Charter fishing trips are an easy way to get in on the action around Naples, but how do you choose one? Trust the vets. Captain Allen Walburn has been plying the local waters for 30 years; his fleet at A & B Charters offers both backcountry and offshore excursions. At the Port-O-Call Marina, Walburn’s Alabama ($85 per person for half-day; $160 for full) specializes in deep-sea hunts for kingfish, grouper, snapper, plus the big guys in the wrecks: cobia, permit, and barracuda.
Alternately, there’s kayaking. Saltwater Sports recently opened a new outpost at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where you can rent a sit-on-top kayak and chase redfish, tarpon, and snook around the Gordon River ($15; catch-and-release is strongly encouraged). For access to even more species—including black drum, pompano, spotted sea trout, Spanish mackerel, even blacktip shark—drive twenty minutes south to the Isle of Capri for a four-hour kayak tour ($150 first angler, $50 each additional, up to three). At both locations, keep your eyes peeled for manatees.
After a day of sun and sea, a cold pint with the local youth (i.e., anyone under 50) is in order. On Fifth Avenue South, the decidedly un-swanky Paddy Murphy's Irish Pub has live music and cheap beers. For more upscale digs, check out the new Boston Beer Garden and its 30 high-def TVs in North Naples.