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SOUTHWEST

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FLORIDA

BOSTON 2012-2013

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Welcome to SoUtHWeSt FloRIDA

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More waterfront shopping and dining than any other destination in Naples!

From US 41, take Park Shore Dr. to 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N. 239.261.6100 - VenetianVillage.com

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contents

SW FLORIDA ESSEncE 26 everglades Wonder From cypress and mangroves, the trees of the Florida Everglades will take your breath away. photography by John brady

36 smoke on the Water Q&a With rocky patel Cigar impresario Rocky Patel has garnered fame worldwide, but when tranquility beckons, he always returns home to Naples.

oN THE CoVER mangroves in gullivan bay. ©John brady

iNsidE fRoNT CoVER evening sets over big cypress national preserve. ©John brady

by susan Friedman

32 a Walk through time the mound house on estero bay

Explore prehistoric shell mounds of the Calusa Indian culture and Estero’s oldest homestead. by susan Friedman fiNd THE bEsT of southwest Florida @ wheretraveler.com 6

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contents

SW flORida ESSEnTial 16 first look must-see sights From the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to the Naples Pier, here’s a sample of Southwest Florida’s top attractions for every interest.

42 fort myers and the beaches A guide to the turquoise waters and sandy beaches of this picturesque Southwest Florida destination.

8

50 sanibel and captiva Take a closer look at these historic neighborhoods in the region.

52 naples There’s plenty of fun to be had in this tropical paradise. The area is a refuge for wildlife and a sanctuary to some of Florida’s most precious ecosystems.

58 marco island and the everglades These neighborhoods are filled with nature, excitement and unique sights.

72 parting shot drift away Paddle the waters of Southwest Florida as the sun sets beyond the horizon.

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MVP southwest florida, editorial office 1801 NE 123rd Street, Suite 411 Miami, fL 33181 Phone: 305.892.6220; fax: 706.823.6102 wheretraveler.com Where GuestBook® publishes editions for the following U.S. cities and regions: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Florida Gold Coast (Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beach), Fort Worth, Hawai‘i Island (the Big Island), Houston, Jacksonville/St. Augustine/Amelia Island, Kansas City, Kaua‘i, Los Angeles, Maui, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Northern Arizona, O‘ahu, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Reno/Lake Tahoe, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/The Eastside/Tacoma, Southwest Florida (Naples), Tampa Bay, Tucson, Virginia, Washington D.C. ©2016 by Morris Visitor Publications. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions therein. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement. Printed in the U.S.A.

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contRIBUtoRS s s

contRIBUtoR’S name

Story Name, page XX. Story Name, page XX Contributor’s text seraasd perili quat, vel dolent nim dolore modolore dolor si blamconse magnibh esto dolor ad yo magna amet nos dolent nim dolore modolore nibh et lam am, sum SUSan FRIedman volor iure dit autat velis etuerat nismodo lorerat alisit inibh exercil for do lessi smodoluptate. A Walk Through Time, page 32magnibh and Q&A Blamconse estoRocky dolor Patel, magna amet nos nibh et lam am, sum volor iure dit modit page 36. vul yo magna amet n sum volor iure dit modit vul yo magna amet nos dolent nim lor magna Susan is a lifestyle journalist award-winning amet noswhose nibh et25-year os dolent nim lor magna amet nos nibh et lam am, sum volor iure dit modit career includes writing about travel, food, design, architecture and more. The former senior editor of Florida Travel + Life magazine, she especially enjoys getaways to Southwest contRIB’S name contRIBUtoR’S name Florida, discovering the beauty and sophistication of the area and dining on the freshest catch of the day. Her roots Story Name. page XX Story Name, page XX. Story Name, page XX as a travel and lifestyle journalist began when she was Contributor’s text seraasd perili Contributor’s text seraasd perili quat, vel dolent growing up in Chicago. Family vacations were spent in quat, vel dolent nim dolore modnim dolore modolore dolor si blamconse magFlorida. Classic Miami Beach hotels were the destination. olore dolor si blamconse magnibh nibh esto dolor ad yo magna amet nos dolent Looking back now—dipping her toes in the Atlantic with esto dolor ad yo magna amet nos nim dolore modolore nibh et lam am, sum the promise of returning to soak in the sun and play on the dolent nim dolore modolore nibh volor iure dit autat velis etuerat nismodo lorerat sand someday—would become her destiny. Florida’s diversi-et lam am, sum volor iure dit alisit inibh exercil for do lessi smodoluptate. ty is one of the reasons she finds the state such a wonderful autat velis etuerat nismodo loreBlamconse magnibh esto dolor magna amet nos place to live and travel. A South Florida resident, she loves rat alisit inibh exercil for do lessi nibh et lam am, sum volor iure dit modit vul yo exploring the next great place to live, dine, vacation, spa smodoluptate. Blamconse magnibh magna amet n sum volor iure dit modit vul yo or play. From one end of the state to the other, catch her out and about in search of the next great Florida hotspot. Susan always has fun travel stories to share.

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contRIB’S name

Story Name, page XX Contributor’s text seraasd perili quat, vel dolent nim dolore modolore dolor si blamconse magnibh esto dolor ad yo magna amet nos dolent nim dolore modolore nibh et lam am, sum volor iure dit autat velis etuerat nismodo lorerat alisit inibh exercil for d Contributor’s text seraasd perili quat, vel dolent nim dolore modolore dolor si blamconse magnibh esto dolosum volor iure dit autat velis etufor d

Story Name, page XX Contributor’s text seraasd perili quat, vel dolent nim dolore modJohn BRady olore dolor si blamconse magnibh esto dolor ad yo magna amet nos page 26 Everglades Wonder, dolent nim dolore modolore John Brady is nibh an award-winning landscape photograet lam am, sumpher volorwho iurehas dit been photographing the world around autat velis etuerat autat himnismod since he was a boy. Today, he focuses on capturing velis etuerat nismod. images of Florida’s fragile ecosystem including swamps, creeks and prairies through his company, Time and Light Photography, based in Bonita Springs. Inspired by Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher, Brady likes to document contRIB’S remote areas in Florida that have been mostlyname untouched by man. Among his favorite places to photograph are the Story Name, page XX Ten Thousand Islands, the Big Cypresstext National Contributor’s seraasdPreserve perili quat, vel dolent nim and the many small creeks of the area. Most of sihisblamconse work dolore modolore dolor magnibh esto is done either with an 8x10 wooden view oramet a digital dolor ad yo magna nos dolent nim dolore modSLR camera. He has won many awards exhibolore nibh et lamand am,has sum volor iure dit autat velis ited around the world. Find his nismodo work at the Johnalisit Brady etuerat lorerat inibh exercil for do lessi Gallery, located in the main building at the Everglades Wonder Gardens.

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firstlook SouthweSt Florida’S MuSt-See attractionS include natural wonderS, beacheS, GlaMorouS ShoppinG and MuSeuMS. where you beGin iS up to you.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge This protected 8,00-acre ecological gem on Sanibel Island is refuge to over 200 bird species, many of which are rare or endangered. Most visitors will have a chance to see amazing wildlife such as roseate spoonbills, alligators and crocodiles, manatees and Atlantic loggerhead turtles within the area’s diverse habitat of mangrove forests and sea grass beds. Two miles west of Tarpon Bay Road on Sanibel Captiva Road, 239.472.1100, www.fws.gov/dingdarling 16

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First LooK

Artis–Naples Artis—Naples is Southwest Florida’s premier cultural arts venue. The resident Naples Philharmonic Orchestra leads a performing arts season that includes dance, theater and internationally recognized guest artists. The center also houses the Baker Museum, with an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. With 15 galleries, the museum hosts several changing exhibitions throughout the year. 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples, 239.597.1900,

Naples Golf Courses Located along the sun-drenched shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is one of Florida’s most popular golf destinations. With more than 80 championship courses in the area, there are plenty of places to play or watch one of the many state, national and professional tournaments hosted in Naples. www.pga.com/golf-courses/details/fl/naples

Mercato The Mercato is home to Whole Foods Market, fashion retailers such as Tommy Bahama, upscale restaurants, outdoor cafes and a movie theater—making it a top destination for entertainment and shopping. 9132 Strada Place, Naples, 239.254.1080, www.mercatoshops.com 18

(Previous sPread) ©Keith Carver/FLiCKr. (this Page) Courtesy artis

—NaPLes; ©FLoridastoCK/istoCK; ©rauL Pedroso

www.artisnaples.org

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COLLIER COUNTY

MUSEUMS Visit all five FREE museums

You’re free to explore... 239.252.8476 | www.colliermuseums.com

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Tigertail Beach Find everything from natural resources to beachside amenities at Tigertail Beach in Marco Island. A coveted destination spot where you can explore the dunes, go birding, shelling, or a walk along one of the five boardwalks, Tigertail Beach is the perfect day under the sun. 400 Hernando Dr., Marco Island, 239.254.4000, www.cityofmarcoisland.com

Florida Repertory Theatre The Florida Repertory Theatre is considered one of the top repertory theater companies in the U.S. Productions take place in a restored 1908 movie palace known as the Arcade Theatre in the Fort Myers River District. It produces a wide variety of comedies, dramas and musicals throughout its October-to-May season. 2268 Bay St., Fort Myers, 239.332.4488, www.floridarep.org 20

(left) Š clarkmaxwell/flIckr; courtesy florIda repertory theatre

fIrst look

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Edison & Ford Winter Estates One of the most visited historic homes in America, the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford 20-acre winter estate along the Caloosahatchee River features botanical gardens, the Edison Ford museum and Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory. 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers,

Naples Pier A monument to a simpler era, the Naples Pier was built as a freight and passenger dock in 1888, at a time when the barely developed city was accessible only by boat. Now it serves as a popular fishing pier with knockout views of the Gulf and beaches. Recently renovated, the pier remains a beacon on the Naples coastline. 25 12th Ave. S, Naples, 239.213.3062, www.naplespier.com 22

(Left) Courtesy the BeaChes of fort Myers and saniBeL; ŠLatvys/istoCk

239.334.7419, www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

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Sanibel Island Lighthouse which are rare or endangered. Most visitors will have a chance to see amazing wildlife such as pink spoonbills, alligators and crocodiles, manatees and Atlantic loggerhead turtles within the area’s diverse habitat of mangrove forests and sea-grass beds. 112 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 239.472.3700, www.mysanibel.com 24

Šgnagel/istock

This protected 8,000-acre ecological gem on Sanibel Island is refuge to over 200 bird species, many of

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O

everGlades Hedline Goes Here

wonder

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Photo credit gotham book 5.5/9Pt

Subhead here gotham book 11/15 t flrr. by byline here

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Photo credit gotham book 5.5/9Pt

(Previous Page) red mangrove, crate key. (this Page) cyPress trees at gator hook dome in big cyPress national Preserve. (oPPosite Page) cyPress trees on boca grande Pass, lee county. W H E R E G UESTBO O K

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Photo credit gotham book 5.5/9Pt

A visit to Everglades National Park, the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Big Cypress National Preserve is a journey into Southwest Florida’s primeval past, its pure essence, its raw nature. Within the wilderness of Everglades National Park, there are over 120 species of trees. Many of them found nowhere else on earth. Despite tropical storms and floods, the labyrinth of trees in the Big Cypress National Preserve, are still stately and majestic, and continue to play an important role in the park’s ecology and wildlife. WHERE GUEST B OOK

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Lover’s Key is a small group of mangrove islands located in Lee County between Fort Myers Beach, Florida, and Bonita Beach. The islands are collectively known as Lover’s Key State Park. The area is marked by tranquility set off by the mangrove trees and other coastal vegetation. The deep woods and swamps of the Big Cypress National Preserve have always been a popular destination for those who wished not to be found. The canopy of great cypress tress have lived for over 600 years. Few of the larger trees remain, most of the giant plants were logged between 1930 and 1950. Now, you can see mainly dwarf cypress throughout the park. 30

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(opposite page) Mangrove on lovers key state park. (this page) as the sun sets, clouds build in the skies over big cypress national preserve.

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Photo credit gotham book 5.5/9Pt

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AWalk Photo credit gotham book 5.5/9Pt

THROUGH

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The Mound House is a gateway to both an ancient culture and modern civilization, with native gardens and a fascinating museum. by susan friedman

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“We want to share through this enhanced experience... the prehistory and history of Estero Island.”—Alison Giesen, Museum Director 34

SET AGAINST BEAUTIFUL

coastal Estero Bay, the Mound House—a cultural and environmental learning center—is home to Estero Island’s archaeological prehistoric lineage. It’s here, in the town of Fort Myers Beach, that visitors can experience a museum that’s the gateway to both an ancient culture and modern civilization. To start, this destination is about historical exploration and lifestyle. Travel back 2,000 years for an insider’s look at the culture and natural history of Southwest Florida’s earliest residents, the now-extinct Calusa Indians. Reproductions of ancient Calusa artifacts that reflect their prehistoric legacy are evidence of the richness of local natural resources, both on land and sea. Among the museum’s interactive gallery exhibits are replicas of prehistoric ceramics and tools used for everyday tasks by these ancient people—such as those for fishing and hammering—that are made from conch, oyster shells and other indigenous materials.

The grounds of the Mound House span nearly three acres. While the lifestyle of the Calusa is the focal point of this picturesque landscape, the surrounding area’s Back Bay beauty is as enthralling. The Observation Pier, for example, is an idyllic spot for wildlife-viewing that includes glimpses of manatees and dolphins. There are kayaking excursions through the backcountry mangrove creeks to Dog Key, a historic Calusa mound site, as well as eco-tours that take adventurers through the beauty of Estero and Hell Peckney bays, among other estuaries and barrier islands of the Great Calusa Blueway. Boaters can also pull their boats up to the property’s dock. In late 2015, five new gallery exhibits and a museum store opened to the public within the 1921, Arts-andCrafts-style residence that was designed by Capt. Jack DeLysle, who allegedly was a bootlegger. But it’s actually members of the William H. Case family who are credited as being one of the island’s earliest modern

(This spread and previous spread courTesy The mound house)

The calusa indians were The area’s firsT seTTlers, who builT an amazingly complex socieTy. in a landscape dominaTed by waTer, They were experT fishermen and navigaTed The waTerways in canoes hollowed from Tree Trunks.

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settlers of record to build the permanent structure, in 1906. Case was the island’s postmaster at that time. The famed, 20th-century residence then became an ongoing, collective, $4-million restoration project through the efforts of passionate preservationists. It started in 2000, when the city of Fort Myers Beach purchased the property to preserve it as a historical and archaeological site. The homestead, which sits on a Calusa Indian shell mound, made from tons of discarded shells from the Calusa’s food sources, has been restored to its historic cottage stature. Today it serves as the cultural and environmental learning center, an example of years of sustained preservation efforts that began more than a decade ago. A direct descendant of the Case family served as historical advisor for the exhibits, according to Alison Giesen, museum director of the Mound House. “One of the most important things we want to share through this enhanced experience is the prehistory and history of Estero Island and the relationship between people and their environment through time,” Giesen says. “We are also looking to highlight the wildlife, plants and marine life.” A new museum store is located in the circa 1906 Tudor kitchen of the restored home. It offers a vast selection of historical books and replicas, including artistically rendered Calusa masks. “We’ve been able to preserve and protect the Case house as a historical and archaeological resource—it’s a diverse piece of eclectic history,” notes Giesen, who’s also an anthropologist. Entry to the museum is $10 for adults. There is no charge for exploring the botanical gardens where site signage explains whether the Calusa used the flora or whether it was by the inhabitants who followed their reign. “Nearly 90 percent of the gardens are composed of native plantings,” says Giesen. Open from sunrise to sunset, the Mound House grounds act as a perfect launching site for kayakers and picnickers. “Well over 100 years old, our large strangler fig [dating back to William Case’s era and which is often mistaken for a banyan tree] is the perfect shady spot for a picnic.” Inside the home, guests can explore the 1909 Case living room, orientation gallery, Ancient People, Settlers on the Shells and Digging Deeper Exploration—a journey of Old Florida through an extraordinary archive of photos and documents. www.moundhouse.org

(TOP) amOng The mOund hOuse’s new gallery sPaces is The 1909 case living rOOm. (frOm lefT) hand carved rePlica calusa masks and wOlf figurehead; Pre-PrOducTiOn calusa shell TOOls. WHERE GUEST B OOK

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Q&A

Smoke On the Water Cigar impresario Rocky Patel has garnered worldwide fame, but when tranquility beckons, he always returns home to Naples. By SUSAN FRIEDMAN

H

eralded as one of the nations’ top cigar manufacturers by Cigar Aficionado, mogul Rocky Patel was seeking a locale that offered a tranquil lifestyle to call home when he moved to Naples from Los Angeles in 1999. He was seeking just the right place to live, work and play—and the perfect spot for relocating the headquarters of Rocky Patel Cigars. Since that time, the former entertainment lawyer—and the man behind the namesake cigars—has seen his passionate appreciation of premium tobacco grab international accolades, starting with his original Indian Tabac brand. He never stops striving, traveling the world with visits to his factories in Honduras and Nicaragua and cigar boutiques throughout the U.S. However, he also is keen on slowing down the pace every now and then. What brought you to Naples and Southwest Florida?

I fell in love with the tranquility and have been living here since 1999. I looked at Naples and it was beautiful, quiet and a very harmonious place. I loved the fact that Fifth Avenue and Third Street have outdoor restaurants and cafés. I thought it was one of the prettiest places in the U.S. to live, perfectly manicured.

©JUSTIN SICARD

Can you share an insider’s tip about visiting Naples?

I certainly think some of the most beautiful beaches are in Naples by Fifth Avenue. The beaches at the end of Vanderbilt Beach Road are absolutely gorgeous. Old Naples is quaint and beautiful and is perfect for a walk and to check out all the restaurants and I certainly think

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some of the most beautiful beaches are in Naples by Fifth Avenue. I think the quaint features are the soul of Naples and what makes it great. State parks north of Vanderbilt are phenomenal little hideaways. Most people typically go to the pier or to the crowded beaches, but I prefer the remote parks. I also enjoy boating to Port Royal, through the canals and fishing in the backwaters all the way to Naples’ Keewaydin Island. If you were planning a day trip, where would you head?

I would go to Sanibel Island. It’s a beautiful remote place by boat or by car that is quaint and gorgeous. The beaches are great and it’s a fabulous getaway for a day trip. Or, I would take the ferry to Key West from Fort Myers. It is a longer trip,

but also a great trip, especially if you are adventurous.

to the butcher shop Jimmy P’s [on Tamiami Trail].

What’s your favorite place to spend a casual afternoon?

Where else do you spend time in Florida?

For a casual afternoon, I like La Playa or the Port Royal Club. Anywhere along the beaches between Vanderbilt and Port Royal—these are great places to relax. I also enjoy walking down Third Street and sitting outside in a café and enjoying a fine meal.

I have spent a lot of time in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm, Miami and Tampa. Miami’s Brickell Avenue area is new and exciting, there’s a lot going on there, including amazing restaurants and great nightlife. In Tampa, you have the old Ybor City and nice Cuban restaurants. At Howard Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa, there are some great restaurants and bars/ lounges to visit.

Any guilty pleasure (other than cigars) and where can we indulge?

A great bottle of wine or a single malt scotch. My favorite place to enjoy that is at Burn, a Rocky Patel signature cigar lounge at the Mercato. The architecture and design is transcending and unique—a mix between Asia, Morocco, India and Cuba. It’s a beautiful room that takes you away from everything else. Do you consider yourself a foodie? What are two of your favorite dining spots?

Absolutely, I’m a foodie. I enjoy eating, but I love to cook—it is one of my passions in life. I am pretty adventurous. Côte d’Azur is a favorite little French bistro, and Cavo at the Mercato because of the diversity [of the menu] and indoor/ outdoor setting. I also love Charred, a restaurant for great steaks and side dishes that is located adjacent

Fort Lauderdale has fantastic Italian food with influences from New York and Philadelphia. There are some hole-in-the-wall restaurants and others I love— such as Valentino’s and Café Martorano. And if you want the hustle and bustle, Fort Lauderdale is not too far a drive from Naples, only 90 minutes. I also like taking a drive to Lake Okeechobee. Driving is tranquil along the orange groves and farms. What’s next for you?

I’m actively pursuing opening additional locations around the globe for Burn and this includes a plan for more cigar lounges in Florida.

1/29/16 5:03:17 PM


All Along the Coast

From ocean breezes to city Living, southwest FLorida is a traveLer’s deLight.

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MARCO ISLAND

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Breakfast Served ALL DAY!

Your destination for steak & seafood

Stacked Sandwiches Hot Reubens Homemade Chilli Cage Free Eggs Everything Fresh Made

A North Naples tradition since 1970, this landmark restaurant known for its “almost world famous prime rib,� fresh local seafood and legendary all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar complimentary with every entree. 14700 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 22, Naples, FL

239-631-6591

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Open 7AM to 2:30PM Daily

239.596.6844

14700 Tamiami Trl N Ste 22 | Naples, FL 34110

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TheExplorer Dolphin Explorer - Owned and Operated by Sea Excursions The Dolphin - Owned and Operated by Sea Excursions Learning is FUN on the Dolphin Explorer! Recently featured in

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Learning is FUN on the Dolphin Explorer! Recently fea- Sea Excursions, Inc. is Southwest Florida’s premier group the National Geographic book “100 Places that Can Change your convention services company offering a unique variety of tured in the National Geographic book “100 Places that and convention services company offering a unique variety Child’s Life”, the Dolphin Explorer is the only activity in Florida water-related activities to individuals, companies, and meeting Can Change your Child’s Life”, the Dolphin Explorer is the of water-related activities to individuals, companies, and selected by the award-winning writer Keith Bellows, who travelled planners alike. Activities range from offshore and backwater only activity in Florida selected by the award-winning writer meeting planners alike. Activities range from offshore and around the world looking for experiences which would be lifefishing tournaments, yacht sailing and regattas, Keith Bellows, who travelled around the world looking for backwater fishing tournaments, yacht sailing and regataltering for children. eco-tours, airboat rides, kayaking tours, waverunner experiences which would be lifealtering for children. tas, eco-tours, airboat rides, kayaking tours, waverunner excursions, private beach parties, team building events, themed With a trip on the Dolphin Explorer you not only get to enjoyexcursions, a great private beach parties, team building events, parties and more! With a trip on the Dolphin Explorer you not only get to enboat ride, wander on a pristine deserted beach and parties and more! themed joy a great boat ride, wander on a pristine deserted beach

and collect handfuls of seashells, you get the chance to Sea Excursions has more than 25 years experience and and personal with some of the most amazing creatures on the earned reputation for extraordinary customer service built on get up planet….bottlenose close and personaldolphin! with some of the most amazing an earned reputation extraordinary serStaffed by master naturalists, you consistent for client satisfaction. customer Serving small, large and creatures on the planet….bottlenose dolphin! Staffed by vice built on consistent client satisfaction. Serving small, will also learn all about the mangrove islands and nesting osprey as multifaceted groups. All events are professionally coordinate to masteryou naturalists, also learnbonus, all about the to manlarge multifaceted All have events professionpass by. you And,will as an added you get be a part of and a ensure all groups. participants a are unique and memorable experigrove islands and nesting osprey as you pass by. And, as ally coordinate to ensure all participants have a uniqueLee Yaggi at unique scientific project - in fact, you become a citizen scientist! ence on the Paradise Coast. Contact an added get toisbe a part of a unique scientifidaily c and memorable experience onus the Coast. Thebonus, Dolphinyou Explorer engaged in the only on-going dolphin 239-642-6400 or visit onlineParadise at www.SeaExcursions.com. projectstudy - in fact, you become a citizen scientist! The DolContact Lee Yaggi at 239-642-6400 or visit us online at in this area. phin Explorer is engaged in the only on-going daily dolphin www.SeaExcursions.com. study in this area.

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182579-A1-1.indd 1 SWFGB_160200_012-43.indd 41 the

Sea Excursions, Inc. is Southwest Florida’s premier group and convention services company offering a unique variety of

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all along the coast

With its powdery beaches and shallow waters, Southwest Florida is a beautiful part of the Sunshine State with its own storied history and culture. For years, people have fled to the region to escape the cold winters up north—including some of our nation’s most inspired inventors. Now home to both retirees and families looking for a quiet place to raise their children, each part of Southwest Florida has something different to experience for both residents and visitors alike. 42

Fort Myers and the Beaches

Whether your idea of fun is sitting on a beautiful beach or parasailing over azure Water, fort myers and the beaches is the place to be.

With sunshine year round, northerners have called Fort Myers home for years, and some of the early adopters were the inspirational Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. In fact, their spacious winter homes are open to the public, sending visitors back in time to 100 years ago. The 20-acre Edison & Ford Winter Estates are both located on sprawling gardens with exotic plant life from around the world, including the famous banyan tree on the property. During the guided tour, walk through Edison’s research laboratory or see first-hand some of the first Model T cars invented by Ford, the father of the assembly line. Their homes are still in pristine condition, and you almost expect one of the inventors to walk into the halls as you explore the property.

(pages 38-39) ©jfmdesign/istock; (this page) ©adventurepicture/istock

Fort Myers Beach sunset

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Pet Friendly • Free Wi Fi • Live Music Twice Daily Located in Time Square | 1035 Estero Blvd Unit #3 |Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 239.765.2222 | www.LaOlaFMB.com

7205 Estero Blvd., Ft Myers Beach, FL (239) 765-2200 | TrulyScrumptiousFMB.com | Open Daily 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM

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ALL ALONG THE COAST

For those living in Fort Myers today, there are endless things to do around town. The first Friday of the month in downtown is the Fort Myers Art Walk, with local galleries, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment. There’s also plenty of shopping, with the Edison Mall, Tanger Outlets and Bell Tower Shops showcasing stores of all kinds. At the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, enjoy the great outdoors during the day and at night with daily shows, animal presentations and the butterfly house. At night, look up to the sky to learn about astronomy or sit in the planetarium for space and laser shows. Other science fun can be had at the Imaginarium, where the whole family can participate in a fossil dig, feel sea creatures in the touch tank, watch a 3D movie, experience the environment of the Caloosahatchee River and be a part of many other interactive exhibits. While the city’s urban landscape is filled with condos and hotels built up on its beaches and canals, it’s the natural habitat that makes the West Coast of Florida so special. Fort Myers Beach, located on Estero Island, threads white sand beaches along the shore for seven miles. Lee County’s Manatee Park is aptly named, as visitors in town from November through March can witness the sea cows bobbing in the water, enjoying the warm water. Even if you’re there during the off season, there are plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy, including kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, bird and wildlife watching, and strolls through the park’s butterfly garden. For sports fans, the city is home to the Fort Myers Miracle, in the minor leagues, but during Spring Training, major league players from the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins call the place home. The Sox practice 44

MANATEE

at Fenway South while the Twins work out at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. Catch the teams at practice or buy tickets for exhibition games, which is an affordable way to see your favorite players in action. At the college level, Florida Gulf Coast University has teams constantly in play with neighboring Florida teams, and they also travel across the country to compete in swimming, soccer, basketball, tennis, and other sports. Shoppers will want to visit Fort Myers’ Gulf Coast Town Center. Ron Jon, one of Florida’s most iconic surf stores is here, filled with ocean gear, clothing and home decor. Other sporting goods options include Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dining options include Burger 21, Miller Ale House and Bar Louie. Head south to Fort Myers’s sister city, Cape Coral, which also has a history of catering to retirees. The coastal community boasts more than 400 miles of canals and four large nature parks. Sirenia Vista Park is home to manatees and ospreys, while gopher tortoises and herons can be found at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. A peaceful butterfly house and nature trails are at Rotary Park. Fun for all ages can be found in the theme park, Sun Splash Family Waterpark, with more than two dozen wet and dry attractions on 15 tropical acres. Little ones can frolic in the water at Tot Spot or get wet at the Rain Tree, while bigger kids can test their strength at the Sand Dollar Walk or venture down the drop slides. For a look at Old Florida, the small town of Estero is a treasure trove of history. The spring-fed Estero River, which flows to Estero Bay, first brought Native Americans and then Spanish settlers to this area. In 1894, a religious group practicing Koreshanity were led by their leader, Cyrus Teed

(FROM LEFT) COURTESY THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS AND SANIBEL; ©TOBIASFREI/ISTOCK

EDISON & FORD WINTER ESTATES

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SWFL’S PREMIER DINNER THEATRE

23

RD SEASON

PROVIDING QUALITY PRODUCTIONS, GREAT FOOD AND EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE! The theatre’s season features the best of Broadway, for all ages, combining your favorite shows of the past along with the most recent musical hit sensations. Broadway Palm is just 30 minutes from Fort Myers Beach, Naples and Sanibel Island. The theatre includes the main stage with 450-seats, a 100-seat theatre called The Off Broadway Palm, a lobby bar, gift shop and art gallery. Broadway Palm features nationally selected performers, dazzling sets and costumes and a live orchestra. The show is just part of the package, as our chefs put their talents to work creating a menu that changes with each production. In addition to the two theatrical venues, Broadway Palm also features four children’s theatre productions each season and an annual concert series.

1380 COLONIAL BOULEVARD, FORT MYERS

239.278.4422 • BroadwayPalm.com W H E R E GU E STB O O K

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off to the city to erect New Jerusalem. He preached that people lived on the inside of the Earth’s outer skin and celestial bodies were located inside the Earth. Teed and his followers founded a utopian community called the Koreshan Unity, but their numbers dwindled after the supposedly immortal leader died in 1908. Today, the community is preserved as the Koreshan State Historic Site, providing an interesting view of old buildings—under renovation and preservation—built at the turn of the century, as well as a natural parkland with fishing, canoeing, and picnicking. Today, city of Estero is vibrant and friendly. It draws to the area retirees and visitors who enjoy its pretty shores, gulf breezes and small-town feel. If shopping is your desire, Estero’s Coconut Point mall is filled with upscale retail such as an Apple store, Coach, bebe, Pandora, Clark’s and many others. Grab a bite at one of the many casual eateries and head back to the shops for more browsing. Bargain hunters should stop into Miromar Outlets for good deals on a large variety of designer merchandise. South of Estero is Bonita Springs, home to graceful neighborhoods and upscale resorts. Once a small farming and fishing town, Bonita Springs officially became a city in 1999. Much of the development here is of recent vintage and the downtown is undergoing a transformation that began in 2004. The Center for the Arts Bonita Springs has a packed schedule of touring bands and music, as well as art exhibitions, film showings and three fine arts and crafts festivals every year. The Bonita Springs Concert Band, founded in 2007, is a volunteer-run musical group that performs free concerts for the public one Sunday a month from November to April at Riverside Park. For those into nature, Bonita Beach Park, Lover’s Key State Park and many other parks and preserves are open to the public to quietly witness animal and plant life. And who says your furry friend can’t enjoy the Florida beaches too? For those traveling with Fido, the Dog Beach at Lover’s Key State Park is open for dogs to romp and play in the waves.

FORT MYERS PIER

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DINING AL FRESCO

(FROM LEFT) ©VANESSA ROGERS; COURTESY THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS AND SANIBEL

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SALTY SAM’S PIRATE CRUISE

GATORBITES TAIL & ALE

Experience a real life pirate voyage through the golden age of piracy as we raise our flags and set sail from Salty Sam’s Marina in search of pirate treasure and golden sunsets. The Pieces Of Eight is a magnificent 65ft replica Spanish Galleon Pirate Ship ready to sail the open seas with pirates of all ages! This is an interactive 90min action comedy adventure cruise, with two spacious upper decks and restrooms on board. Our galley is filled with souvenirs, soft drinks and a full service bar. Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise is the perfect venue for any group outing such as birthday parties, bachelor(ette) parties, corporate events, weddings and more! Join us for a high seas adventure today.

Gatorbites is the sports bar to get your sports fix in laid back Florida fashion. Everything you need to enjoy the game on one of the many HD televisions, cold beers, frozen crocktails, and the best wings around. The menu also features succulent seafood selections like shrimp prepared six satisfying ways, Famous Fish and Chips, and several mouthwatering Mahi-Mahi selections. It wouldn’t be Gatorbites if we didn’t offer some darn good gator, with five fabulous preparations. With the happiest happy hour around, you’ll be happy and so will your wallet! If sports are not your thing there is entertainment on select nights as well as outside seating. Gatorbites is the last stop to get good food and ice cold drink, before you get to Sanibel, across from the Tanger Outlet Mall.

2500 Main St. Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

800-776-9896 www.FloridaPirateCruise.com

20321 Summerlin Rd Ft. Myers, FL 33908

BAYSIDE GRILLE Casual dining, featuring a full bar and waterfront dining with a view. Dine in or take out, Catering and delivery available. Come in and enjoy great food, good friends, cold beer, and friendly staff!!! Watch ALL of your favorite sports teams on any of our 17 High Definition flat-screen TV’s. Happy Hour 2 – 6pm Sunday – ½ price wings Monday - 1/2 price cheese pizza; Tuesday – ½ price hamburgers; Wednesday – Pick a ½ price specia Thursday – NY Strip Steak Dinner - $9.95 Friday – Beer Battered Fish - $9.95 Saturday – Prime Rib night - $17.95 17853 San Carlos Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33931

239.689.8775 BaysideGrilleFortMyersBeach.com

239.267.1317

bewareofthegator.com

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THE STANDARD RESTAURANT THE STANDARD RESTAURANT

Located in the heart of downtown Ft. Myers, The Standard offers an innovative approach Located in thecomfort heart of downtown Myers, use The Standard offersingredients an innovative approach to traditional food. TheirFt. creative of fresh local and serious to traditional comfort food. Their creative inuse of fresh local ingredients and serious attention to detail has set a new “standard” casual dining. attention to detail has setaavariety new “standard” in casual The Standard showcases of signature dishesdining. such as the “Radio City Sandwich” The Standard showcases a variety of signature such as the City and Boneless Braised Short Ribs. The Standarddishes is open seven days“Radio a week forSandwich” breakfast, and Boneless Braised Ribs. The Standard is open seven days a weekIffor lunch and dinner and Short features Sunday brunch with bottomless Mimosa’s. anbreakfast, amazing lunch and dining dinner experience and features brunch with look bottomless Mimosa’s. If anStandard.” amazing all-around is Sunday what you seek, then no further than “The all-around dining experience whatfood you and seek,good then times! look no further than “The Standard.” No gimmicks, no themes, justisgreat No gimmicks, no themes, just great food and good times! 1520 Broadway Ft. Myers, FL 33901 (239)219-6463 | thestandardftmyers.com 1520 Broadway Ft. Myers, FL 33901 (239)219-6463 | thestandardftmyers.com

Edison & Ford WintEr EstatEs Visitors to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers can enjoy 20 acres of historical buildings, beautiful gardens, Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Edison Ford Invention Museum. The Edison buildings include the Main House, Guest House and Caretaker’s House. The 1929 historic landscape is evident throughout the property including the award-winning Moonlight Garden. The Museum has an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits. In addition to providing the opportunity to explore the winter retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the site offers opportunities for the public to enjoy its award-winning and park like environment for special events, weddings, corporate functions, meetings, exhibits and ongoing educational programming. Throughout the year, the National Register Historic Site, Florida Historic Landmark and National Historic Chemical Landmark offers visitors of all ages a chance to step back into “old Florida” and learn more about the world through unique historical, scientific and cultural experiences. Open Daily 9AM – 5:30PM and until 9PM during the month of December. Guided and self-guided tours and audio tours available in English, German, French and Spanish. Maps available in English, German, French and Spanish.

2350 McGregor Blvd | (239) 334-7419 | www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BELLE FILLE HOME DECOR, GIFTS & JEWELRY “Belle Fille in french means beautiful daughter or beautiful step daughter. Belle Fille was established as a labor of love between a step mother, Kimberley Richards, and her step daughter, Kelly Richards. Through their shared passion of design, fashion and all things fabulous they created this store in the garden park district of downtown Fort Myers.” 1611 Fowler Street, Ft. Myers, FL 33901 239.339.6463 | bellefillefortmyers.com

Florida repertory epertory theatre “One of America’s Top Repertory Companies!” -The Wall Street Journal Florida Rep is a fully professional and nationally recognized regional theatre company serving all of Southwest Florida. Reaching 80,000 people in the River District annually, Florida Rep performs six days a week during its October to May season. Founded in 1998 by Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo, Florida Rep produces a wide variety of work – from cutting-edge Pulitzer & Tony Winning dramas to entertaining musicals and comedies. As one of the area’s largest non-profit organizations, the Rep is also dedicated to active Educational Programming and produces work throughout the year that benefits 22,000 young people all over Southwest Florida.

ImagInarIum ScIence center Experience Southwest Florida’s ONLY science center! EXPERIENCE a hurricane, EXPLORE the Caloosahatchee River, TOUCH a gator, DISCOVER dinosaurs, and much more. The Imaginarium offers over 200,000 gallons of fresh and salt water aquariums, featuring an interactive Touch Tank. Daily Sci-Shows and Animal Encounters offer unique, hands-on experiences. Take a break at Ray’s Café and bring the Imaginarium experience home with a unique gift from the Museum Store.

In numerous national reviews, The Wall Street Journal has called Florida Rep “An Excellent Theatre Company” with a “Sterling track record” and called its work “Profoundly satisfying…Splendid…Absolutely perfect…As good as Broadway,” and told readers across America to “Make haste to Fort Myers, where the weather is warm and the theater fine!”

Fort Myers River District • Historic Arcade Theatre Bay Street between Jackson & Hendry 239-332-4488 • www.FloridaRep.org photos Courtesy of Nick adams photography. hotography. (top) (t top) Florida repertory theatre Marquee/Courtesy Bryelle dafeldecker. (Middle left to right) lou ou Sumrall & Margaret robinson in Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest; Michelle damato in I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. Spaghetti (Bottom) rachel Burttram, landon Maas, Brendan powers, and henry Crater in A Christmas Story. Story

Open Tues-Sat 10am-5pm & Sun Noon-5pm Call 239-321-7420 or www.i-sci.org

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ALL ALONG THE COAST

Sanibel and Captiva

SANIBEL ISLAND

NORTH CAPTIVA

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Originally home to the Calusa Indians, Sanibel’s 10,000 acres offer fresh sea breezes, shell-laden shores, whispering palms and stunning sunsets. It is home to the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a popular recreation destination and an essential estuarine habitat along the migratory Atlantic Flyway. One of the most popular stretches of sand in Sanibel is Bowman’s Beach, well-known by locals as the place to find the most gorgeous seashells lying atop powder white sand. At the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife staff rescues injured animals with the goal to eventually nurse them back to health so that they can be released back into their natural habitats. Visitors are welcome to learn more about how to help injured wildlife around them. Lighthouse Beach is home to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse, sometimes known as the Point Ybel Light, which has been guiding ships into shore since August. It has become such a part of the community that when the Coast Guard planned to close it in 1972, the public fought to keep it running, and the plans were scrapped. With its beautiful statuesque figure, it’s arguably one of the most photographed structures on the island. Unfortunately, as it’s not open to the public, it can only be admired from the sand below. Another historical point of interest is the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, a collection of buildings that will give visitors a glimpse of old Florida living from the late 1800s onward. For shopping and dining, there are plenty of nooks on the island with shops and outdoor eating. Olde Sanibel Shoppes has the award-winning Over Easy Cafe, while Tahitian Gardens is packed with jewelry stores, resort wear and Florida-style restaurants. To the north and just over the bridge is the smaller island of Captiva, welcoming visitors with its soft Australian pines creating a canopy over the road. Glimpses of the shoreline and grand waterfront homes are revealed through breaks in the lush tree line. The bridge over Redfish Pass is a new part of the landscape, because until 1921, it wasn’t even its own island. However, because of a large hurricane, the pass was created by nature, forever separating Sanibel and Captiva. On the quiet island, both Captiva Beach and Turner Beach are the perfect places for collectors and families to try their hand at shelling. For a more active time outside, rent a bicycle to explore the island or head out on the water with kayaks and paddleboards.

(FROM TOP) ©ROBERTO A. SANCHEZ/ISTOCK; COURTESY THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS AND SANIBEL

THESE TWO ISLANDS RADIATE THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WITH ITS TURQUOISE WATERS AND SANDY BEACHES DOTTED WITH SEASHELLS AND RESORTS DESIGNED FOR A DAY UNDER THE SUNSHINE.

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Established in1985, Congress Jewelers has delighted visitors to Southwest Florida with their island inspired Sealife By Congress™ Collection. Handcrafted in sterling silver, 14k white or yellow gold, each piece is meticulously detailed right here on Sanibel Island.

Congress Jewelers...Celebrating life’s special moments while creating memories that last a lifetime.

SEALIFE FASHION DIAMONDS ESTATE Periwinkle Place Shops • Sanibel Island • CongressJewelers.com • SealifeByCongress.com • 239-472-4177

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Naples this tropical paradise has a cool downtown with lots of shops and eateries. the beach is just steps away, the perfect place to take in sunsets. The largest city in Collier County, Naples is situated along 10 miles of Gulf beaches and is home to more than 70 golf courses. Often called the “Golf Capital of the World,” it’s said that the city has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world. For a day out on the greens, check out the courses at Arrowhead, Links of Naples, the Country Club of Naples, and dozens more places that have drawn some of the biggest names in the sport. 52

The city is also known for its love of the arts and is home to dozens of galleries and the Artis-Naples, a cultural complex housing the Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic. Artists of all kinds are on exhibit, from traveling shows to showcasing the talents of local Florida artists. The Philharmonic draws some of the biggest names in show business, from world renowned orchestras, Broadway musicals, and classic performers to singer-songwriters on the road. There are also ongoing art classes and special seminars for art lovers of all ages. There are many ongoing art events in Naples. The first Saturday of the month from November to April is Naples Art in the Park. Just under two blocks from Fifth Avenue, visitors can see brilliant art up close with area artists displaying works in watercolor, mixed media, photography, jewelry, and woodworking. Hosted once a year, the Naples National Art Festival invites artists from around the country and the Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is a collection of more than 230 artists and crafters who show off their work.

©benjamin rusnak

Dining on fifth avenue

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FOUR WINDS GALLERY FINE NATIVE AMERICAN JEWELRY & ART Celebrating 34 Years

Duane Maktima ◆ Rosarita & Opal Native American Jewelry in Gold

Leonard Nez Gem Grade Royston Turquoise BUYING COLLECTIONS

Cliff Fragua Morning Sun, Tennessee Marble

Kee Joe Bennally necklace and earrings Darryl Dean Begay bracelet

340 13th Avenue South ◆ Historic Third Street District, Naples 239-263-7555 ◆ www.fourwindsnaples.com

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ALL ALONG THE COAST

GALERIE DU SOLEIL

The Mercato is a modern shopping district stuffed with upscale dining chains and shopping options and even has a Whole Foods Market. For a more vintage feel, downtown Naples’ shopping and dining is found along Fifth Avenue and the “Old Naples” district is a few blocks away along south Third Street. Bars and locally owned restaurants define most of Fifth Avenue, along with a design district on the west end, while Third Street is home luxury gift shops, fine jewelry and apparel boutiques as well as coffee shops and wine bars. At the west end of nearly every avenue, you’ll find public beach access to Naples Beach where you’ll find calm Gulf waves and that famous white sand. If you have children in tow, the 12-acre Cambier Park in the heart of the old city has an amazing array of recreation for all ages. The huge play structures are a hit with little ones and include many bouncy bridges, zip lines and various tunnels and towers to play in. The park is also home to top-notch tennis courts, which are always active with players working on 54

DOWNTOWN NAPLES

NAPLES PIER

(FROM LEFT) ©VANESSA ROGERS; ©ARPAD BENEDEK/ISTOCK; ©NAPLES MARCO ISLAND EVERGLADES CVB

their serve or engaging in a playful volley. Cambier is also the destination for many festivals, art shows and music performances year-round. The Edge Johnny Nocera Skate Park at Fleischmann Park has over 40,000 square feet of wood and concrete ramp structures for the ultimate skating and BMX biking experience. Both beginners and advanced riders can session the bowl, pool and snake run. The Naples Preserve (at the corner of U.S. 41 and Fleischmann Boulevard) is perfect for a mellow nature walk. You’ll likely see gopher tortoises in their natural habitat, native plants, birds, butterflies, and more. The peak months for viewing wildflowers and butterflies are between August and September. The Hedges Family Eco-Center, also on site, is a resource for learning about Southwest Florida’s native animals and plants and will help you arrange a way to see some of these organisms in the wild. Children’s activities and lectures are planned throughout the year.

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Waterfront dining on

Venetian Bay

Our Philosophy is simple, the Foundation of a Great Meal begins with Fresh Ingredients of Exceptional Quality

www.T-Michaels.com 239-261-0622 4050 Gulfshore Blvd. - Naples Hours: Sun - Thur 11 to 9 • Fri & Sat 11 to 10 • Happy hour 4 to 6:30

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BAMBU

BAYFRONT RENTALS

You have the option to sit either at the covered, open-aired dining space or benefit from the Florida sun on the waterside terrace. Both options offer sweeping views of the Naples Bay, our marina and all that nature has to present. The unique, tropical menu includes items such as fresh salads, grilled and raw seafood, tapas and complete entrées. Our bartenders will mix up a concoction of your favorite tropical drink for your poolside enjoyment. On most weekends, guests can enjoy the cool breeze from the Naples Bay while enjoying an eclectic mix of the acoustic sounds of live entertainment by local musicians and the sights and sounds from the water. For the early risers, we host the Illy Coffee Bar, located on the main floor of lobby, with a menu of freshly baked muffins, breakfast sandwiches, fresh cut fruit and locally squeezed juices. During winter months, we host a full breakfast buffet overlooking the water.

While aboard one of our brand new, high quality vessels. Explore our sugar sand beaches, lunch at a waterfront restaurant, tour waterfront realestate or take in an afternoon of fishing. Bayfront Rentals offer 20’ Sundeck Sport Deck Boats, 20’ Pontoon Boats, single and tandem Kayaks, Paddleboards and Bicycles. The water adventure begins at Bayfront Rentals located at the Bayfront Inn 5th Avenue.

TROPICAL BAR & GRILLE

COME AND ENJOY

Bayfront Inn 5th Ave South 1221 5th Ave South, Naples, Fl 34102

239.465.0223

www.BayfrontRentalsNaples.com

Bayfront Inn 5th Ave | 1221 5th Ave South, Naples, Fl 34102

239.649.5800

www.BayfrontInnNaples.com

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A TABLE APART Growing up in Hawaii gave Chef Jeff Acol a profound love for the ocean and the land. He & his wife & partner Jessica believe in taking responsible steps in their restaurant to help preserve the future of both for future generations. At A Table Apart, the focus is on sustainable seafood & natural meats. The seafood served is not considered overfished nor does it contain high levels of mercury. All the meats and poultry reflect the same beliefs (No Hormones, No antibiotics, Farm to table programs, Natural production). Vegetables are also locally sourced from organic farms. When you combine all of this with a truly gifted chef and wife from France (also a pastry chef ) you have an amazing combination that results in a meal you will never forget! In season - Open 7 days from 5 to 9; Off season hours vary. Food is Culture and Culture is the Preservation of Aina (our earth).

VINTINO’S

PREMIUM CIGARS & SMOKING LOUNGE Vintino’s Premium Cigars & Smoking Lounge is Naples premier cigar destination. Our spacious lounge has ample seating, numerous TVs, and every seat is the best seat in the house! Enjoy the beautiful Florida weather in our covered outdoor lounge with seating for your largest party and several large screen TVs. Our walk-in humidor is one of SW Florida’s largest with 20,000 cigars representing hundreds of brands. We stock a cigar for every palette including limited releases from Opus X, Padron, Tatuaje, Viaje, La Flor Dominicana, and many, many more! Whether you are here to cheer for your favorite sports team, catch up with friends, or for a quiet escape, Vintino’s is Naples favorite spot to enjoy a cigar!

4295 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs

4424 Tamiami Trail E.

239.221.8540

Naples, FL

www.atableapart.com

239-963-9410 www.vintinocigars.com

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marco island offers a way to live and play in paradise while the everglades preserve florida’s most treasured natural lands. The area south of Naples is surrounded by some of the state’s most important wildlife sanctuaries, including Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the Florida Panther National Refuge. These parks are an important part of Florida, serving as a peaceful sanctuary for at-risk animals such as the Florida Panther, American crocodile, and the West Indian 58

marco island at dusk

©roberto a. sanchez/istock

Marco Island and The Everglades

(from top) ©clark maxwell/flickr commons;

marco island aerial

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Genesis Day Spa & Wellness

Skin Care, Nails and Make-up Facial, Oxyaire Oxygen Facials, Micro Peels, VI Peels Microcurrent “Mini Lift” Treatment “Dermatude” Micro Needling Airbrush Spray Tanning Airbrush & Bridal Make-up Waxing Blow Dry Bar Nail Treatments

Massage Therapy Therapeutic Sports & Swedish Massage Reflexology Aromatherapy

Brand New Men’s Menu

©noderog/istock

beach day awaits

manatee. At 26,400 acres, the panther sanctuary was created in 1989 in an effort to bring up the animal’s numbers. Seeing a panther is very unlikely, as there are fewer than 200 left in the entire state. All panthers are tracked using radio collars, and many times their deaths are the result of being hit by a vehicle. At Big Cypress National Preserve, fans of wildlife photographer Clyde Butcher can witness his breathtaking black-and-white photography at his studio in Ochopee, almost 50 miles east of Naples on Tamiami Trail. At the southernmost tip of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Marco Island is the largest inhabited island in the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands ecology. Though mostly private, visitors can access some of the 3.5 miles of beaches at South Marco Beach and Tigertail Beach. The island features an inland maze of waterways and stands of mangroves and sawgrass, making it a destination for outdoor sporting and adventure such as boating, fishing, shelling, snorkeling and windsurfing. For casual dining and cocktails, Marco Island’s Town Center is a good bet with lots of restaurants and places to get a drink. The Esplanade

Barber Hot Lather Shaves Hand & Foot Detailing

Ladies’ & men’s locker rooms 6060 Collier Blvd., #104 Naples Outlet Center Naples 34114

239.398.0244

www.genesisdayspanaples.com info@genesisdayspanaples.com Services will still be available at Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique in Royal Palm Mall, 997 N. Collier Blvd., Suite A, 239.393.0244, until Genesis Day Spa & Wellness opens

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ALL ALONG THE COAST

ALLIGATOR

Shoppes is also a good choice, with a number of restaurants and retail stores. Along the Mediterranean-style village is a marina, a fun place to walk to see the boats, and if you’re lucky, dolphins, too. Marco Walk is a shopping and dining favorite with its charming, open-air plaza and movie theater. Arturo’s, one of Marco Island’s oldest Italian eateries, is a great place to dine with the locals. Continuing south off of Tamiami Trail, Everglades City is Southwest Florida’s gateway the Ten Thousands Islands and 1.5 million acres of the impressive Everglades National Park. Boat tours are available in Everglades City, which is also the starting point for kayaks and canoes to traverse the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway in and out of a maze of mangrove islands. 60

Ride on the fast airboats, cutting through the swamp for prime alligator viewing spots that only the guides would know best. Corey Billie’s is a 15-minute drive from Naples, convenient for those who don’t want to go far to experience Florida’s wildlife. On the eastern edge of Big Cypress Preserve, an hour from Fort Myers, is Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum located on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. The only tribe to not sign a peace treaty with the United States, the Seminoles welcome visitors to learn more about their culture, both historical and modern, with 30,000 artifacts, a beautiful boardwalk into the swamp and a life-size recreation of life for Seminole Indians in the 1890s. Chokoloskee Island, a teardrop shaped island located near the southern border of Collier County, is accessed by a long causeway that begins in Everglades City. Historically, the island was used by Native Americans and the large shell mounds that they created bring the island’s elevation to 20 feet above sea level. Today, it’s a sporting hub for its prime location.

(EVERGLADES): ©SIMON HARE

FLORIDA EVERGLADES

(KAYAKERS & ALLIGATOR): ©NAPLES MARCO ISLAND EVERGLADES CVB

KAYAKERS IN THE EVERGLADES

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JEWELRY

ART

 GIFTS

St yle from Head t o Toe OUR CLOTHING FROM ◌ BELLDINI ◌ FRANK LYMAN ◌ DAVID CLINE ◌ XCVI ◌ CARTISE ◌ PETIT POIS ◌ CLARA SUNWOO ◌ SPANX ...AND MORE

1089 N. Collier Blvd. #417 Marco Island, FL 34145 MARCO TOWN CENTER MALL

239.393.2405

www.bluemangrovegallery.com

Where do you want to go? Find the best of the city

OUR SHOES BY ◌ YELLOW BOX ◌ VANELI ◌ ONEX ◌ PELLE MODA ◌ MATISSE ◌ MEPHISTO ◌ NAOT ◌ MERRELL ◌ ECCO

Marco Town Center Mon-Sat 9-6 ◌ Sun 11-5 | georgiesshoeresort.com | 239.394.2621

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MARCO ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM

CHOP239

Preserving the History and Heritage of Marco Island and the surrounding community. • The Marco Island Historical Museum – a Crown Jewel in the Collier County System. Experience 6,000 years of Marco Island’s history through permanent and traveling exhibits that tell the story from the Pleistocene Period, to the Calusa Indians, to the Pioneers, to present day Marco. • The Museum Gift Store – find unique gifts and keepsakes, beautiful jewelry, books by prominent authors, art work by local area artists, a children’s corner and much more. • The Rose History Auditorium – enjoy live performances, lectures and presentations for the community or reserve the venue for your own event. The Museum is open Tue-Sat, from 9AM -4PM; Gift Store Hours: 10AM – 4PM; Summer Gift Store Hours: 11AM-3PM

Located within Marco Island’s Esplanade Shoppes, just steps from the dock and Smokehouse Bay, you’ll find Marco Island’s finest dining destination. Featuring a diverse menu of all inclusive entrees including exceptional steaks, flown-infresh Maine lobster, a variety of fresh seafood, salads, chops and light-fare plates, CHOP239 has a little something to satisfy all appetites and tastes. For the cocktail crowd a fine selection of hand-crafted martinis, craft beer and more than 60 wines by the glass will make for the happiest of happy hours (daily from 4:30-7:00pm) and complement to ones meal. Live music every weekend and seasonal patio dining create a welcoming atmosphere to be enjoyed every day. Serving dinner nightly from 5:00pm, reservations are accepted and encouraged. To view menus, entertainment schedule, happy hour specials and more, visitwww.Chop239.com.

180 South Heathwood Drive, Marco Island FL 34145

239.389.6447 www.themihs.org

760 North Collier Boulevard

239-394-0212 www.Chop239.com

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LA TAVOLA JOIN US AT THE TABLE

La Tavola co-owners Chef Guy and Lisa Verdi have been proudly serving Marco Island since 1998. La Tavola is their third successful restaurant succeeding Verdi’s American Bistro and the Philly Grille. Using only fresh, carefully sourced and seasonal ingredients with their Executive Chef, Erin Wyman by their side… a culinary adventure is guaranteed. A full bar and extensive wine list adds to the class of their fine cuisine. Their newest feature is a plate for any appetite… Small, Medium and Large dishes are served throughout the entire restaurant. Where Food, Family and Friends Meet…We look forward to serving you soon! Business Hours: Season 7 days Off Season 6 Days- Monday-Sat Enjoy Live Entertainment!

961 Winterberry Drive – Marco Island

239.393.4960 www.latavolarestaurantandbar.com

CAFÉ DE MARCO LIVE TO SAVOR

Nestled in the heart of Olde Marco lives café DeMarco. Create a truly memorable experience at the longest running “owner operated” restaurant on the island. Since 1983 the Café & it’s staff have been welcoming the return of locals and visitors alike. This olde style Florida home enjoys a rich piece of Marco history. In the early 1900s, when the Olde Marco Inn functioned as a B&B, this was the site of the chambermaid’s living quarters. Serving only the finest in fresh local seafood, fresh cuts of prime steak, lamb, chicken, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan friendly dishes which complement a menu of culinary excellence. Voted as best seafood on Marco Island for many years, it has been mentioned as: “a place not to be missed” by the Wall Street Journal. The Jumbo Prawns, Lobster Bisque, Oysters Rockefeller, and Café Surf and Turf are a few of the award winning trademarks. Welcome to our home! You’ll feel like family by the time you leave! Reservations are suggested. 244 Palm Street, Marco Island, FL 34145

239.394.6262

www.cafedemarco.com

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XTREME ESCAPE GAME Marco Island’s Newest Attraction. Southwest Florida’s FIRST Real Live Escape Game! One Room…One Hour…One Way Out! Your goal is simple, escape! Ultimate Family Experience, Corporate Team Building & Wedding Parties. Ask about our group rates. Cell Block M: Can you find evidence in the Jail cell to prove your innocence in time or will you rot in jail forever? Lost in the Everglades: A rescue team is searching for your group deep in the Everglades. Will you be able to evacuate and provide your location in time? Calico Jack’s Lost Treasure: You have been captured of the coast of the 10,000 Islands by Captain Jack’s crew. You have sixty minutes to locate his hidden treasure or ye will be walking the plank! Today’s a great day to ESCAPE! 909 N Collier Blvd. - Marco Island

239.272.3090 www.xtremeescapegame.com

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DAVINCI’S The Carvelli family has created a little slice of their homeland in the quaint atmosphere of Marco Island. Sophisticated family ambiance where each guest will feel at home while enjoying signature dishes and carefully selected wines. Transport yourself to Italy while Giusseppe and Salvatore sing by your table every Friday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Local DJ plays great music every Friday and Saturday from 11:00 PM ‘til close. Come join the party!

MARCO PRIME STEAKS & SEAFOOD

Located in the heart of Marco Island, Fl across from the Hilton Hotel, Marco Prime Steaks & Seafood is a welcome and newly addition to the city dining scene offering a fine dining interpretation of the classic American steakhouse with hints of French, Italian & Asian influence throughout the menu. The Carvelli family has brought again their many years of experience to Marco, creating a contemporary restaurant with all the warmth and attention to detail you can highly expect. You deserve it!!

599 S. Collier Blvd Suite #215, Marco Island, FL 34145

239.389.1888

www.ristorantedavinci.com

599 S. Collier Blvd. #204, Marco Island, FL 34145

239.389.2333

DaVinci’s

Classically Distinctive... Naturally Italian!

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ARTURO’S THE ART OF FINE ITALIAN FOOD

Just like fine wine, we get better with age. Dozens of awards, thousands of dinners and we can’t even begin to count the smiles! Maybe that’s why our guests call us a dynasty! We have had the privilege of serving them only the finest Classic Italian Cuisine here on Marco Island. Dedicated to Excellence, our Tradition Since 1996. • Classic Italian Cuisine • Award Winning Wine List • Full Liquor & Cordial Bar • Al Fresco Dining in our Courtyard Open 7 days a week in season, 5 to 10 pm. Reservations Strongly Recommended

844 Bald Eagle Drive Marco Island

239.642.0550

www.ArturosMarcoIsland.com

SUNSET GRILLE

STONEWALLS

BEST BEACH BAR ON MARCO

FINE FOOD FAST

Accessible from the beach, Sunset Grille is located on Marco Island’s beautiful South Beach. We offer everything a sports bar should and everything a Caribbean Beach Bar would. From the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico to the excitement of rooting for your favorite team, to the stunning sunsets you watch as dolphins play in the water, the Sunset Grille has it all! And don’t forget about the food! We have 5 star ratings from Trip Advisor and are known for our crab cakes, steak and chicken Phillies and our famous coconut shrimp. Come see why locals and visitors alike call us the best Beach Bar on Marco! Open everyday from 11 am to 10 pm.

Marco Island’s only “fast casual” restaurant has been owned and operated by the Burke family since 2010. They use only the freshest ingredients and serve food favorites in an upscale, friendly atmosphere. Breakfast selections include LavAzza Italian coffee, homemade baked items & unique and traditional favorites. For Lunch and Dinner you will find best sellers such as Specialty Sandwiches, Flatbreads, Homemade Pizzas with dough made fresh daily, salads and Giant Baked Potatoes. Beer and wine compliment the island’s favorite Seafood Chowder and Award Winning Chili. “FINE FOOD FAST” ensures a reasonably priced tasty meal in a timely manner with daily specials like Chicken Salad or Meatloaf that appeal to all ages. Daily dinner specials, carry-out, catering and more are always available most days 8:30am to 8:30pm.

Located in the ground floor of the Apollo Condominium 900 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island

239-389-0509 www.sunsetgrillonmarcoisland.com

551 S Collier Blvd. A short walk from beach hotels

239.389.1995

www.marcostonewalls.com

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TOKYO INN

JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI BAR Join veteran chef & owner Ben for a fantastic evening. Whether you are in the mood for hibachi style cooking right in front of you (dinner & a show!) or succulent sushi and sashimi prepared fresh to order, Tokyo Inn will satisfy. With Ben’s 35 years of experience, you can expect an amazing meal and you will not be disappointed. Only the freshest ingredients taste this good! Try fresh veggies, fried rice, shrimp, steak, chicken, lobster or a combination all prepared before your eyes. Sushi, sashimi and a large selection of rolls are all expertly prepared. Tokyo Inn enjoys consistent 4+ star ratings from Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook and the local publications on island. Come see why this is one of the locals favorite restaurants on the island! Call for your reservation today. Open for dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm 7 nights 1825 San Marco Road, Marco Island In the Shops of Marco

239.642.3999

ISLAND BIKE SHOP Serving Southwest Floridians and visitors alike for over 25 years, Island Bike Shop is your “hometown” store away from home. We offer sales, service and a great fleet of rental bikes to choose from. Whether you are a novice or pro, stop in to one of our two convenient locations today. Come meet our friendly professional staff and look over our huge inventory of kids bikes, beach cruisers, scooters and more. There is something for everyone here and you can’t beat our prices! Both stores are open Mon - Sat 9 to 6, Sun 10 to 3. Marco Island 1095 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island, FL 34145

239.394.8400 Naples (Shops at Hammock Cove) 4342 Thomasson Dr., Naples, FL 34112

239.732.8400 ISLAND BIKE SHOP

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Everglades Area Tours

Guided Boating, Kayaking & Walking Experiences in Everglades National Park

The Quiet Alternative to an Airboat Ride EXPERIENCE THE SPLENDID NATURAL WORLD OF EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK Guided Everglades Educational Adventures Since 1999

Discover the Everglade's unique ecosystems, its long history and rich culture with your Florida Master Naturalist guide. Our signature Boat Assisted Kayak Eco Tour combines the best of a boating tour, a kayaking tour and a walking tour into a single great experience. Imagine kayaking next to a manatee or dolphin! Take a Birding, Dolphin & Manatee (Boat) Tour into the Everglades 10,000 Islands to view and photograph the area's wildlife including some of the 300+ species of birds that call the Everglades home. In the habitat of alligators, river otters, mangroves, bald cypress and bromeliads, quietly paddle through the magnificent mangrove & cypress forests on a Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco Tour. Take a Guided Walking Tour in the strands and sloughs in search of rare orchids or the Everglades Grand Heritage Tour which is the most extensive day tour of the Park offered. As the only tour provider in the Park certified by the Florida Society for Ethical Tourism, loud airboats are never used nor allowed. Daily departures from Everglades City and Marco Island.

239-529-4666 • www.evergladesareatours.com 127337-XX-2.indd 1 SWFGB_160200_061-70.indd 70

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ADVERTISER INDEX

Dolphin Explorer ................................41

Truly Scrumptious Homestyle

Edison & Ford Winter Estates .......48

Restaurant..........................................43

Everglades Adventures ................... 25

Village on Venetian Bay .................... 2

Everglades Area Tours.....................70

Watermark Grille ................................. 3

ND RD

PINE ISLA

VETER

CAPTIVA

CAPE

CORA L

KWY

PKWY

CAPE CORAL

Florida Repertory Theatre ..............45

Marco Island Water Sports ............. 23

Naples Princess ................................. 53

Naples Princess ................................. 53

Seminole Casino Immokalee ...........17

Naples Zoo ......................................... 55

Vintino’s Cigars ................................. 57

Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise ................ 47

Xtreme Escape Game ......................66

O

KE D

D

RD

R

SANIBEL FORT MYERS BEACH

WY DA NIELS P K

Southwest Florida International Airport ALICO RD

75

ESTERO B

LVD

ONITA

Arturo’s Ristorante ...........................68

REAL ESTATE

Bambu Tropical Bar & Grille...........56

Lennar Homes.................................... c3

Bayside Grille ..................................... 47

Residences at Mercato ...................... 7

Bernie’s City Diner........................... 40

Stock Development .........................4,5

The Boathouse Restaurant ............. 55

SHOPPING

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre ....45

Belle Fille Home Decor ...................49

Cafe de Marco ...................................65

The Bike Route .................................. 53

DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse .....45

Four Winds Gallery .......................... 53

DaVinci’s Ristorante ......................... 67

Georgie’s Shoe Resort ......................61

Fin Bistro.............................................66

Island Bike Shop ...............................69

Gator Bites Tail & Ale....................... 47

Mark Loren Designs............................ 9

Inca’s Kitchen..................................... 57

Miromar Outlets ..................................11

La Ola Surfside Restaurant.............43

Mondo Uomo ..................................... 10

La Tavola .............................................65

Vintino’s Cigars ................................. 57

MAIA ....................................................62

Village on Venetian Bay .................... 2

Marco Prime ....................................... 67

SPAS

Menchie’s ............................................62

Genesis Day Spa ...............................59

Miromar Outlets .................................. 9

The Spa at Marco Island Marriott ..21

KALE

IMMO

VAND E

RBILT

KALEE

BEACH

NAPLES

E RD

RD

RD

OIL W

ELL R

D

GOLD

EN GA TE BLV

D

DAVIS B

LVD 84

Gulf of Mexico

Picayune Strand State Forest

41

951

MARCO ISLAND

TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS

AIL

Congress Jewelers .............................51

IMMO

75

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

29

I TR

Blue Mangrove Gallery .....................61

CJ’s on the Bay .................................69

RD

IAM TAM

Chop 239 ............................................64

BEACH

NORTH NAPLES

LOGA N

The Rookery ........................................21

I TRAIL

A Table Apart..................................... 57

TAMIA M

Hammock Bay.....................................21

Lake Trafford

BONITAB SPRINGS

GOLF

DINING

82

RD

41

BLVD

Four Winds Gallery .......................... 53

CREW

BLVD

Blue Mangrove Gallery .....................61

of History ............................................48

CORK S

COLLIE R

Southwest Florida Museum

Marco Polo Restaurant ....................63

A TIV AP

GALLERIES

Blue Martini .........................................12

S LA

RD

Marco Island Historical Society .....64

EG GR MC R SUM M ERL IN

San Carlos Bay

EE AL

Island Bike Shop ...............................69

Broadway Palm Dinner Theater ....45

Seminole Casino Immokalee ...........15

12 ST

LEHIGH ACRES OK

Blue Martini .........................................12

Aria .......................................................62

82

M IM

Imaginarium Science Center ..........49

C EL NIB SA

Good Time Charters ......................... 25

Xtreme Escape Game ......................66

78 80

D BLV CYP RES OR

ENTERTAINMENT

Sea Excursions....................................41

80

FORT MYERS

ANS P

ER EST

Florida Repertory Theatre ..............49

Pine Island Sound

DE

Ri ve r

Collier County Parks .........................19

Tokyo Inn ............................................69

Bob James Preserve

E GRA

ch ee

House ................................................... 55

31

NALL

ah at

T-Michael’s Steak and Lobster

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre ....45

41

os

Bayfront Boat Rentals .....................56

Cayo Costa State Park

lo

Sunsets Grille .....................................68

Ca

Stonewalls...........................................68

Backwater Adventures .....................13

STRINGFELLOW RD

ATTRACTIONS

Collier-Seminole State Park

Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve

41

29

Big Cypress National Preserve

Naples Princess ................................. 53 Pewter Mug ....................................... 40

EVERGLADES CITY

Pinchers Crab Shack .........................19 Quinn’s On the Beach ......................62 Shula’s Steak House ......................... c4 South Beach Grille ............................43

10 mi 10 km

Everglades National Park

CHOKOLOSKEE ISLAND

The Standard Restaurant ................48

WHERE GUEST B OOK

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Drift Away

Paddlers watCh as the sky transitions from

day to niGht and revel in the best view from a sea kayak.

72

Courtesy the beaChes of fort myers and sanibel

PartinG shot

W H E R E G UESTBO O K

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SW Florida Where GuestBook 2016-2017  

Explore the many sides of Southwest Florida through the Where GuestBook – from the wild Everglades to the award winning beaches along the ca...