Just down the street from Palm Cottage, Naples Oldest House, is an even older structure – Naples Pier. Built in 1888 at the end of 12th Avenue South, the pier was an essential part of settling and developing Naples as building materials and supplies all came by boat to the area.
The Naples Pier is very easy to reach from Gulf Shore Blvd. South or 12th Avenue South where there are plenty of parking spaces. It is also within easy walking distance from the shops and restaurants on 3rd Street South and Fifth Avenue South in Downtown Naples.
Naples’ Pier History
Prior to the completion of the Tamiami Trail (Hwy 41) in 1928, the only way for outsiders to reach Naples was by boat, making the pier an essential part of early Naples infrastructure. Originally, narrow gauge rail tracks ran the length of the pier to move freight and hotel baggage that regularly arrived in the early 1900s.
Naples’ first Post Office was built on the pier, although it was destroyed in a fire in 1912. The pier itself survived the fire but was damaged by hurricanes in 1910, 1926 and 1960. It had to be substantially rebuilt after each disaster. Still standing today, this historic landmark is now used as a fishing pier and received a well-deserved facelift during the summer of 2015.
Naples Pier Amenities
The Naples Pier stretches out 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. Ideal for a breezy stroll, the pier’s modern amenities include restrooms and a concession stand halfway along selling bait, food and beach supplies. The concession is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so don’t be caught off guard if you arrive for an evening’s fishing.
Nearby, on the 10-mile-long Municipal Beach, there are volleyball nets and a very unique feature. You’ll find a stand of child-size lifejackets available for free loan to keep youngsters safe as they play in the surf. Simply borrow one, then return it at the end of your visit.
Fishing Tips from Naples Pier
Fishing from the Naples Pier makes it a popular gathering place in all seasons. It’s worth noting that fishing enthusiasts do not need a fishing license to fish from the pier as it has a bulk fishing license covering all users. Keen locals recommend light spinning gear using live shrimp as bait to catch snook, mackerel, pompano, and sea trout.
Even non-fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the pier as it is the perfect place to enjoy a brilliant Florida sunset over the Gulf. It has become a popular gathering place for locals and visitors at the end of each sunny day. You’ll find ungainly pelicans, egrets, and gulls sitting on the wooden balustrade hoping to steal the odd fish or stray piece of bait.
Hang out over the rails and keep an eye out for dolphins that often make their way along the shore in families. You can spot their top fins and arched backs as they move through the waves parallel to the shore.
There’s truly something for everyone at the Naples Pier.