505 Barefoot Beach Blvd., Naples
One of the last undeveloped barrier islands in Southwest Florida, Barefoot Beach is regularly rated among the country’s best beaches. The 342-acre preserve may just be the region’s most perfect pairing of natural beauty and great amenities. Sugary sands have made Barefoot Beach famous, but there’s much more to see and do. The park is home to gopher tortoises, sea turtle nesting grounds, and natural sabal palm and gumbo limbo groves, plus a mile-long nature trail and pavilions. Between the park and the Barefoot Beach access point, there are nearly 500 parking spaces.
Corner of Crayton Road and Seagate Drive, Naples
The three-quarter-mile boardwalk through the mangroves at Clam Pass is a memorable, nature-filled jaunt. The thriving tidal ecosystem is home to various birds and other wildlife, and the mangrove roots provide important spawning grounds for fish and shellfish. Once you’ve made it through—on foot or on the courtesy tram—one of Naples’ most pristine and scenic beaches awaits. With a concession stand, restrooms, equipment rentals, and more, you won’t need to overpack. It has ample parking, with nearly 200 spaces.
DELNOR-WIGGINS PASS STATE PARK
11135 Gulfshore Drive, Naples
Secluded and relaxing, the park boasts one of the most unspoiled beaches in the United States. Get your cameras ready because wildlife abounds. Along the nature trails and open waters, expect to spot resident and migratory birds, tortoises, dolphins, and more. The park’s waters are perfect for fishing and shelling. There are specific areas designated for anglers to drop their lines in the northern areas of the park for trophy catches. Boaters will find the launch area into Turkey Bay easily accessible to experience the delicate natural estuaries of the Cocohatchee River, leading out to the Gulf of Mexico. Outside of the pass, calm surf and shallow water make this a popular sunbathing spot. Guided tours and interpretive programs with experienced rangers and volunteers occur on a regular basis. A pavilion is available to rent for special occasions. The Naples Beach Adventures concessionaire in parking lot No. 4 offers food and beverages as well as paddlecraft and beach gear rentals. Beach wheelchairs are available by reservation.
1301 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples
Lowdermilk Park is a great place for the whole family. Spend the day at this premier beachfront park with two playgrounds, picnic tables, sand volleyball courts, and two rentable gazebos. Convenient facilities include a concession stand, spacious restrooms, and outdoor showers. There is ample metered parking on-site and on the street.
430 Hernando Drive, Marco Island
Tigertail Beach is a jewel along Marco Island’s western shore. On the island’s north end, this pristine beach can be accessed by five boardwalks though a mangrove forest. Visitors often wade across the tidal bay to Sand Dollar Island, a popular nesting area for a wide variety of birds. The beach is known for its abundance of shells and sand dollars, and as a bird migration superhighway. Amenities include Jet Ski, paddleboard, and beach gear rentals, as well as food and beverage concessions, picnic areas, playground, and restrooms. Several guided tours and educational programs on shelling and bird life are regularly offered through rangers and private eco-tour operators.
VANDERBILT BEACH PARK
West end of Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples
At this county park, beachgoers can drop off their gear at the circle before parking in the nearby garage. Vanderbilt offers beach wheelchairs and life jacket loans, as well restrooms and showers. Snacks and watersports rentals are available at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and Vanderbilt Inn resorts.
Plan to pay for parking at either metered parking spaces or pay stations—with a wide range of hourly or daily fees—or obtain a permit. (Any disability permit holder may park at any space without payment.) Rules and fees vary for city, county, and state beaches. Research parking permit programs through the city or county where you will most frequently visit the beach.