"crown jewel of the Southwest" Top 5 Page for this destination Naples by cheesecake17

Naples Travel Guide: 276 reviews and 636 photos

Once, the only people to stroll Naples' 7 miles of white, sandy beaches, were the Caloosa Indians.

The first settlers, Roger Gordon and Joe Wiggins, arrived in Naples in the late 1860's. A river and two inlets still bear their names.

The name Naples caught on when promoters described the bay as "surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy."

In 1887, a group of wealthy Kentuckians, led by Walter N. Haldeman, owner of the Louisville Courier-Journal, purchased virtually the entire town of Naples.

One of the first improvements Haldeman and the Naples Company made was to build a pier 600 feet into the Gulf of Mexico.

The unusual "T" shape allowed large ships to dock easily. Despite being destroyed and rebuilt 3 times, the pier's "T" shape remains.

Naples quickly gained a reputation as a winter resort. Social life revolved around the Naples Hotel, which played host to celebrities such as Rose Cleveland, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, and Gary Cooper. As the town of Naples went up, so did the price of property. The cost of a beachfront lot soon reached $125.

In 1911, Barron G. Collier, who had made his fortune in streetcar advertising, visited nearby Useppa Island.

He was so taken with the area that he bought over a million acres of untouched swampland - including most of Naples.

Collier believed that Florida's west coast could enjoy the same boom that the east coast was experiencing in the 1920's; but first it was necessary to bring in road and railroads.

Based on Collier's promise to help build the Tamiami Trail, in 1923 the state legislature created Collier County, of which Naples is the county seat. Collier spent more than $1 million of his own money to construct the Tamiami Trail, which opened in 1926 as the only paved highway linking the state's two largest cities - Tampa and Miami.

Collier died before he could see his dream come true, but come true it did

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:very quiet south florida town
  • Last visit to Naples: Jan 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (17)

Comments (6)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2005 at 9:45 PM

    Wonderful page about Naples - I did miss so much when I was there. Hihi, I love the bear museum, must go there one day with my sweet little bears :-))

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2005 at 1:34 AM

    Lovely pier. When you were talking about touching the alligators at feeding time, I hope you weren't implying that you are going to be the food!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2005 at 3:42 PM

    LU, your pages on Naples, Florida are really great. I love this area. I took that tour and found it quite informative. Your beach photo is stunning. Thanks for bringing back such lovely memories.

  • Siddha3th's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2005 at 3:25 AM

    Aah, the vibe here could get pretty addictive :) That beach is so wonderful! Thank you for drifting by Jaipur, do drop in again someday. Bye... Siddharth

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2005 at 8:37 AM

    Nice info and tips about Naples. Hope I can visit there soon!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2005 at 4:54 AM

    The beach in your opening shot look so magical - good tips & photos


“Everyone should believe in something...I believe I should go to the B.E.A.C.H (best escape anyone can have)”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 1 2
Forum Rank:
0 1 2 4 3

Badges & Stats in Naples

  • 17 Reviews
  • 13 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 2,132PageViews

Have you been to Naples?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Naples

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)