Conveniently situated on Florida’s sparking Gulf Coast, Naples is ideally located for visiting many of Florida’s prime attractions. To the north and south of the city you can find an abundant choice of beaches and barrier islands like Marco Island, Ten Thousand Islands, Bonita Springs, Captiva Island, Sanibel Island and Pine Island, all of which are ideal choices for day trippers who enjoy nature and water sports. Inland you will find the outstanding Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Lake Okeechobee, all of which offer outstanding wildlife viewing and thrilling air-boat excursions. When you need a city excursion you can visit Miami, Fort Myers, or Tampa, for great shopping and dining as well as good museums, galleries and children’s attractions.


We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Ten Thousand Islands

Ten Thousand Islands
© tyler/stock.adobe.com

Located within the boundaries of the Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands make a wonderful day trip destination for nature lovers. Although there are only a few hundred (not thousands) of islands, you will be so busy soaking up the peace and serenity that you won’t notice the difference. Visitors come to enjoy the beaches, the fishing and a chance to explore the islands by scenic paddling excursions. You can even bring all your own supplies and experience back-country camping on a completely deserted island. Bird and wildlife watching is superb just about all over this watery wonderland.

Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Highway 41, Naples, FL 34114


Fun day trip ideas: Ohio, From San Francisco, From NYC, Texas, Florida

2.Ave Maria

Ave Maria
© gnagel/stock.adobe.com

Ave Maria can be found by driving about an hour southwest of Naples, where it is the fastest growing planned community in South West Florida. The community is centered about the impressive Ave Maria Catholic Church and University. Anyone interested in architecture will appreciate the gothic architecture of the church which features a marriage of modern steel beams and art deco features. A good way to see the town is to take a 45 minute trolley tour from the town center – please check their website for a schedule. Saturday is Farmer’s Market Day and Thursday afternoons you can listen to live music in the town center.

Ave Maria, FL 34142-9668


Things to do near me today: Sarasota, From Boston, OR, NC, From Houston, NJ, GA

3.Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve
© jerzy/stock.adobe.com

Established in 1974, the Big Cypress National Preserve safeguards and showcases five distinct habitats, each of which is home to a variety of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. For day-trippers, the preserve offers an enormous outdoor playground where you can enjoy all your favorite activities including hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife watching and even off-road vehicle trails. Remote corners of this amazing swamp can be reached by air-boat or licensed off-road vehicles and you can look forward to coming face to face with alligators, crocodiles and turtles, among many other species of wildlife. Big Cypress is easy to access by road in less than an hour from Naples.

Big Cypress Nature Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141, Phone: 239-695-2000



What are some popular things to do: Poconos, NY, TN, MI, OC, All Inclusive, Family weekend getaways, NJ, NC, VA, TX, OH -- You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida" Back to Top

4.Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs
© Stephen Orsillo/stock.adobe.com


Conveniently situated about halfway between Naples and Fort Myers, Bonita Springs is a family-friendly day trip destination. Children and adults will enjoy a fun and educational visit to the Nature Center at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where young visitors can learn all about wildlife conservation and rehabilitation in a fun, hands-on way. You can go on an electric boat trip and have fun at the touch tank in the Dalton Discovery Center. A 2.5 mile beach at Lover’s Key State Park offers ideal conditions for sunbathing, sand-castle building, beach-combing and birding, while energetic visitors can rent a kayak or take kayaking lessons at Kayak Southwest Florida.

Bonita Springs, FL 34135


What are some fun must-see places: Cincinnati, MD, OR Beaches, HI, Indoor Amusement Parks, Things to Do in Gatlinburg, WI, Orlando, Texas Beaches

5.Captiva Island

Captiva Island
© pabrady63/stock.adobe.com


Captiva Island and neighboring Sanibel Island lie just three miles west of Fort Myers and can be reached via the Sanibel Causeway. Together these two islands are an ideal day-trip destination from Naples, offering visitors an enormous outdoor playground ideal for your favorite forms of sea-side recreation. Completely surrounded by the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Captiva Island is perfect for beach pursuits – you can soak up the sun, build sand-castles and enjoy shelling, swimming, sailing, fishing, paddling, scenic boat cruises and so much more. On-land activities include cycling and exploring the shopping and dining opportunities on Sanibel Island.

Captiva Island, FL 33924


Expert opinion: Where should I go this weekend for fun? Iowa, WI, From New Orleans, ME, FL, Carlsbad, CA, Montauk, FL, Beaches near DC -- You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida this Weekend" Back to Top

6.Cayo Costa State Park

Cayo Costa State Park
© lnichetti/stock.adobe.com


Visitors who crave the opportunity to explore a majestic nine-mile stretch of pristine beach, completely free of commercial development, should definitely add the Cayo Costa State Park to their list of day-trip destinations. Located in the brilliant Gulf of Mexico, Cayo Costa can only be reached by boat, which makes getting there part of the fun. You can jump aboard the ferry in Captiva/Sanibel Island, Punta Gorda or Bokeelia and find yourself on a picture-perfect tropical island in less than an hour. Once you reach the state park you can spend your day shelling (Costa Cayo is considered one of the best shelling destinations in the world), hiking, swimming, snorkeling, bird-watching and fishing.

Costa Cayo State Park, FL 33924


Top Rated: Last minute places for couples: Charleston WV, Pensacola, Baton Rouge, Colorado Springs, Dayton OH, Dauphin Island, Provincetown, New Orleans, Philadelphia, UT, AZ, From NYC, CO

7.Edison and Ford Winter Homes

Edison and Ford Winter Homes
© reisegraf/stock.adobe.com

For a break from beach activities you can spend a day admiring the historic homes, gardens and museums of the Edison and Ford Winter Homes in Fort Myers. The beautiful old winter holiday estates of two of America’s most celebrated geniuses are surrounded by 20 acres of beautiful botanical gardens and offer day-trippers an intriguing peep into the ground-breaking inventions of Edison and Ford. Besides touring the substantial Edison Historic Homes and gardens and the Ford Winter Estate, you can also tour the fascinating Edison Botanic Research Laboratory and the Museum, which features a 1916 Model T Ford. Young visitors (and adults) can get creative in the Spark!Lab.

Edison and Ford Winter Homes, 2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-334-7419



Affordable things to see near me, must-visit beaches, cheap weekend getaways: East Coast Beaches, SC, Beaches near Orlando, Last Minute, NH, Houston, Palm Springs, Monterey, From Atlanta, GA, Sedona AZ

8.Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park
© Jan/stock.adobe.com

No visit to southern Florida would be complete without experiencing the wonders of the Everglades National Park. The park covers an incredible 1.5 million acres of wetland and offers an unrivalled nature experience for visitors. From Naples, you would need to enter the park at the Gulf Coast Visitor’s Center at Everglades City. Here you can join a sight-seeing boat tour which will take you deep into the heart of the mangrove swamps of the Ten Thousand Islands. You can also choose to admire this beautiful area by kayak on a guided Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco Tour. Another option for wildlife enthusiasts is to drive the very scenic Loop Road through the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Everglades National Park, Everglades City Entrance, FL 34139


Our experts' top picks for a long weekend getaway for couples: Best caves in the U.S., SD, Galena IL, Boise, St. Pete, San Jose, Taos, Fayetteville, Steamboat Springs, NH, East Coast, DE, GA, Little Rock

9.Florida Panther Refuge

Florida Panther Refuge
© Suzanna/stock.adobe.com

The Florida Panther Refuge offers sanctuary to Florida’s last remaining panther population which is estimated to comprise less than 250 animals. This is no zoo, and although visitors should not expect to come face to face with a wild panther, the refuge is a great place to visit for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. While most of the refuge is closed to the public to allow the wild cats and other wildlife to go about their business as nature intended, there are two hiking trails you can explore, where you may come across tracks or even spot buck, bear and other animals and birds. During Spring Open House you can go on guided buggy tours, swamp hiking and birding tours.

Florida Panther Refuge, 12085 SR 29 South, Immokalee, FL 24142, Phone: 239-657-8001


Insider travel recommendations, In-depth reviews of our favorite places: UT, Indianapolis, From Kansas City, Mackinac Island, Chattanooga, RI, From Chicago, Sacramento, Nantucket, Girls Getaways, Santa Barbara, PA, Michigan beaches -- "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida for Locals & Tourists - Restaurants, Hotels" Back to Top

10.Fort Myers

Fort Myers
© travelview/stock.adobe.com

Fort Myers is a popular coastal town on south Florida’s sparkling Gulf Coast which offers lots of attractions for day trippers. Water babies will be in their element in Fort Myers where you can choose from a long list of nautical attractions including sight-seeing and sunset boat excursions, fishing charters, guided kayaking excursions, thrilling jet-boat and jet-ski rides and much more. For a break from water activities you can visit the Railroad Museum of South Florida in Lakes Regional Park, which also offers hiking and nature trails. The IMAG History and Science Center, Manatee Park and the Edison and Ford Winter Homes are also excellent Fort Myers attractions for the whole family.

Fort Myers, FL 33916


What to do near my location, inexpensive, private adults only getaways: Carmel, WA, UT, MN, Chicago, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, Kirkland, Taos, SoCal Camping, West Palm Beach, LA Beaches, Things to Do in Moab

11.Gamble Plantation Historic State Park

Gamble Plantation Historic State Park
© spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com

The Gamble Plantation Historic State Park is located in Ellenton, approximately two hours north of Naples. The park is home to a beautifully restored antebellum mansion which once stood at the heart of a thriving sugar plantation. To learn about the history of the home and experience a taste of plantation life during the 1840’s you can join a guided tour of the estate (Thursdays through Mondays). There is no charge to visit the estate. Many visitors bring along a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful gardens. There is also a Visitor’s Center and Museum.

Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, 3708 Patten Ave, Ellenton, FL 34222, Phone: 941-723-4536


Cool places to go near me, luxury spas, golf: Wichita, CT, CA, Corpus Christi, Best aquariums in the US, Hartford, NM, GA, NC, UT resorts, NM, LA, MI, DE, PA lakes

12.Historic Stranahan House Museum

Historic Stranahan House Museum
© jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com

The historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale was built in 1901 and offers visitors the chance to step back in time to the early pioneer days in south Florida. You can join a guided tour of the house to learn all about how Ohio-born Frank Stranahan and his wife Ivy helped shape the future of Fort Lauderdale after establishing a trading post on the New River and befriending the local Seminole tribe.

Historic Stranahan House Museum, 335 SE 6th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, Phone: 954-524-4736


Free things to do, beaches near me: Leavenworth WA, Day trips from Las Vegas, Norfolk, Treehouse vacations, San Jose, Mexico, Jacksonville Beaches, WV, Woodstock, IL, Tampa Beaches, IN, Calistoga, Glowing Beaches

13.Key West

Key West
© jonbilous/stock.adobe.com

It would be a great shame to visit Naples and not take the time to see legendary Key West. Driving from Naples to this southern-most tip of the U.S. along US1, which is widely considered to be one of the most scenic drives on the planet, will take four to five hours one-way. A better idea for day trippers would be to jump aboard the Key West Express Ferry in Fort Myers. Stay overnight and visit the Oldest House Museum, stroll along famous Duval Street, have a drink at Sloppy Joe’s and definitely make time to savor some Key Lime Pie.

Key West, FL 33040


Top sights: Florida resorts, Georgia resorts, North Carolina resorts, New Hampshire resorts, VT, Minnesota resorts, Sandusky, Sarasota Beaches Wytheville, DE, MA

14.Koreshan State Park

Koreshan State Park
© SailingAway/stock.adobe.com

The historic Koreshan State Park is a good day-trip destination from Naples, offering a combination of history and outdoor recreation. Here you will be able to learn about the Koreshans, a religious sect which established the Koreshan Unity Settlement on the banks of the Estero River in the current Fort Lauderdale region, back in 1893. You can tour the carefully-restored historic buildings before enjoying a day of recreation in a tranquil outdoor green space. Activities in the park include paddling, boating and fishing as well as picnicking, hiking, wildlife observation and geo-caching. Younger children can enjoy the children’s playground.

Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, FL 33928, Phone: 239-992-0311


Free points of interest close to me: Best Places to Visit in USA, Frankfort, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Cadillac, CA Hot Springs

15.Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee
© JAG IMAGES/stock.adobe.com


Located 84 miles northeast of Naples, Lake Okeechobee is a brilliant destination for a fun family day trip. This enormous inland lake offers outdoor enthusiasts unlimited choices for outdoor pursuits including the 109-mile Lake Okeechobee Trail for hikers and cyclists. The Okeechobee Battlefield Historic Park and the Du Puis Management Area also offer excellent hiking trails. You can take an airboat ride on the lake, visit the Herbert Hoover Dyke (which harnesses the waters of the lake) or go canoeing or kayaking along Fisheating Creek to get up close and personal with a variety of wildlife. The Sugarland Express Tour through a local sugar farm and mill is also worth adding to your itinerary.

Lake Okeechobee, FL 34972


Near me on a budget: Newport RI, Dubuque,Places to Visit in Oregon, Places to Visit in Missouri -- You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida" Back to Top or Amazing things to do around me

16.Marco Island

Marco Island
© poladamonte/stock.adobe.com


Marco Island is an idyllic day trip destination for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts. This Gulf Coast barrier island is linked to the mainland by road bridges south of Naples, which makes it easily accessible for a day of fun beach activities. The west coast of Marco Island is known for its long sandy beach where you can soak up the hot Florida sun, swim in the warm azure waters, do some shelling or take long, relaxing beach walks. If you enjoy kayaking and paddling you will find a network of inland waterways to explore as well as the beautiful lagoon at Tigertail Beach Park. Wildlife enthusiasts can take a walk along the boardwalk at Briggs Nature Center to admire native Florida wildlife

Marco Island, FL 34145


Places to visit near me: Arlington, <Bedford, Things to Do in Omaha, Lakeland, Bennington, Cambridge

17.Matlacha

Matlacha
© emf_images/stock.adobe.com


For a day of fun exploring in one of the most quaint and unusual villages in Florida, you need to make your way to the historic fishing village of Matlacha, which you will find on the Pine Island Road between Cape Coral and Pine Island, west of Fort Myers. Not much has moved on in the last few centuries on Matlacha Island, where a small population of fishermen and artists maintain the atmosphere of an 1800’s fishing village. To learn about the village you can join a guided walking tour of the quaint and eccentric homes, bars, boutiques and art galleries. It is fun and quirky and nothing like any other village you are likely to find in Florida.

Matlacha, FL 33993


Where to go near me: Things to Do in Louisville, Best Places to visit in the Bay Area, Best Aquariums, TX Glamping, NY, FL, CO

18.Miami

Miami
© Ana/stock.adobe.com


Naples residents for visitors who are looking for a stimulating day out can hit the Interstate 75, through Big Cypress National Preserve and part of the Everglades National Park and be in Miami in less than two hours. If you only have a day in Miami the best way to see the main attractions is to join one of the many guided tours available; choose whichever tour best suits your interests and sit back and enjoy one of the most eclectic cities in the U.S. Highlights of your Miami day trip should include a visit to the South Beach Art Deco district, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami Seaquarium and some shopping and dining at the Bayside Marketplace.

Miami, FL 33101-3255


Romantic weekend getaways near me: Anacortes, Benton City, Cabin Getaways in PA, Cabin Getaways in Ohio, Blaine, Spring Green, Small vacation ideas, Tunquen, SoHo

19.Pahokee

Pahokee
© Sky Antonio/stock.adobe.com


Pahokee is the only town with direct access to wonderful Lake Okeechobee, where nature lovers can enjoy a fun day out. One of the best ways to appreciate the lake is to pull on your hiking boots or grab your bicycle and set off to explore the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, which runs along the top of the Herbert Hoover Dyke, offering hikers and bikers a marvelous 35-foot-high view of the lake. Other good vantage points offering views of the lake can be found in the Canal Point Park. If you enjoy hiking in forested areas you can visit the DuPuis Management Area where you can take a scenic drive, cycle, hike or picnic.

Pahokee, FL 33476


Quick Weekend Trips: New Mexico resorts, Ohio resorts, Alaska resorts, Green Lake, Emmitsburg, New Castle, Madeira Beach, <Missouri with Kids, FL with Kids, MD with Kids, Murray -- You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida" Back to Top

20.Pine Island

Pine Island
© csfotoimages/stock.adobe.com


Easily accessible by road from Fort Myers, Pine Island offers day trippers an idyllic island setting for a wide variety of water sports and other marine activities. Almost completely surrounded by the warm tropical waters of the Gulf Coast, Pine Island is an angler’s delight and is renowned for excellent fishing, particularly in Pine Island Sound. Although the island does not have beaches, canoe and kayak enthusiasts have acres of mangrove swamps and three aquatic preserves to explore. The Sanibel Island Cruise Line on neighboring Sanibel Island offers guided snorkeling and paddling excursions. To gain an altogether different perspective of the island you can go for a scenic boat cruise with Tropical Star Cruises.

Pine Island, FL 34607


21.Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum
© russellg10/stock.adobe.com


Boca Grande is located on Gasparilla Island, one of Florida’s western barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico. You can access the island by car from Fort Myers for a day of recreation and relaxation for the whole family. Besides enjoying the beaches, visitors to the island should not miss a tour of the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, which was previously known as the Gasparilla Island Light Station and is the oldest structure on the island. The lighthouse has been guiding sailors since 1890 and now boasts an interesting museum and gift shop for visitors to enjoy. Other activities on the island include riding the scenic Boca Grande Bike Trail and visiting (and climbing) the newly-restored 1927 Gasparilla Light House.

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum, 170 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921


22.Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island
© Sheri Swailes/stock.adobe.com


Surrounded by the tropical waters of the Gulf Coast, Sanibel Island is a wonderful destination for an active family day trip. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and criss-crossed by a network of inland waterways offering a wide variety of marine activities for all ages. A couple of the most popular beaches on the island include Bowman’s Beach and Blind Pass Beach, both of which offer sensational shelling opportunities. There are several protected waterways through the mangroves where you can go canoeing, kayaking or paddling. Other island activities include a scenic drive through the Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Round off your day with a visit to the lovely Botanical Gardens at the Sanibel Moorings Resort.

Sanibel Island, FL 33957


23.Siesta Key

Siesta Key
© SaulGoodman/stock.adobe.com

Siesta Key is located off the coast of western Florida, where it beckons visitors to come and find out why its Siesta Public Beach is repeatedly named the best beach in the country. It will take you around two hours to drive to Siesta Key from Naples but you will be rewarded for you effort when you find yourself on a picture-perfect tropical island paradise which offers a long beach lapped by the sparkling waters of the Gulf Coast. While the beach is perfect for swimming, soaking up the sun and building some brilliant sand castles, more active visitors can explore the island’s wonderful waterways on an Adventure Kayak Tour. The island offers great laid-back dining venues and bars and sensational Gulf Coast sun sets.

Siesta Key, FL 34242


24.Tampa

Tampa
© VIAVAL/stock.adobe.com

Tampa bay is a vibrant and exciting destination to add to your list of Naples day trips. Located 160 miles north of Naples, you can reach this bustling city in about two and a half hours on the I-75N. Once there you will be dazzled by the large selection of fun family activities including thrill-a-minute Busch Gardens, Zoo Tampa, Florida Aquarium and the Glazer Children’s Museum. If you are planning to see them all it would be wise to purchase a Tampa Bay City Pass for reduced entrance fees at a host of attractions. In addition to all these crowd pleasers you can visit the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

Tampa, FL 33601-3686


25.Venice Beach

Venice Beach
© Gabriele Maltinti/stock.adobe.com

A scenic 90-minute drive north of Naples will get you to famous Venice Beach where you can spend a day exploring over fourteen miles of beaches and enjoying a wide variety of marine activities. Visitors come from all corners of Florida to enjoy excellent shelling on the beaches of Venice and shark’s teeth are also often found. You can spend an hour or two strolling down the beautiful downtown boulevards which date back to the 1920’s and are lined with stately homes, boutiques and restaurants. Other attractions in Venice include the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Shamrock Park, where you can go hiking, biking and wildlife watching along the beautiful inland waterways.

Venice Beach, FL 90291-0296



25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida



Attraction Spotlight: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a tropical oasis of beauty and bliss. With a magnificent view of the Sarasota Bay, Selby Gardens caters for every age and every occasion, from school outings to weddings, from group tours to individual classes.

The history and story behind Selby Gardens is a romantic interlude all on its own. Be sure to check the tale of Marie Selby and marvel at one woman's passion for everything flora and how it brought this legendary garden to us.

Selby Gardens offers more than just lovely walks. They host the Garden Music Series, which runs all year long, offering many varieties of music entertainment in the way of bands, soloists, and orchestral magic. Their Lunch in the Garden Series will have you coming back for more once you have experienced the phenomenal speakers and delicious light lunches.

Art exhibits, sunset cocktail evenings and specific annual events, such as their fun Spooktacular Halloween gathering, are just a few of the unique and enticing events hosted by Selby Gardens.

As soon as you walk into the Conservatory, you will feel like you have been teleported into another world. The tropical rain forest will envelope and entice you into exploring all the wonders that it has to offer. Feel like a child again as you marvel at the insect-catching pitcher plants, as well as the spiny trunks that climb up high to the green house roof and over the fantastic hanging baskets filled with seasonal flowering plants. The lovely part about the Conservatory is that you can revisit every season and know that the foliage and flora will have changed. A new experience each time!

Butterfly Garden

Be you a professional or be you an amateur photographer, or even just a child at heart, you will love the Butterfly Garden. Butterflies have always held a special place in Marie Selby's heart and that they are now personified in this spellbinding garden means you can enjoy them too. With the indigenous butterflies kept in mind, the Butterfly Garden focuses on keeping their habitat as close to what they are used to. You will be inundated with the flittering beauties either whisking past your ear or landing sedately on your arm. Be gentle and be still. You are now in their world.

Bromeliad Garden

Did you know the Bromeliad family of plants includes the Pineapple? As one of the first plants to be cultivated many years back in Selby Gardens, the Bromeliaceae, as they are scientifically known, has become the essence of much study of the Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center. The most commonly known shape of a Bromeliad flower is the rosette, which has a lovely wide pattern and many colored petals. But Selby's Bromeliad Garden has many varieties. So if you fancy yourself a painter or artist of some kind, you may want to try your hand at capturing their substance and soul while relaxing in this bewitching garden.

Take a leisurely walk along the recently remodeled wooden walkway and enjoy the phenomenon's that are Mangroves trees. Although Mangroves are originally found in brackish type water and can withstand harsh conditions, they have quite a comfy home here at the Mangroves and Baywalk garden area in Selby Gardens. Take a moment to focus in on the way the stem and roots grow, as they are a real marvel of nature. When you are done take some time to appreciate the heart-stopping views of the Bird Key and Sarasota Bay.

Schimmel Wedding Pavilion

As wedding venues go Selby Gardens is right up there on the list. The Schimmel Wedding Lawn is a favorite for wedding photos and even the actual wedding ceremony, whether it is a small intimate or large event. The charming Pavilion is also another popular spot to exchange those vows. With gorgeous Sarasota Bay and the serene gardens as your backdrop you couldn't want for a better setting.

The Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden

Children love to be outdoors, whether they will admit it or not. Once surrounded by the magic of nature and they start breathing in the freshness of the Sarasota breeze, they will go a little nuts, in a good way. The Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden offers so much for the kids to do, from their swinging bridges to their epiphyte canyon, from the many caves where they can explore and discover to the majestic waterfall. And when their legs are tired and need a break, take them down to the Amazon village to watch an exciting performance at the amphitheater.

You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida " Back to Top

The Banyan trees that grow near the Selby House Cafe are a real anomaly. Originating from a single fig and developing into an epiphyte, which is a where a plant grows on another plant, the Banyan tree is another miracle of nature. If you look back into history and many famous works of art, you will see that the Banyan tree was often used as a shady spot to sit under and chat or have a picnic. Selby Gardens mimics that fabled setting for many a visitor.

Bamboo Garden

Marie Selby, herself, planted the first Bamboo tree, the Giant Bamboo, and it still resides near the Pender Path at Selby Gardens. As one of the fastest growing trees in the world, the Bamboo trees at the Gardens cover a large area and bring a calm and peaceful addition to the many garden settings at Selby.

Fern Garden

The original habitat of ferns is a subtropical climate and Sarasota allows the ferns in the Fern Garden to flourish and grow in a lovely natural way. From Australian tree ferns to Staghorn ferns, this lush garden will have you taking a load off and just appreciating the laid-back atmosphere, along with the little lizards and other indigenous creatures.

Epiphytes are a plant growing on another plant, much like a parasite relationship. The Epiphyte's at Selby are hidden amongst tall oaks and even the low-lying Spanish moss species. The picturesque and brightly colored flowers attract all the local insects and the vibrant, multicolored Koi fish add to the harmonious effect, not to mention the mellow and tranquil waterfall nearby.

Yoga in the Gardens

For a relaxing and a literal breath of fresh air, Selby Gardens offers Yoga Sessions outside and one with nature. The 4-week program focuses on yoga breathing, aligning your body, and leaving you calm and centered for the week ahead.

Art and Culture

Selby Garden often hosts exhibitions and the latest is Selby's Secret Garden made up of 17th and 18th century art pieces that bring the botanical gardens beauties to life. On occasion, an art class or two will give for either beginners or intermediate.

If you love photography and flora, what better way than to combine the two with a photography course, often held at Selby.

Caring for plants was, of course, close to Marie Selby's heart and if you feel the same you can attend a little short course on everything from 'how to grow orchids' to 'tending to terrariums'.

Selby Gardens offers many varied programs from school to family events, to titillate your interest. Here are the most popular:

The Selby Summer Camp Lookout

For those littlies aged 6 to 11, this is a phenomenal experience and one not to be missed. Getting their hands dirty and taking little explorations is what the Summer Camp is all about.

Little Sprouts Club

Who can forget about the littler than little guys? Fuel their natural addiction to explore and discover by enrolling your tiny tot and beginning their forever journey for a love of nature.

School Programs

For all grade levels, the school programs are both a delight and an educational way of exposing the kids to horticulture and the many facets of nature. Get them out there and breathing in the fresh Sarasota air.

Membership and Volunteer Work at Selby's

There is something for everyone at Selby's Botanical Gardens and if you find yourself repeatedly coming back for more, then a membership may be a better option. It will prove a very rewarding investment. In addition, Selby is always looking for volunteers, so no matter whether you are a professional horticulturist looking for an outlet or a complete novice, and lover of nature, there is a volunteer position for you at Selby's.

A few options are a tour guide (what better way to learn all about flora?), Welcome Center, or Gift Shop assistant, Data Capturer, a Walk & Talk Guide, Horticulture Assistant or a volunteer at the Kids Corner and Children's Rainforest Garden (this position is better suited to a teenage volunteer).

Back to: Things to Do in Florida, Best Things to Do in Sarasota, Florida

811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, Florida 34236, Phone: 941-366-5731

You are reading "25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Naples, Florida " Back to Top