Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012
A small towns. A place you can get your arms around. A towns where you may know a lot of the folks. Walk down main street and you are greeted by many people you know. You feel connected. I know, I know where is the pop of big city life? What about that town-that-never-sleeps style? It is a trade off. Us small-towners can pack it up and head off to bigger places to get our big city fix – only to retreat back to our wonderful small towns. I used to be a big towner now I am a small towner – and I love it.
There are lots of great small towns in America and it looks like Naples, Florida is on Smithsonian’s top list http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/The-20-Best-Small-Towns-in-America.html). Their recent report states “Even when it’s snowing somewhere up north, around the historic Naples pier they’re catching mackerel, opening beach umbrellas and looking for treasure in the surf. Grandkids are building sand castles, pelicans are squawking and the Gulf of Mexico is smooth as far as the eye can see.”
The Smithsonian gets our history right as well. My wife and I have travelled here or owned here for nearly forty years – which in terms of the city’s long history is nothing really. Smithsonian reports “Travelers have been coming to this small town on the edge of the Everglades ever since the late 19th century, when you could reach it only by boat and there was just one place to stay, the steeple-topped Naples Hotel, connected to the pier by a track with a cart for moving steamer trunks. Back then the visitors were chiefly sportsmen drawn to the abundant fish and game of southwest Florida’s cypress swamps. “
So we have some permanence, a sense of history which we preserve, and an abundance of outdoor beauty (the dolphin are literally hunting fish at the end of my back yard again this morning and I am waiting for the manatee to wander up to my dock again this summer and did I mention the nesting bald eagles which hunt the bay and fly over my house? but I digress). And yes we have some over the top restaurants even by New York, Toronto, San Francisco or Chicago standards. And a philharmonic, a world class botanical garden, a host of non-profits (some nationally ranked), Champions Tour golf events, etc, etc. so do not think sleepy little Mayberry yet.
On the surface I still think people view Naples as a great vacation spot true to its history and perhaps a place for old folks but look a little more closely. There is a growing bunch of full time residents (80,000+) and yes young families, kids, summer festivals – all the best stuff that comes with small town life.
Check us out. Come down for a visit but be careful. You might get hooked permanently as my wife and I did and sell off our northern life to come down here to live in a southern paradise full time.
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Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
Mark Goebel, PA REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South Mobile: 239.595.3921 Email: email@example.com NaplesBestAddresses.com Facebook: NaplesBestAddresses Twitter @mcgoebel Naples Best Addresseses – Where The Best Address in Naples Real Estate Is Yours