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Exploring Southwest Florida: A Family Adventure Guide with Top Restaurant Picks

Family Adventure Guide to Southwest Florida: Favorite Restaurants Included!

Traveling with kids during the summer can be both exhilarating and daunting, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided! Our family looks forward to summer vacation all year long, and over time, I’ve learned how to make the most of traveling with kiddos. 

While it can be challenging, there are some things you can do to make it easier. All of my best tips can be found here!

In this guide specifically, we’re diving into one of our favorite destinations – Southwest Florida. If you find yourself in the  Marco Island, Naples, or Cape Coral area this season, this guide serves as a way for you to explore seamlessly and enjoy some oh-so-delicious restaurants along the way! 

Beyond thrilling dolphin cruises and sunset strolls, you'll find family-friendly restaurants that satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Keep reading and make the most of your journey while enjoying the region's best eateries.

Top Places To Visit In Southwest Florida

1. Dolphin Explorer Cruise & Shelling Adventure - Marco Island

Start your family escapade with the Dolphin Explorer on Marco Island. Your little marine biologists will love spotting playful dolphins and digging up seashells as expert guides share fascinating marine facts. 🐬

Fuel Up: Before embarking on your cruise, stop by Doreen's Cup of Joe for breakfast or brunch. Their whimsical pancake creations and hearty breakfast options will give your kids the perfect start to their sea adventure. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to order Doreen’s fresh squeezed orange juice! It's delicious. 🍊

2. Estero Island Parasailing - Fort Myers

For your thrill-seeking crew, Estero Island Parasailing in Fort Myers will have your hearts racing. Soar above the sparkling waters and take in the breathtaking views. 

Fuel Up: Head to Ford's Garage for a meal that matches the day's excitement. With a unique automotive theme and a menu featuring their famous burgers, this spot is perfect for the whole family to chow down and refuel. 🍔

3. Naples Grande Beach Resort

Naples Grande Beach Resort is a luxurious family getaway. If you are not a guest of the resort, don’t worry! You can still reserve a cabana on Naples Beach or a family bungalow at the pool. Let the kids play in the sand or splash down the waterslide while you lounge. 

Fuel Up: For lunch or dinner, indulge at La Trattoria in Naples, where you'll find fresh Mediterranean flavors and dishes that cater to all taste buds. Parents can enjoy a glass of wine (be sure to order the bruschetta!)  while the kids dig into pizza or pasta.

4. Naples Pier at Sunset

Naples Pier offers some of the most stunning sunset views on the Gulf Coast. Spend the evening fishing, dolphin-watching, and breathing in the salty breeze.

Fuel Up: Head to The Dock at Crayton Cove to savor fresh seafood with a beautiful waterfront view. The kids can enjoy dishes from the children's menu while parents indulge in some local favorites. 🍤

5. Naples Zoo

Naples Zoo promises a wild and educational adventure. Feed the giraffes, watch monkeys frolic, and enjoy the primate boat cruises that will have your little explorers spellbound.

Fuel Up: Before you start your day at the zoo, grab a bite to eat at First Watch in Cape Coral. Their healthy options are sure to please, from avocado toast to fluffy pancakes. 🥞

Pro Tip: Order their seasonal juice. This season, they are offering Tropical Sunrise, which is a combination of Mango, pineapple, strawberry, and lime.

6. Cambier Park, Bonta Bakery

Before heading to the playground at Cambier Park or closing out your day with a sunset stroll, visit Bonta Bakery, an authentic Italian bakery. With plenty of kid-friendly options like cheesy pizza focaccia, panini, pastry, and the most delicious gelato for dessert, it's a surefire hit.

Pro Tip:  Order a Caprese (Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto) sandwich and dessert, and head across the street for a picnic in the park! Nothing better than eating outside in the warm sunshine. Be sure to pack a few towels or blankets so you can sit in the grass (picnic tables are available for use). 🧺

From the thrill of parasailing to relaxing beachside fun, Southwest Florida has adventures and tastes for every family member. This guide will help you plan a trip where sun, sand, and good eats come together for a magical, memorable time.

For more summer travel guides and family travel tips, CLICK HERE to explore The Wandering Tourists blog!



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