The winter has been long and it’s time for a little respite in Florida. The family and I headed down to Naples and Fort Myers for a week.
We spent 4 days at a resort just the four of us in Naples and a few nights with the in-laws in Fort Myers. Thankfully the weather was perfect and we were able to be outside the majority of our time. It was 78-83 every day with plenty of sun. Not once did anyone complain that it was too cold or too hot. Warming up and getting some much-needed vitamin D was the key to the whole trip.
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We originally were going to take the kids to NYC, but after freezing since December we changed course at the last minute. Booking flights last minute is never easy. It’s doable, but for a price. We had to find the best price to get us from Pennslyvania to Florida. We looked at the three closest airports – Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. It turned out Buffalo had the best deal. Southwest was the airline we chose.
We forgot you have to check-in 24 hours prior to your flight to obtain your boarding section. Even so, we ended up with a Low B section number.
After driving 1.5 hours at 4:45 am we made it to our gate. It turned out the flight was half empty. We literally could have had our own rows if we wanted. It was a newer 737-800 aircraft – very clean and modern.
Fortunately, it wasn’t the 737-Max8 aircraft.
We were not on the same plane the trip home, but we got there and back safely without any mishaps.
Southwest had the right price, was convenient and was very good to us. The no luggage fee was an added bonus.
Staying at Naples Bay Resort
Several resorts were recommended to us by friends. Since we booked so late in the game we ended up here because two of the other locations were already sold out. This resort had a lot of amenities and is located just on the east side of the beaches and downtown Naples. They have a significant amount of acreage which we found to be pretty spread out. The customer service was very good across the board. From check-in to checkout we dealt with some very nice people.
The price of the resort was a bit high for the quality of the room. Although the room was a great size – two bedrooms, two bathrooms with a living space and a full kitchen. The décor was a bit dated and had an older feel to it. The plumbing wasn’t sufficient in the second bathroom which meant the kids had to share our shower. That’s right, we had two full bathrooms. You would think they would both work. This wasn’t the case. It was an above average room if you get a reasonable rate.
The resort style pool was a lot of fun. It had a lazy river and two hot tubs. It even had an adult section. We didn’t take advantage of that benefit as we were with our children.
We were able to order drinks and some decent food. Because it was spring break, there were plenty of people using the facility. It wasn’t overcrowded, however, and we were always able to find a couple of chairs to camp out in and set-up base.
They also had a very nice gym area with a yoga studio. I worked out once while we were there. The gym was attached to a beautiful spa that I was also able to use. After working out I was able to take a sauna and rinse off in their really nice showers. This was definitely a nice way to cap off our stay.
I’m not sure I would stay there again since there are so many options in Naples. Overall it provided us with a nice spring break stay.
Some Great Food Options
Our first night we decided to go out to a pretty popular marina area of Naples called Tin City. It had several restaurant options and little shops. The two main restaurants both had 45-minute waits. There was nothing we could really do at this point so we waited.
I got the grilled seabass with double vegetables. Sticking to my low-carb/keto lifestyle can be difficult on vacation. Although the place was what we expected, it didn’t blow us away by any means.
The prices were fair for the location as well.
M Waterfront Grille
We decided to take the kids to one of the best restaurants in Naples the next evening. This was definitely the nicest and most expensive meal the kids have ever had. The M Waterfront Grille turned out to be a wonderful experience and the food was delicious. The kids got super excited when they received their amuse bouche, which was a tiny grilled cheese with amazing tomato soup.
Between the four of us, we got a perfectly made cheeseburger, a super fresh beet salad, lobster tortellini, and short ribs with double brussel sprouts. We pretty much cleaned our plates without any issues. I also had a glass of Buffalo Trace on the rocks.
For dessert, the restaurant recommended their homemade fresh donuts. We saw several other tables order them while we were eating and had to give them a try. Each order consists of three freshly made donuts and three donut holes and comes with fresh coconut cream for dipping. They were ridiculously good. So tasty!
The service was top notch at the M Waterfront. Our waitress was super nice to the kids and everything came out in perfect timing. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. The next day my wife received a personal call from the restaurant asking about our visit and making sure we enjoyed it. Wow – talk about customer service! If you are looking to treat yourself the M Waterfront Grille is the place.
The Turtle Club
This place was recommended to us as well and appeared to be attached to a pretty old hotel in Naples. We pulled up to valet parking for lunch and put our names in for a table. We did have to wait for about an hour to get seated. They do not take reservations for lunch. The Turtle Club is located right on the beach. There were tables that were better than others and we were lucky enough to get the best table in the place. Not sure how that happened.
The people that worked at The Turtle Club and all of the patrons were friendly. I guess there is nothing to complain about when you’re eating a good lunch on the beach.
The food came out relatively quick. Between my shrimp and salad and the other dishes, we were all very satisfied. The experience of the location is really what it’s all about. If you have a chance to visit the area try to make it for lunch. This is an ideal location to catch a beautiful sunset. They do take reservations for dinner and can be booked up to a year-in-advance. Prices were fair for the location.
We drove down to the beach one morning and it was packed. There was nowhere to park, which made it a little frustrating. I had to park in a Sticker or local parking spot and was fortunate enough to not get a ticket. For the most part, it was quiet but still way too crowded for our liking. There are several other access points that may be worth checking out over this one. You probably won’t find a fully secluded beach over spring break.
Overall Naples Experience
We did have a really nice time on this quick trip to Naples. We probably could’ve used another night or two.
One Negative -We were surrounded by some angry drivers when we did get in the car. Be prepared for a lot of traffic and aggressive drivers.
Naples is a pretty posh town and there some spectacular homes to look at on our drives. The next time we head down this way we will do it with more advanced notice. Perhaps spend our time at a resort located on the beach. Overall it was a great trip – 4 out of 5 stars.