February 22, 2010

Village on Venetian Bay Events

The Village on Venetian Bay is a unique, upscale, open-air shopping district just minutes from the Hilton Naples Hotel.  They went through a multi-million dollar renovation last year and it is a favorite local spot for shopping, dining,  people watching & live entertainment.  They have a couple upcoming events going on I thought were worth the mention for those of you vacationing in Naples.

On Saturday, Feb 27th they are launching The Great Venetian Duck Race.  You can join in the fun by adopting your duck today ($10 benefiting, C'MON, The Children's Museum of Naples).  The Duck Launch will be at 1pm after the 10am contest for Best Dressed Duckling Contest - getting to understand why I think it will be worth going to?

While there,  from 12pm - 5pm experience a gondola ride while looking out for dolphin which are a common sighting.  There will be live entertainment all day with fun activities, food & beverages in addition to the race festivities.

On March 4th from 6-9pm, Village Nights takes place where you can listen to the sounds of Sonny & Perley while dining at M Waterfront Grille or Miramare Restaurant (tell Sal the Hilton Naples sent you!).

February 19, 2010

Local "Hole-In-The-Wall" Has Great Grouper & More!

Went to lunch today at Grouper & Chips which is about 4 miles south of the Hilton Naples.  In Naples we are fortunate to have several outstanding restaurants that are locally owned.  Grouper & Chips is one of the greats!  Fondly referred to as a local "hole-in-the-wall", the bright pink walls & decor is reminscent of the days of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean & Elvis Presley.
The fried grouper is to die for & one of the most popular menu item.  If you want to go a little lighter, I suggest you opt for a 2 or 3 piece grouper basket broiled or blackened.  The grouper is the freshest I've ever tasted & consistently fantastic!  A few other dishes I highly recommend is the Bouillabaisse (great for those of you watching your carbs!) and anything with the lemon beurre blanc sauce on it!  There are only 10 tables inside and a few outside and their loyal guests know to wait for the lunch crowd to clear out.  Saturdays are a great night to go. 

And starting this Sunday, for the 1st time in the 16 years they've been open, Grouper & Chips will be open from 11:30am-9pm for all Sunday's through Lent.  On Sunday's only, mention Twitter or Facebook when you go to Grouper & Chips & you will get a special sweet treat! Overall, this local "Hole-In-The-Wall" has great grouper & More!

February 18, 2010

31st Naples National Art Festival Posters & More

The 31st Naples National Art Festival will take place this weekend at Cambier Park.  One component I look forward to each year is to see who was chosen to be featured on the annual Limited Edition Art Poster.  The Naples National Art Festival posters have become collector items. 

This year, artist, Lin Sesla was chosen for her painting "Moment of Reflection" featured to the right.  Make sure to get a signed copy available at the Naples Daily News Booth.
Another great feature this year is the Lecture Series on Saturday afternoon moderated by art expert Roger Weatherburn.

The Naples National in 2009 was voted the 8th Best Art Festival in the Country by Sunshine Artist magazine, so you don't want to miss it!  And don't forget that Jimmy Keys will be performing at the Hilton Naples on Saturday.  Make plans to attend dinner & the show after the Naples National Art Festival.

February 17, 2010

A Warmer Weekend as the Mid 70's Returns

Excitement is in the air as the weather forecasters predict a Warmer Weekend as the Mid 70's Returns!  With so much to see and do in Naples, FL this weekend, Mostly Sunny predictions for Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday is a welcome report! 
Thursday night kicks off another fun evening of Thursday on Third where the courtyards and plazas of Third Street South (located about 5.5 miles south of the Hilton Naples Hotel) resound with music from 6-9pm.
What better way to ease into Friday evening than Happy Hour in Naples at Shula’s Steak House, located off the lobby of the Hilton Naples, from 5-8pm with live jazz, two-for-one cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres?
Consistently voted among the top outdoor festivals nationwide, the 31st annual Naples National Art Festival is a fun way to spend Saturday or Sunday in downtown Naples. After enjoying the beautiful art, weather & scenery, come back to the Hilton Naples to enjoy dinner & the non-stop comedy & musical entertainment of Jimmy Keys performing this Saturday at the Hilton Naples.  Call 239-659-3111 leave your number and you will be called back or or e-mail: hnreservations@gmail.com to make a reservation for Dinner & Show.
Contact the Hilton Naples today to book your accommodations in Naples for this weekend!  Don't miss such an exciting weekend full of events as the Mid 70's Returns!
Concierge Photo courtesy of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB

February 13, 2010

Chill in The Air is Perfect for The Art of Naples

Don't let the chill in the air stop you from enjoying this beautiful day in Naples!  I just returned from the Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show being held today in Cambier Park which is just a few miles south of the Hilton Naples.  I am always so awed by the amazing talent the people in Naples have.  My first stop was to The Art of Naples booth where I met John Bartoldus.  He has great pictures & cards done of different scenery in Naples which make great souvenirs. He also designs a Naples calendar that all the proceeds go to help children in Collier County. 
Two of my favorite discoveries were Dennis Goodman Photography & Docks by Jen.  Dennis Goodman is a local photographer who has been getting lots of great reviews in the Naples Daily News & the Florida Weekly.  He is also featured aritst at the February Art in the Park.  It's easy to see why.  His photographs are amazing!  I'm trying to talk him into doing a guided photography expedition for guests of the Hilton Naples (more to come on that).  Then I was intrigued by the 3D dock scenes in Jen 's booth.  They are so unique & depict Naples perfectly.  I really loved them and when she told me she can customize, I had to buy one - makes a great Valentines Day Gift as well as a perfect storyboard to commemorate you Naples Vacation or favorite memory.

February 9, 2010

Forget All About Snowmageddon

As I spent the early morning watching the news remnants of Snowmageddon & the impending storm looming over a large part of the USA I felt a shudder of sympathy for all of you who are stuck in the house & dealing with the treacherous winter storms. I live close to the Hilton Naples & although I’m not blasĂ© about where I live, I don’t always pay attention to my surroundings. This morning, I had a renewed sense of being thankful for living in a warm climate. The skies are bright blue, people are outside riding bikes & sipping coffee at outside cafĂ©’s as they peruse news stories about the weather “up North”. Are you are tired of shoveling mounds of snow & scraping windshields? I invite you to book the first Direct Flight to Southwest Florida & stay at the Hilton Naples. If you can’t find a flight fast enough, pack the car & head South on I-75 to Exit 107 – you’ll soon find yourself in Paradise & forget all about Snowmageddon. And yes, the pictures shown on this post were taken this morning on my way to the hotel.

February 7, 2010

Mardi Gras Casino Night in Naples

The Hilton Naples will be hosting a Mardi Gras Casino Night presented by The Kiwanis Clubs of Collier County.  This fun-filled event will feature the Casino, a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, Silent Auction & Dinner.  Get lucky in 2010 while supporting a great cause - all proceeds benefit The Grace Place & Providence House.  To get more information about this exciting event, please call 239-290-3703.  Event will be held on Friday, February 12, 2010 at the Hilton Naples from 6-10pm.