Naples Outdoor Attractions: 7 Spots Nature Lovers Can’t Miss
Naples may be known for golf, however this destination also offers easy access to natural preserves and state parks in southwest Florida. No matter what time of year, wildlife watchers flock to the area to learn and explore Naples’ scenic landscape. Need a place to escape? Pick some Naples outdoor attractions and prepare for fun in the sun.
Top 7 Naples Outdoor Attractions for Nature Lovers
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Head 30 minutes east to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, home to hundreds of alligators, birds, otters, deer and turtles. The sanctuary comprises over 13,000 acres in part of the western everglades and wetlands. Visitors are welcome to take guided walks on Corkscrew’s boardwalk, or explore the backcountry to see morning birds, forests, swamps and pine flatwoods. For those who want to roam on their own, stroll the 2.25-mile boardwalk and see wildlife and their habitats.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is open every day year-round, however will close if winds reach over 40 miles per hour. Pets are not allowed, but children are welcome, and those younger than 6 years old receive free admission.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Enjoy monkeying around at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. This top among Naples outdoor attractions houses both wildlife and botanical exhibits and special shows. While walking through the zoo, see bears, primates, large cats, birds and reptiles. The garden features plants and flowers dating over 50 years ago when the zoo once only preserved tropical plants. Today, Naples zoo strives to protect wildlife and the natural world while educating guests on conversation efforts.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens opens every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Visitors may purchase a one-time pass or become an annual member.
Bird Gardens of Naples
This bird sanctuary in Naples provides a home for abandoned and injured birds. With a focus on care and providing a safe natural environment, Bird Gardens of Naples houses hundreds of birds on 5 acres. Visitors can expect to see parakeets, macaws, cockatoos and parrots.
Admission and tours are available by reservation only to ensure the safety of the birds and guests. During tours, guests learn about birds, diverse environments, conservation, rehabilitation and rescue in hopes of preventing other birds from requiring sanctuaries.
Admission is free, but prepare to make a donation. In addition, bring bug spray, unsalted nuts (no peanuts) and wear comfortable shoes. Guests can also hold and feed birds during their tour.
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
With a focus on connecting people to nature, Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers hands-on experiences for all ages. The attraction has on-site tours, electric boat tours, rehabilitation exhibits and nature trails. In addition, visitors enjoy daily programs that provide education and up-close encounters. Shows feature birds of prey, reptiles, marine life and hospital work.
Admission is available on a daily or member-based cost. Visitors should wear sun protection and bug spray, and bring water, a picnic lunch and snacks.
Clam Pass Park
Ready to visit the beach? Clam Pass Park, located in north Naples, offers a family-friendly spot for playing on the beach. Visitors enjoy soft sand, calm waters and 35 acres of coastal habitat and preserves. Due to its scenic beauty, Clam Pass Park has one of the most popular beaches in Naples.
In addition to beaches, guests will find a picnic area, restrooms and outdoor showers. For a day of fun, rent chairs or equipment and soak up the sun. To access the beach, either walk the boardwalk or ride the tram, and look out for birds, butterflies and mangroves.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Experience beach fun and natural environments at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. The park’s stretch of beach provides opportunities for water recreation, including paddle-boarding, kayaking, shore fishing and shelling.
In addition, visitors can access a boat launch, take guided tours and visit an onsite concessionaire. Other things to do at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park include hiking and wildlife viewing.
Naples Botanical Garden
Naples Botanical Garden measures 170 acres and features plants from around the world. This award-winning garden welcomes over 200,000 guests per year and showcases 10 different areas. Explore the Asian Garden, Brazilian Garden and Florida Garden, or take kids to Smith’s Children Garden. The latter allows little ones to create sidewalk chalk masterpieces, climb a tree house and learn interesting facts. Families also enjoy monthly themed activities and special exhibits.
Begin the journey at Chabraja Visitor Center, which has three gardens and uses sustainable building practices. Guests can buy one-day admission or become a member.