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  • John Telischak

A Step Back in Time

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Walking Tours with Naples Historical Society©

Historic Palm Cottage


In the morning, the area around Naples Historical Society’s Historic Palm Cottage™ has a buzz of activity. Joggers and bicyclists get their workouts in. Dog walkers and strollers enjoy a leisurely saunter.

Anglers pull their carts westward toward the azure brine, carrying their salt-kissed, well-loved, and well-worn gear. Even if there is no catch to bring home, it is still better than a root canal or doing one’s taxes.

Beachgoers arrive to claim their stake on the beach. Carrying a kaleidoscope of umbrellas, coolers, and towels. If children are in tow, there will be sand toys, snacks, possibly diapers, and definitely wipes.

All are trying to enjoy a perfect view before the sun reaches its zenith, the mercury rises, and afternoon storms roll in.

You will also see another group strolling along. They are led by one of the Naples Historical Society’s enthusiastic walking tour docents. This individual is an artist, painting the canvas of the present with the antiquated sights and sounds of Naples’ past. Their eager group of listeners will hear how the Naples Pier, despite its’ current state, courtesy of Hurricane Ian, will be rebuilt in the same spot as its predecessors. How guests from the Naples Hotel danced there in their evening finery as the sun disappeared beneath the waves, all while avoiding the offal from lucky angler’s catches.

The group is on the Naples Historical Society’s Official Walking Tour of the Naples Historic District.

They will stand where the Naples Hotel once stood. Their docent will gesture to the approximate spot where the lobby was and where the hotel’s bell once sat, its gleaming pewter exterior, awaiting the hands of guests checking in, booking a guide, or simply obtaining towels.

They will cross the area where the first Neapolitans, the Calusa, built a canal that cut across our city from the Gulf to Naples Bay. Construction began during the reign of Charlemagne and saw generations of Calusa utilize it for their maritime activities.

The highlight of the tour will be when they enter the nearby residential neighborhood. Where they will hear stories of the beautiful private historic homes which share a connection to Naples’ history. Each home is a diamond, embodying stories of Naples’ past, contained in a lovingly restored and maintained exterior.

Naples Historical Society’s Official Walking Tours are also a Blue Zones of Southwest Florida-approved activity! If you are curious about our city’s past, we invite you to join us on a Wednesday morning!

Walking tours must be pre-booked online at the Society’s website at: or by calling 239.261.8164.

Admission goes directly to the upkeep of Historic Palm Cottage and its beautiful grounds.

Please note: Walking Tours will resume in November of 2023. Naples Historical Society Walking tours were put on hiatus after Hurricane Ian out of sensitivity to the local community. Many residents here in Old Naples had major damage to their homes, and in some cases sadly, suffered a complete loss. Many homes that are being restored are still in the midst of that painstaking process at the time of this writing.


Naples Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the community by maintaining Historic Palm Cottage, opening it for tours for all ages, hosting educational events throughout the year and working on major initiatives to benefit the community well into the future. It is based at Historic Palm Cottage, 137 12th Avenue South, Naples Florida 34102, one block east of the Naples Pier.

Naples Historical Society receives no government funding and relies on membership dues and donations to accomplish its mission. Historic Palm Cottage was built in 1895 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Naples Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving Naples’ history and heritage for the community and future generations to enjoy.


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