Southwest Florida is a vibrant center for arts and culture. From first-rate art galleries and celebrated museums to dance, music and theater performances, the area boast diverse arts offerings for everyone. Naples offers a “Gallery Row” lined with art galleries that showcase the best of both established and emerging artists works in painting, sculpture and multimedia. The community is rich with art, history and cultural museums that explore fine art, science and nature. For those who love the performing arts, Southwest Florida is alive with music and dance—from classical symphony orchestras to touring big name artists and ballet to modern, you’ll find them all at some of the best venues in the country, including the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and the Artis–Naples. If live theater is your passion, the region has everything from Broadway and off-Broadway touring companies to community theater productions by the Naples Players to professionally produced dramas, comedies and musicals at Gulfshore Playhouse. For families with children, Southwest Florida has wonderful places for kids to learn and play at attractions such as the Naples Zoo, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples and the Imaginarium. For lovers and arts and culture, Southwest Florida is the place to be. Expand your horizons and enrich your life through our incredible arts offerings.
LISTING OF RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES IN NAPLES, FLORIDA
ARTIS – NAPLES
Artis – Naples is the premier center for the performing and visual arts in Southwest Florida, hosting more than 300 concerts, performances, exhibitions and educational events for children and adults each year. Home to the Naples Philharmonic, The Baker Museum, and the Toni Stabile Education building, center for adult education programs.
This one-of-a-kind destination offers 170 acres of botanical gardens with a variety of themed gardens that reflect both cultural and natural diversity. There are Asian, Caribbean and Brazilian themed gardens, as well gardens dedicated to water plants, orchids and South Florida native plants. There is a visitor’s center, garden shop and cafe, plus a full calendar of events, including a concert series, family events and classes.
COLLIER COUNTY MUSEUMS
Nestled on five acres of native Florida gardens, the museum showcases two historic cottages, a working archaeology lab, a Seminole village, tropical orchid house, wildlife displays, a 1910 steam logging locomotive and a recreated Seminole War fort. From prehistoric saber cat skeletons and Calusa Indians, to Spanish explorers and Seminole warriors, newly created exhibits and dioramas capture the panorama of local history.
CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
The Conservancy Nature Center has a variety of self-guided eco-experiences along with daily programs led by environmental experts including guided electric boat tours and guided kayak tours along the Gordon River. There is terrific bird viewing along the nature trails, and the Dalton Discovery Center features over 100 animals and exhibits about the wondrous ecosystems of Southwest Florida.
CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY
Journey into the heart of the Everglades ecosystem. Discover the rugged beauty of this famed natural area on Corkscrew’s famous boardwalk—a 2.5-mile adventure through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh, and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. Home to an abundance of native wildlife and birds, there are photo opportunities at every turn of the boardwalk trail.
DEBRUYNE FINE ART
A prestigious fine art gallery featuring six separate showrooms which offer 19th–21st century works of art.
FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH & THIRD STREET SOUTH
Fifth Avenue South & Third Street South are at the heart of historic Old Naples, filled with fine shops, galleries, restaurants, sidewalk cafés and hotels along a landscaped promenade near the beach.
Located in the heart of Old Naples on 5th Avenue, Gallery One is an eclectic art gallery, featuring contemporary glass art, sculpture, original and limited edition paintings, artisan jewelry and Judaic art by local and internationally recognized artists.
GARDNER COLBY GALLERIES
Gardner Colby Gallery, one of Florida’s most respected galleries, is located on “Gallery Row” in the heart of Old Naples’ elegant Third Street shopping district. Established in 1994, the gallery represents an exceptional group of fine artists working in a wide range of styles, genres and mediums. From Traditional to Contemporary, Representational to Transitional, Realism to Impressionism, the gallery showcases an eclectic mix of landscape, seascape, abstract, figurative and still life works, displayed in two warm and welcoming showrooms.
GOLISANO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF NAPLES
A place to play, learn and dream together. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station.
GORDON RIVER GREENWAY
A scenic, paved nature trail with water access along the Gordon River, in the heart of Naples. Ideal for walkers, hikers, runners, cyclists, kayakers, birders, families, artists and nature lovers. The first section of the Greenway, from north to south, starting at Golden Gate Parkway and going south past the Conservancy and the Zoo, now open.
Gulfshore Playhouse enriches the community’s cultural landscape through producing professional theatre at the highest level—from recent Broadway and off-Broadway hits to thought-provoking works and world premieres.
The oldest gallery in Naples, the Harmon-Meek Gallery has showcased works by major American artists since 1964. In 2015, Harmon-Meek expanded to add a second gallery: Harmon-Meek | modern, located in the historic Third Street District of Naples.
LADY FROM HAITI
This unique art gallery and boutique features papier mâché creations, painted steel drum art, jewelry, accessories and Haitian art.
NAPLES PIER & MARINA
The historic Naples Pier is a favorite location for sightseers and fishermen with plenty of space to cast a line—and fishing from the pier does not require a fishing license. The beach at the pier also features volleyball nets, and is one of the best places to catch a spectacular Naples sunset. Great outings on the water start at the Naples Marina, with options for sunset cruises, fishing charters, canoeing trips and more.
NAPLES PLAYERS AT SUGDEN COMMUNITY THEATRE
This long-running community theatre company stages more than 220 performances a year, many of them sell-outs. Voted Best Live Theatre for 13 years in the Naples Daily News Southwest Florida Choice Awards, the Naples Players also offers a Play Reading series plus youth theatre classes and shows.
NAPLES ZOO AT CARIBBEAN GARDENS
The Naples Zoo features a mile-long paved path that winds past rare and beautiful animals residing within a historic tropical garden of exotic plants first planted in 1919 with a fascinating history. Within this tropical setting, there are zoo favorites such as lions, giraffes and monkeys as well as more rarely seen creatures like the fosas of Madagascar or an Asian deer that barks and eats meat.
PALM COTTAGE/NAPLES HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Built in 1895, the Palm Cottage is the oldest house in Naples, constructed of tabby mortar, a hand-made concrete consisting of sand, shells and water. This two-story home was built by one of Naples founding residents, Walter N. Haldeman, and boasts 3,500 square feet of original and donated artwork, furnishings and tools spanning over 100 years.
An amazing world exists within the pristine, mangrove-fringed waterways, uplands and freshwater wetland habitats of Rookery Bay Reserve. The estuary provides important habitat for many species of wildlife, as well as an ideal setting for visitors to enjoy a variety of outdoor learning experiences and outstanding recreational activities. You can explore the unique eco-system of Rookery Bay through guided tours by boat or kayak with experienced naturalists.
SHAW GALLERY OF NAPLES
Located in the heart of Old Naples, Florida on 5th Avenue South, Shaw Gallery offers an ever-changing display of fine art paintings, sculpture and art glass.
THE BAKER MUSEUM
The foremost fine arts museum in Southwest Florida, the Baker Museum emphasize modern and contemporary art, and hosts several traveling exhibitions annually to complement installations of works from its permanent collections. Its three-story, 30,000 square-foot museum houses 15 galleries, a glass dome conservatory, an educational resource room, entrance gates designed by Albert Paley and three Dale Chihuly installations.
Authentically Naples, Tin City is a unique shopping experience with more than 40 creative boutiques and great restaurants. Originally a 1920’s clam shelling and oyster processing plant, Tin City retains the rustic, maritime spirit of what was once the center of Naples’ fishing industry. Nautical artifacts, antiques and displays make a stroll through Tin City an adventure back in time. And for those who want to explore Naples’ waterways, Tin City is the home for several charter and tour boats.
VON LIEBIG ARTS CENTER
The von Liebig Art Center, run by the Naples Art Association, provides a wide variety of attractions for residents and tourists. From nationally ranked art festivals, to ongoing exhibitions that showcase international, national and local artists; to art classes and workshops for children and adults, The von Liebig Art Center provides cultural enrichment for our community.
LISTING OF RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES IN FORT MYERS, FLORIDA
BARBARA B. MANN PERFORMING ARTS HALL
Located on the campus of Edison State College, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall’s calendar of performances includes touring Broadway, contemporary concerts, comedy, dance and children’s programming. The hall is also host to performances by the Southwest Florida Symphony and the Gulf Coast Symphony orchestras as well as other regional offerings.
CALUSA NATURE CENTER AND PLANETARIUM
Learn about Southwest Florida’s natural wonders at this 105-acre site that includes a museum, three nature trails, a Planetarium, butterfly and bird aviaries, a gift shop, a woodland pavilion and meeting and picnic areas. Get up-close and personal to native wildlife through daily educational programs and find out about astronomical happenings at the only planetarium south of Bradenton and west of Miami.
EDISON AND FORD WINTER ESTATES
Step back into “old Florida” and visit the winter retreats of famous friends Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates boasts over 20 acres of botanical gardens, nine historic buildings including Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum, which contains an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibit galleries.
Hammond Stadium is the ballpark for the local Fort Myers Miracle and the spring training site for the Minnesota Twins.
IMAGINARIUM HANDS-ON MUSEUM
At the Imaginarium, kids can touch live sea life, engineer a creation or run through a rainstorm! There’s hours of fun for the whole family at this hands-on science museum that features daily encounters with live animals, a Dino Discovery Dig Area, a virtual sports simulator and much more.
JET BLUE PARK AT FENWAY SOUTH
JetBlue Park at Fenway South is the Spring Training ballpark for the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers. A number of the characteristics of the ballpark are taken from Fenway Park, including a “Green Monster” and a manual scoreboard.
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Located in historic downtown Fort Myers in the former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot, the Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history and traditions of Southwest Florida. There are permanent exhibits on the Paleo era, the Calusa and Seminole Indians, Spanish explorers and early settlers. An authentic replica of a pioneer “cracker” house, a 1926 La France fire pumper, and a 1929 private Pullman rail car are also part of the tour.
SYDNEY & BERNE DAVIS ART CENTER
Located in the historic River District in Downtown Fort Myers, the Sidney & Berne Art Center provides a wide array of dance, theater, music performances, film and art exhibitions, as well as guest lectures, workshops and educational arts programs.