The Pickleball US Open is Coming to Naples, Florida!
Hey all you Pickleball fans, the Pickleball US Open is coming to Naples, Florida, and you don’t want to miss out on all the fun. April 27th till May 4th is when all the excitement takes place. The Minto US Open Pickleball Championship is the most renowned pickleball tournament in the world, and it’s a good thing that it’s taking place in Naples because there are so many fun things to do there.
Last year, 2,000 players from 47 states and 20 different countries competed throughout the course of 7 days and on 50 different courts. What’s even more astounding is that over 10,000 spectators descended upon Naples, and this year is going to be even more epic. Come and see the best pickleball players in the world and throw a pickleball party, all while enjoying a fabulous vacation in one of the best cities that Florida has to offer.
Did you know that Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the US? Located in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples offers much to its visitors. Take a stroll down Naples Pier, get some fishing in, and go on a dolphin-spotting adventure. Thanks to the mild climate and peaceful seas, you’re going to find that Naples is fun and inviting for the whole family. Let’s take a look at some of the top destinations and things to do in this wonderful town.
1. Naples Pier
No trip to Naples is complete without visiting Naples Pier. Built in 1888, Naples Pier originally had train rails that transported freight and baggage in the 1900s. This first incarnation of the pier was destroyed by fire during a severe hurricane, but its history and legacy have endured. On today’s new pier, you’ll find friendly fishermen, people looking out for dolphins, and pleasure-seekers taking a stroll. Here is one of the best views that you’ll get of the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Naples is famous for its wildlife and sanctuaries. The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a must-see when you visit Naples for its 13,000 acres of wetlands, marsh, flatwoods, and wet prairie. Here you’ll find the largest North American old growth Bald Cypress forest. These magnificent giants feature 25-foot thick trunks that reach up into the air as high as 130 feet. Enjoy the 2.25-mile boardwalk and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, alligators, wading birds, and red-bellied turtles.
3. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
As we mentioned, Naples has some amazing wildlife, and the Naples Zoo is famous for its tropical gardens and variety of flora and fauna. Walk past 70 species of rare animals, and take pictures of the exotic plants in their natural habitats. You’re sure to find plenty of bears, monkeys, giraffes, pythons, and lions along the way. Did you know that there’s such a thing as barking, meat-eating deer? This is the place to find them. You’ll also come across fosas from Madagascar. Hop on a catamaran to monkey island where primates roam.
4. Lowdermilk Beach Park
Pristine white sound, a picturesque pond, and tons of playgrounds will all greet you at the Lowdermilk Beach Park. This is one of Naples’ most popular beachfront parks, and there are plenty of picnic tables and benches to sit down with the family, each a sandwich, drink a cold beer, and take a look out at the beautiful blue seas of Florida. There are two beautiful gazebos in the park, should you decide to get married on a whim, making this a popular destination for enjoying Florida’s remarkable sunsets. Located on Fifth Avenue South, the park is conveniently located next to some killer shopping.
5. The Revs Institute
This institute for automotive research presents the history of American automobiles. See a dazzling array of famous cars built between 1896 and 1995. The Collier Collection of cars features some of the most important cars ever built. Aside from all the vehicles on display, you can also enjoy a walk through automotive history with research books, documents, and images.
6. Bird Gardens of Naples
This is the place for parrots. The Bird Gardens of Naples were formed for the preservation and welfare of wild parrots in captivity. Conveniently located in the Corkscrew Swamp, the gardens have stunning vegetation and a number of parrots that attract a vast array of fauna, butterflies, and bees. Keep in mind that you can visit the Gardens by appointment only, but with your appointment you receive a two-hour guided tour that brings you face to face with more than 300 birds. Visitors agree that the Bird Gardens are a true highlight of visiting Naples, Florida.
7. Conservancy of Southwest Florida
If you thought there were no other opportunities to experience nature in Naples, then you would be wrong. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is just another amazing site to see on your journey. Established in 1964, the Conservancy focuses on preserving native wildlife, water, and land, and their Nature Center is the place to go when you want to learn more about the environment. Enjoy fun activities and programs like electric tour boats, kayaking adventures, trail walks, movie nights, and so much more. Some other highlights are the Dalton Discovery Center and the Little Explorer’s Play Zone.
8. The Pickleball US Open
What else can you do on your exciting trip to Naples, Florida? You can enjoy the Pickleball US Open, of course! This paddle sport is fun for the whole family to watch, and the simple, fast-paced game can be played by folks of all age and experience levels. Enjoy all the best elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong rolled into one. Sit and watch the exciting competition all day long, or when you need a break, go out and enjoy the natural highlights that only Naples has to offer.