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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.

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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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