I will be traveling, with a friend, to Naples on Feb 28 thru March 5th. I enjoy the Gulf coast of Florida and have been a frequent traveler to Tampa Bay / St. Petersburg, but this will be my first time to Naples. I'm hoping someone may offer suggestions on a few activities. The two of us going enjoy hiking, walking, kayaking, bicycling, and bringing the day to a close by sharing drinks at sunset. I've looked online and there are several areas that provide kayak rentals, however I do not know where a good spot to put in would be, or a scenic river or creek to paddle. As for hiking or walking, anyone familiar with some nice paths or trails? One other activity I want to accomplish is doing a little reconnaissance on condos that rent monthly. As my trip will cross over the beginning of a new month, I'm hoping to gain access to one or two condos I've seen advertised online. The goal is to choose a condo that I can rent next year for the month of Jan or Feb, (or both!). I'd enjoy hearing what others look for when they rent a vacation place for a one or two month time period. Of course, Wi-Fi is mandatory, as well as a fully equipped kitched.
If you're not already familiar with Sanibel Island and the "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, I urge you to check it out.
1. Anyone know a good realtor in Naples? I'll be there at the end of March. I have many friends who have retired to that area but thought I'd get another realtor suggestion. Never been to Naples.2. I HAVE been to Sanibel Island and it's great, but missed the wildlife refuge. I have no idea how we missed it? http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/3. For anyone who is interested, the life of wildlife artists Ding Darling is fascinating IMO. I ran into his work (he has MANY legacies)in Nebraska when young (he was from Iowa). A "practical" and passionate conservationists IMO. Much like Teddy Roosevelt.http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/BobRYR Home Fool
"Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, I urge you to check it out.Mr. Fungi & Hockeypop, thanks for the info and link. That will work out wonderfully. We had already planned to arrive at Sanibel island prior to sunrise, on one of the days, and we will incorporate the Wildlife Refuge as part of that trip. It offers a biking tour (bring your own bike) and a tour lead beach walk, both at no cost. Perfect!I have many friends who have retired to that areaThat's the reason I chose Naples this year for a quick winter getaway to Florida. I'm originally from Chicago and friends of friends and friends of family members have also selected this area for retirement. As I begin to explore Florida as a 2nd home, for two months of the year, I've started hearing that Florida retirees tend to move to specific areas based on their home state. I'm told Naples is home to many originally from the midwest. I'm now in Maryland, and many from this area also choose Naples. The idea kind of fascinates me, I wonder if there is an area of Florida that New Englander's call home? Hope to attend a Red Sox spring training game in nearby Ft. Meyers, so that may provide some info. Was in Boca Raton on business many times, years ago, and that area up to West Palm Beach felt much like being in NYSouth. Hockeypop, what's your intrest in a R.E. agent, purchase or rental? I've been in email communication with one, and will be looking at a condo that rents monthly.
My wife was born and raised in Florida and I met her while this Northern boy was passing through FSU. So she wants the warm and I'm exploring what a purchase would be like there. We'd probably want to rent it for three or four years. My understanding is that the market has bounced off the bottom a bit.OT, but I'm leaving about March 20 for a road/car trip with my 87 year old MIL (and our dog). She has lots of friends she hasn't visited in decades so we're going to take the trip [slow] to eventually meet up with DW in Ft. Lauderdale (her former home) and then spend four days in Marathon in the keys. She's flying home with DW and I'm going to Naples and then take a slow trip (with the dog) back to NJ.Please do pass along any names. I'm not promising, but let me know if you've used him/her.BobRyr Home Fool
So she wants the warm and I'm exploring what a purchase would be like there. We'd probably want to rent it for three or four years. My understanding is that the market has bounced off the bottom a bit.OT, but I'm leaving about March 20 for a road/car trip with my 87 year old MIL (and our dog). She has lots of friends she hasn't visited in decades so we're going to take the trip [slow] to eventually meet up with DW in Ft. Lauderdale (her former home) and then spend four days in Marathon in the keys. She's flying home with DW and I'm going to Naples and then take a slow trip (with the dog) back to NJ.Please do pass along any names. I'm not promising, but let me know if you've used him/her.BobRyr Home FoolHi Bob, Returning to this earlier post to wish you a wonderful trip. Your travel plans sound fun, a long lazy road trip. I've now just returned from Naples, and it really is a beautiful area, with my favorite part being the sunsets, just outstanding, not unlike sunsets in the Keys. Walking the beaches is also fun, as was the unending choice of really good dining options. Naples is an affluent area, downtown is beautiful and walkable, and the dining is done on outdoor patios. My trip was to look at SW Florida, and specifically Naples, as a potential "2nd home" option, with the home being something I rent for two months each winter. I'll just say that for now, Naples was a wonderful place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there (yet).I had forgotten the overwhelming number of elderly people that call Florida home. When we debarked from the plane at the SW Florida airport, was greeted by a sea of people in wheelchairs, waiting to board the same plane once it had been prepped. Easily twenty wheelchairs massed around the boarding gate, with each wheelchair having a bright red four foot pole rising from the back of the chair to faciliate the chair being seen. My first comment to my traveling companion, "if that's me in thirty years, I'm putting a pirate flag on my pole". Throughout our stay I missed seeing the young families with children, the college aged kids, the young adults. It appeared to be a mix of business travelers, wealthy and elderly snow birds from the north, and wealthy and elderly homeowners. Striking how little diversity the area had. I don't know Florida well enough to know if that type of concentration of white elderly people is consistent thoughout the state. I do remember on a trip thru the Keys, it skewed much younger and more diverse. I would also think the urban areas have more diversity. Overall, I was a bit taken aback how homogenous the Naples area appeared. You have a nice luxery of a lazy road trip with two people who are natives of Florida and the chance to see much more of Florida than I saw in 5 days. For now, I have to reconsider where to rent a place next Feb/March.
Thank you crackclaw. Don't know if I mentioned that we're also spending four days in the Keys. I truly understand looking at the number of elderly (not ME, although I'm 66 ;-). The good news is that medical facilities are really good. But like certain communities here in NJ you need to be VERY careful on the roads, and shop after dark when the real seniors head home. Having said that, I look at other people who are 66 and see some who are "old." It is [kinda] a number.We moved into a 55+ community and the BEST advice I got was to move in early because most of the people with you are around your age. That is VERY true, with a medium range of [now] 60 to 70. There are older and younger -- it allows kids over 18 with limitations, so right now, I'm happy. We will take my Florida-girl, born and bred, back to the warmth. The question is when, and if I own. Thanks for your thoughts!BobRYR Home Fool
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