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14 Best Day Trips from Naples Florida

day trips from naples fl

Get ready to unlock the best day trips from Naples FL! From Everglades adventures to the Florida Keys, find your perfect getaway.

Looking to get out of Naples for a day? With so many awesome places just a short drive away, you’d be crazy not to explore beyond the city.

With so many incredible places to explore beyond the city, you’d be straight up crazy not to take a day trip or two…or five!

Dreaming of sunny beaches and catching epic sunsets? How about adventuring through wetlands teeming with wildlife? Or maybe immerse yourself in arts, culture and history? Well, you’re in luck because it’s all possible on an easy day trip from Naples!

Here are some of the top day trip destinations from Naples, Florida to consider adding to your itinerary.

1. Sanibel Island

sanibel island seashells

One of the best beach towns near Naples is Sanibel Island. This barrier island is famous for its seashells, and is a top destination for beachcombing. There are over 250 different kinds of shells that regularly wash up on its beaches. Go early in the day and you might spot sand dollars, conchs, whelks, and many other rare finds.

Some of the best places to look for shells on Sanibel Island are Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass Beach, and Gulfside City Park. Bring a mesh bag and get ready to collect some amazing souvenirs from the sea. Just please note that it is illegal to collect live shells like conchs, so only collect empty, uninhabited shells.

In addition to shelling, Sanibel Island has wonderful white sand beaches, beachfront resorts and rentals, biking trails, tidal pools, and nature preserves perfect for spotting wildlife. Stop for a bite at The Timbers Restaurant for fresh local seafood with waterfront views.

To get to Sanibel Island, it’s about a 75 minute drive from Naples. You can also take a 15 minute ferry ride to Sanibel from Fort Myers Beach. It makes a wonderful day trip from Naples and is a beach lover’s paradise.

2. Captiva Island

Just north of Sanibel, connected by a short bridge, you’ll find the less populated but equally beautiful Captiva Island. Like Sanibel, Captiva has stunning beaches with excellent shelling opportunities. Captiva tends to be less crowded and developed than Sanibel, with mansions, resorts, and lush natural areas composing much of the landscape.

Alison Hagerup Beach Park is an excellent public beach area on Captiva known for gorgeous views, picnic facilities, and of course, shells. South Seas Island Resort is a top place to stop for coastal cuisine with a tropical ambiance. Charter a fishing trip or relax at the spa after a morning of beachcombing at South Seas.

Captiva makes a lovely complement to a Sanibel Island day trip. You can even bike between the two islands using the Sanibel Causeway Trail. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive to Captiva Island from Naples. Add this tropical paradise to your Florida beach bucket list.

3. Everglades National Park

crane flying beside tree in everglades national park

For an outdoorsy day trip from Naples, plan a visit to stunning Everglades National Park. Here you can explore vast wetlands, teeming with birds, alligators, and other wildlife. There are various ranger-led tours and boat cruises to choose from. Or bring bikes and peddle along the scenic roadways and trails yourself.

Some must visit areas of Everglades National Park include Ernest Coe Visitor Center, Shark Valley, and the Anhinga Trail. Here you might catch sight of colorful birds like egrets, herons, and spoonbills fishing in the marshes. Alligators laze in the sun along trailsides and riverbanks. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready!

You can easily spend a full day hiking, biking, or boating within Everglades National Park. Stop at the visitor centers to learn about the fascinating ecosystem. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive from Naples to the main park entrances. You’ll feel worlds away from the city while immersing yourself in untamed Florida wilderness.

4. Fort Myers Beach

people on seashore during daytime fort myers beach

Just north of Naples you’ll find the lively and family-friendly Fort Myers Beach. It has over 7 miles of powdery white sand, perfect for swimming, building sandcastles, beach volleyball, and lounging oceanside.

The Times Square area of Fort Myers Beach has restaurants, shops, live music, and entertainment. Grab a bite at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, named after a character from local celebrity author Randy Wayne White’s novels. Don’t miss the nightly sunset celebration on the beach with live music and entertainment.

Younger kids will enjoy playing at the on-site playground equipment. Teens and adults can rent wave runners, kayaks, sailboats and try other watersports. Fort Myers Beach makes an easy day trip under an hour’s drive from Naples.

5. Marco Island

beach during sunset marco island

For more beautiful beachcombing and nature preserves near Naples, plan a day trip to Marco Island. Tigertail Beach is lauded for its excellent shelling, especially during winter and spring. Keep an eye out for colorful cockles, scallops, clams and rare spider conch shells.

Marco Island is part of the Ten Thousand Islands region of smaller mangrove and vegetation islands along the coast. Book a dolphin or manatee spotting tour through the backwaters and secluded isles. Rose Marina offers fishing charters, boat rentals and water adventures.

On land, Collier-Seminole State Park has ancient shell mounds, mangrove forest trails and kayak launches into the Blackwater River. Cool off afterwards with homemade ice cream from Sweet Annie’s. Marco Island is about a 45 minute drive from Naples and makes a relaxing nature escape.

6. Sarasota

a marina with boats docked in the water in sarasota

Charming Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast has sublime soft sand beaches, renowned art museums, fantastic shopping and dining. Visit the Ringling Museum to tour the former winter estate of John Ringling, one of the founders of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus.

Nearby St. Armands Circle is a delightful pedestrian shopping district with high-end boutiques and excellent bistros. Enjoy the afternoon wandering the elegant palm tree lined promenades. Stop for tapas and sangria at Casa-di-Pizza orpeople watch from the patio of the Columbia Restaurant, a Spanish/Cuban institution since 1959.

Just offshore, you can kayak through the ethereal mangrove tunnels of Lido Key Nature Preserve. Or try stand up paddleboarding at Siesta Key Beach, repeatedly voted one of the top Florida beaches in the US. The quartz crystal sand is practically pure white and feels like powdered sugar underfoot.

Vibrant Sarasota has something for every interest. It’s about 2 hours south of Naples and makes an excellent longer day trip.

7. Tampa

city skyline across body of water during night time in tampa

Looking for some thrills near Naples? Head 2 hours north to Tampa and spend the day at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This world class amusement park has epic rollercoasters, animals, shows and immersive themes like Jungala with tigers and Serengeti Plain. Experience the adrenaline rush of rides like Montu, Kumba, and Cheetah Hunt.

Downtown Tampa also has great dining, football and nightlife. Grab some authentic Cuban food at Columbia Restaurant on the Riverwalk, followed by salsa dancing at Cuban Club Restaurant & Bar. Catch a Buccaneers NFL game at the spectacular Raymond James Stadium, or dance the night away at Hyde Park Cafe.

Tampa also has pretty beaches like Clearwater Beach, historic Ybor City, museums like the Tampa Bay History Center, and performing arts venues like the Straz Center. Baseball fans can catch a spring training game or regular season action with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa offers big city entertainment and Gulf Coast beaches, all just two hours from Naples for an action-packed day trip.

8. Boca Raton

a woman in a blue dress sitting on a fountain in boca raton

About 2.5 hours southeast of Naples you’ll discover the Palm Beach County city of Boca Raton. Boca has beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Coast, with less crowds and seaweed than some other parts of Florida.

Explore the scenic Boca Raton Inlet and park area, looking for shy manatees in the marina. Visit Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to climb the observation tower and touch sea stars and horseshoe crabs in the aquatic tanks. Have a picnic at 9,000-acre Spanish River Park.

Don’t miss seeing the historic Boca Raton Resort & Club. The Mediterranean style architecture and lush grounds have hosted everyone from the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts to presidents. Pop into town for exclusive shopping and dining along Mizner Park and Downtown Boca. With a more relaxed vibe than Miami, Boca makes a great day trip from Naples.

9. Clearwater Beach

About 2 hours northwest of Naples, Clearwater Beach consistently tops lists as one of the best beaches in America. Its wide, uncrowded shores have dazzling white powder sand and calm blue-green waters perfect for swimming. Families will love the pirate ship themed playground, called Smugglers’ Cove.

Charter a deep sea fishing expedition, or take to the air on a parasailing adventure for amazing aerial views. Hop aboard the Jolley Trolley and explore the Clearwater Beach restaurant and entertainment district. Treat yourself to fresh seafood, live music, ice cream and boutique shops without using your car.

Don’t miss Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, where artisans display their art each evening at sunset. Grab a spot to watch the glowing sunset over the Gulf of Mexico in the evenings during your visit. Just 2 hours west, Clearwater Beach makes a terrific day trip from Naples.

10. Pine Island

For a more off-the-beaten-path day trip option near Naples, check out the Old Florida island community of Pine Island about 45 minutes north of Naples. Linked to the mainland by just one road, Pine Island feels worlds away with its slow pace of life and small town charm.

Go kayaking or boating through the lush mangrove forests of Pine Island Sound. Splash and play at Cayo Costa State Park, accessible only by private boat or ferry. Explore scenic ranch lands, tropical gardens, and fruit farms while on the island.

The tiny Matlacha historic art district is a waterfront community dotted with funky art galleries, seafood shacks, and indie shops. Grab fresh chowder and listen to live music at Bert’s Bar & Grill. Wander the mural-lined streets admiring the creativity and colors.

Pine Island provides a nice taste of Old Florida, with beautiful beaches, nature preserves, fishing, and local character. Enjoy a relaxing day trip away from the crowds when staying in Naples.

11. Miami

Vibrant, cosmopolitan Miami offers an amazing diversity of experiences for a longer day trip 2.5 hours southeast of Naples. Spend the day exploring Miami’s famous beaches, like trendy South Beach with its colorful Art Deco architecture, luxury resorts and high-end shopping.

Take a cruise to photogenic Bayside Marketplace or the celebrity houses of Star Island and Palm Island. Experience the Latin culture of Little Havana, or dine at one of Miami’s fine restaurants and swanky nightclubs in the evenings. Don’t miss the street art and murals of the Wynwood Arts District.

Other top Miami day trip activities include admiring tropical plants and orchids at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, wildlife spotting in the Everglades, or exploring museums like the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The options are endless in this world-class city by the sea.

12. Orlando

No trip to Florida is complete without a visit to Orlando and its incredible theme parks and attractions. Just under 3 hours northeast of Naples, Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND and more. Choose your favorite theme park and enjoy a day of unforgettable rides, shows, characters, and magic for all ages.

Must visit Orlando theme parks include:

  • Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, Disney characters
  • EPCOT – World Showcase, Test Track, Soarin’
  • Animal Kingdom – Avatar land, safari rides, shows
  • Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Land, Star Wars rides
  • Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure – Wizarding World of Harry Potter, rides and attractions

With so many world-class parks and entertainment complexes, Orlando offers endless fun as a day or weekend trip from Naples. The parks are massive with so much to see and do. Prepare for a full day packed with theme park thrills!

13. Key Largo

Escape to the tropical Florida Keys for a day just an hour south of Naples. Key Largo has great snorkeling, beautiful beaches, coral reefs, nature parks, and a laid back island vibe. Snorkel or scuba dive the fascinating Christ of the Abyss underwater statue, or explore the coral reefs and marine life of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Go kayaking through the peaceful mangrove forests of the Everglades habitats. Look for crocodiles, turtles, herons and other wildlife. Stop for delicious seafood and key lime pie in Key Largo’s waterfront restaurants.

Don’t miss also visiting the free-roaming rhesus monkeys of Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, originally placed there for tourism in the 1930s. A Key Largo day trip is perfect for nature lovers, boaters, divers and beachgoers.

14. Islamorada

Keep heading south to Islamorada for your Keys day trip, just under 2 hours from Naples. Islamorada is known for offshore and backcountry fishing, with opportunities to catch sailfish, mahi-mahi, grouper and snapper. Many fishing world records have been set in these waters.

Visit the History of Diving Museum to learn about the fascinating history of sponge diving and treasure hunting in the Keys. Feed the massive tarpon at Robbie’s Marina or stop into one of the seafood shacks and restaurants for the freshest catch.

Anne’s Beach and Library Beach are perfect for swimming and relaxing oceanside. Walk out on the purple-hued Historic Long Key Bridge for scenic views. Islamorada combines laid-back Keys culture with outstanding recreational opportunities for an easy yet adventure-filled day trip from Naples.

Tips for Planning Day Trips from Naples Florida

Planning a day trip from Naples, Florida, can feel like prepping for an adventure. With so many awesome day trip spots to pick from, it’s key to plan carefully and make the most of your time. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Research and Plan Ahead

Before hitting the road, do your homework on potential destinations. Consider distance, drive times, available activities and any special events happening. If hiking at a National Park, check trail maps and weather alerts. For beach trips, see what amenities and dining options each has.

Pack Essentials for a Day Trip

What you pack depends on where you’re headed. Hiking essentials include comfy shoes, water, snacks, etc. For the beach, don’t forget sunscreen, towels, umbrella, cooler, etc. Have your camera ready for capturing memories throughout the day.

Build in Flexibility

Leave room for unexpected pit stops or spur-of-the-moment detours. Wandering an interesting small town, stopping for ice cream, catching an epic sunset – these are the experiences that make day trips so fun.

Wherever you go, just remember to enjoy the journey of adventure and discovery. Day trips from Naples rock! Let’s hit the road.

Conclusion

Naples, Florida is perfectly situated to explore the best of the region. From shell-lined beaches and offshore islands to the Everglades wilderness and adrenaline-pumping amusement parks, there are amazing day trips in every direction.

Plan your ideal Florida getaway by mixing and matching from this list of top 14 day trips from Naples. Close choices like Sanibel Island and Everglades National Park can be visited in just half a day, while farther flung destinations like Miami and Tampa will fill a whole fun-packed day.

With so many choices, you could stay for weeks in Naples and never run out of fantastic Florida experiences within easy day trip distance. Whether you seek family fun, outdoor adventure, culture and dining, or non-stop entertainment, you are sure to find day trips from Naples to delight every interest.

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