We started our family-friendly Florida vacation on Marco Island. (Get my top tips for where to stay and play on Marco!) But as you well know, I like to pack as much into a trip as possible. So before catching a direct flight via Alaska Air back home, we headed to Naples, Florida to check out more of what the Paradise Coast has to offer.
Just 45-minutes north of Marco Island, Naples is perched on the Gulf of Mexico. Known for its high-end shopping, sophisticated dining and long stretches of white sandy beaches, we were thrilled to experience the best things to do in Naples.
Where to Stay with Kids in Naples
The Four-Star Inn on Fifth in Naples, Florida is the perfect destination for families who want a luxury vacation. Set in the heart of the Naples fashion scene, the inn is a 119-room elegant reprieve from the bustling street.
Its two iconic structures sit face-to-face across Fifth Avenue. The northern building is home to the inn’s stylishly appointed guest rooms. In the southern building you’ll find the Club Level Suites – this is where we had the opportunity to stay.
These impressive units range from 516 to 1,200 square feet, each outfitted with the inn’s signature pillow-top mattresses covered with triple sheeting, designer bath amenities, and a furnished balcony. We stayed in a Deluxe Suite, an ideal option for a family of 4.
Additional perks of staying in the Club Level Suites included access to a private rooftop deck with whirlpool, complimentary transportation via Tesla or a luxury SUV and a 21-hour concierge. Furthermore, club level guests are treated to a continental breakfast, afternoon snacks, and evening appetizers. (We definitely took advantage of this. It was a great perk!)
Where to Play — Fun Family Things to do in Naples
One of the best things about the inn is its central location, surrounded by a variety of boutiques, murals and art installations. We had so much fun exploring the different shops and posing in front of the colorful walls.
The inn is also just a three-minute drive from Tin City. Among the best things to do with kids in Naples, this is one of my top picks. Why? Because it’s filled with more than 30 independent boutiques, ice cream shops, waterside dining destinations and endless photo ops!
Tin City is referred to by some as the soul of old Florida. Tucked beside the water, it was originally home to a series of corrugated tin roof buildings, which served as the transport and boating hub for the city. While the tin remains, the original clam shelling and oyster processing inhabitants probably never guessed this historic district would become a trendy hub. We’re so glad it did!
To get to know the region even better, I highly recommend booking a sightseeing tour with Pure Florida. Their Naples tours depart from Tin City, making the boat easy to catch. Each narrated tour is roughly 1.5 hours, perfect if you have kids in tow!
Sightseeing cruises are typically aboard the award-winning M/V Double Sunshine. It’s equipped with an upper and lower deck which allowed us to enjoy more than one vantagepoint of the wildlife and surrounding area. Occasionally these tours are visited by frolicking dolphins.
And, no list of things to do with kids in Naples would be complete without mentioning the beach! The Inn on Fifth is just .6 of a mile from Naples Beach, where you’ll find seven miles of white sand and glistening waves. So, definitely grab a towel and head to the beach for an afternoon!
Where to Eat — Family-Friendly Naples Restaurants
We all know I love pasta, great seafood and bright vegetable-heavy dishes. Naples did not disappoint. The following were our three favorite restaurants that also offered kid-friendly options.
At Campiello Ristorante & Bar we were treated to decadent house-made pizzas and fresh-made pastas. Of particular note was the Margherita pizza, which came with a generous helping of fresh mozzarella. What made the night even more delightful was the romantic patio, reminiscent of a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, lined with flowerbeds and topped with a tree canopy.
For our seafood fix, we visited the Riverwalk Café. Conveniently located in Tin City, the menu is loaded with regional specialties like gumbo and BBQ shrimp. I was particularly impressed by the large kids’ menu, which pairs an entrée of choice with fresh fruit, French fries, carrots and celery sticks.
I had the Ahi Tuna Tataki, a rice noodle salad loaded with fresh ahi tuna and pickled ginger. It was bright and refreshing – especially when enjoyed it with a Key Lime Colada. Loaded with rum and a bright Piña Colada mix, it’s a light and refreshing boozy reminder you’re on vacation!
For our final dining destination on our family-friendly guide to Naples, we definitely have to mention The French. It’s just a five-minute walk from the hotel, giving us the perfect excuse to stretch our legs before and after dinner. Like Campiello, The French’s outdoor patio is an exquisite alfresco dining experience. (I strongly recommend eating outdoors as much as possible when you’re in Naples. It just adds an extra touch of fun to the entire experience.)
The vibe at The French is lively. The menu is classically inspired. And, if the Salt Roasted Beets are still available, I strongly recommend you order them. Paired with French feta, radicchio and mandarin organs, the beets come topped with almonds, poppy seeds and dill for a dish that’s as flavorful as it is texture heavy.
Make sure to book your flight to Fort Lauderdale via Alaska Airlines. With over 118 destinations, dozens of direct flights, and five countries, Alaska is our preferred domestic airline. Plus, they just recently added Virgin America to their fleet! Check out their flight deals and packages on AlaskaAir.com!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!