When you live in a state with over 1,000 miles of coastline there’s a ton of options for a weekend beach getaway. But not all Florida beaches are created equal. East coast beaches face the Atlantic Ocean. They are good for sunrises and surfing. West coast beaches are protected by the Gulf of Mexico. These are the beaches that epic sunsets are made of and with less waves, seem much calmer.
If you’re looking for powder white sand and a laid back vibe, look no further than Florida’s Paradise Coast which is comprised of Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades.
My friend, and fellow Floridian, Amanda and I experienced the Ultimate Girlfriend Getaway on Florida’s Paradise Coast. Here’s a look at all we saw and did (and ate and drank) on our most recent visit.
MARCO ISLAND MARRIOTT
Amanda had mentioned the Marco Island Marriott to me on previous trips we had shared so I was anxious to check it out. This property, set right on the powder white sands of the gulf, offers guests nearly three miles of beachfront.
The resort is stunning!
Check out the view from our balcony.
The room was bright and airy with pillow topped mattresses and modern amenities.
We made our way down to Quinn’s beach side bistro and bar for cold beer and appetizers upon check in. It was fun catching up and listening to the sounds of the seagulls and taking in the salt air. Later on we would have cocktails and sushi in Korals, the resort’s lobby and sushi bar.
Day two included hours lounging by the pool and walks along the beach.
…and a Miami Vice…or two…
After a leisurely afternoon of fun in the sun we headed back up to the room to get ready for a GNO (Girls Night Out) in Naples.
BAR TULIA AND OSTERIA TULIA IN NAPLES
We ordered an Uber and took a half hour ride from the Marco Island Marriott into the heart of Downtown Naples.
Downtown Naples is known as the spot where the sun meets the city. Our destination was right on Fifth Avenue South which is the perfect location for a sunset stroll or a unique happy hour experience as we were about to discover.
We started the evening out at Bar Tulia. I just returned from a European cruise which called on three ports in Italy. Bar Tulia looked like it could have been plucked straight from one of those Italian ports of call and placed right onto Fifth Ave.
The rotating draft list was intriguing. The appetizers were perfectly portioned and the craft cocktails were reminiscent of a time when cocktail hour was more refined and imaginative. The staff were attentive and the vibe was intimate.
I could have stayed bellied up to the bar for dinner service but we just had to check out the neighboring Osteria Tulia.
Osteria Tulia is beautiful in its design. Rustic with its exposed brick and wooden beams, yet refined with its elegant glassware and haute cuisine. We noshed on grilled octopus while sipping wine. Settled into our free range chicken and wood grilled pork ribeye entrees and then topped off the evening with a not-to-be-missed tiramisu.
Our evening concluded with martinis in Korals back at the Marco Island Marriott. The weekend couldn’t have been more perfect.
Special thanks goes out to Bar Tulia, Osteria Tulia and Marco Island Marriott for hosting me. All opinions are of course my own.