Cross the bridge to Sanibel
Unfortunately for the town of naples, the best thing about it for me was that it was close to the island of Sanibel. Sanibel has an islandy feel, tall trees (although somewhat wrecked during later hurricanes I hear), nice nature preserves, and funky shops and restaurants. I'll review those in the Sanibel section. If I were one to shop expensive brand named items or antique shops then Naples memories may be fonder. Old town Naples seemed to shut down early as well, kinda dead.
In the heart of Olde Naples, near 5th Avenue South [755 8th Avenue South], one will find a wonderful park called Cambier Park. This park was named in honor of town engineer, William Cambier in 1948. There was a deed restriction which was placed on this 10,000 acre parcel which limited its future use to "Public Park and Playground purposes"
This park is home to The Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center. This tennis center was renamed in 2006 when it became the "premier public tennis facility in the country. It offers lessons, clinics, leagues, round robins, socials, and tournaments.
The Band Shell [which was refurbished in 2001 to include an enlarged stage are, restrooms, & rehearsal area. Then in 2006, a state of the art sound system was added.] One Sunday we viewed a musical even there, and it was just wonderful and FREE.
The Cambier Park Band Shell received the 2001 AlA Architectural Award of Excellence!
Evidently, there are free concerts scheduled throughout the year which include the Naples Daily News Jazz Band, Naples Concert Band, Gulf Coast Big Band among many other performance groups.
In 2004, The Norris Community Center was opened with an auditorium with stage, meeting rooms, dance studio, conference room, game room, art gallery, and an amphitheater. It offers cultural and recreational classes [creative arts, adult dance, acting, languages, and martial arts. It's also home to The Pelican Players and other local theater groups.
One of its unique features is the beautiful community-built playground. Allan and I were interested in it because we take our grandchildren to so many playgrounds regularly!
They also have shuffleboard and horseshoe courts as well as a softball field. I learned that the park is home to the Greater Naples Girls Little League National Champions!
When we were there, I was impressed by the Veteran's Memorial Monument as seen in Photograph # 3.
The Naples Depot started to provide train service to and from Naples in 1927. Sadly, the last train to leave Naples was in 1971 when service was discontinued. I never heard it, but supposedly, a train whistle is blown at noon every day just as it did in the early days of Naples.
After service was stopped in the 1970's, a group of citizens [S.W. Heritage, Inc.] raised funds and purchased the depot and turned it into a cultural center. It on the National Retistry of Historic Places. Most recently , it became a part of the Collier County Museum where transportation-related historical exhibits are emphasized.
It is also A NATIONAL TRUST LANDMARK.
When we went there this January, it was closed; a young man opened the door and told us that it is closed for renovation at this time. We were so disappointed as were some other people there to see the museum and to learn more about the historic Naples Depot! We did get to see the trains outside and to visit the picnic area, etc.
1. The front view of the historic Naples Depot.
2. Information Plaque about the Depot.
3. Train outside the Depot
4. Another view of the Naples Depot.
5. Atlantic Coast Train Line.
When we return to Naples, we will be sure to visit the historic Naples Depot and, hopefully, we will be able to go inside to learn much more.
kelly's fish house is one of the oldest restaurants in naples. they specialize in local seafood and american fare. located on the water kelly's is a great place to have dinner and drinks and watch the sunset.
Strange Name, Delicious Coffee!
Although it might not be new to some of you, when I was in Naples, Florida, it was the first time I had seen a Bad Ass Coffee place. At first, I was taken aback. Then, I wanted to try it and to discover why it was named this.
I discovered that Bad Ass Coffee Company began in Hawaii and received its name from the "hard-working donkeys that carried heavy loads of coffee down Hawaii's mountains". According to the legend, the donkeys were called the "Kona nightingales" because of their echoing bellows. Well, that solved one reason I wanted to go into the shop. Next, I had to try the coffee.
Their drinks include simple brewed coffee, flavored lattes, and other hot and cold [iced] types of coffees. Since I am a great lover of the mixed cold coffee flavored treats, I decided to try one such drink. So, I ordered a drink that was to taste like a Mounds Almond Bar. Lo and behold, it did! I noticed that it was larger than such drinks found at Starbucks at about the same price.
I was a happy camper, so to speak, and the young man who worked there said , "It is because of the "Aloha Spirit" that accompanies the Bad Ass Coffee.