Shop on Fifth Avenue. This street has really transformed, and continues to be. By 2005 I estimate its entire length will be filled with 4 story retail and condominium buildings with a Spanish design. In any event, the quality of shops and services on 5th Avenue has also picked up, with several very high end designer stores. Mixed with the theatre and excellent restaurants, you could easily spend your whole vacation on Fifth.
Air Boat Rides in the Everglades
**Please note. I'm told that airboats are not allowed inside the Everglades National Park.
Apparently my trip was just on the boundaries I recommend an airboat ride outside the park since in the park, around Everglades city you can't venture into the mangrove or 'grass'
Everglades City is the place where everybody goes for an Airboat ride. The real place to go is on Hwy 41 just west of the Everglades turn off. We went to the blue boat place. (get a coupon book and check ahead) The real difference is that at this place you actually go into the Swamp Grass and not just in the estuary. It's awesome and Much! More intense than you think. You actually ride up and hang out literally about 1 foot from live in the wild gators. I was frankly scared!
*For more info, please see the Gator Madness Travelogues on my Everglades Page
Relaxed Open-Air Dining
Down near the Naples Public Dock in Crayton Cove are several waterside restaurants with open air or inside air-conditioned dining available. One of the most popular yet laid-back spots was right beside the Cove Inn, the Dock Restaurant. I took this picture from my balcony, you can see the restaurant off to the right, with its gorgeous view of the marina.
You must see the second and third photographs also!
We stayed at the Forest Glen Golf and Country Club in a condo in Naples, Florida, for the month of January, and they had a beautiful dining room where we ate twice.
Each day, a new menu was placed on the bulletin board for us to peruse. On January 13, 2009, we were going to the Philharmonic to see the musical "Mama Mia" at 8:00 p.m., so we made reservations to eat at the Country Club that early evening.
On that particular day, here were the choices:
Stuffed Chicken Breast "Bombay" [avocado and banana stuffed chicken breast served on a light, coconut curry sauce]
Beef Bistecca [12 oz strip loin, pan seared in olive oil topped with fried onions straws and a Pinot noir demi glaze.]
Black Mussels "Fra Diavolo" [Fresh mussels, tossed in a spicy tomato sauce served over linguini pasta and garlic bread]
Braised Lamb Shank [Australian lamb shank braised in a red wine, root vegetable demi glaze]
Salmon "Dijonnaise" [Atlantic salmon fillet, marinated and char grilled served on a light Dijon mustard, mushroom sauce]
Pork Sweet and Sour [Pork tenderloin deep fried in tempura batter, tossed in a sweet and sour dressing with fresh bell peppers]
Veal Scaloppine "Piccata" [Thin veal scaloppine pan seared in olive oil and finished in a Lemon beurre blanc and capers]
All their entrees are always served with fresh house salad or soup of the day, potato or rice and vegetables du jour. THE MENU CHANGES EACH DAY We went on two different days. We were fortunate to have the same waitress both times. She was so much fun and so kind. She was from one of the islands and had a wonderful accent.
Allan tried the Lamb Shank and I had a Chicken Kieve [on a different night as seen in photo #1]
In photo #2, I have pictured a wonderful dessert that I had, as was suggested by our waitress. It reminded me of a Florentine Cookie. The "basket was sliced almonds held together with a carmelized glaze; inside was homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream.
In Photograph #3 is the Key Lime Pie that Allan ordered.
The food was delicious, beautiful to look at, and even more beautiful to eat.
The elegance of Downtown Naples
Starting at S. 5th Ave is downtown Naples. This is the main area for shopping, dining and nightlife. Be warned, since this area is filled with seniors, their is limited nightlife. Everything is walking distance and up to about 9pm, the streets are bustling. The street is filled with palm trees on either side. Safe to walk around.