A tourist paradise year-round, South Florida brims with cities and enclaves that often seem to be the polished result of the same luxury cast. There are the high-end downtowns, the postcard-perfect beaches, the lush golf courses. In recent years, however, one town has risen up to claim a diverse personality on a map swept in ritzy uniformity: Naples.
“Naples had always been considered a retirement community: old and boring,” said Naples-based real estate agent Dante DiSabato. “However I can tell you first-hand from moving down here in 2009 that Naples has changed dramatically. The secret is out!”
Sprawled along a surprisingly neat grid of parallel streets, steps away from the Gulf of Mexico, Naples appears to have buried its secret in exquisite features that are in plain sight. Like many of its South Florida counterparts – from Miami to Fort Myers, this city of roughly 20,000 residents boasts all the amenities associated with a lavish lifestyle. Think exclusive boutiques and world-class restaurants and state-of-the-art fitness centers and mesmerizing galleries and plush hotels.
“What sets Naples apart is its real estate,” said DiSabato. “It is on the map for some of the highest priced real estate in the world.”
Some of the most sought-after, architecturally appealing neighborhoods, such as Park Shore, Olde Naples, Aqualane Shores, the Moorings, and Port Royal (where home prices can go up to $100 million), offer not only easy access to the city’s two prime locales — the coast and downtown — they provide a true sense of community, underpinned by safe streets and great schools, that has earned Naples the distinction as the happiest and healthiest city in the country for several years.
The balmy Florida climate unquestionably contributes to Naples’ sophisticated yet relaxed lifestyle. But true to its proclivity for the rare, Naples “has some of the best weather in the nation.” Being the southern-most city along Florida’s western coast, Naples splashes in the warm, calm waves of the Gulf of Mexico, whose temperature is higher than that of the Atlantic Ocean. Showers and storms are also less frequent than on the east coast.
“Naples is very unique and is hard to compare to any other town,” said DiSabato. “However, I would say that our biggest competitor would be Palm Beach. It is unique, quaint and has several similarities to Naples. But whereas Palm Beach, some people would say, is old money, Naples tends to be old monies new home. Palm Beach is basically connected to a large city (West Palm Beach), meaning you never really feel like you’ve escaped to a tropical paradise as you do in Naples. Add to that the spectacular sunsets we have in Naples and the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and it’s easy to see why so many buyers decide on Naples after comparing the two.”
Some of those buyers are also among the most recognizable names in the business world, boosting Naples’ proportion of millionaires per capita to among the top in the country. “Naples has always attracted CEOs,” said DiSabato. “In fact, I believe it houses the most retired Fortune 500 CEOs in the country.”
A hidden gem until recently, Naples is now finding its glimmer as one of Florida’s most coveted destinations – not only for pristine vacations, but also for refined living. “People continue to move to Florida and will always move to Florida,” DiSabato said. “And thanks to the super amenities in Naples, we’ll keep attracting great people who want to be a part of this little piece of paradise.”
Dante DiSabato is the exclusive agent representing the Naples, Florida real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listing here.