Home to five performing arts groups and nine museums along with Opera Naples, the Naples Philharmonic, Youth Orchestra and Philharmonic Youth Chorus, Naples is surprisingly well endowed when it comes to culture, history, and the arts in Southwest Florida.
Here are 5 Cultural Things to do in Naples, Florida
1. Historic Walking Tours
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Naples history with a guided walking tour of the Historic District. Tours are offered by the Naples Historical Society, which is based in charming Palm Cottage, the oldest surviving building in Naples. The one-mile amble explores historic Third Street where the original movie theater, general store, and gas station operated in the late 19thcentury. Meet the early settler families such as the Haldemans, learn how the filming of Distant Drums movie put Naples on the map. Try to imagine life in Naples with its dusty roads, gator holes, and mosquitos–a far cry from the present-day upscale city.
2. Collier County Museum
Naples, Florida has two of the five Collier County Museums which are all free to visit. With 10,000 square feet of displays plus many outdoor exhibits on the five-acre site, Collier County Museum takes you from the age of prehistoric mastodons through Calusa settlement and pioneer history to the modern development of Naples. Meet cattlemen and “crackers”, loggers, hunters, and developers along with the builders of the railway and Tamiami Trail that brought new settlers to Naples. This extensive museum is part of the Government Center complex on Tamiami Trail East.
3. Fine Arts at The Baker Museum
The Baker Museum on Pelican Bay Blvd is a three-story, 30,000 square foot museum housing an acclaimed collection of modern and contemporary art. A series of beautiful galleries house world-class exhibitions and permanent collections along with three Chihuly glass installations. The museum includes an educational resource room which is used for lectures, workshops, and learning programs.
4. Naples Players at the Sugden Community Theatre
Rated one of the best theaters of its kind, the Sugden Community Theatre is in the heart of Naples on Fifth Avenue South. The Naples Players bring a varied program of top quality theatrical performances to the community with everything from comedy nights to Chicago. Buy tickets for their popular shows or attend performing arts classes which teach everything from acting and stage management to directing and script writing. There’s something for all ages and abilities.
5. The Revs Institute Naples, Florida
The Revs Institute for Automotive Research celebrates the history of American automobiles with an incredible collection of over 100 restored vintage cars built between 1896 and 1995. The motors are part of the Collier Collection and include vehicles that were only produced in limited numbers. While motorheads can explore the nostalgic display of vehicles and appreciate the hard work of the team of technicians that keep the cars in pristine working order, history buffs may enjoy other parts of the collection. The Revs Institute manages over one million archival items including research papers, books, images, and documents recording the progress of American automobiles throughout the 20thcentury.