Whether you're looking for a sandy beach, a sunny garden, a plentiful fishing spot or 18 holes of superior golf, the city of Naples offers it all.
"Naples is the jewel of the west coast of Florida," says Cookie Boyd, a Realtor with Exceptional Properties of S.W. Florida, based in Naples. "It is easily accessible from any city in the country so within a few hours, you can be relaxing on our award-winning beaches, trolling for backwater trout or playing golf on one of our over 100 courses we have to offer.

"Our weather is wonderful year-round essentially, so you can play 365 days of the year."

Of course, many who travel here end up moving here, or at least buying a winter home. Long thought of by well-heeled Queen City residents as "Cincinnati South," Naples has developed into the place where many of the city's wealthy go to play in the frosty months"”the so-called "snowbirds" with second homes.

"Southwest Florida has a variety of home styles and gated communities to fit anyone's needs," notes Boyd. "Most communities have a golf course designed by some of the world's best architects, active tennis programs and amenities filled clubhouses.

"Whether you are looking for a single-family home, a condo or highrise, we have them all. Our tropical designs will make you feel like your home is on a beautiful Caribbean island."

The Florida town has semi-local roots. In 1887, a group of wealthy Kentuckians led by Walter Haldeman, owner of the Louisville Courier-Journal, purchased virtually all the land in Naples. One of the first things Haldeman and his Naples Company did was to build a pier 600 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. The unique "T" shape of the pier allowed large ships to dock easily. Prosperity, and people, soon followed"”and the immigration hasn't stopped since.

Todd Broyton, a transplanted Cincinnatian, chose to move his family to Naples eight years ago, and hasn't regretted it since, pointing to the seven miles of white sandy beaches.

"If you like to walk and love the water," says Broyton, try out the sandy bars that one travel publication included in their 'Best Beaches in 2005' issue. "Other fun things to do are back water or deep sea fishing, hikes through the Everglades or a nature walk through our Corkscrew Sanctuary where native birds and animals can be seen."

The balmy weather itself attracts some Cincinnatians. For instance, Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel chose the city to indulge in his gardening skills. "I can grow anything in Naples," observes Kunzel, wh'”when not among his flowers"”can be found offshore on his 44-foot Hinckley jet cruiser (called "Pops") or conducting the Naples Pops orchestra.

The golf courses, too, are a major attraction.

"Having been a golf professional, I love a good golf course of which we have many," observes Boyd. "From Pete Dye to Tom Fazio, Greg Norman to Arthur Hills, it is hard to make a choice as to where to play and live."

Shopping and dining choices abound, as well. The Bayfront, located on Naples Bay at the foot of Fifth Avenue South, offers colorful European architecture and eye-catching landmarks for the strolling shopper. Stores such as Bayfront Boutique, Blue Diamond Jeweler and Jennings of Naples feature a wide selection of fashions, jewelry, china, crystal, tableware and home accessories. Not far away are malls and marketplaces such as Town Center Mall and Tin City.

"With so many incredible restaurants to choose from, it is hard to choose just one," says Boyd. "My favorite for presentation and taste is Escargot 41, a wonderful and intimate French experience. For a more island style Caribbean cuisine, Yabba's Island Grill satisfies my craving for fish and they have a large selection of fun drinks. For the casual dine, I  go to the Dock and watch luxury yachts and fishing boats slide by on Naples Bay."

Nature photographers flock to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for some of the world's best bird watching.

Explore the fine shops and restaurants at The Village on Venetian Bay in Naples.

Stroll palm-lined Fifth Avenue South in Naples while shopping at the area's many boutiques, art galleries and gift shops.
A park ranger at Everglades National Park's Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City helps visitors explore the wonders of nature.
Greater Naples is world-renowned as a golf destination.