January 28, 2013

Shula's Naples Legendary Wine Dinner Event!!!

Join Shula’s Steak House Naples For

 A Legendary Wine Dinner Event With Mr. Tom Eddy. 

Enjoy Five Courses Paired With Wines That Only Come From Using The Finest Grapes
 And The Best Techniques In The Artful Hands Of A Skilled Winemaker.


January 21, 2013

Third on Canvas Live Painting to benefit the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida

Each February, artists paint the wonderful buildings, fountains, plazas, and courtyards of the Third Street South historic district. The Birthplace of Naples with its original cottages, The Pier, Crayton Cove, The City Docks, and at its center, Third Street South with its shops and restaurants, is a perfect model. Watch the artists create, look for the paintings on display in the shop windows, and if you love one, bid on it as they are all for sale. Third Street South will host 40 professional artists who will be painting the streets, avenues, parks and hidden treasures of beautiful  Naples, Florida. The public is invited to come watch these internationally and locally renowned artists as they work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 4-5, 2013. After you have seen our artists painting live on the streets of Old Naples, come to the auction and bid on your favorite paintings to benefit the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. For more information, including a list of artists, contact Third Street South at (239) 434-6533.

January 20, 2013

Jammin' in the Hammock Annual Bluegrass Festival

February 9 - 10, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Collier-Seminole State Park will host its annual Jammin' in the Hammock Bluegrass Festival. Scheduled events will take place on each day, including a 9:30 am Sunday morning Southern Gospel jam. Featured bands are:
·         Gary Mackey & Friends
·         Bugtussle Ramblers
·         The Laws
·         Danny Stanley & The Bluegrass Gentlemen
·         Ernie Evans & Florida State Bluegrass Band
Free parking with shuttle to event area. Covered concert area, the festival will be held rain or shine. Bring your chairs. No pets, alcohol, smoking or coolers permitted in festival area. A variety of food and craft vendors will be on site. Cost of festival does not cover camping rates in the campground. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Collier- Seminole State Park, a Citizens Support Organization(CSO), all proceeds from the festival will benefit the park. Admission to the event is $15 per day or $25 for both days. Admittance is free to children 13 and under as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. For more information, contact Collier-Seminole State Park at (239) 394-3397.

January 19, 2013

2nd Annual Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry Show

February 7 - 11, 2013 from 11a.m. - 7p.m., the 2nd Annual Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry show will feature the stunning collections of more than 75 internationally acclaimed exhibitors. Guests will have access to 50,000 square feet of fine art, antique and estate jewelry, furniture, porcelain, Asian art, American and European silver, glass, textiles, sculpture, contemporary art and more, ranging from the antiquities to the 20th century. Admission is $15 daily or $25 for 4-day pass. For more information, contact (239) 252-2384.

January 18, 2013

Fly A Water-Propelled Jet Pack in Naples, FL

Interested in making a gem of an experience out of your Naples vacation? How about trying a new water sport has proven to be safer than jet skiing and parasailing? From 8:30am to one hour before sunset daily, year-found, fly a water-propelled jet pack in Naples, Florida. Instruction and flight lasts up to 30 minutes. First time flyers can expect initial instructions and personalized training. You will begin floating in the water chest high learning easy wide turns, while holding your chest water level position. After you reach your comfort level, your instructor guides you to elevate your waist out of the water. After you master the turns and elevation control at waist high, your instructor will guide you to have only your feet in the water, only after reaching your comfort level. The next level will be free flight and some tricks. Make sure to bring a friend to take pictures as you glide through the air! To reserve a time, call Captain CJ's Jetpack Adventures at (239) 389-9JET.

January 17, 2013

Tips for an Enjoyable Day at the Beach

Did you know that no matter where you are in Florida, you are no more than 60 miles from a beach? With the beautiful beaches of the Paradise Coast, it's easy to see why beach-going is the activity at the top of everyone's to-do list. If you're hitting the beach, make sure you don't leave home or your hotel room without:
·         Sunscreen: We know you’re eager to get that sexy tan on your vacation. Unfortunately, you are not going to get tan in one day and, as too many tourists have experienced, the Florida sun can burn you much faster than you think. In fact, your sun exposure will not be visible until after you have been out of the sun at least 2 hours. It takes almost 24 hours before the full extent of the sun burn is visible. Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the sun's rays (between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) and apply sunscreen with a SPF 15 or up (SPF 30+ for children). Thoroughly apply sun screen to the more "bony" areas of the body which are prone to burn quickly including the face, nose, ears, shoulders and tops of your feet.
·        Cover-Ups: It’s not just a fashion statement. Sunglasses (with ultraviolet protection) and wide-brim hats help keep the glaring sun at bay. Even beach umbrellas offer greater protection from the sun.
·        Beach Towels: Enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf Coast. Each member of your beach excursion should have at least one towel and it's always a good idea to bring along a few extras.
·        Drinks and Snacks: The hot Florida sun will quickly make you thirsty. Bring plenty of drinking water to ensure you stay hydrated. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine as they dehydrate the body, worsening the effects of heat. Snacks are great ideas for more lengthy excursions. But avoid glass bottles as they are prohibited at many beaches.
·        Cameras: Unless you are ready to get sand stuck in your shutter, don't bring your expensive camera to the beach. You can purchase waterproof disposable cameras and save the aggravation of damaging your pride and joy. If you are taking a smart phone, sandwich bags are great options to avoid getting sand stuck in small (and seemingly unreachable) crevices.
·        Large Plastic Bag: Make sure the end of your trip is enjoyable. A plastic bag to keep sandy towels and clothing from dusting your vehicle is a good idea. Just remember to take wet items out as soon as possible. Damp items deprived of air quickly mildew in Florida’s humidity.
Share any helpful tips or good Florida beach stories you have below!

January 16, 2013

Everglades Seafood Festival

February 8 - 10, 2013, Everglades City hosts it's annual Seafood Festival from 5 p.m. -11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy three days of live music, carnival rides, arts, crafts, and incredible food! The Everglades Seafood Festival offers something for all tastes and fun for all ages. Over 100 vendors offer a wide variety of great seafood, refreshments, midway, and hand-made arts and crafts. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Betterment Association of the Everglades at (239) 695-2277.

January 15, 2013

Dancing by the Fountain at Venetian Village

The last Thursday of the month, make your way to the Village on Venetian Bay for a great time! Join Modern Steps School of Dance from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. as they perform to the best of ballroom, swing and Latin music. Enjoy DJ Michael J. Levaul at the North fountain and Ron J. on the south. Admission is free.

January 14, 2013

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

Southwest Florida will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 21, 2013 with its annual downtown parade.The 16th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade will take place at 11 a.m. Monday in downtown Naples. The parade begins at Broad Avenue South and Third Street South, makes its way down Third Street South before going up Fifth Avenue South. The parade — which ends at Cambier Park on Eighth Street South — is expected to last an hour. A post parade celebration will be held at Cambier Park immediately following the parade, and is expected to go until 3 p.m. The annual parade and celebration is hosted by the NAACP of Collier County and the City of Naples.

January 13, 2013

American Heart Association Red Dress Dash

A pink ribbon has become synonyms for breast cancer and women's health. But did you know that the most prevalient killer of women is not cancer, but heart disease? For women, heart disease is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. It is the cause of 1 in 3 women's deaths each year and ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

So while it may not be as synonymous as the pink ribbon, February 1st is Wear Red Day. Go Red for Women is inviting women and men from Southwest Florida don their best red garb, grab their friends, and join the Go Red For Women Red Dress Dash fundraiser for the American Heart Association February 1, 2013 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. The dash will be from the corner of Park Street ending near Café Lurcat in downtown Naples. Prizes will be awarded for most red, most glamorous and most spirited. Tickets are $25 and donations are accepted. For more information, contact Go Red for Women at (239) 495-4903.

January 12, 2013

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary After Hours Programs

Stay past the normal closing time or just come for the evening program on monthly nightly events at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Corkscrew After Hours Programs are from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and include guided or self-guided walks on the 2.25 mile boardwalk through the old growth bald cypress forest, live music, art exhibits and environmental special educational programs that include:
·         Wednesday, January 23, 2013: Stars & Planets
·         Wednesday, February 20, 2013: Stars & Planets
·         Wednesday, March 20, 2013: Stars & Planets
·         Wednesday, April 17, 2013: Bird Migration
·         Wednesday, May 22, 2013: Reptiles & Frogs
·         Friday, June 21, 2013: Summer Solstice
·         Friday, July 12, 2013: Moths, Fireflies & Ghost Orchid
Admission is $12 per adults and $4 children for children 6-18. For more information, contact Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary & Blair Audubon Center at (239) 348-9151.

January 11, 2013

Naples Museum of Art - Free Art After Hours

The final Wednesday of each month, the Naples Museum of Art offers free admission to their extended hours from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Art After Hours features live entertainment, refreshments and docent-lead tours. Enjoy all the museum exhibits including Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film & Television. For more information, contact the Naples Museum of Art at (239) 597-1900.

January 10, 2013

World-famous Naples’ Swamp Buggy Races Winter Classic

Collier County's early development in the 1930's and 1940's was highlighted by the emergence of strange looking vehicles featuring huge balloon tires, gun racks, and usually sporting an unusual name like "Dirt Dobber or Tumblebug". These contraptions were born out of necessity, as there was no effective way to penetrate the vast, boggy mire known as Collier county except for the versatile "Swamp Buggy". Tuning, testing, waterproofing, camouflaging, and stocking up with food, fuel, and ammunition would make ready these unique vehicles for a couple weeks worth of rugged workouts among the gators, snakes, and moss laden cypress hammocks of the murky Florida swamps. Before long, one owner challenged another to a buggy race through the local muddy potato patch and swamp buggy racing was born. As the popularity grew, Hollywood stars like Gary Cooper were seen in Naples riding Swamp Buggies.

Today, drivers race for thousands of dollars in prizes to grandstands packed with spectators. Come see what all of the fuss is about January 25 - 26, 2013! Tickets range from $6 - $65. Saturday gates open at 10:30am. Time Trials 12:00pm - 3:30pm. Sunday gates open at 10:30am. Racing begins at 12:30pm - 4:30pm. For more information, contact Florida Sports Park at (239) 774-2701.

January 9, 2013

Naples Winter Wine Festival

January 25 - 27, 2013, Naples, Florida hosts the Naples Winter Wine Festival. The Naples Winter Wine Festival is ranked among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans based on exclusivity, quality and prestige. Since 2004, the festival has earned the distinction of being the most successful charity wine auction in the nation according to Wine Spectator. The event brings many of the world's finest vintners and chefs together with wine collectors and philanthropists for a three-day gala in picturesque Naples, Florida. The trustees' vision of the Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF) made the dream of the Naples Winter Wine Festival a reality. The vision was based on creating an exquisite event, with proceeds benefiting local charities that assist underprivileged and at risk children. Since 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised $107 million to improve the lives of underprivileged and at risk children. For more information, including event pricing and program details, contact the Naples Children and Education Foundation at (239) 514-2239.

January 8, 2013

Run For the Paws 5K Run to Benefit Humane Society Naples

January 26, 2013 is the annual Run for the Paws coordinated by the Gulf Coast Runners. Run for the Paws benefits the more than 2,200 animals per year Humane Society Naples rescues and makes available for adoption at Southwest Florida’s premier no-kill pet shelter. Participants can run or walk with their dogs to raise money for the animals at the Humane Society who want nothing more than a forever home. Over 780 runners and walkers in a variety of age categories raised nearly $13,000 during the 6th Annual Run for the Paws Annual 5km race last year. Unique scenic route around Naples Municipal Airport. Check in at the Civil Air Patrol building. Staggered race start times: 8am solo runners; 8:05am runners with dogs; 8:10am for walkers. $30 for day-of-race registration, discounts for early registration. Fundraising/sponsorships encouraged. This is a dog friendly race! Prizes awarded for various age group categories. For more information, contact the Humane Society of Naples at (239) 643-1555.

January 7, 2013

Charlotte County Fossil Dig with Dr. Gary Schmelz

On Saturday, January 12, 2013 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., collect numerous 1.5 million year old Caloosahatchee specimens with Dr. Schmelz at an exciting new fossil site in Charlotte County. Specimens include giant apple murex, cowries, miters, vase shells and others. During a lunch raffle, you may even win some fossils from Dr. Schmelz’s private collection. Admission is $95 and registration required. For more information, contact the Conservancy of Southwest Florida at (239) 262-0304 x 266.

January 6, 2013

Sweet Liberty Sailing Adventure

Sweet Liberty's Sailing Adventure Cruise departs the City Dock at 9:30 a.m. every Friday from January 18, 2013 through April 26, 2013. Enjoy a three-hour environmental excursion with two naturalists from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as they describe local wildlife and ecosystems. Explore the magical habitat where dolphins often play in the waves around the boat, exotic shore birds preen, and osprey eye prey from tree tops. The cruise includes a one-hour retreat to Keewaydin Island where attendees can join the naturalists for a nature walk, find untouched shells to collect, or just go for a stroll on the remote beach. Tickets are $40 per person. Please call (239) 793-3525 for reservations.

Naples' City Dock is located approximately 5 miles south of the Hilton Naples Florida Hotel.

January 5, 2013

The Grand Hotel Musical presented by Theatre Zone

Showtimes: January 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8:00 pm and  January 13 & 20 at 2:00 pm.

It is 1928. The world is between wars. The stock market is booming. Berlin is the center of high life and optimism rules the day. The musical focuses on events taking place over the course of a weekend in an elegant hotel and the intersecting stories of the eccentric guests of the hotel, including a fading prima ballerina, a fatally ill Jewish bookkeeper, a young, handsome, but destitute Baron, a cynical doctor, and a typist dreaming of Hollywood success. The Grand Hotels is a musical that boasts an engaging, non-stop story-line and a powerful score that is sure to sweep you away with all of the lavishness of the 1920s. Admission is $43.00 to $48.00. For more information, contact Threatre Zone at (888) 966-3352.

January 4, 2013

Friday Evening Farmer's Market at Bayfront Place

Every Friday during September 21, 2012 to March 29, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy an outdoor Farmer's Market overlooking the Gordon River at Bayfront Place. There will be multiple vendors selling everything from organic produce to handmade soap. Participants include Megan Rose Boutique clothing, Green Ivory Jewelry, Florida Crackerz and Dancing Dragonfly Soap Company. Plus live music to make your visit really enjoyable! Admission is free. For more information, contact (239) 649-8700.

January 3, 2013

Taste of Brazil Celebration at Naples Botanical Garden

Enjoy a carnival-style evening celebrating all things South American. This fundraising event will benefit The Guadalupe Center. The Guadalupe Center was started to address the immediate needs of feeding and clothing the hungry children of Immokalee has evolved into a group of programs and services that are specifically designed to break the cycle of poverty for the children and families. The Guadalupe Center is now the largest single-site provider of Early Childhood Educational services; serves over 650 children in its after-school and summer programs; employs 62 high school students in the Tutor Corps and has over 80 children currently in college. 

The event will host silent and live auctions in the beautiful surroundings of Naples Botanical Garden. Dance to live entertainment and enjoy a great evening that benefits underprivileged children in the community. Cocktails start at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Call (239) 643-7275 for ticket information.

January 2, 2013

GAEA Guided Kayak Nature Tours on the Cocohatchee River/Wiggins Pass Estuary

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., travel with a professional naturalist to places rarely seen on the Cocohatchee River/Wiggins Pass Estuary in North Naples. Tours will be held several dates throughout the month, including January 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 30th. See the magnificence of Nature in Southwest Florida, in her true form, in quiet, easy to handle kayaks and learn about this beautiful estuary area, with many birds (herons, egrets, osprey, pelicans), dolphins, manatees and other critters. $40 per person includes equipment; reservations are required. For more information, contact GAEA Tour Guides at (239) 694-5513.

January 1, 2013

Florida Travel Tips for the New Year

Wishing You A Very Prosperous and Happy New Year from the Hilton Naples!

If you are planning on visiting Florida in 2013, keep a few of these travel tips from USA Today in mind:

Florida is one of the most visited states in the country, attracting millions of visitors each year. Top destinations in Florida include Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Naples and St. Petersburg and each city is brimming with a wealth of activities, attractions and sites. Whether you are visiting Florida for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, spend a little time planning your itinerary to make the most of your experience.
  • Learn About Local Events: Live entertainment, community events, carnivals and fairs are just some of the local events taking place throughout Florida each month. Visit the city's Chamber of Commerce web page to learn about upcoming events that you can add to your itinerary.
  • Consider the Weather: South Florida's most comfortable travel season is between October and February, while the northern regions of Florida are best visited during the summer. Central Florida stays relatively hot year-round, but temperatures can dip to the lower 50s during November and December. Monitor the weather in your selected destination so that you can make the most of the sunshine and avoid the rainy and humid seasons.
  • Protect Yourself From the Sun: You will see sun in the forecast more often than not throughout the Sunshine State. Make sure that you wear sunscreen every day and apply it at least once every two hours if you are going to the beach. Loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing will reduce your risk of heat stroke, and a wide-brimmed hat or visor will offer some extra sun protection.
  • Book in Advance: If your heart is set on an event, book your reservations at least 60 to 90 days in advance. Events fill up fast, especially during peak season, so plan ahead by making reservations as soon as you book your trip.