Finding the best hidden gems in Collier County - 96.9 WINK FM

Finding the best hidden gems in Collier County


WINK News hitched a ride with a charter captain to find the best hidden gems in Collier County.

Collier County is busy. There are busy roads with busy people living busy lives. You might ask yourself, where can I go to get away from that?

WINK News found some of the top hidden gems for you to check out in Collier County.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. (Credit: WINK News)

Take a trip to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. There you can see and hear the sights and sounds of nature—the sounds of peace, quiet, and tranquility.

This hidden gem is located just half an hour east of Naples. Sanctuary Director Keith Laakkonen walked WINK News through part of the natural oasis featuring 500-year-old cypress trees and a 2.25-mile adventure on the Corkscrew Boardwalk.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. (Credit: WINK News)

“There’s enough space on this boardwalk where you’re always going to have a sense of being sort of alone in nature,” said Laakkonen.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a serene spot for the entire family.

Twenty miles south, WINK News met Charter Captain Dean Murphy, who showed us his favorite hidden gems on the water.

Riverwalk at Tin City. (Credit: WINK News)

Stop one: Riverwalk at Tin City.

“You can kind of sit there and just kind of get the entire experience of being on the water and Naples right there sitting at the restaurant,” said Murphy.

WINK passed other boaters on our way to stop two, called “The Dock.” Murphy said it’s the longest-standing waterfront restaurant in Naples.

The Dock. (Credit: WINK News)

“It really has that, like, deep Naples feel to it,” said Murphy.

Murphy said any hidden gem in Naples has a Naples feel to it. What does that mean? He said anywhere that feels like home.

“People go for what’s suggested and what people frequent all the time. Whereas the small little hole in the walls, that’s where you really get the essence of what Naples is. That means the world to me. It’s home,” Murphy said.

Murphy encourages everyone to get out and go places they haven’t tried before; hole-in-the-wall restaurants, nature trails, or like him, getting out on the water.

You can click here to get charter boat tickets to help you find some hidden gems.

For more information about Corcksrew Preserve tickets and memberships, click here.


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