Biking underneath the palms, sun-drenched days on the boat, warm puppy cuddles, happy hour Spritzin’ on the lanai, sprinkling Old Bay seasoning on my crab cakes, and buttering up in Hawaiian Tropic’s “lime coolada” moisturizer after chilling in the sun. These are just some of the many little pieces that will always remind me of the time I lived in Naples, Florida for four months.
These activities, places, sips, and sweet treats get five out of five stars from me. Whether you’re staying in Naples for a short or extended period of time, show the below local businesses some love.
1. Biking to The French for frosé on a particularly hot and humid afternoon.
2. Sippin’ Don’t Call Me Piña at Bar Tulia. This craft cocktail with Milagro Silver, Ancho Reyes, piña, lime, ginger, and jalapeño will ROCK. YOUR. WORLD. (It has a deliciously smokey taste.)
3. Happy hour on the lanai, especially on days when we can hear the waves crashing just a couple blocks away.
4. Two words: themed dinners. I’m a total sucker for assigning fun and whimsy themes to any occasion. We had a luau for my boyfriend’s birthday — leis, grass skirts, fruity sips, BBQ takeout from Michelbob’s, and all — in addition to lobster night and taco night.
5. The way the trees curve over each side of the road, creating a tunnel effect. (1st Avenue North is a beautiful backdrop for bike pics!)
6. The buffalo cauliflower — which comes with AMAZING pickled carrots on the side — from Lake Park Diner.
7. Cozy puppy cuddles from Captain Barks and trips to the dog park.
8. Actually relaxing with a big glass of wine on the dock and getting reading crossed off my forever-growing list. (Next up: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner, Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory, and Beach Read by Emily Henry)
9. Looking for sand dollars and conch shells on Key Wayden.
10. Biking to Delicious Raw Juice Bar in the morning for smoothies and ginger shots.
11. My BF’s mom’s homemade cinnamon raisin bread that fills the whole house with sweet-smelling goodness.
12. Lunch, cocktails, and people watching at The Turtle Club, where the tables are situated perfectly on the sand.
13. Tie-dye under the palms in the backyard.
14. All the vibrant, beautiful flowers and vines covering storefronts on 5th Ave. South.
15. The incredibly sweet and adorable bike with a flowery basket that I rode during my stay.