Naples, an upscale residential enclave with beaches and a variety of activities, serves more year-round and winter residents than vacationing tourists. There are many golf courses and golf-course developments with upscale housing and shopping areas. The area is generally attractive and has a relaxed, modern feel. Job growth is among the highest in the state and educational attainment is among the best, but commercial activity is mainly related to supporting the area’s residents.
There are plenty of parks, excellent beaches, and outstanding nature preserves inland. With these attributes come a high cost of living and housing; Naples often ranks as the most expensive metro area in Florida. Commercial air service is still undeveloped; air travel usually requires a 75-mile trip across the Everglades to Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Marco Island is a large planned community 15 miles south on the northernmost of Florida’s “Ten Thousand Islands” chain. The median age for the whole area is 60, giving a hint to its main role as a retirement community.
Naples is near the southernmost point of habitable land where the Everglades begin to drain into the ocean. Beaches give way to cypress and mangrove forests, and undeveloped areas to the south. The Everglades marshes begin just to the east of town. The climate, distinctly subtropical with a strong marine influence, is similar to other southern Gulf locations. Summers are warm and humid with some sea breeze; winters are mild and relatively dry with temperatures mainly in the 70’s and 80’s. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in summer. Winter freezes, particularly near shore, are extremely rare.