CHAMPAGNE WISHES & CAVIAR DREAMS
Vacation like the rich and famous
Once a sleepy fishing village, Naples, Florida is all grown up. Since it was voted best destination for luxury travellers by USA TODAY 10Best readers a few years ago and named by WalletHub as the best beach town to live in, it is no wonder many Canadian snowbirds call this home.
Located on the Paradise Coast, Naples usually enjoys warm weather due to the temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Closer to Miami Beach than Orlando, it is more of a playground of the rich and famous than a theme park destination.
Travellers will find an abundance of art galleries, award-winning restaurants, world-class shopping and monster mansions.
Despite the upscale, populated urban areas of Naples and Marco Island, over 70 per cent of the area is park and preserve lands that serve as important habitats for endangered and threatened wildlife, water recharge areas and wilderness recreation areas.
Active options include paddling a kayak through the Everglades National Park, watching for manatees on a sightseeing tour or hiking the many boardwalks and trails to watch for wildlife and hundreds of species of birds.
The Canadian Snowbird Association estimates that at least 350,000 Canadians spend three to six months of each year in Florida, while another 100,000 spend between one to three months in the state annually. There are a large number of home rental properties for families. If you prefer a resort feel, you can find many luxury hotels. The time is now to treat yourself to champagne wishes and caviar dreams.
SIX THINGS TO DO TO VACATION LIKE THE RICH AND FAMOUS
Golf With 91 golf courses in the greater Naples area you may want to hit the links for a round of golf. Greater Naples is ranked by the National Golf Foundation as having the most golf holes per capita in the U.S. If watching world-class golf is more your style, the 2020 Champions Tour stops in Naples in mid-February.
You will need to pamper yourself after a long day on the golf course. What better way than to enjoy a full day of hedonism than at the Spa at Naples Grande. Consider indulging in Whole Body Cryotherapy: step inside a pod – one of the coldest machines in the country, reaching -275° F – to invigorate your body, balance your nervous system, improve immunity and stimulate your metabolism.
Shop like you’re on Rodeo Drive by heading over to 5th Avenue South for high-end boutiques and galleries. With some of the best luxury-brand consignment stores in Florida, these specialty shops sell everything from designer hand bags to full china sets. How fun would it be to spend a rainy afternoon checking out the wares/wears at stores like Carolyn’s and Wear in the World? For a more local vibe, wander over to Olde Town on 3rd Street.
Events From vintage cars to jazz festivals, you will find an event to suit your tastes. But on a luxury vacation you’ll want to check out the Naples Winter Wine Festival, which is ranked among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans. The 2020 Honoured Vintner, Saskia de Rothschild of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), is headlining this year’s Vintage Cellar Wine Tasting & Luncheon to celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary. The ticket will set you back $3,250 USD per person above the $12,000/couple price for the festival.
Get a little star struck. With residents like Judge Judy, Jane Seymour and Sean Hannity, this area features some pretty spectacular homes. If you want a glimpse of the monster mansions, take a boat cruise tour to see some of the most spectacular homes in Florida.
The art scene is vibrant in Naples. It features a philharmonic orchestra, ballet, live theatre and myriad art galleries. In the growing art district, you’ll find painters, ceramicists, sculptors, jewellers, and photographers. Blending both the visual and performing arts, Artis-Naples is the premier centre for the arts in Southwest Florida, incorporating The Baker Museum, which reopened after an extensive redesign, and the resident Naples Philharmonic orchestra, along with numerous Broadway shows and concerts featuring top musical artists.