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Southwest Florida – the weekend is here and for some of us it’s a 3 day weekend. So what is there to do? There are LOTS of things to do in Southwest Florida. I know we all get caught up in the big 3; beach, shopping, and restaurants. But there’s so much more. So I took to Trip Advisor and mapped out more things than you can do in a whole winter of weekends. As a 20 year resident I even found a few things that I hadn’t heard of. Keep in mind there’s always specialty events, like this weekend is the Chubb Classic golf tournament at the Ritz Carlton in Naples. That’s not what this list is. This is a bookmark for when you hear the cries of “there’s nothing to do”, because there’s plenty to do. Just get out there and do it. Based on where you live, some of these are a bit of a drive, but I wanted to include a wide variety of things from Marco Island all the way up to Sarasota.

And while I was making this list, I found something in Naples that I had no idea existed. And I think I just put that destination on my list.

 

  • Naples Botanical Garden

    170 beautiful acres. I do get kind of sad though since I can’t stop at Del’s for a Coke.

    Naples Botanical Garden

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  • The Ringling House

    The Ringling is located in Sarasota and preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling. Lot of money in the circus.

    The Ringling Beach House

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  • Edison And Ford Winter Estates

    Even back in the day, people escaped here to avoid the winters up north.

    Edison & Ford Winter Estates

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  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

    A 13,000 acre preserve in Naples. I always felt this would be a good place to dump a body. Not that anyone would do that….. I think I’ve been listening to too many ‘murder’ podcasts.

    Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary-ONLINE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. NO WALK-INS

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  • Keewaydin Island

    A South Naples staple for a party weekend. Gonna need a boat for this one.

    Keewaydin Island

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  • Lovers Key State Park

    Been by this a thousand times and have never stopped. Gotta do that.

    Lovers Key State Park

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  • J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

    The preserve occupies 1/3 of the island.

    J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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  • Naples Pier

    Just an absolutely amazing view.

    Naples Pier, Naples, FL

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  • Tigertail Beach

    An outstanding beach, but check tide charts before you visit. You’ll need to wade through some water to get to the best spot.

    Tigertail Beach

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  • Wicked Dolphin Distillery

    You gotta do more than just beaches and wildlife, right?

    Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery - Cape Spirits Inc.

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  • Caspersen Beach

    One of my favorites in Venice.

    Caspersen Beach

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  • Robinson Nature Preserve

    This ones’s in Bradenton.

    Robinson Nature Preserve

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  • Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

    Pretty solid bike trail here.

    Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

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  • Fort Myers Beach

    Will Margaritaville make FMB better – or worse. Time will tell.

    Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

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  • Barefoot Beach Preserve

    This one is my go-to spot.

    Barefoot Beach County Preserve

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  • Venice Beach

    Deep white sand beach.

    Venice Beach, Venice, FL 34285

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  • South Marco Beach

    Down by the hotels.

    south marco beach

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  • Fishermen's Village

    Shopping, dining, live entertainment, and water adventures in Punta Gorda.

    Fishermens Village, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

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  • Lowdermilk Beach

    A little light on parking, if you wanna check out this beach – get there early.

    Lowdermilk Beach

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  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

    A lot of nature in Sarasota.

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus

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  • Peace River Wildlife Center

    The Peace River Wildlife Center was established to contribute to the survival of native Florida wildlife through rescue, rehabilitation and education. And they do tours!

    Peace River Wildlife Center

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  • Museum of the Everglades

    You gotta make a trip down to Everglades City. And not just during the Seafood Festival. Get down there and see the real town.

    Museum of the Everglades

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  • Venice Fishing Pier

    Another Venice spot on the list.

    Venice Fishing Pier

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  • Revs Institute

    This is the last one on the list and I had no idea it existed. Revs Institute offers visitors an exceptional opportunity to view over 100 of the most influential automobiles of our time. In Naples.

    Revs Institute, Inc.

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