In addition to Fifth Avenue, Naples has another attractive district for boutique shopping and dining – Tin City. Located right on the waterfront, this charming historic area is home to over 30 independent boutiques, a choice of waterfront restaurants and plenty of water-based activities for all ages.
The History of Naples’ Tin City
However, Tin City was not originally designed as a shopping mecca for snowbirds! This part of Naples’ waterfront was the original area settled by pioneers Roger Gordon and Wiggins in the late 1860s. They gave their names to the two main waterways serving Naples – Wiggins Pass and Gordon Pass.
Early visitors to Naples arrived by boat and thanks to the 600-foot-long pier, wealthy tourists, investors and winter snowbirds began settling in the area. In the 1920s they would have been greeted by the original Tin City – a series of buildings topped with corrugated tin roofs that acted as the transport and boating hub. The rustic tin-roofed buildings developed into a bustling center for clam shelling, oyster processing, boat building and maintenance as well as being home to the local fishing fleet in Naples.
Fifty years later the buildings were redundant but far-sighted entrepreneurs turned seven of them into the Old Maritime Marketplace. This waterfront collection of shops and restaurants was the forerunner to the delightful Tin City that now graces this area. Rustic shop fronts, quaint boardwalks and bayfront cafés capture the essence of this historic dockside area beneath the red tin roof making it ideal for off-the-beaten path shopping and dining.
Clothing, Crystals and More!
Tin City is now home to a truly eclectic collection of shops and businesses. Whether you are looking for crafts and gifts, fine jewelry or something new and different to wear, Tin City has a little of everything. Antiques, nautically themed items, handmade gifts, designer clothing, beach essentials, cookies and even fruit-flavored wine can all be found in this delightful marketplace.
Your visit can include a relaxing cruise, jet-skiing tour or a fishing trip right from the old waterfront. If all this activity makes you hungry there are plenty of top places to choose from for dining. M&M’s Café is a popular choice with locals, serving everything from burgers to delectable ice-cream treats.
Pinchers Crab Shack is hard to beat for shrimp and crab legs while The Riverwalk Restaurant offers open-air dining and “Fresh Fare with a Nautical Flair!” Salads, pastas, steaks and a raw bar along with a rainbow of cocktails make this a great place to gather with friends and dine in the evening.
You may want to start or end your visit in the award-winning Naples Winery where you can pick up tropical fruit wine along with stemware and cigars until 9 p.m.
With its historic charm, air-conditioned comfort and free parking, Tin City remains one of Naples’ many hidden gems.