Is Naples Florida a Good Place to Live?
As a Naples native, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Is Naples, Florida a good place to live?”
For those in the know, the benefits of living in Naples are tremendous in every way.
When looking or a second home, potential retirement or a preferred vacation destination, people often waiver between Naples, Sarasota and the east coast of Florida. They wonder, “what is it that sets Naples apart from other cities in Florida?” Soon, the differences become crystal clear.
Without further ado, here’s the top ten reasons why Naples, Florida is hands-down the best place to live in Florida and quite possibly the world:
10. Beaches – The Naples, Florida beachfront stretches for over 7 miles and contains some of the cleanest sand and Gulf waters that you will ever experience. Naples beaches are some of the best in the world. They often make top 10 lists of the best beaches around the world. Recently Dr. Beach, Stephen Leatherman, included Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park beach in Naples, FL and nearby Barefoot Beach in his Top 10 Beaches for 2014.
9. Safety & Low Crime – Naples is a safe city compared to the rest of Florida and the nation. According to Areavibes.com, the Naples crime rate is far below both the Florida and National average. “The crime rate in Naples is less than 63% of the cities in Florida and Naples is safer than 53% of the cities in the nation.” Furthermore, “there are a total of 95 Naples police officers. This results in 4.7 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 10.8% greater than the Florida average and 43.9% greater than the National average.”
8. Architecture & Greenery – Unobstructed views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico are a Naples hallmark. Homes in Old Naples are not surrounded by tall, overbearing buildings that block the sun and skyline. The local government has strong restrictions on signs, billboards and building height in the city of Naples. A prime example of our strict sign regulations is the “golden arches” on US 41 North. Instead of the usual 30 foot high signs that you see in most cities, Naples has a small McDonald’s sign down on the ground. You won’t see that most places in the United States or even internationally. Or put another way, you can easily tell you’ve hit Bonita Springs or Ft. Myers on US 41 just by the large signs shouting their slogans for all to see. In contrast, Naples keeps your focus on the Neapolitan architecture and natural, tropical greenery all around.
7. Dining – Naples has some of the best dining in the U.S. Some favorite Naples restaurants are Truluck’s, Chops City Grill, Mereday’s Fine Dining and The Turtle Club right on Vanderbilt Beach (park your toes in the sand while you dine!), just to name a few.
6. Pristine – The word, pristine, comes up often when explaining Naples to an outsider. In another word, clean. It best describes the litter-less streets, low crime, small signs, clean beaches, expertly shaped landscaping and conscious efforts of residents to keep it that way. Neapolitans respect their piece of paradise and work hard to ensure its beauty.
5. Boating, Fishing, Golf – Naples has a plethora of things to do in the great outdoors. Fishing and golf are not hobbies here, they are ways of life. Naples has some of the best waterfront in the world. Growing up in Naples, we fished late into the night at lighted docks and the Naples Fishing Pier. We caught snook and snapper right off the dock and ate them soon after — now that’s fresh seafood!
And then there is the golf. As a top golfing destination, Naples has over 70 golf courses to choose from. Many homebuyers want to live in Naples golf communities regardless of their level or desire of play. Many of the higher-end luxury homes are in golf communities like Grey Oaks, Collier’s Reserve and Quail West. There’s something about being able to drive your golf cart from your garage right to the first tee without getting in the car.
4. Sunsets – Sunsets in Naples are very special to say the least. Around the time of the setting sun, if you venture down any of the Old Naples avenues that end at the Gulf, you are bound to be shoulder to shoulder with several others looking West. When the sun hits the horizon put your cocktail down and join the clapping, for you have just witnessed one of the most sacred moments on the Gulf: Sunset. And if you’re lucky, one day – if you don’t blink – you will see the elusive “green flash” at the moment the sun vanishes below the horizon.
3. Weather – Naples weather has average air temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest summer months are July, August and September. The best weather months are November through May where there is little rain and less humidity. Gulf water temperatures range from the 60’s in the winter to the mid 80’s from spring through fall.
2. Downtown Old Naples – Old Naples is the heartbeat of the city. Don’t let the name fool you. Nothing in this downtown area looks “old.”
Old Naples is the cultural essence of the city. It’s where Naples began as a tiny fishing village. Among the new homes and buildings, several historic beach cottages still remain as reminders of the early history of Naples dating back to the 1900’s.
Today, it’s where Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South districts define the modern Neapolitan lifestyle. Specialty shops and outdoor cafes dot the sidewalks in these quaint, yet sophisticated local hot spots. Besides dining, dancing and a bit of nightlife, cultural festivals and art shows are common here on the weekends from November through Easter.
& Drumroll ………
1. The People – This one is easily #1. Neapolitans come from all around the world – mid-westerners, New Yorkers, Canadians, Europeans and everything in-between. Naples is a global melting pot with one common denominator: “Everyone is extremely happy to live in this little piece of paradise.” This attitude shows on the suntanned faces of most everyone you’ll meet.
Once you’ve experienced it for yourself, I’m sure you will agree that Naples, Florida may be one of the best places to live and enjoy life you could ever find. You may even decide to buy your own piece of paradise and become a neighbor and fellow Neapolitan.