Vanderbilt Beach Park is a popular North Naples beach that has gorgeous powdery white sand and is close to area hotels, restaurants and shopping. It usually has a refreshing onshore breeze to keep you cool in summer, and there are excellent birdwatching opportunities in the migratory winter months.
Getting to Vanderbilt Beach
Vanderbilt Beach in North Naples is easy to reach. The County Park is located at the end of Vanderbilt Beach Road between Immokalee Road and Pine Ridge Road. If you don’t feel like driving, the beach is on the route of the Naples Trolley Tour, making it a hassle-free day out.
If you’re driving, there’s a drop-off point where you can unload your beach chairs and gear on the circle before parking. Vanderbilt Beach has parking for 375 cars, and you will have to pay the $8 parking fee for the whole day (2018 rates) or display a *Resident Beach Parking Permit. The parking garage keeps everything cool, and you have convenient in/out privileges with your ticket. The metered parking spaces use credit-card-friendly pay stations. The parking garage is just west of The Ritz hotel entrance.
It’s best to arrive early on sunny days and weekends, as once the parking garage is full, it closes its gates. If that’s the case, you have two other access points to this stretch of sand: via Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park (5 parking lots) or Clam Pass County Park (175 spaces). However, midweek and out of season it is often quiet and peaceful – a great place to relax with a good book and work on your suntan.
You may want to pack a cooler with food and drinks as you do have to leave the beach to buy snacks. Across the road from the beach, there is a convenience store and several cafes and places to get ice cream, snacks, and frozen drinks. You’ll find restrooms and showers near the parking area and bicycle racks closer to the beach. There is also a concession offering equipment rental, beach chairs, and cabanas nearby.
Naples Beach Trolley!
CAT, Collier County Parks and Recreation, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Collier County Tourist Development Council offer FREE transportation to the beach. The trolley serves Vanderbilt Beach, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park (please note a $2.00 fee for entering Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park), and Conner Park Parking. You can catch the Beach Bus every 15 minutes. Passengers can board at any stop along the route or Flag it Down anywhere to board and ride.
The FREE Seasonal Beach Trolley operates from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. Friday through Monday through April 30, 2018. Beach Trolley Route Map.
Top Things to Do on Vanderbilt Beach
Once you’ve picked your spot on the beautiful sandy beach at Vanderbilt, there are plenty of things to do. As with all the Gulf front beaches, shelling on Vanderbilt is excellent!
Read our Tips for Finding Beautiful Shells on Naples Beaches. Dolphin spotting is another popular pastime from the beach, along with watching other wildlife such as diving pelicans and hermit crabs.
Within the Vanderbilt County Park, there is a coastal hammock and tropical vegetation providing a home for native wildlife. In winter, it is a great place to spot nesting or migrating birds.
For kids, the sand on Vanderbilt Beach is just the right consistency for building sandcastles, and the warm clear water is shallow enough for them to play safely for quite a distance from the shore. The gentle breeze is ideal for windsurfing while kayaking, swimming, and playing volleyball are other popular activities.
You need to stay until the end of the day to appreciate one of Vanderbilt Beach’s main attractions. The sunsets over the water are just stunning, so hang around until dusk and end the day on a high note with some great photographs.
* Resident Beach Parking Permits are available from the city of Naples or Collier County. Full-time residents and taxpayers can get a permit from any community park. Visitors (non-residents) must pay for parking at the pay station. For additional information call 239.213.1800.