Discover Southwest Florida’s Natural Beauty Along the Paradise Coast

A vacation to Naples, Florida just wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor excursion to one of the Paradise Coast’s many parks, trails or wildlife habitats.

As famous for its natural landscapes and wildlife encounters as it is for its shopping and water sports, Southwest Florida offers nature lovers and adventure-seekers countless opportunities to study and enjoy the region in its most native state.

Unique beauty of Southwest Florida
Florida Everglades

Everglades National ParkTen Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United States, the Everglades consists of 1.5 million acres of sawgrass marshes, mangrove forests and hardwood hammocks dominated by wetlands. It is also home to endangered, rare and exotic wildlife.

Just 30 minutes from Naples Bay Resort, the legendary Florida Everglades is one of the nation’s most treasured natural wonders. Offering visitors a thrilling immersion into native Southwest Florida, the Everglades’ renowned wetlands provide nature lovers firsthand encounters with colorful birds, schools of dolphins, wild alligators, small sharks, rare flowers, and on occasion, the elusive Florida panther.

With so much to see and so many activities to enjoy, the Everglades National Park Gulf Coast Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin your visit. The gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islands and waterways that extends to Flamingo and Florida Bay, the visitor center features educational displays, orientation films, informational brochures, backcountry permits and access to boat and canoe rentals.

To make your Everglades experience truly unique, design a custom paddling, hiking, cycling or aerial tour with Naples Bay Resort partner Everglades Area Tours. These information-rich, naturalist-led eco-adventures include:

  • Sea kayak and canoe tours through magnificent mangrove tunnels
  • Guided dolphin eco tours
  • Birding and wildlife power boat tours in Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
  • Kayaking with manatees
  • Kayak fishing in the Everglades National Park backcountry
  • Walking eco tours in search of rare orchids among old-growth cypress hammocks and wetlands
  • Guided fishing charters for tarpon, redfish and snook
  • Private birding or photography safaris

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve offers southwest coast visitors views of some of the most rugged terrain in Florida. With more than 720,000 acres of freshwater swamp ecosystem, the preserve is home to a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that support diverse wildlife, including the Florida panther.

Guests should plan to spend several hours exploring the national preserve’s scenic drives, roadside parks, viewpoints and boardwalks. Seasonal, ranger-led activities including guided walks, short talks and campfire programs are offered throughout the year.

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

The ultimate Florida wildlife sightseeing adventure awaits in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Located on 26,400 acres within the heart of the Big Cypress Basin, the refuge features two public hiking trails that allow guests to travel through and enjoy the wildlife and fauna of Florida’s native hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods and wet prairies.

Lucky visitors may even catch a glimpse of the most endangered mammal in the eastern U.S. – the Florida panther! In addition to the panther, more than 20 other threatened or endangered animals call the refuge home including Florida black bear, alligator, wood storks, limpkin, swallow-tailed kite, indigo snake, Everglades mink and the Big Cypress fox squirrel. White-tailed deer, feral hogs, wild turkey and bobwhite quail also inhabit the refuge.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center

Naples’ 21-acre Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center offers guests another opportunity to experience the region’s natural treasures and is a popular site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Featuring electric boat tours along the Gordon River, interactive educational exhibits, and extensive hiking trails through Naples’ mangrove estuary, hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods, the nature center allows visitors to explore Southwest Florida’s native environment while learning how to protect its water, land and wildlife.

Connect with our concierge team today to design your Southwest Florida nature adventure and discover what it means to Imagine More at Naples Bay Resort!