Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades – provides an array of luxury, adventure, vacation, and business travel options year-round. Featuring endless horizons and world-renowned Gulf of Mexico sunsets, the destination is bordered by a 30-mile coastline ribboned with white-sand beaches and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which is the gateway to the Everglades. With more than 80 percent of Collier County a dedicated “green space,” visitors and locals alike are surrounded with beautiful open-air spaces and spectacular tropical flora at every turn.
Renowned for its luxury lifestyle and sophisticated ambiance, travelers to the destination indulge in dining experiences from farm-to-table concepts to culinary classics. A globally inspired arts and culture scene offers a full schedule of live theatre, opera and philharmonic events, complemented by a line-up of museums that offer fine arts, historical artifacts, and interactive exhibits for the young and young-at-heart. Shopping experiences abound and include home décor and decorating ideas in the design district to luxury designer boutiques on 5th Avenue South and 3rd Street South. The lively downtown area, known as Old Naples, is the perfect location to sip a cocktail while enjoying the “see and be seen” vibe of people-watching as luxury, exotic, and classic cars parade down the avenue.
The stellar line-up of outdoor adventures and activities include access to a multitude of national, state, local and private parks for swimming, boating, fishing, nature trails and wilderness treks. Throughout the destination, more than 90 public and private golf courses create elegantly manicured vistas while numerous nature preserves offer a home to rare and endangered wildlife, including more than 350 species of birds.
Naples is a charming resort city on the coast, offering the ultimate in luxury, fresh local cuisine, great shopping, a thriving arts and culture scene, and much more. U.S. News and World Report rated Naples the No. 1 “Best Places to Live in Florida,” No. 2 “Safest Places to Live in Florida,” No. 3 “Best Places for Quality of Life,” No. 4 “Best Places to Retire,” No. 4 “Fastest-Growing Places,” and No. 7 “Best Places to Live,” by weighing factors of weather, safety, economy, education, health and quality of life. The area is famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches, golf courses, fishing, boating, water sports, arts and culture and spectacular sunsets. Dedicated to enriching the community with visual and performing arts and education, Naples is home to more than 100 art galleries featuring local artists, as well as numerous private and public museums featuring interactive exhibits to fine art collections.
Flanked by nearly 100 miles of islands, bays and estuaries that will never be developed, Marco Island is the largest of Southwest Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and pristine mangrove estuaries on the other. Immediately to the south of Marco Island is the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf Coast portion of Everglades National Park. This pristine saltwater wilderness extends all the way to the tip of mainland Florida and is recognized as a top spot for anglers, many of whom come from across the country and around the world to fish for top Florida gamefish including tarpon, snook, redfish, permit, seatrout and more. Visitors to Marco Island enjoy iconic white-sand beaches, fresh seafood and water activities including backcountry and offshore fishing, boating, and paddling. A nature lovers’ retreat, Marco Island was voted third in the category of “Best Islands in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020.
South of Naples and Marco Island, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America and is part of the largest wetlands ecosystem in the United States and one of 24 World Heritage Sites in the U.S. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center – one of three main entrances to the park – is in Everglades City, the original County Seat for Collier County. This quaint Old Florida-style small town sits on the edge of the wilderness. It provides access to the breathtaking Ten Thousand Islands and Wilderness Waterway sections of the park, where visitors access this saltwater wonderland area via boat tours, fishing charters and guided paddling adventures. In addition to alligators and rare American crocodiles, adventurers will spot bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles, along with a large variety of birds of prey and wading birds on display in the Gulf Coast Everglades. Just outside Everglades City is the expansive Big Cypress National Preserve, which provides even more and varied outdoor recreational opportunities than Everglades National Park, including hunting, off-road vehicle access, hiking, paddling, biking and several long wilderness drive areas. Big Cypress was the first to receive the National Preserve designation in the U.S. National Park system.
More than 80 percent of Florida’s Paradise Coast, within Collier County, Fla., is dedicated to parks and nature preserves, with much of this area covered by the Everglades ecosystem and its many inhabitants, including hundreds of species of colorful birds, fresh and saltwater fish, alligators, bobcats, Florida black bear and the rare, endangered Florida panther.
Florida’s Paradise Coast is known for spectacular sunsets, gentle waves and soft sugar-sand beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for weddings, honeymoons and milestone celebrations.
From waterside luxury beach resorts situated along the miles of pristine coastline, resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Naples Grande Beach Resort, Edgewater Beach Hotel and the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort offer all the elements for a picture perfect beach ceremony and reception. Cityside options in Naples’ downtown area offer classic and boutique locations that welcome brides and bride-to-be. Fifth Avenue South and nearby Third Street South offer scenic areas alive with art galleries and boutique shops. Naples Art provides galleries filled with modern works of art just across the street from Cambier Park, a charming setting for a casual, outdoor ceremony. For those who prefer a marina setting, the Naples Bay Resort & Marina is a stellar option for upscale receptions and waterside ceremonies.
For a more casual setting and those with a more adventurous spirit, the Everglades offers natural wonders and a taste of Old Florida. Accommodations and reception venues include The Ivey House Everglades Adventures Hotel and the historic Rod & Gun Club.