July 27, 2017

Travel Guide: Casual Weekend in Naples, FL

I've spent a long weekend in Naples, FL, every summer for the last decade or so. It was sort of weird knowing that this past weekend's trip was my last because I'll be graduating the end of the year and moving in January, but it also wasn't weird because it felt like the right end to this chapter of my life. Anyway... we keep it pretty casual when we go over there, which is why I titled the post as such. 


Sadly, I haven't experienced all Naples has to offer food-wise because the fam isn't big into restaurants that I tend to go for (New American, modern bistro, gastropub-type places), but we did try some new places this visit (though I won't be mentioning a place unless I think it's worth your while). 

+ Skillets

This place tends to get really busy on weekends because it's really good. The hash browns are insanely good, and the menu has something that will appeal to every breakfast-lover.

+ Mr. Tequila

This place has two locations in Naples, and I've been to both and don't see a difference in the food. I rarely order the same thing anywhere (excepting my coffee order), but their burritos a la roqueta— crispy carnitas rolled in flour tortillas and baked with some kind of cheese-based sauce and salsa verde, served with rice and fresh pico— are amazing. Their hottest salsa is really good, too. I also ordered a margarita, but "the best margarita in town" was definitely not the best... unless you like overly sweet drinks that taste faintly of tequila. 

+ Taco Ardiente

This hole-in-the-wall is great for street tacos. You know it's good because I couldn't read half the menu offerings. I ordered three tacos, which turned out to be way too much food, but I was able to try the barbacoacarnitas, and al pastor. The barbacoa was amazing, and I would order just a couple of those if I went again. The carnitas were okay, but the al pastor was disappointing. Dry, fatty, and not a pineapple in sight. Not the best tacos ever but definitely not bad. 

+ Rita's Italian Ice

To be honest, I don't give a sh*t about Italian ice: I go to Rita's for the frozen custard. Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry— they're all good. We don't have Rita's in Miami, so I'll usually stop by in Naples at least twice. 

+ Peace, Love and Little Donuts

I had doughnuts from PLLD for the first time last summer, and they were okay. The doughnut snob in me was much more impressed this trip, but I will say: you go here for the toppings on the doughnuts, not the actual doughnuts. The actual doughnut tends to be hit or miss; last year, I found them dry and oily, but Sunday's batch was moist and light. We got a box of a dozen, and the salted caramel macchiato and chocolate chip cookie dough were particularly good. 


+ Beach

Lowdermilk Beach & Park is one of the more popular beach spots and has a snack bar and rental kayaks, but I prefer the more secluded beach areas. Drive along Gulf Shore Blvd and pick any street to the west. You'll find several metered parking spots flanked by houses at the end of each, so make sure to bring lots of quarters. 

+ Sanibel 

Sanibel Island is an hour's drive from Naples, but it's worth it, especially if you like hunting for shells like I do. 

+ Historic District (3rd St. South and 5th Ave. South)

The Naples Historic District has lots of restaurants and boutiques. Great place to walk around and grab a bite to eat. 

+ Coastland Center Mall

For when you need a break from the beach because Florida is a cool 500 degrees in the summer :)

+ Coral Cay Mini Golf

I can't be the only one who thinks mini golf is fun from time to time. This is a cute course with two different 18-hole paths, but fair warning: it can get really hot out there. If a native Floridian is telling you that it's hot... it's hot. 

Ever been to Naples?


  1. Wow those restaurants sound awesome!! If I'm ever in the Naples area, I'll make sure to check these out!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    1. Highly, highly recommend Mr. Tequila!

  2. I haven't been to Naples but I'll refer back to this if I end up visiting it someday! Those doughnuts look so good! I'm glad that you got good closure with your last annual trip to the area!
    Em's Essentials


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