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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Cast a Line in Naples, Florida

Mangrove-lined islands and backcountry rivers and canals attract a remarkable mix of fish species—and waterfront activities—to the coast and inlets of the Gulf of Mexico.


1. Where to Stay

Some of the seven miles of beach outside the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.  

Even if you’re here to get sunburned on a fishing boat, you still might want some pampering. The sprawling, newly revamped Naples Grande Resort & Club (from $329), just added an outpost of California’s renowned Golden Door Spa, where salt-singed skin can recover with a hydrating body scrub ($145). Splurge on a gulf-view room or a Zen-inspired bungalow, clustered around a garden of bamboo trees and reflecting pools, over lower-situated “Coastal View” quarters.

If you plan on renting a boat, stay at the cozy, group-friendly Vanderbilt Beach Resort (from $193; from $119 after April 30), which has five free boat slips for guests on the Vanderbilt Lagoon. Call ahead to reserve a parking space, as docks are shared with diners who boat to the resort’s popular Turtle Club Restaurant.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club (from $285; from $205 after April 15) provides access to seven miles of white-sand beach, a full-service spa, tennis center, and the hands-down best beach bar in town: the Sunset (open to nonguests, too). Penthouse wing rooms face the gulf, but you can save cash by booking in the airy, just-renovated “Florida” wing.

If you want to cook your catch, go for hotels with fully equipped kitchens and outdoor barbecues. Two good ones are the Park Shore Resort (from $140; from $80 after April 14), where lush grounds include a gazebo grill deck surrounded by a private lake, and the small, family-owned Bel-Mar (from $139), a homier option with a great downtown location.

Published on Apr 4, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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