southwest florida guide

i’m back from my winter vacation and the post-florida blues are starting to settle in. luckily for me, i’m going back again in march *throws confetti* 🎉 i like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on southwest florida; i’ve been going there once a year for practically my whole life.

i’m so thankful that i’m able to come to florida, relax and recharge before my spring semester begins again. matt and i were able to sleep in if we wanted to, workout when we wanted to, and spend all day at the beach. and… we pretty much did just that!

um, um, um ps: the lilly pulitzer after party sale begins today! get your florida-wardrobe on at low prices!

to eat

everybody’s gotta eat. while matt and i didn’t eat out too much (our lunches were pub subs! and breakfast was always at the condo), i do have a short list of delicious restaurants

  • the island gypsy: without a doubt, my favorite restaurant in the area. the restaurant sits over the water and if you’re there at the right time, you have amazing sunset views! the food is fresh and the cocktails, delicious. and the carrot cake? to die for. if you check out the island gypsy, make sure to make a reservation or you’ll be waiting for a while!
  • tommy bahama restaurant: live music + an upscale twist on beach fare = perfect combination. it’s on busy 3rd street surrounded by tommy bahama shops so if you’ve got to wait for a table, you can pick up some island-inspired gear 😉
  • kilwin’s: because, really, who doesn’t love a giant scoop of ice cream after dinner?! roam 5th ave with a cone in your hand and gawk at the flashy cars. have you ever seen a rolls royce parked on the street? because you can do that in naples.
  • tuckaway cafe: if you’re on ft myers beach and you’re desperate for a bagel sandwich –> TUCKAWAY is your place!
  • skillet’s: a local breakfast chain that is, rightfully so, named the best in the area!

to do

  • ft myers beach: i may be a bit biased but ft myers beach is the best in the area — white, sandy coastline that stretches for miles! it’s dog-friendly and as long as you don’t have glass, you can bring your drinks to the beach. or you can stop at the tiki hut at the outrigger for a drink and some snacks! other beaches include: tiger tail on marco island, sanibel island, captiva, and vanderbilt beach in naples.
  • boat tour of naples bay: this is a beautiful tour of naples bay and the guides know a lot of history about the area. the houses you’ll see are extravagant and over the top, just like much of naples 😉 you’ll even get to see dick portillo’s (of portillo’s hot dogs) home + yacht!
  • golfing: make like a retiree and hit the links! there are about a million and one golf courses in the area – or mini golf, if that’s your thing 😉

phew – what a list! i’m excited to head back to the area in march and hopefully add to this list! do you have any favorite spots i should check out? leave a comment below 🙂

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