A Must-See Tour of Historic Old Naples
With signature attractions all within easy walking distance from The Capri Inn, Old Naples has so much to see and do that it’s easy to spend a day there. Here are all the don’t-miss destinations to put on your list next time you visit.
Also known as “Olde Naples” (note that old-fashioned extra E), this stretch of the city is overflowing with quaint, historic charm with original beach cottages, gardens, and mansions dating back to the nineteenth century. The best way to maximize your time exploring this neighborhood? By staying in the heart of it all at The Capri Inn, a 59-room Naples, FL boutique hotel with a fresh spin that newly opened in early 2023. As you roam the streets and waterfront among coconut palms and banyan trees, you can’t help but soak up a sense of the city’s past as well as the excitement of its thriving present.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN OLD NAPLES
Ever since its inception back in 1954, Naples Art has served as a cultural hub for art aficionados in the community. But it wasn’t until 1998 that it found a permanent home, moving from the Naples Depot to its current location in Cambier Park. Now, the sprawling 16,000-square-foot, two-story facility is home to a multitude of art studios, galleries and an exhibition hall and a large resource library. Visitors will find a myriad of art shows, rotating exhibitions, programs and so much more.
Just down the street from the pier is the city’s oldest home, the historic Palm Cottage. Built in 1895 by Walter Haldeman, one of Naples’ founding residents, it’s constructed of tabby mortar, a handmade concrete mixed from sand, shells, and water, and remains filled with original and donated artwork, furnishings, and tools, many dating back to the original owners. The Naples Historical Society is the guardian of the cottage and offers guided tours of the house and the Norris Gardens, an expansive Victorian-style garden right next door.
Third Street South
Two blocks from the pier and beaches, this historic shopping and dining district is packed with boutiques and bistros, with courtyards, fountains, and fabulous flora around every corner. Browse fashion, jewelry, and antiques; sample gelato and Caribbean cocktails; and visit the Saturday-morning open-air Farmers Market. You can wander into a gallery opening, trunk show, or book signing — or plan ahead to attend a cooking class or one of Third Street’s seasonal events, like the Annual Pets on Third parade or Christmas on Third tree lighting and festival.
Named for William Cambier, a town engineer instrumental in the development of the City of Naples in 1926, this community park in the center of Old Naples features a multilevel playground, bocce and shuffleboard courts, 12 state-of-the-art tennis courts, and a softball field (it’s home to the Greater Naples Girls Little League). Catch a concert in the bandshell, an outdoor movie, or a performance by the Naples Players.
Naples Depot Museum
Located in the 1927 depot built for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad’s Orange Blossom Special, this historic museum explores the railroading boom days of the Roaring 20s and beyond. A fully restored 1947 observation and bar car is the star attraction, alongside exhibits highlighting other local transportation methods of the past, like a Seminole dugout canoe, a mule wagon, and an antique swamp buggy. The privately operated Naples Train Museum is also on site, featuring an interactive model layout and train ride for kids.
Sip the essence of Florida in a glass at this unique Old Naples winery, which makes its small-batch Orange Sunshine, Grapefruit, and Tangerine wines from 100 percent fresh, hand-selected citrus grown in state — about nine pounds of fruit per bottle. Stop by one of their daily tastings to sample these specialty wines as well as their berry wines and tropical wines, made with kiwi, passion fruit, honeydew, and more. Make sure to take home a bottle of fruity sparkling wine for mixing up next-level mimosas.
Be sure to visit this restored fishing village on Gordon River, where the tin-roof buildings in glowing primary colors are now at the center of a myriad of fun and unique shopping options. Tin City is also the launching point for on-the-water adventures, including deep-sea fishing charters and sunset sails. End your day in Old Naples with waterfront dining, tropical cocktails, and live music at Riverwalk—and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins splashing in Naples Bay!