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Naples, Florida

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Naples, Florida

Chris and I decided to take the kids to Naples, Florida the week after Christmas during the school break. We usually try to go somewhere warm before the harsh winter sets in. It’s always so gloomy and cold in Kentucky until April so we like to get a little Vitamin D prior to January. We decided to go to Naples for this trip since we wanted to make sure it was warmer and to put us closer to the Everglades. Jackson has a goal to see every single National Park by the time he graduates from High School so we are trying to make that happen for him. We usually go to the panhandle area around Destin or Seaside and knew that it would be too cold this time of year so Naples it was. 

Where We Stayed

We booked a last minute room at the La Playa Hotel in Naples. With it being the week of New Years and us waiting last minute to book, we didn’t have a ton of options. The hotel was nice and had great amenities but I honestly think my kids would have been just as happy with a Best Western. Give them a pool and the beach and they are good to go. But the resort did have some fun activities for kids which included a movie night by the pool and other fun events throughout the day. It was also fully booked by the time we arrived but I felt that everyone was so spread out that it didn’t seem that busy. 

What We Did

Princess Cruise

For New years Eve, we thought it would be fun to take a cruise with the kids. We did a 2 hour excursion with Naples Princess Cruise Company. The kids had so much fun going out into the ocean and seeing all the homes on the water in Naples. They have options to do a dinner cruise but due to the holiday that was booked up so we sat on the upper deck. They still had a bar where you could order appetizers and drinks. It was a fun excursion. I think if we did it again though we would just make it a date night experience instead of taking a baby.

Dinner at Bayside Seafood & Grill

One of the hotel employees recommended that we go to dinner at Bayside Seafood and Grill so we gave it a try. It was a little fancier than I was prepared for with the kiddos but the food was AMAZING. We had a reservation right at sunset and it was on the waterway which was absolutely beautiful. I had the lobster bisque and the snapper and highly recommend both. Seafood is my favorite type of food but I’m also super picky so believe me when I say that this was worth the trip and the money! 

Relax By The Pool & Beach

 Due to all the restrictions and us wanting to play it on the safe side, we stayed at the pool or the beach most of the time during our trip. The pool area was super convenient and had a full service bar and grill right outside. It included 3 separate pools and other activities for the kids to do throughout the day. The beach was also nice and had extras that you could book like jet skis and paddle boards. The only downside was that the chairs were super close to each other and the front row seats did get claimed super early in the morning. If you are going to the beach then I do recommend going down right at 8 am to claim a good seat. The sunset was amazing though and I wish we could have been down at the beach every single night at sunset to see it. 

Everglades Trip

This was by far the best part of the trip. We stayed just about an hour away from the Everglades so made a day out of going down to the National Park. The kids love going on adventures when we travel. We started out taking an airboat tour with Captain Jacks Airboat Adventure Company which we picked from all the options due to it being a mangrove boat tour. 

This was such an amazing time. The kids laughed and smiled the entire boat ride. We got to see a Racoon up close and even an Alligator from a distance. The tour lasted right at 2 hours and we honestly could have stayed on for another 2 hours. Airboats are so much fun and the scenery was stunning. 

Check out my Tik Tok video and Instagram post to see more! 

Photos From The Airboat Tour

After the airboat ride, we had complimentary access to the Alligator Sanctuary at Wootens which was a quick 2 mile drive. Here we got to see several Alligators up close (behind a fence) and even got to hold a baby Alligator. Jackson and I were the only two that did it. Rylee was too scared to do it with us. They then had a little educational show about Alligators and the kids were so intrigued. It was educational and entertaining both and I would highly recommend doing this if you are in West Florida. 

The last thing we did before heading back to Naples was get our National Park Family Photo. We want to make a scrapbook one day of all the National Park photos and had to get this in. We drove about 10 minutes down the road to find the sign and snap a photo. We didn’t have anyone else with us so I pulled out my Mini Tripod and snapped a photo with the timer on the phone. Somehow we managed to get one  where we were all looking and it only took a few attempts 🙂 

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