There’s much more to Naples than white sand beaches, tear-jerking sunsets and resort spas so relaxing they induce trance– the area also has a longstanding tradition for giving much importance for the arts and its vibrant history that is related to the Everglades. Guests to Naples, Everglades City and Marco Island can take a break from the sun in one of the many art galleries and museums on Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Are you looking for a gallery scene worthy of the old masters? You’ll find it all along downtown Naples. Many fine art galleries are found around Broad Avenue at Third Street South, featuring a variety of work from realist to abstract paintings. You’ll find more on Fifth Avenue South and at Crayton Cove near the Naples City Dock. Unleash the Monet or the Picasso in you and look through every artwork through Michelangelo’s eyes with all these galleries that are open to all.
The Marco Island Center for the Arts offers free galleries for browsing, a variety of classes and workshops, special musical performances, an excellent gift shop with items made by island artists and several crowd-grabbing outdoor art shows and festivals. You’ll find local artists at galleries in various art galleries and sometimes in shopping centers.
In the middle of Big Cypress National Preserve outside of Everglades City captures the essence of swamp life in simple yet gorgeous black and white art photography that’s all on display at Big Cypress Gallery. Swing by the gallery for a look at Southwest Florida’s landscape, and then experience nature first-hand with a guided swamp tour from the staff of Big Cypress Gallery and see where the inspiration from all those photographs were found.
Take a lovely trip down memory lane in Naples’ history museums. The Collier County Museum is a must-visit for ancient Florida history with prehistoric exhibits based on the coast and the ancient peoples who once occupied the land. Learn about the very first settlers, the Seminole people and many of the region’s little known history. After the tour, head into museum’s native gardens to explore restored cottages and Seminole village.
Learn about Marco Island’s fascinating history from the time of the ancient Calusa through the pioneer days in the early 20th century through present day at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Learn the life and times of the early days of Florida’s famed ranchers at the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Robert’s Ranch.
Visual & Performing Arts
Artis-Naples is the premier center for the arts in Southwest Florida. It’s prime secret is by marrying visual arts and performing arts. The place is known for incorporating The Baker Museum with 15 art galleries, the resident Naples Philharmonic orchestra, and numerous Broadway shows and concerts with top musical artists.
For robust theater action, visit The Naples Players. With a staggering 220 performances a year, most of which sell out so you better book early if you’re planning to catch a show, and it stars some highly driven local casts. You’ll surely enjoy shows like “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” just to name a couple.