Naples, Florida has long been known as an upscale home and seasonal retreat for the world’s wealthy seeking the finer things in life.
In the Downtown Naples area, the glittering good life is epitomized along the chic 5th Avenue South, stretching from U.S. Highway 41, (also called Tamiami Trail), to the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico in south Naples.
Naples is ranked among the leading cities in the country for per capita income and home to – at least part of the time – the second highest number of millionaires per capita.
Naples enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the most desirable locations for high-income people looking for the ideal life in paradise.
And when the urge hits for an exquisite dining experience, upscale “retail therapy” or selecting the perfect piece of fine art or collectible for your home, 5th Avenue South is second to none for Neapolitans and visitors from around the world.
This street is a people-watcher’s dream and the ideal spot to experience Naples as it was meant to be, a casual enclave filled with unexpected pleasures and experiences unlike any other.
A Legacy of Naples Tradition
Since the 1920s, 5th Avenue South has served as Naples’ “main street,” home to many early businesses and some of the city’s most notable pioneering movers and shakers.
In the early days, 5th Avenue South was home to Naples’ first bank, The Bank of Naples, plus assorted other businesses. The first traffic light in Naples was placed at what has become known as the “four corners” at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Tamiami Trail.
At that time, the street was home to a gas station and auto repair shop, a Rexall drug store, the Naples Depot Train Station, the local telephone company, sundries shop and the Chamber of Commerce.
In 2010, the non-profit organization, 5th Avenue South Business Improvement District, was established by a group of property and businesses owners to ensure the positive growth of the famous street moved forward to serve its highest and best use without losing the charm that is Naples.
To say that 5th Avenue South has come a long way since then may be the ultimate understatement.
Today, 5th Avenue South is the social and cultural heart of Naples, and the civic leaders and businesses in the city have developed a far-sighted plan to not only retain the history of the area but to encourage the future of this important part of town.
Wine and Dine, Shop and Stroll
Street View on 5th Avenue in Downtown Naples, Florida, USA on a Sunny Day
It could be said that 5th Avenue South is the place to see and be seen, with dozens of highly-acclaimed restaurants, jewelry shops, apparel and fashion boutiques, spas and salons, fine art and gift galleries and many other businesses from financial institutions to real estate and wealth management firms.
Dine al fresco and take in the views of this scenic street while spending a special evening enjoying cuisine from the city’s finest restaurants, and party the night away in the vibrant clubs that line the street.
A short walk west down 5th Avenue South takes you to a moonlit stroll along the world-famous Naples beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
The sophisticated and eclectic atmosphere is a favorite for special occasions, celebrations or just spending a quiet afternoon taking in the chic ambience.
The Cultural Events Center of Naples
In keeping with the true spirit of a town’s gathering spot, 5th Avenue South is the heart of dozens of regularly-scheduled cultural and celebratory events that draw thousands to the downtown area.
Some of the most popular are the annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade, the Cars on Fifth event featuring hundreds of exotic Ferrari’s and other high-end cars organized by the Ferrari Club of Naples, the Evening on 5th monthly gatherings and dozens of other arts, crafts and fine jewelry shows.
Cambier Park is an easy walk one block south from 5th Avenue South and home to many annual cultural and art events throughout the year.
Some of the more prominent include the Paradise Coast Wine & Food Experience and the Naples Women’s Club Flea Market, held monthly in the busier fall and winter seasons.
Naples’ 5th Avenue South is the unquestionable center of social sophistication and style, accented by the understated elegance for which this seaside paradise has become so well known.
Kelly Madden has spent his career as an advertising, marketing and creative consultant. He spent 20 years as the marketing director for Florida's largest residential real estate brokerage firm, and more recently as the marketing director for a Fort Myers personal injury law firm.
Kelly holds a degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He is an accomplished graphic designer, blogger and website content writer, and also does original illustrations.
Kelly has lived in Southwest Florida for over 50 years, and now resides in Cape Coral with his wife, Sandra, where he operates a freelance marketing and creative business.