All Blog Entries by Mark Washburn

There are currently 440 blog entries published by Mark Washburn.


naples biking sign

One of the best ways to experience all that Naples has to offer isn’t on four wheels, but rather on two. If you really want to see the city’s best sites and natural attractions, biking is the way to go.

From Gulf Shore Boulevard to Gordon Pass, biking is a carefree way to explore the city. From biking past the area’s generously sized homes to hitting the beach, the experience is individually yours when you choose to see it from the seat of a bicycle.

Once you get to the white sand beach you don’t even have to worry about parking your car. This provides the perfect opportunity to stop and cool off with a swim or do some beachcombing along the shore.

To catch a fantastic sunset or spot dolphins, bike over to Naples Pier. Just west of there be sure to move on

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naples beach

A debate is waging on how best to re-nourish and protect Florida beaches, with Naples Beaches being just one part of the equation. When offshore dredging projects shot up in price and deposits became more scarce, areas like Collier County began trucking in sand from other areas, using inland mines to help shore up beaches and combat erosion.

While the truck hauls seem to be keeping beaches at their targeted widths, they aren’t as effective in bringing in enough sand to buffer against potential future storms. That has advisers in Collier County in support of using offshore dredges, with the likelihood of bringing in substantially more sand than what the truck hauls are capable of.

Most of the sand until recent years had been coming from offshore dredging,

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naples waterfront

Known for its abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, Naples is now officially noted as one of the nation’s top places for sports and adventure. That’s connected to a US Tourism Quality Index that just came out with its list of the top ‘US Sports & Adventure Vacation Destinations’.

According to the index, Naples comes in at number nine based on performance reviews found on TripAdvisor. The ranking took into account the number of “excellent” or “very good” reviews connected to each destination under the categories of Boat Tours & Water Sports plus Outdoor Activities.

Local tourism officials point to the area’s calm and clear water and white sand beaches for setting the scene for adventurous outdoor activities. With options ranging from boating and

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Image courtesy of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

While beachside dining may conjure up images of picnics and sunset cocktails, Vanderbilt Beach enjoys a number of fine dining establishments, with upscale menus sure to tempt your taste buds, and exquisite scenery to match.

Turtle Club

One of those locations is The Turtle Club, set upon grounds belonging to the Vanderbilt Beach Resort, the first hotel to grace the beach back in the early 1950s. With a relaxed, Olde Florida-style vibe, the restaurant infuses modern dining selections with exceptional service and fine wines.

The gracious beachside setting of the restaurant makes it easy to enjoy everything from fresh seafood to tenderloin, soups and salads to lunchtime sandwiches. Open every day of the week

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naples sunset at delnor-wiggins pass state park

With space for snorkeling, sunbathing, wildlife watching and fishing, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park emerges as a natural gem of Southwest Florida. This unique destination serves up one of the most naturally beautiful beaches on the planet, complimented by plentiful outdoor recreation at every turn.

With prime space for fishing designated on the northern side of the park, boaters will also delight launching into Turkey Bay, then on to the Gulf. There’s also an observation deck on the northern side of the park.

A big draw, however, is the mile-long beach with its powdery white sand and clear water. You’re sure to find numerous sea stars and shells here, surrounded by a stunning setting.

When you’re ready for a break from the sun, you’ll also find some

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one naples - vanderbilt beach

A new high-rise could be coming to Vanderbilt Beach, this one proposing to develop 300 upscale condos at the northeast corner of Gulf Shore Drive and Vanderbilt Beach Road. Currently, plans call for taking down some current buildings at the site, constructed in the 1970s and 1980s, and replacing them with One Naples.

A project of Stock Development, One Naples calls for three condo developments, including an 18-story, residential high-rise topping three parking levels. The larger plan also includes the design of low-rise condos and some five-story condos overlooking Vanderbilt Lagoon.

This in addition to dozens of private marina slips on Vanderbilt Lagoon plus retail space. The project also calls for some public parking spaces along Gulf Shore Boulevard

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mercato naples florida

With a range of upscale retail stores, restaurants, entertainment options and luxury housing, Mercato continues to bring a strong and vibrant vibe to the community of North Naples. This exciting destination is additionally the place of year-round events, from live music and concerts to films on the lawn, a place where you can shop, dine, live and play all in one convenient and desirable location.

Not only does Mercato feature retail stores but also a Whole Foods Market and a 12-screen movie theater. In addition, there are around a dozen dining options for residents and visitors to enjoy, from Mexican to Italian, wine bars to bakeries, many with the option of outdoor dining. The location also features clothing stores, spas and salons, jewelry stores and

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baker-carroll point at vanderbilt beach

With its own marina and four condo complexes, Baker-Carroll Point provides an ideal location for living in North Naples, tucked away between the beauty of Vanderbilt Channel and nearby Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. The scenic setting not only offers up direct boating access to the Gulf via Wiggins Pass but also an easy walk to area beaches and spectacular sunset views.

In all, the four developments of Baker-Carroll Point provide your choice of 640 condo units on the peninsula, with many priced from the low $200,000s to some homes in the $800,000s. The three mid-rise buildings of Vanderbilt Towers total 264 of those units, with various options in efficiency, one-, two-, and three- bedroom designs. The property additionally offers residents access to a

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naples square condos for sale

New condos are going fast at Naples Square where phase II is quickly nearing a sellout. As of late July, there are three furnished models still open for viewing in phase II of the development, but all three already sold. That sets the stage for construction of phase III of the project to begin soon, likely by the end of 2017.

Under development at Goodlette-Frank Road and 5th Avenue South, the Downtown Naples residential project will eventually house nearly 300 units, all accented by a walk-able lifestyle and enviable amenities. The community offers a heated swimming pool and spa, plus gas grills, under-building parking and bicycle storage.

Some units also include private storage areas. As well, there’s a fitness center on-site, along with a

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Aqua condos for sale

More and more sales contracts are being generated as new residents sign on to the final homes within popular Aqua at Pelican Isle. The recently finished Aqua Tower II offers luxury condos priced mostly from around $2 million to upwards of $2.5 million, with the majority of the remaining residences located on floors three and four.

As well, a 6,500 square foot penthouse suite was last listed on the market for more than $4.8 million. It offers four-bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a dining room, family room, master study and grand salon. As well, it also includes upwards of 3,000 square feet of outdoor living space, with a sunset terrace running along the home’s entire west side.

Ranging in size from around 3,900 square feet to some of nearly 4,200 square feet in

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