Looking for the best places to enjoy Naples, Florida’s spectacular sunsets over the Gulf with a cocktail in your hand? Whether you desire a seat at the bar or a full dining experience, these hot spots are not to be missed. As the sun dips below the horizon each night, the breathtaking sight is met with cheers, applause, and sometimes even the ringing of the dinner bell. Be sure to pack your camera—and your appetite!
Reservations are recommended for dinner, seating at the bar is on a first come, first served basis. Happy hour specials are seasonal and vary by location.
- Baleen at La Playa, 9891 Gulf Shore Drive, 239-598-5707, 5:30–10 p.m. Bar, dinner, and prix fixe menus are featured. Highlights include: Lobster Wontons, Guava BBQ Glazed Pork Tenderloin, and Gulf Shrimp Risotto. Be sure to try the perfectly mixed margaritas!
- Gumbo Limbo Beach Bar & Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road, 239-598-3300, 5–8:30 p.m. Dinner and sand bar menus include such specialties as: Floridian Conch Chowder, Gumbo Shrimp & Grits, and All Natural Buttermilk Chicken. You can’t go wrong with the Gumbo Punch—a spiced rum fruit drink, or the raspberry lemonade made with fresh raspberry purée.
- Dusk at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road, 239-598-6644 5–10 p.m. Enjoy sushi and small plates outside on the terrace, featuring lounge sofas and fire pits overlooking the Gulf. Or, dine indoors following sunset cocktails just a few years away on the beach at Gumbo Limbo. Spicy Tuna Rolls and Shrimp Tempura with a Zen Garden—muddled Japanese cucumber, pickled ginger syrup, Ketel One Citroen, sake, and limoncello—are the perfect combination!
- Sunset Beach Bar at Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North, 239-435-4347, 11 a.m.–midnight (1 a.m. Friday, Saturday) Casual fare such as the Florida Salad, Grilled Asian Salmon Sandwich, and Beach Burger are featured. Daily specials include Friday’s Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwich topped with mango salsa. Enjoy a sea breeze with your toes in the sand.
- HB’s at Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North, 239-435-4347, 5–10 p.m. Have a drink at Sunset Beach Bar followed by dinner just a few yards away at HB’s. Menu standouts include Lobster Bisque, Sea Bass, and Whole Snapper. Sample the extensive, acclaimed wine list. HB’s also offers Private Sunset Dining: White linen table service on the sand with 5 courses for special occasions. Call HB’s for details.
- The Turtle Club at Vanderbilt Beach, 9225 Gulf Shore Drive, 239-592-6557, 5–9 p.m. Try the Signature Seafood Chowder, Famous Oysters “Turtlefeller,” Australian Rack of Lamb, or the mouth-watering Sea Harvest. Pair with a cocktail, beer, or wine.
- Coast at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, 1901 Gulf Shore Blvd. North, 239-403-2000, 5–10 p.m. Indulge in the Shrimp and Grits, Grilled Salmon, or Lobster Ravioli. Check out handcrafted cocktails including traditional, coconut, or bajan mojitos. If you still have room, try the Flight of Cakes that includes coconut, chocolate, key lime, strawberry shortcake, and tiramisu!
- Naples Princess Sunset Cruises, 550 Port O Call Way, 239-649-2275, Experience the Sunset More Than Hors D’oeuvres Cruise featuring hot and cold appetizers and desserts, or the Sunset Dinner Cruise featuring a buffet-style meal. Both offer breathtaking 360° views from a luxury yacht as it sails through the Gulf. Dates and times vary for these 2-hour cruises and a schedule is posted on the website two weeks in advance.
About the author: Michele L. Trombley is an Ohio-based writer, designer, and photographer, who lives to travel. See some of her work at micheletrombley.com.
Photo: Ritz Carlton