Paradise Coast Overview
It’s been said that Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, also known as Florida's Paradise Coast, were wedding destinations before there were destination weddings. Ribbons of sugary white sands and lush tropical landscapes make up the décor, receptions glow with sunset lighting and something blue is always included, by way of glistening Gulf waters. And while every ceremony here is simply stunning, honeymoons are just as romantic. Days spent enjoying sun soaked beaches, oceanfront massages, shopping and world-class golf are topped only by sunset cruises, moonlit dining and dancing under the stars.
Some of the world’s finest hotels boast their best suites against the sandy Gulf shores. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Waldorf Astoria Naples, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and more feature elegant ballrooms, gorgeous outdoor decks and vibrant landscapes for weddings and receptions that are truly incredible. Suites are set for romance, decked out with champagne, private balconies and thoughtful amenities. What’s more, you’ll find some of the most magnificent coastline in Florida awaits you just outside. Bride and groom-to-be or just married, there is no better place to begin happily ever after than in Florida’s Paradise Coast.
There is always plenty to do for couples and their guests. Aside from a poolside lounge chair or seaside blanket, the destination’s many cruises including Cool Beans Cruises, the Naples Princess, the Marco Island Princess, the Double Sunshine and Sweet Liberty take you on a vacation within your vacation. Dining and dancing rule the night as five-star flavors are served up with all-star entertainment. The Bay House restaurant joins southern hospitality with upscale elegance; Bleu Provence is French cuisine at its finest while the Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach serves up romance in the form of intimate dining right on the beach and late night cocktails.
Of course, some of the most memorable moments are the ones spent together, hand in hand, soaking in the glow of a legendary Florida sunset. So while Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades have all the makings of a five-star, luxury escape, sometimes it’s the simple things that make weddings and honeymoons here simply perfect.
- GET OUT THERE: Kick off your shoes and feel the fine white sands beneath your feet on Florida’s most untouched destination, Keewaydin Island. Known for its eight mile stretch of nearly deserted beach, it’s the ideal place to get away from it all.
- SAIL AWAY: Don’t miss a sunset from the deck of a Cool Beans Cruise. Sailing and boating adventures take you cruising through the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, meeting dolphins and manatee along the way.
- FINE DINING, SOUTHERN STYLE: Surrounded by sweeping mangroves and overlooking the Cocohatchee River, The Bay House is a romantic setting for couples and a culinary treasure for foodies.
- SOAK IT IN: By day, the beaches at Naples Pier and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park come alive with people seashell collecting, swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. In the evening, either might be one of the best places to catch a sunset.
- COCKTAIL CULTURE: Osetra is a chic and ultra-hip restaurant on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples, known for its standout caviar selections, sushi, cocktails and extensive list of champagnes by the glass or bottle. Weekends are electric with live music and DJ’s from 10pm to 2am.
- DANCE WITH ME: If you’ve forgotten your Salsa steps or misplaced your dancing shoes, you can find them at the famous Arthur Murray dance studio. Take a class and take home a most impressive souvenir.
Tips and Advice
- GETTING THERE: Fly into Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in south Fort Myers and drive half an hour south to Naples.
- GETTING AROUND: Transportation options on Florida’s Paradise Coast include rental cars, limos, airport shuttles, party busses, charter buses, taxis and trolleys. Some hotels and resorts have their own shuttle services for guests, so be sure to ask about what is available. Ride the Naples Bay Water Shuttle for a fun afternoon or evening of cruising to some of the area’s popular waterfront restaurants and bars.
- CLIMATE: The tropical temperatures average highs in the 70’s in the winter, 90’s in the summer and 80’s in the fall and spring. Nights bring a cool, balmy breeze with plenty of stars in the sky.
- RESERVE IN ADVANCE: Many of the destination’s world-renowned restaurants do suggest reservations. Call ahead to guarantee your table especially in the busier months of January through April.
- GOOD TO KNOW: Because Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades is a legendary wedding and honeymoon destination, most hotels have their own wedding planners. Contact yours for more information. The Naples Chapter of the National Association of Wedding Professionals is also an excellent resource for experienced, expert help with every aspect of your wedding or honeymoon.