This is our guide to the best places to run in Naples-Fort Myers, Florida, which are 45 miles apart. Located in Southwest Florida, Naples is a place bordered by the gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Everglades to the south. It’s part of the Paradise Coast, 100 miles due west of Fort Lauderdale. Naples is well known for its high-end shopping, world-class culture and sophisticated dining, but it also appeals to nature lovers and beach aficionados. Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South are the focal points for Naples shopping in the historic downtown area, with numerous art galleries, chic clothing boutiques and home decor shops.
The best running near downtown Naples is along Gulf Shore Boulevard and Gordon Road, with views of the water, and some of Naples’ loveliest hotels and homes. Just north of downtown, there are some neat boardwalk and trail runs through Everglades-like foliage, along the Gordon River Greenway and Freedom Park. Still further north, the Pelican Blvd./Artis arts center are terrific, as are nearby Clam Shell Park and the Delnor-Wiggins Nature Trail. 25 miles north is the Bird Rookery Swamp hiking and biking trails. South of Naples, there is fantastic running on tony and bucolic Marco Island. The beaches of Naples in particular are sloped, so they’re not an easy run. The key for a beach run is going at low tide, and running at the edge of the surf, where the sand is compact and most level.
Fort Myers is 45 miles north of Naples. The running highlight is Fort Myers Beach, a 7 mile flat beach with hard packed sand, and one of the best beaches for running in Florida. Adjoining Fort Myers Beach is Lovers Key State Park, with an additional 2 miles of beach running and 5 miles of bike paths. The 5 mile Linear Park, between Cypress Six Mile Parkway & Colonial Boulevard is the best off-road trail in the area. And just southwest of Fort Myers, Sanibel/Captiva Island has some great running options and a wonderful beach.