Naples, Florida

Best Places to Retire in Florida


Centuries before Christopher Columbus, the powerful Calusa Indians occupied the region known today as Collier County, where Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City are located.  The Seminoles came into the area in the 1700s and after repeated clashes with the white settlers they were ultimately defeated in 1845.  However, Southwest Florida remained virtually uninhabited until after the Civil War.  By the early 1900ís, cattle ranching had been established and in the 1920ís the railroads began to open southwest Florida to further expansion.  From 1950 until 1980 Collier County grew from just over 6,000 to a population of 85,000.  It has been one of the fastest growing areas in the US over the last 20 years.  Today its population tops 275,000.

Naples is a small city of 24,000 people located on the Gulf coast.  It is well known for its agreeable climate, with long, fairly hot summers followed by mild winter months with temperatures in the 70s from Thanksgiving through the Easter season. It is also widely known for its white sand beaches, world-class resorts, sophisticated boutiques, abundant golf courses, vital cultural scene, top-notch restaurants, and outstanding shopping. In early times, Naples was a haven for the rich and famous, attracting both captains of industry and stars from the entertainment world to this discrete, luxurious location.

Naples offers shopping that is well beyond what you would expect in a city of its size.You can find superb jewelry, elegant clothing and accessories, unique specialty items, home furnishings, antiques, and elegant works of art.  Its dining options are equally impressive. You can have a hardy breakfast, a light lunch at a sidewalk cafe, and you can choose a very elegant gourmet dinner, or even dinner theatre.  Naples is also a very staunch supporter of the arts, as witnessed by its busy arts calendar.

The Naples area has outstanding sports and recreation opportunities, with miles of beaches, a great many parks and activities centers.  It also has world-class medical care alternatives.

Arts and Culture

The Collier Museum is named for Barron Collier, the entrepreneur who was instrumental in the completion of the Tamiami Trail. It features a history of Collier County, looking back over 10,000 years. There are five acres of native gardens, two early Naples cottages, swamp buggies and a logging locomotive. Special programs and exhibitions are presented year-round.

The Naples Museum of Art includes a three-story,15-gallery visual arts center featuring a world-class permanent collection.  It also features traveling exhibitions and exclusive shows.

Naples Philharmonic Orchestra is an 85-piece orchestra that performs classical, pops and chamber concerts.  It is increasingly recognized as one of the leading orchestrasin the United States.

The Philharmonic Center, which opened in 1989, features both performing and visual arts in a single complex.  Its 1,221 seat main hall is home the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. It also has a 200-seat black box theater, and four museum-quality art galleries.  Each season it hosts more than 400 individual events.

There are many outstanding galleries in Naples.  Among them are:
Padulo Longstreth Goldberg (PLG Art) (,
Kahn Galleries International, Inc. (,
The von Liebig Art Center (,
Nold Gallery (,
Gallery Melange (, Wooden Horse Gallery (,
Native Visions Gallery (


With over 35 golf courses, Naples has the highest ratio of golf courses to golfers in the USA.  Public tennis facilities in Naples are also numerous and considered among the best anywhere.  One of the parks even has hydro-watered Har-Tru courts. The YMCA has the Beckler Tennis Center with 10 Har-Tru courts.  It holds the largest amateur tournament in Southwest Florida with as many as 700 entries.

Naples offers virtually all water sports ñ and much of it is available year-round.  There are miles of white sand beaches with good shelling.  There is kayaking, sailing, or cruising, and the temperate waters offer good year-round fishing.  Whether you prefer going offshore, or fishing the beaches, canals or backwaters there is a great environment here for you.

There are 17 parks in the area with activities for all ages. There are basketball courts, volleyball courts, lighted tennis courts, lighted softball fields jogging trails, open play areas, picnic areas, shuffleboard courts, swimming pools , a boat-launching ramp, boating and fishing, and more. Recreation.aspx


International College offers Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and master-level degree programs.  It also offers continuing education programs including English as a second or foreign language, and lifelong learning classes for senior citizens.

Edison Community Collegeís Collier County Campus is an 80-acre site located in Naples.  The complex includes all of the facilities for a small stand-alone college campus. Courses leading to Associate in Arts, Associate in Science or certificate programs, as well as non-credit continuing education classes, are offered.

Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology is a specialized post secondary institution thatprovides instruction leading to certificates below the Bachelorís level and workforce development.

Florida Gulf Coast University, located in Fort Myers, offers 4-year degree programs and graduate degrees in the arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and professional studies.  It also offers a distance learning program.

Senior Programs

YMCA of Collier County offers fitness programs for seniors and the option of a personal trainer to work with you individually.

The Creative Retirement Center (CRC) at International College — which is an Elderhostel Affiliate — has a campus in Naples. CRC offers its members the opportunity to enrich their lives by active lifelong learning.  Several times each year, CRC presents a curriculum with courses such as Creative Thinking, Life and Work of Salvador Dali, Baroque Music, Archeology, Genealogy, the Digital Revolution, and many others.  There are also ongoing workshops.    


The NCH Healthcare System in Naples is said to be one of the most progressive in the country. More than just a couple of hospitals, it is an alliance of more than 500 independent physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Collier County and southwest Florida.

Cleveland Clinic Naples is a 70- bed hospital complex that includes a modern clinic housing physicians representing more than 20 different specialties plus a state-of-the-art surgery center and diagnostic center.


Naples Municipal Airport, located two miles northeast of old Naples, is served by US Airways Express.  It is also served by several well-known car rental companies.

Southwest Florida International Airport is 35 miles north of Naples, just south of Ft. Myers.  It is served by a number of large commercial carriers.


Temperatures in January range from a high of 74 degrees and a low of 53. During July the average temperatures range from a high of 91 degrees to a low of 75.


Naples Daily News –

Property Taxes

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Fort Myers – 44 miles
Marco Island – 8 miles
Miami – 23 miles
Tampa – 67 miles
Venice – 100 miles

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