A guide to cruisin’ I-75 in Southwest Florida
Along your journey to get to where you’re going, you’ve probably asked yourself, “where do I go from here?” Kind of vague and profound. The same could be said about how you came about to be in South Naples and where you’re going from here. The journey along Interstate 75 has a lot to discover, so fasten your seatbelt—maybe you could learn something new. Road trip!
Most likely you’ve come to Southwest Florida down through Tampa from the north or across Alligator Alley from the east coast. The road is not unlike a lot of the country’s interstates and highways, but what makes I-75 different than all other roads is the drive across “Alligator Alley” (Everglades Parkway) straight through the Everglades Wildlife Management Area, the Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and several Native American reservations.
Your first trip across the alleyway could be quite unremarkable, except for the vast grassy wetlands that stretch the sub-tropical wilderness. If you get a chance to stop (legally and safely, of course) to admire the untouched, natural beauty, take in the sunshine gleaming off the thousands of lakes. You may even see a gator sunning himself near a canal or a flock of wading egrets fishing in the shallow waters. If you look into the Florida panther refuge, you’ll come to find out that there are only 120 to 160 panthers left—one of the world’s most endangered mammals.
Get off the road! Well, off the interstate, that is. There’s all kinds of activities from the zoo to botanical gardens, from nature and wildlife tours to beaches and piers, from state parks to water sports. You have some of the best boating and fishing in the world by the Gulf and the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands. Of course, the Naples area sports a dozen or so golf courses in and around the dozens of hotels, resorts and country clubs west of I-75. Not to mention, downtown Naples features shopping, restaurants, bars and live music around Third Street South, up and down Tamiami Trail and along the waterside.
Obviously, Interstate 75 has a lot going on around it, since it is the main way to come and go. While not everything can be listed, hopefully, you’ll learn even more along the way. Rest assured, Naples Reserve is close enough to enjoy the communities’ roadway and the hustle-n-bustle of it all—just a short journey down the road to wherever you’re going from here.