Nothing beats the outdoors in southwest Florida. The prairies, the swamps, and ancient wild areas that cradle a diverse wildlife in land, sea and air are places that can be explored by campers of all proficiencies. Use the airboat to spot alligators and the vast swamps; paddle your way into a thick jungle with trees on both sides that form a natural arch as you row towards it, go biking or trekking on foot to marvel at the trees several centuries old or orchids you won’t find elsewhere; then lay yourself out under the stars next to your tents for as long as you want to. There is something special for the casual visitor and there are secrets waiting to be uncovered for the hardcore explorers. Being this close to nature gives a feeling of calmness to the soul. The vast swaths of jungles, swamps and mangrove forests provide a perfect opportunity for exploration to those people who want to feel a sense of connection to nature.
Exploring the outdoors is a very recent phenomenon. It most likely began when we entered a more corporate mode of living where people stay in the office for the whole day. Though not to say that this is altogether a negative mode of living, this cooped-up way of life sparked an interest to breathe in fresh air and traverse across open spaces that are close to trees and the creatures that live among those trees. One notable example of people looking for this kind of escape is the trip that happened from 1914 to 1924 by a group called The Vagabonds. At first, this name may sound like a cheesy obscure Jazz band but actually this is a group of bros made up of corporate and intellectual heavyweights namely, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs. This band of bad boys toured cross country to test out their new rides (the Ford Model T) then eventually settled in Naples area, built dwellings here and wrote extensively about how they love the place. This, of course, was a media sensation and the 1920’s equivalent of the paparazzi followed them around because you don’t want to pass up something as monumental as this gathering. Imagine Elon Musk cloned himself 4 times and drove around Naples in a concept Tesla just for the heck of it. Yes, that’s what it must have been like at that time in the 1920’s.
- Be careful for crocs and gators when exploring the outdoors.
- Dolphins and manatees are great companions when paddling your kayak.
- Fishing is a great outdoor activity too, with snappers, snook and tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico all waiting to take your bait.
- A fireworks display during the New Year’s is a Naples tradition that’s worth witnessing
- Biking and hiking trails are popular especially in the Everglades area.
- Be on the lookout for rare orchids when biking or hiking
- Some people prefer to bring their RV’s with them when camping out and form caravans when travelling.