Many come to Naples thinking they’ll stay for the weekend, only to end up buying a home in this gorgeous city for more summers to come. If you’ve been captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the Paradise Coast, here’s how to find the best neighborhoods in Naples, Florida.
Naples, Florida: A taste of Southern Europe in the Sunshine State
Naples raises the bar for luxury seaside living in Florida. Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, this city has a reputation for laid-back elegance, upscale retail, and prime real estate. Located on US Highway 41, Naples is just 35 miles from Fort Myers and over 103 miles from Miami for those who want to take day trips to either city. The nearest airports are Naples Municipal Airport (APF) and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).
The city encompasses 16.46 square miles in Collier County with a population of 21,750 as of 2020. Its coastal setting, pleasant year-round weather, and relaxed lifestyle call to mind the scenic beauty of Southern Europe. Surrounded by long stretches of white sand beaches, it is one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S.
The Best Neighborhoods in Naples, Florida
The city is divided into five distinct areas, including Naples, which is the city proper, along with Golden Gate and Central, North, and East Naples. Within these five areas, you’ll find subdivisions and enclaves offering homes of various sizes and architectural styles.
East Naples encompasses the areas east of downtown Naples from Tamiami Trail East on US 41 and Davis Boulevard. It provides quick access to two Interstate 75 exits, namely Exit 101 and Exit 105. The housing market offers an excellent selection of condos and single-family homes. Prevalent architectural styles include Ranch, Contemporary, and Mediterranean. There are many shops in and around the neighborhood, including several supermarket and restaurant chains. Nearby attractions include the Everglades and the beach.
Golden Gate Estates
Golden Gates Estates is an acreage community where you can purchase a vacant lot and build a custom home. This community offers large parcels measuring 1.14 acres and up. Considering the larger lot sizes in the area, Golden Gate Estates is ideal for those who want to build custom homes and equestrian properties. Most homes have Mediterranean and Contemporary architecture with expansive driveways, sprawling lawns, and outdoor pools. The community is within driving distance of the beach and Picayune Strand State Forest for outdoor recreation.
As one of the most coveted addresses in Southwest Florida, Old Naples is synonymous with extravagant mansions behind long driveways, wrought iron gates, and swaying palms. This affluent enclave is located near Port Royal. Its borders stretch north from Third Street South to the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club and extends west from U.S. 41 to the beach.
Many of these buyers acquire properties in Millionaires Row, an exclusive row of beachfront homes located next to Naples Pier. These massive waterfront estates offer unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico and can easily command upwards of $20 million when listed for sale.
But there’s more to Old Naples than high property values – this historic neighborhood exudes old world charm and elegance. Its heritage can be observed in architecturally significant properties that draw inspiration from Mediterranean, Spanish Revival, Colonial, and Coastal Contemporary home design.
The gorgeous mix of historic and modern homes alongside mature palms, lush tropical landscaping, and water views makes it one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city. Its natural beauty is unrivaled with beautiful parks, the beach, and sunset views from the pier.
Old Naples also offers some of the best retail and nightlife in the city. Visit the luxury storefronts and boutiques along
Founded in 1957, Moorings is an established and prestigious neighborhood in Naples. It is bordered by Park Shore to the north and Coquina Sands to the south. The community encompasses over 1,300 acres, offering a wide selection of about 4,000 single-family homes and condos in an idyllic setting. Some of the most coveted homes in this community include waterfront properties with beach access and sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s an excellent choice for buyers who enjoy leading active lifestyles – local attractions include Moorings Beach Park and Moorings Bay, offering countless opportunities for boating, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. The Moorings Golf & Country Club is another highlight. The club features an 18-hole private golf course with manicured greens and lush fairways. It also has an elegant lounge, dining room, and patio seating with impeccable food service.
Park Shore is a quintessential Naples neighborhood with scenic waterways and views of the gulf. Located west of US 41, it harbors a fine selection of luxury properties. These include waterfront estates, sleek condos, and high-rise apartments amidst tropical scenery to suit each taste. Many of the waterfront properties in the community have boat access and observation decks.
Founded by the Lutgert family in the 1970s, Park Shore is an established community that appeals to high-income earners. Known as one of the best neighborhoods in Naples, Florida, there is strong demand for homes despite the fact that many of these properties command millions of dollars.
The high price tag reflects the coveted location and upscale amenities that the community has to offer. Park Shore is close to the beach as well as Naples’ finest retail destinations, such as The Village Shops on Venetian Bay and the Waterside Shops. Nearby attractions include Park Shore Beach Park, Naples Zoo, and Naples Botanical Garden.
Residential developments in and around Naples, FL
There are many subdivisions and developments offering an array of real options in Naples, including:
Audubon Country Club
Esplanade Golf & Country Club of Naples
Greyhawk at Golf Club of the Everglades
Isles of Collier Preserve
Park Shore & Moorings
Quail Creek & Quail West
Call us at 239.307.8500 for more information on the best neighborhoods in Naples, Florida.
A short history of Naples, FL
It all began with the late U.S. Senator and American Confederate General John S. Williams, who took interest in the area based on descriptions from surveys of Southwest Florida in the late 1800s. Gen. Williams and Louisville Courier Journal publisher Water Haldeman visited the area known today as Naples in 1885 and were captivated by the sight of pristine coastline and the gorgeous bay.
They spent the next few years building homes on the beachfront. They commissioned a firm in the nearby city of Fort Myers to build the Naples Pier and hired surveyors to plan a coastal city. Gen. Williams and Haldeman envisioned a hotel and 1,000-foot dock as the centerpiece of their development
They founded the Naples Town Improvement Company in 1886 to establish Naples as a winter getaway for affluent Americans. The company chose the name to evoke the romance of the Italian city as well as invite comparisons to the temperate climate and coastal setting. It acquired 3,712 acres of land between Naples Bay and the Gulf of Mexico for development.
It also purchased a steamship that would transport guests to and from the city.
The Naples Town Improvement Company was sold at public auction in 1890 and went to Haldeman, who took ownership of the entire venture, including the pier and hotel. Electric power was introduced to Naples in 1926 and the rail service arrived in 1927. The city would become more accessible with the construction of the Tamiami Trail in 1928.
Land developer Ed Crayton would take over from Haldeman in the early 1900s and the development remained in his family’s estate until the 1950s. Today, Naples is a renowned coastal city that offers resort-style living.
Naples’ finest attractions
Parks and beaches
- Naples Municipal Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in Southwest Florida with beautiful white sand.
- Naples Pier features a 1,000-foot long pier for fishing, walking, and watching the sunset.
- Lowdermilk Beach is a popular beach park with clean showers, restrooms, and a snack bar.
- Seagate Beach is one of the best spots to watch the sunset with park benches and a gorgeous view of the sea. The beach is accessible via a paved pathway from the parking area.
- Vanderbilt Beachis a five-acre beach park with white sand and sea oats in North Naples. The beach park features restrooms, foot showers, and a concession stand.
- Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park is located in North Naples and is widely considered one of the most stunning swimming spots in the United States with wide sand beaches, beautiful scrub, and shallow areas where children can safely wade through the water. It’s also an excellent spot for viewing gopher tortoises.
- Naples Botanical Garden ps160 acres of nature trails, protected land, glistening lakes, and cultivated gardens with more than 600 species of tropical and subtropical plants, including orchids, bamboo, lotus flowers, and myrtle. It also features a birding tower and waterlily pool with a boardwalk for outdoor events.
- Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a 44-acre nationally accredited zoo and botanical garden dedicated to animal conservation. Its many animal residents include spider monkeys, collared lemurs, gibbons, giraffes, sloths and gazelles, as well as several large cats like Florida panthers, lions, tigers and leopards.
Culture and history
- The Baker Museum is an esteemed fine art museum showcasing contemporary and Modernist art through world-class exhibitions. Its permanent collection includes over 3,500 pieces from the 20th and 21st century.
- Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples features hands-on exhibits encouraging children to play farmer, fisherfolk, architect, or veterinarian as they explore the Everglades, examine the inside of an igloo, or make their way through an intricate maze.
- Naples Depot Museum offers a glimpse into the railroad boom of the 1920s with restored railroad cars, buggies, mule wagons, dugout canoes, and other artifacts from the era. The site is home to the Naples Train Museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Revs Institute is a car museum featuring rare automobiles and coveted models such as the 1953 Porsche 550 Coupe, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe, 1995 McLaren F1, just to name a few. The institute also has a collection of working automobiles that are loaned for events and exhibits.
- The Sugden Community Theater is home to The Naples Players, which stages world-class productions and live performances.
Shopping and dining
- Fifth Avenue South in Downtown Naples has a wide selection of luxury storefronts, independent designer boutiques, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and several theaters.
- Dockside Boardwalk is lined with gorgeous cottages near the beach. It has a selection of shops selling souvenirs, swimwear, and beach gear as well as cafes and restaurants that offer al fresco dining.
- Bayfront is a vibrant mixed-use development in Naples Bay. It has an assortment of shops and restaurants housed in stunning Mediterranean-style buildings.
- Tin City is a 1920s fishing hub and marketplace that now serves as a lifestyle complex with shops and waterfront restaurants housed in tin-roofed buildings.
Discover the Best Neighborhoods in Naples, Florida
If you still can’t decide which neighborhood is best for you, you can reach us, Jesse & Jeri Hannon, for more information at 239-307-8500. You can also send us a message here. We have over 18 years of experience in luxury real estate in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero. As an Award Winning Team and Multi-Million Dollar Top Producer, we have been recognized among America’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents®.
Choose a real estate team that understands your needs and crafts a custom plan for your specific goals. You can count on us to provide honest and reliable information to guide you through the process. We have helped hundreds of buyers and sellers since 2003, having sold more than $350 million of real estate.