State Forest.
- Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a prestigious zoo.
- Gallery Row offers numerous art galleries.
- The Village on Venetian Bay is an upscale shopping area.
- The Tin City shopping area is home to numerous sellers of antiques and novelty items made in the region.
- The Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
- The Naples Players.
- The Naples Botanical Garden.
- Naples Pier.
- The Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
- 5th Avenue South and 3rd Street South Shopping districts are well known.
The beautiful beach situated on the Gulf of Mexico is very popular with tourists. Over 80 championship golf courses are located in the region. The Minnesota Twins as well as the Boston Red Sox have their spring training facilities close to Naples. Everglade excursions take visitors into the backcountry and provide opportunities to see some of the thousands of Everglade Islands. Fishing, boating and beach parties are very popular activities. The city is considered to be one of the prominent regions in the Southeast portion of the country for performing arts.