Everyone loves the clean beaches, beautiful outdoor sights, and perfect tanning summer weather in Southwest Florida, but how do you beat the summer heat when out of the water? Are you looking for a break from the pool or beaches during your summer vacation? We’ve put together a list of activities that will keep you busy without being overwhelmed by the heat.

Visit a historical Museum

Visiting a historical museum is a great way to take a break from the warm weather while enriching your stay. Even if you’ve never been to a museum in your own community, visiting a museum while traveling will make your trip more meaningful. Learning about the history and culture of a community will foster appreciation of its unique heritage and cultural development.

There are five Historical Museums in Naples and Marco Island: Collier Museum at Government Center (Naples), Museum of the Everglades, Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch, Naples Depot Museum, and Marco Island Historical Museum. Learn more about them here.

Visit an Art Museum or Center for the Arts

Whether the exhibits are full of art, sculptures, or objeects from different periods, visiting an art museum or art center is a great way to stay cool during the summer while having an authentic experience.

For over 65 years, Naples Art has been the center of arts and culture in downtown Naples with art exhibitions, art classes, kids’ programs, and more. The Marco Island Center for the Arts features monthly exhibits, artist receptions and classes for families, adults and kids.

The United Arts Council of Collier County features a Co-Op Art Gallery with different Southwest Florida artists and hosts local events and live music. The Baker Museum is a renowned art museum in southwest Florida with an emphasis on contemporary and modern art.

If you are traveling with kids, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is a must. CMON is Southwest Florida’s first children’s museum promoting learning through play with a variety of interactive exhibits.

For a complete list of Art Museums and Art centers, click here.

Ice Cream and Cold Treats

Nothing is more refreshing than a cold treat during the summer! Naples and Marco Island have authentic ice cream, Italian ice and frozen dessert bars to cool you down after the beach or and outdoor activity.

A few of our favorite places include Mitch’s Cookies Dessert Bar & Soda Fountain, Cold Stone Creamery, Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, Regina’s Ice Cream Pavillion, Ben & Jerry’s, Kilwins, Sweet Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour, Beebe’s Ice Cream, and Dolce Mare.

If you are looking for a healthier option, consider an açaí or pitaya bowl. Açaí bowls look like ice cream, taste like ice cream, and will make you feel good and refreshed. There are a lot of places in Naples and Marco Island that offer açaí and pitaya bowls, fresh smoothies, and cold kombucha. Made with organic and local ingredients. Our favorite places include The Bowl, The Boost Juice Bar, Juicelation, Bahia Bowls, or Fresh Bowl Kitchen.

Enjoy an evening at the theater

Looking for something exciting and different to see during your stay? Seek out their air-conditioned theaters on sweltering nights. Naples and Marco Island provide quality and enjoyable live entertainment including plays, musicals, opera festivals, stand-up comedy and more. Escape the afternoon heat during a Sunday Matinée. Popular theaters and venues in SWFL are TheatreZone, Opera Naples, Naples Philharmonic, Cambier Park and Norris Center, The Marco Players.

For a complete list of theaters and performing art centers click here.

Indoor Shopping

Shopping in Naples and Marco Island is a popular pastime, from beach home decor and gift items to high-end designer labels. The Coastland Center is the biggest indoor shopping mall in Naples. The mall features Macy’s and Dillard’s as its anchors, a food court, a movie theater and many other specialty stores.

Overlooking the marina on Smokehouse Bay is The Esplanade, an up-market Italian-style retail and dining center. Another favorite Marco Island shopping place is The Marco Town Center Mall.

The Mercato Shops offer an indoor artisan market. Hand & Harvest farmer’s market is a curated collection of handmade, local SWFL creations with a focus on baked goods, art, candles, ceramics, apparel, jewelry, plants, and more.

Learn more about different shopping destinations! Read our blog post, Shopping in Naples and Marco Island, Florida.

Check back often, there’s always more to discover!

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