Naples, Florida

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Naples, Florida
Historic town center of Naples at the intersection of 12th Avenue South and 3rd Street South
Historic town center of Naples at the intersection of 12th Avenue South and 3rd Street South
Official seal of Naples, Florida
Nickname(s): Naples on the Gulf
Location in Collier County and the state of Florida
Location in Collier County and the state of Florida
Naples, Florida is located in USA
Naples, Florida
Naples, Florida
Location in the United States
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Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Collier
Settled November 6, 1886
Incorporated (town) 1925
Incorporated (city) May 25, 1949
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor John F. Sorey, III (R)
 • City Manager A. William Moss
 • City 16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Land 12.3 sq mi (31.9 km2)
 • Water 4.1 sq mi (10.7 km2)  25.09%
Elevation 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2015)[2]
 • City 20,600 (Estimation)
 • Density 1,588/sq mi (613.0/km2)
 • Metro 322,000 (Estimation)
 • Demonym Neapolitan
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 34101-34105
Area code(s) 239
FIPS code 12-47625[3]
GNIS feature ID 0287528[4]

Naples is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States. As of 2015, the city's population was about 20,600. Naples is a principal city of the Naples-Marco Island, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of about 322,000 at the 2015 census. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the sixth highest per capita income in America,[5] and the second highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the US.[6] Real estate is among the most expensive in the country, with houses for sale in excess of $40 million.[7]


Naples was founded during the late 1880s by former Confederate general and Kentucky U.S. Senator John Stuart Williams and his partner, Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman, the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Throughout the 1870s and '80s, magazine and newspaper stories telling of the area's mild climate and abundant fish and game likened it to the sunny Italian peninsula. The name Naples caught on when promoters described the bay as "surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy". Major development was anticipated after the railroad reached Naples on January 7, 1927, and the Tamiami Trail linking Naples to Miami was completed in 1928, but did not begin until after the Great Depression and World War II. During the war the U.S. Army Air Forces built a small air field and used it for training purposes; it is now the Naples Municipal Airport.

Fill was required to repair damage from a 1945 hurricane. A local dredging company, Forrest Walker & Sons, created a lake north of 16th Avenue S, between Gordon Drive and Gulf Shore Boulevard. In 1949, Forrest Walker asked Mr. Rust to sell him the 296 acres (120 ha) from Jamaica Channel to today's 14th Avenue S. The Jamaica Channel was widened, one canal was dredged, and 14th Avenue S was created by March 1950; a new subdivision was named "Aqualane Shores"[8] at the opening party that same year. Additional channels were eventually added to the south of 14th Avenue S and are named alphabetically for local water birds. The first channel south of 14th Avenue S is Anhinga Channel, then Bittern Channel is south of 15th Avenue S, Crane Channel is south of 16th Avenue S, Duck Channel is south of 17th Avenue S, and Egret Channel is north of 21st Avenue S. From the channels there are coves named Flamingo, Gull, Heron, and Ibis, as well as the original Aqua Cove. These initial channels, canals, and coves were dredged and bulldozed from the mangrove swamps. Where shallow rock precluded digging, land was filled to create lots with navigable water.

The Aqualane Shores Association was incorporated as a non-profit corporation on February 3, 1966. It served lot owners in the area roughly bounded by the Bay of Naples to the east, Gordon Drive to the west, and the land between 14th Avenue and 21st Avenue S, as well as Marina Drive, Forrest Lane, and Southwinds Drive. Thirty years later, in 1996, a state-mandated city master plan renamed the area to the Aqualane Shores Neighborhood and extended its boundary west to the Gulf of Mexico, east to the Bay of Naples, and the area from 14th Avenue S all the way south to Jamaica Channel. The numerous canals and waterfront homes add a distinctive feature to the south portion of Naples and provide access to the Gulf of Mexico for many homeowners.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 391
1940 1,253 220.5%
1950 1,465 16.9%
1960 4,656 217.8%
1970 12,042 158.6%
1980 17,581 46.0%
1990 19,508 11.0%
2000 20,981 7.6%
2010 19,539 −6.9%
Est. 2014 21,000 [9] 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 19,537 people, 9,710 households, and 6,568 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,744.3 per square mile (673.2/km2). There were 16,957 housing units at an average density of 1,410.0 per square mile (544.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 4.5% Black, 0.12% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.

There were 9,708 households out of which 10.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.92 and the average family size was 2.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 10.9% under the age of 18, 2.3% from 18 to 24, 14.5% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 42.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $71,553, and the median income for a family was $102,262. Males had a median income of $86,092 versus $30,948 for females. The per capita income for the city was $61,141. About 3.1% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.


View looking across Naples Bay from the Cove Inn

The economy of Naples is based largely on tourism and was historically based on real estate development and agriculture. Due to its proximity to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, Naples is also popular among ecotourists.

Companies based in Naples include Alavista Solutions, Beasley Broadcast Group and ASG Software Solutions, in addition to numerous small businesses. Due to the wealth present in Collier County, Naples is also home to many small non-profit organizations.

The surrounding Naples metro area is home to major private employers. Fortune 1000 company Health Management Associates, technology companies NewsBank and INgage Networks, and medical equipment manufacturer Arthrex are located just north of the city in North Naples.

In 2009, Naples was ranked as one of 10 pricey cities worth its high cost.[11]

Top employers

According to Naples' 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[12] the top employers in the Naples area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 District School Board of Collier County 5,446
2 NCH Healthcare System 3,727
3 Collier County 1,727
4 Collier County Sheriff 1,387
5 The Home Depot 1,012
6 Ritz-Carlton 743
7 Waldorf Astoria Naples 605
8 City of Naples 449
9 The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club 423
10 Collier County Health Department 235

Geography and climate

Naples is located in southwest Florida at 26.139, −81.795 on U.S. Highway 41 between Miami to the east and Fort Myers to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42.5 km2), of which 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), or 25.09%, is water.[2]

Naples experiences a tropical wet and dry or savanna type (Aw under the Köppen system) climate.

Climate data for Naples, Florida (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Average high °F (°C) 74.7
Daily mean °F (°C) 64.4
Average low °F (°C) 53.1
Record low °F (°C) 26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.06
Mean monthly sunshine hours 150.3 155.3 165.3 195.4 225.1 290.2 295.2 275.3 250.1 200.4 175.6 160.7 2,737.6
Source: NOAA[13][14]


Naples is served[15] by the District School Board of Collier County and various private institutions including the following:

Elementary schools

  • St. Elizabeth Seton School (private)
  • Calusa Park Elementary School (public)
  • Shadowlawn Elementary School (public)
  • Golden Gate Elementary School (public)

Middle schools

  • St. Elizabeth Seton School (private)
  • East Naples Middle School (public)
  • Oakridge Middle School (public)
  • Gulfview Middle School (public)

High schools

Colleges and universities

While no colleges are based within the city limits, Ave Maria School of Law's campus[16] is in the Vineyards Development in North Naples, and Florida Gulf Coast University near Estero operates continuing education classes from their Naples Center campus.[17] Southwest Florida is home to several other institutions including:

With over 800 alumni living in Naples, the Ohio State University once established the nation's biggest alumni club in the early 2000s (outside of their hometown of Columbus, Ohio). This is most likely due in large part to the overwhelming number of Midwesterners who have relocated to Naples.[18]

Public transportation

Naples is served by several bus routes operated by Collier Area Transit. Service runs seven days a week.[19]


The region is served by the NCH Healthcare System, which currently has 681 beds between two hospitals, and Physician's Regional Health Care System, which has two hospitals and currently 201 beds and is owned by Health Management Associates, headquartered at 5811 Pelican Bay Blvd in North Naples. In addition to the two hospitals, the company operates six clinics in Naples.[20]

Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida (HCN) is a private, non-profit "safety net" health care provider with 14 health care facilities located throughout Naples, Collier County, and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Program. HCN provides basic primary and preventative medical and dental health care services. In the 2007 calendar year, HCN provided services to over 42,000 persons in Collier County (65% are children) for a total of nearly 186,000 patient visits.

Area attractions

Tourism is a major industry for the city. The Naples area is home to several major land reserves, including the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Picayune Strand State Forest. The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is known not only for its 11,000 acres (45 km2) of landscape and wildlife, but for a two and a half-mile long boardwalk winding through the sanctuary.[21] The Naples area is also home to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, which dates back to 1919.[22]

The city is served by the Naples Municipal Airport.

Downtown Naples is home to The Naples Players, the 5th Avenue South, and 3rd Street South shopping districts, which feature a variety of antique shops. Gallery Row is a concentration among the numerous art galleries spread throughout the downtown area. The Village on Venetian Bay is an upscale open-air shopping district on the Gulf coast. Located directly off of Tamiami Trail are the Waterside Shops, an upscale open-air center. Near downtown on Naples Bay and the Gordon River is the shopping district Tin City. This open-air shopping center specializes in antiques and handmade local novelties. Also, near downtown is Big Cypress Market Place with over 100 diverse vendors. Naples hosts The Oliver Group Champions Cup of the Outback Champions Tennis Series each year. Naples is also the home to swamp buggy races, held three times each year at the Florida Sports Park.

The Naples Half Marathon is a half marathon held every year in Naples since 1989,[23] with record participation in 2013 of 2,038 runners. The race has been called one of the best half-marathons in the United States by Runner's World magazine.[24]

Performing arts and culture

Naples is home to The Naples Players, Opera Naples, the Equity Theatre Companies Theatre Zone, and Gulfshore Playhouse.[25] The Naples Philharmonic and the Baker Museum are located at Artis—Naples, which also serves as the educational campus for the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Philharmonic Youth Chorus.[26]

Beaches, parks and recreation areas

The beach on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is more than 10 miles (16 km) long and is noted for its cleanliness and pristine white sand. In 2005, Naples was voted the best beach in America by the Travel Channel.[27]

Naples area beaches include:

The Naples Fishing Pier is one of the area's better-known landmarks.

With more than 80 championship golf courses in the Naples area, Naples is the self-titled "Golf Capital of the World", claiming to have more holes per capita than any other community.

In December 2009, Florida Governor Charlie Crist met with Chicago Cubs president Crane Kenney, chairman Tom Ricketts and other team officials about possibly moving the Cubs' spring training and minor league facilities from Mesa, Arizona, to Naples.[28]

Points of interest

Collier County residents

Naples (and unincorporated Collier County) is home to a large population of second-home owners, many of whom are affluent and own several homes across the US and around the world. This large transient population – that often considers "home" to be somewhere else – stays only a few weeks to several months, generally during winter. The names listed below are people who own homes in Naples (or unincorporated Collier County); some are full-time residents, while others are part-time and visit periodically.


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External links

Local government
Cultural and other attractions