Are you searching for great Family Vacations on the Beach? Look no further than Naples Florida! You will find so many amazing things to do in Naples for the whole family. I have been coming down to Naples since I was a kid to visit my family and now I bring my own children. Throughout the years, I have found all the best Naples attractions every tourist needs to know. Take a look at all my insider tips on the best things to do Naples Florida.
I have broken out this article by Things to Do, Where to Eat and Shop, and Beaches. Visit great places like the Naples Zoo, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, best Naples beaches, Naples Pier, 5th Avenue and so much more. Take a look at all these awesome Naples attractions and plan your next Family Vacation.
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Things to Do in Naples Florida with Kids
Ready to get out and see some animals while in Florida? Check out their local zoo originally called Jungle Larry’s. You will be surrounded by exotic plants planted in 1919 when it was created as a Tropical Garden and a mixture of Mammals, Reptiles and Birds. Unique to this zoo is the boat ride around an island of primates and watching the alligators being fed. The zoo is a little smaller than a big city zoo but the benefit is the animals are closer to you and easier for the little ones to see and walk. It’s a fun way to fill the morning before heading to the beach in the afternoon.
Address: 1590 Goodlette Road North, Naples FL
Naples Botanical Gardens
While in Naples, stop by the Naples Botanical Garden to stroll through this 170 acre world class paradise featuring plants from around the world. Trip Advisor has ranked the Gardens as the #1 attraction in Naples. The beauty of the gardens can’t be missed. Head there with the kids on Saturday or Sunday for their children’s program that is included with the price of admission. Bonus children under 4 are free.
Address: 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL
Located next to the Zoo, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a large indoor and outdoor facility highlighting the natural surroundings of southwest Florida. Kids will love the Dalton Discovery Center featuring live animals and interactive exhibits about the everglades. Also check out the Little Explores Play Zone for interactive activities, stories and crafts for littler ones. Enjoy self-guided nature walks with your family or rent a Kayak for the naturalist guided tour of the Gordan River. Bonus included in your admission price is a 45-minute guided boat tour of the Gordon River where you might even see a manatee!
Address: 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples FL
Does your child love trains? Check out the Naples Train Museum with a multi-level train display including a Thomas The Train. At any given time, there are 10 trains running through the tracks. Plus, lots of buttons to push to control activities with the trains. Bonus with the price of your ticket you get a ride on their small train around the complex. This is a smaller museum with one room but really fun for the children who love trains. Kids 3 and younger are free. The train Museum is only open Fridays and Saturdays.
Address: 401 10th Street South, Naples FL
Located next to the Naples Train Museum in the south entrance is the Naples Depot Musuem. The museum takes visitors back to the days of the railroad boom and displays how people lived in Naples over the years from the Seminole Indians to today’s bustling town. It’s a great way to get a better understanding of the history of Naples and its people. There are large displays of a Seminole canoe, swamp buggies, old cars and equipment used to run the railroad. Bonus the museum is free so wander over after the Naples Train Museum and enjoy some quick history of the area. Find more great free activities in Naples in my 10 Fun Free Things to Do in Naples blog.
Address: 1051 5th Avenue South, Naples FL
Nicknamed Cmon, it is southwest Florida’s first Children’s Museum dedicated to having families learn through play. The museum is 30,000 square feet of awesome interactive exhibits for families to enjoy. They also have a Garden Café if you would like to eat while you are there. No outside food is allowed. I would recommend this museum for kids 0-10 as the exhibits tend to be for younger children. This would make a great day out on a rainy day in Florida or when the sun is too hot and you need a break indoors.
Address: 15080 Livingston Road, Naples FL
Located across the street from the Children’s Museum, this is Naples only Waterpark. Sun and Fun Lagoon is a fun change from the beach with 5 water slides, large pool to swim, activity pool, toddler pool and a diving and lap pool. Between all the pools and activities, you can find things to keep all ages of the family happy! Prices are pretty reasonable and kids 0-3 are free.
Address: 15000 Livingston Road, Naples FL
Visit the Everglades right in Naples at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. This 2.5 miles of raised boardwalk let you meander through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, marsh, and old growth Blad Cypress trees. It’s an easy walk with the kids and a great way to see tons of animals and nature. On our last trip, we saw several alligators, snakes, turtles, a large variety of birds (including a pink Spoon Bill, my kids favorite), frogs and more. It does take a couple hours to go through the boardwalk if you are stopping to look for animals but it is accessible with strollers. The Sanctuary is north of town so you will need a car to get there. In the main building and visitor center, there are bathrooms, a store, and a small café. Make sure to bring water and stop in bathrooms as there are none out on the boardwalk. This was a little pricy of a stop but worth it to see all the wildlife and not have to drive to the Everglades.
Address: 375 Sanctuary Road W , Naples FL
Coral Cay Adventure Golf
Need a fun outing with the kids? I always find miniature golf to be a good family vacation activity. Check out Coral Cay Adventure Golf, it is tropical miniature golf fun for both kids and adults.
Address: 2205 East Tamiami Trail, Naples FL
Cambier Park is located in the heart of downtown Naples just south of the 5th Avenue Shops and Restaurants. This 13-acre park is a great place to let the kids run around and play in the huge playground area. Bonus catch a free concert in the park on Sundays from 2-4. Want to shop or eat on 5th Avenue? Use this as your kid’s motivation to get though an afternoon of shopping with you. Make a fun day of it for everyone.
Address: 755 8th Avenue South, Naples FL
Where to Eat and Shop in Naples
Looking to do a little shopping while in Naples Florida? Or wondering where to eat? Check out these suggested locations below and decide which is right for your family. Use the link after each location to find more details on which shops and restaurants are located at each site.
I am not gonna, lie this is a pretty touristy shopping area but it has been a staple of Naples tourism since the 1970’s. Located right on the inland waterway and originally built for the river commerce, it is now filled with little shops and restaurants. It’s a fun place to eat and watch the boats go by and a good place to pick up some souvenirs. It is also very family friendly. There is parking but in season this place gets pretty busy so be patient. If you are in the area also check out the Boardwalk shops and Restaurants located just a block away. Bonus find cheaper tourist souvenirs for the kids at a shop called Alvin’s Island just 3 blocks west at 998 6th Avenue South. This is where we pick up t-shirts and little mementos for the kids.
Address: 1200 5th Avenue South, Naples FL
This is the street Naples is known for! Located in downtown Naples, this street is filled with a mixture of upscale to casual stores and restaurants. It’s a fun street to stroll down to people watch, shop, and eat. Stop for ice cream with the kids at the popular Kilwin’s Ice Cream shop. Afterward, don’t forget to take a walk over to Cambier Park to let the kids play. If you are interested in theater, you will also find the Naples Players Theatre here. Check the link below for lists of restaurants and shops.
Located just south of 5th Avenue is the oldest part of Naples and known more for their art shops and unique stores. This historic area has a mixture of upscale shops and restaurants along well-manicured streets. The shops are located just 2 blocks from Naples Pier so have a bite to eat and stroll over to watch the sunset on the Pier.
Located on Venetian Bay you will find more than 45 waterfront shops and restaurants. This shopping area has a range of unique stores to chain stores you can find at home. The fun of this shopping area is being on the water.
Address: 4200 Gulf Shore Boulevard North, Naples FL
The Waterside Shops
This is a more upscale outdoor shopping mall but unlike its name, it is not located on the water. However, this mall is right off US 41 (also known as Tamiami Trail) which makes it convenient for most tourists. You can find shops like the Apple Store, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, and more. There are also several restaurants to eat at. The ambiance is nice to walk around and a good way to kill a couple hours.
Address: 5415 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL
This area was one of the original centers of Naples. It is based around the Naples City Dock area on the inland waterway. Here you can find a few small shops and a few restaurants. The Dock restaurant is a fun restaurant if you want to sit on the waterfront and watch the boats go by. If you want something quick with the kiddos, try the Napoli on the Bay Pizzeria. Before or after your meal, enjoy a stroll down the dock with the kids looking at boats and wildlife.
Address: 12th Avenue South and 8th Street South
Mama Mia’s Pizza
This is an insider tip of a great local pizzeria where all the Naples residents eat. Pick up a pizza and bring it to the beach to watch the sunset. Your kids will love it. Pizza and the Beach! They are old school and don’t have a website but here is the link to see their menu online. You won’t be disappointed! Since they are old school, they only accept cash.
Address: 1841 Tamiami Trail North, Naples FL, 239-262-2823
Beaches in Naples Florida
You cannot miss out on spending time with the kids at the amazing powdery white sand beaches of Naples. This is why you really come down here!!
Need some beach tips and tricks to make your beach visit meltdown free? Check out my 20 Beach Hacks to Survive a Family Beach Day and have a stress free visit to the Beach.
This is one of the most popular beaches both in the day to swim and in the evening to watch the sunset. Your family will love taking a stroll down the pier to look at all the fisherman and pelicans. Sometimes you will even see some dolphins swim by. The Pier has bathroom facilities and a small concession stand located on the Pier. Parking can be found at a pay lot a block east of the entrance. The end of the pier was damaged in the 2017 Hurricane but hopefully repairs will be finished soon to the Pier. This is a must hit spot while in Naples.
Address: Located on the West End of 12th Avenue South, Naples FL
This is fun beach with the kiddos on vacation because it offers all the things you need when you travel by plane and can’t tote along. At this beach, you are able to rent chairs, umbrellas, life vests, and some beach equipment. You don’t need to pack food because they also have a reasonably priced concession stand. You will also find 2 playgrounds, picnic benches, bathrooms, and shower facilities. The downside to all this great stuff is it is VERY popular. I would recommend getting there early because there is limited paid parking spaces for non-residents. Even though it can get crowded, you can place your stuff on the beach a little further north or south and be away from the crowd who tend to stay right in front of the facilities. Overall, I think this is a great family friendly beach.
Address: 1301 Gulfshore Boulevard North, Naples FL
Vanderbilt Beach – End of Vanderbilt Beach Road.
Located on the North end of Naples near the Ritz Carlton, you will find beautiful wide white sand beaches. This beach also has bathroom facilities and chair and umbrella rentals. It does not have a concession stand but you can go next door to the Ritz to eat or just pack a picnic lunch. During the season (January to March) Vanderbilt beach gets very crowded. But unlike the other two beaches, this one has a new parking garage with plenty of parking. It is located just west of the Ritz Carlton hotel entrance and just steps from the beach. However, I would still recommend you getting there earlier during the season.
Location: End of Vanderbilt Beach Road
Day Trips from Naples
Marco Island is about a half hour drive south of Naples and has tons of fun family things to do too. Stop first at the Briggs Nature Center on the way to Marco and take a cool hike on a boardwalk through their half-mile nature center. After head to Marco Island Historic Museum to learn the history of the areas people. Finish up with a visit to one of Marco Island’s beautiful beaches and public parks. To learn more read 8 Fun Things to Do in Marco Island.
Big Cypress National Preserve is just a short drive away from Naples and is a free National Preserve. Visit this amazing preserve to see a diverse ecosystem near the Florida Everglades. It’s a great place for the kids to see wildlife in a natural setting from the safety of the many boardwalks. Your sure to see some alligators swimming around while your visiting. Families can choose to hike or simply drive the beautiful Loop Road. Find out all the fun things to do in Big Cypress National Preserve – What to See & Do.
Everglade City – After visiting Big Cypress National Preserve take a short drive to Everglade City. One of the most exciting things to do here is taking an airboat ride. Your family will love zipping thought the mangroves and looking for alligators. You’ll also find two fun museums Ted Smallwood Store and Museum of Everglade City. Both interesting museums teach you all about the people who have lived in this former frontier city in Florida. Check out all there is to do in The Best Airboat Rides and Visiting Everglade City Florida.
Find Out How Much Your Trip Will Cost
Find out the full cost of your upcoming vacation with my free Trip Cost Calculator. Use this easy tool to help build your travel budget and get a better idea of how much you need to save for vacation. You can adjust each travel item cost until you find a total amount that you can afford. Then build your dream vacation around your personal travel budget.
Where to Stay in Naples
Wondering where to stay on your trip to Naples? There is a wide variety of different hotel options from luxury to family friendly. You will find there are not many hotels on the beach. If this is what your looking for check out the Ritz Carlton Naples, Naples Grand Beach Resort or the Edgewater Beach Hotel.
If you can’t be on the beach another fun option is a hotel on Naples Bay. You can see the boats go by and if your lucky catch a glimpse of the dolphins. There are two local hotels I would suggest The Cove Inn and Naples Bay Resort & Marina. However if your okay with being off the water and want something more economcal you will find every chain hotel from Marriott to the Hampton Inn to chose from on your trip.
Get more hotel ideas at Booking.com our favorite travel site.
I hope this helps you to plan an amazing family vacation in Naples, Florida. There is really so much to do from visiting museums and zoos to spending the day playing at the beach. You will not regret spending your family vacation here. Want to save some money on your trip. Check out my 10 Fun Free Things to Do in Naples. Mix up your trip with a few free adventures too!
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