This is number four in my series “Parenting in Naples” where I make suggestions of places to parent alone. Whether you’re divorced, separated or just have the kids for the weekend, I hope my recommendations help you and your children enjoy some quality time in a town that doesn’t always make children a priority.
The beach is probably the obvious activity for kids in Naples, Florida. The question is: which beach? Most of the beaches in Naples are excellent because there aren’t big waves and little undertow in Southwest Florida. If your children can swim, you safely leave them in the water.
Vanderbilt Beach is just off of Vanderbilt road and is probably the most popular beach in North Naples (where most people with children live). There’s a 375-space parking lot extremely close to the beach and the parking is free if you’re a Collier County resident.
There is a convenience store and a little restaurant by Vanderbilt Beach if you need food or drinks.
Vanderbilt beach can get crowded but there is almost always a county sheriff posted at the beach entrance during the day.
Clam Pass Park is a little down the road right off of Pine Ridge. Clam Pass Park is peculiar in that it has a smaller parking lot and it there is a .75 mile boardwalk from the parking lot to the beach.
In reality, Clam Pass Park is the de facto beach for the resort hotel, The Naples Grande. The Naples Grande supplies a shuttle to take their guests and any other beach-goer from the parking lot to the beach. The shuttle is operating every few minutes. You will definitely need to use the shuttle because the walk is way too long for kids and a grown-up carrying beach toys. Please bring some tip money for the shuttle driver.
Clam Pass Beach has a big restaurant run by the Naples Grande and clean bathrooms. There beach is hardly ever crowded because you cannot access the beach from the North. That’s where the actual Clam Pass is that looks like a river inlet and keeps most people from crossing over.
Further south, just off of Golden Gate Parkway is Lowdermilk Park. This is probably the most children-friendly park because it includes a playground. If you’re hosting a party, you definitely want to pick Lowdermilk park because you can reserve a gazebo and picnic tables. You have to reserve in person at 280 Riverside Circle.
Lowdermilk park also hosts a concession stand that has hamburgers, hot dogs and salads.
Lowdermilk park is just 7 miles from my office. A map from my office to the park is below.
There is some red tide going on in Southwest Florida right now that creates an irritation if you swim in the water. All of the parks I have listed above are not near a river (which is the source of red tides). You can check for red tide on this Collier County website.
Bring lots of water and snacks to the beach. Naples is an expensive city but the beach can be a really cheap outing for you and the kids. Best of all, they’ll definitely be tired afterwards.
I shouldn’t have to remind you but please thoroughly coat your children in sunscreen at the beach. Do it before you get in the car put the sunscreen on the kids so it sets in. If you apply the sunscreen right before the kids get in the water, the sunscreen will wash off and the kids will get burned. Also, reapply sunscreen when the kids get out of the water half-way through your stay at the beach.
If you want more time with your kids to enjoy activities like this. Don’t hesitate to contact my Naples, Florida family law office for a free consultation.