Sometimes, as busy parents, all we need is to take a breath of fresh air and a mini vacation!!!! The ideal place, at least for me, is a place not too far, not too busy and fun! Luckily, living in the Sunshine State, we have amazing options and in this post I will talk about Naples, an incredible little city in Collier County and only a 2 hour drive from Miami.
In fact your vacation to Naples can start right before leaving Miami (from Ft. Lauderdale the best route is I75). If you take the “scenic drive” (which I recommend) from West Miami taking the Tamiami Trail, the possibilities are endless. The beginning of this road trip has amazing locations to take airboat rides, watch alligator shows, and view wildlife. Places like the Miccosukee Indian Village and the Big Cypress National Preserve can be lots of fun! My husband and I have great memories from this preserve and I am sure you can make memories there too. Walk, take a tram or ride a bike along a little river full of alligators chilling under the sun. The entrance is free so it is a must when taking this road.
Nestled on the sunny beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is a small city with a population of a little over 21,000 that makes it the perfect place for parents that need a much deserved vacation. Known for its world class shopping, dining and abundant, challenging golf courses, Naples is also a great and fun place to take kids because although the city is small, it has amazing hot spots for kids to have a great time!
I want to start with the SUN-N-FUN Lagoon . With four pools, a long lazy river, a lit splash playground or interactive water feature and five exciting water slides, I am sure the kids can spend the entire day having amazing fun here.
Free Ages 0-3
$6.00 under 48 inches tall
$13.00 taller than 48 inches
$9.00 seniors, ages 60 and up
Rooted in nearly a century of conservation, today’s Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with a rich history. In 2014, they celebrated four anniversaries: 95 years as a botanical garden; 60 years being open to the public; 45 years as a zoo; and 10 years since the vote to purchase the land. Far from being as big as the Miami Zoo , the Naples zoo is small but still amazing and very beautiful. They have a great sampling of the native Florida wildlife and have a boat ride to a Monkey Island and you can feed the giraffes.
A 501(c)(3) not-for- profit charitable organization founded in 2002, offers an educationally dynamic space that encourages exploration and discovery. This safe and wonderful place inspires children and families to have fun while learning together. This amazing Children’s Museum has exciting exhibits including an art studio, a market, a Banyan tree and more! For sure your child will have an amazing fun and educational time.
Children under 1 FREE
Children +1 $12
Golisano Childrens Museum of Naples
15080 LIVINGSTON RD NAPLES, FL 34109
239 514 0084
Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. This year the entrance fees for this preserve are waived. Anyone can visit and participate in activities for free. An amazing place for all ages to learn about the ecosystem. They also have an aquarium, a touch tank, beautiful grounds, walking tour, Kayaking, hands on activities, boat tours and more.
300 Tower Road Naples, Florida 34113
The work of saving our environment started in 1964 when plans were revealed to build a road through Rookery Bay, crossing Gordon Pass and into the Ten Thousand Islands. A small group of citizens became concerned, involved, and politically active mobilizing grassroots efforts to prevent the project. As a result, the road was never built. Rookery Bay and its inhabitants were saved and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida was founded. They have a learning center, as well as a Wildlife hospital with 3,500 animals admitted each year. In addition, they offer guided Kayak tours, nature cruises, Burmese python research, a Little Explorer Play Zone and more!
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
1495 Smith Preserve Way
Naples, Florida 34102
Take a trolley tour of the Naples area. You can see natural beauty, history, and the charm of Naples! See the very best of Naples on board a vintage Trolley and enjoy a fully-narrated Trolley Tour covering over 100 points of interest.
Children ages 5-13 $13
Children 4 and Under FREE
Naples TRolley Tours
1010 6th Avenue South | Naples, FL | 34102
One of the most popular attractions in Naples is the Beach & Fishing Pier. The pier that was built in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock was recently renewed and extends 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. The beach features volleyball nets and a stand of child-size life jackets FREE of Charge. You can borrow and then return before you leave the beach which is AWESOME! Whether your kids love collecting shells, playing on the beach, in the water park, learning about the ecosystem or just having a relaxed fun vacation; I am sure that Naples is the right place for every family that wants to have fun in the sun and take a little vacation!