Naples, in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, is a small upscale city that caters to tourists and retirees. But you do not have to spend a lot in order to enjoy the beauty of the beaches and some of the attractions.
Reasonable rates are available at some motels, including the Lemon Tree Inn. This renovated motel was built in the 1940s as the Naples Motor Lodge. It retains much of the character of an older motel with shuttered windows that open and friendly attention from the staff. Look for discounts at web sites such as Hotels.com. Also, contact the motel for possible discounts.
Wireless service and online computers are available at many motels, but Naples Regional Library, just a few blocks from the Lemon Tree Inn, offers Internet use, too. Computer use is free for all during the off-season (summer), but non-residents are charged a small fee during the busier tourist season.
Old Downtown, centered around Fifth Avenue South, is an upscale shopping and eatery neighborhood, but a few lower cost cafes exist among the pricey restaurants. The best prices in all the shops are at the end of summer, the off season for tourists.
Just east of Downtown Naples is Tin City, a collection of boutiques and cafes in waterfront tin-roofed buildings that housed fishing and boating operations. Be sure to talk to Po at The Ropo Trading Co. about her trips to Asia to find handmade crafts. The Naples Winery sells only Florida fruit wines, including blueberry wine and orange-coffee wine.
The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is worth the admission price, generally twenty dollars for adults and twelve dollars for children. Be sure to ask about discounts, including Florida resident discounts in the Fall. You can order and print tickets online. Parking is free. Among the world-class botanical gardens are the zoo attractions, including giraffes, rescued black bears, and a cruise among primate islands.
The Naples Pier, next to miles of beach, provides fishing and a good view of sunsets over the Gulf.
Naples is a popular location to relax. The beach, gardens, shops, restaurants, and friendly cosmopolitan residents combine to create a refreshing and revitalizing setting.