BEST DINNER SHOW

Dinner with the Artists

Art and food? Sign us up, please and thank you. More...

BEST PLACE TO BE SEEN

Florida Weekly’s Society pages

Admit it: The first thing you do when you pick up your Florida Weekly is flip to the back to see who was sparkling at all the recent soirees around town. Who was wearing what? Who showed up with whom? More...

BEST FRONT PORCH

Smallwood Store

Chokoloskee is famous for the historic, age-bowed Smallwood Store, which is famous for being the site where (alleged) outlaw Edgar Watson was gunned down by a group of his islander neighbors in 1910. More...

BEST ETHICAL POLITICIAN

Doug Finlay

Naples City Council member Doug Finlay filed an ethics complaint against himself over a rule that is, frankly, quite dumb. It seems councilors are not allowed to accept food or drink at social events. More...

BEST NON-SEASON SEASON

Mango time

Stretching roughly from May to October, mango season yields the sweetest, most joyful resistance to the sweat-soaked, rain-scoured subtropical summer. More...

BEST PLACE TO GET UP CLOSE TO GATORS

Lake Trafford Park & Marina

Lake Trafford is a 1,500-acre lake a few miles west of Immoklaee. Rumor has it that it’s so thick with gators you can walk from one side to the other on the heads of the reptiles and never get your feet wet. More...

BEST BAT BRIDGE

Matheson Avenue, Bonita Springs

Where the Imperial River flows under Matheson Avenue in Bonita Springs lives a colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats (the most common kind in Florida). CGT Kayaks owner and tour guide John Paeno estimates that there are more than 1,000 of them. More...

BEST RESURGENCE

Local progressives

Thanks to a shellacking in the November 2016 general election, local progressives found renewed energy to organize, fundraise and maybe just remind everyone else that the Republican majority in Collier County is actually very slim. More...

BEST LEGACY

Homer Helter

Patriotism often boils down to lip service for many of us. A Facebook post on Memorial Day is enough to inform everyone about our gratitude to the men and women who serve in the military. Homer Helter was different. Mr. More...

BEST LOCAL REVENGE NOVEL

“Grabmore”

Florida Weekly freelancer Glenn Miller, who previously worked for a daily, was upset with the constant layoffs and furloughs (required time off without pay). He was dismayed with the erosion of journalism and superiors putting profit over people. More...

BEST PINK PANTS-ER

Trevor English

A pretty pink tie is probably the limit for most men, but Naples Realtor Trevor English channels all-out Vineyard Vines and J. More...

BEST NEW GREEN THUMB

Thomas Hecker at Everglades Wonder Gardens

With decades of environmental nonprofit management experience, Thomas Hecker became executive director at the 81-year-old Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs in January. Mr. Hecker has worked at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. More...

BEST SALE Of THE YEAR

The Red Sox’ Chris Sale

Pitcher Chris Sale sounds positively giddy talking about being traded in December from the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox. More...

BEST MOST GENEROUS 24 HOURS

Give Where You Live Collier

The third annual Give Where You Live Collier in February generated 1,847 donations and a total of more than $4 million for 40 local nonprofits. Hosted by the Community Foundation of Collier County and the Richard M. More...

BEST (ONLY!) PLACE IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA TO SPOT A BAHAMIAN CURLYTAIL LIZARD

Chokoloskee

If you’ve ever been to the Bahamas, you surely noticed the islands’ fat, cute, lizards with tails curled straight up over their backs. More...

BEST MOST LIKELY TO CREATE THE $6 MILLION DOLLAR MAN

Arthrex

Who would expect a high-tech medical device company to base its headquarters and manufacturing in Naples? More...

BEST PLACE TO HAVE FUN LOSING (OR WINNING) MONEY

Seminole Immokalee Casino

Slots, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold ’Em, Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Mississippi Stud — Seminole Casino offers a whole gaggle of ways to indulge in the thrill of chance. More...

BEST RESTAURANT REINVENTION

1500 South

Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s former chef and a twotime James Beard award winner, opened another of his successful restaurants in the space formerly occupied by the delicious but defunct Mereday’s at Naples Bay Resort. More...

BEST PLACE TO MAKE MOM HAPPY YOU ATE THERE

True Food Kitchen

Healthy foods are deliciously served at the new True Food Kitchen in Waterside Shops, with a large, open dining space and open bustling kitchen. The staff’s uber-friendly team approach delivers top service from any passing server. More...

BEST Of BOTH WORLDS

Noodles Italian Café & Sushi Bar

Noodles Italian Café & Sushi Bar is considered a local hotspot that has brought two unlikely genres of food together. This seemingly odd couple that is Italian and Japanese cuisine has come together in successful and delicious harmony. More...

BEST TRANSLATION FROM ITALIAN TO FRENCH

The French

Vincenzo Betulia’s opening of a third restaurant – The French Brasserie Rustique — has proved a lovely complement to his two outstanding Italian establishments, Osteria Tulia and Bar Tulia. More...

BEST WAY TO ENSURE TOP CHEFS IN YOUR DINING FUTURE

The Culinary and Hospitality Education Foundation

A year’s Culinary Institute of America tuition costs $45,000-plus — a big bite out of any culinary student’s budget. More...

BEST PLACE FOR BETTER MEXICAN FOOD

Agave

Agave is known as “Naples’ Better Mexican Restaurant.” The reasons are simple. Better ingredients. Agave uses black Angus beef, unmatched in tenderness and taste. More...

BEST GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

The East Trail

Two words to new settlers: Go east, young men (and women)! More...

BEST PLACE TO ‘MEAT’ THE CEO

BurgerFi

Do we really need to discuss who has the BEST burger in town? Combine double Wagyu plus brisket and “meat” BurgerFi’s famous CEO. BurgerFi uses allnatural products, free of hormones and antibiotics. More...

Only in Paradise

Naples and its surrounds certainly have their share of colorful places as well as characters, achievers, do-gooders, movers and shakers to keep our staff supplied with stories all year round. More...

BEST COMEBACK THAT NEVER LEFT

The Great Dock Canoe Race

Last spring, our writers covered the “last” Great Dock Canoe Race from front to back and front again, all with the knowledge that the beloved 40-year tradition would likely be rescued once founder Vin DePasquale finally convinced everyone More...

BEST ROYALTY

The Buzzard Lope Queen

For 33 years an illustrious tradition has carried on: the annual crowning of the Buzzard Lope Queen at Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland. More...

BEST HANGOUTS FOR EVERY AGE

Toddlers: If you’re 4 years old — first, congratulations on your reading skills! — there is probably no better place than Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, better known as C’mon. More...

BEST BEDTIME STORY

The Pinecrest Pillow Project

When Pinecrest Elementary School Teacher Erica Rimbert asked her students what they wanted for Christmas, she was dismayed when they responded with gifts that filled very basic needs — and stuffed animals. More...

BEST REASON FOR A MANDATORY TIME OUT

A bad lesson on social media

Here’s a tip for public servants: You have to behave like you can tolerate the people you serve. More...

BEST MOM

Polly Crews

Polly Crews, 91, lost her son, Army Sgt. Robert Crews, in the Vietnam War in 1968. He was 21. Mrs. Crews might not be able to drive anymore, but she can organize. More...

BEST NEW PRESIDENT

Joyce Owens

Joyce Owens, principal of Architecture Joyce Owens, was named president of the Florida AIA (the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects) this year, making her the third female president in the professional organization’s 105-yea More...

BEST LOCAL AUTHOR

Nathan Hill

Neapolitan Nathan Hill, who used to teach creative writing at Florida Gulf Coast University and is married to a bassoonist in the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, hit Bestseller Lists with his debut novel, “The Nix” this past summer. More...

BEST SPECS

Cheryl Lampard

If you’re having trouble reading this, we suggest you head to your nearest optometrist. But whether you’re already bespectacled or not, we suggest you take a page out of Cheryl Lampard’s playbook and make your glasses memorable. More...

BEST REASON TO HIT THE MUTE BUTTON

1-888-SEAN-KING

Families in Southwest Florida have only one reason to all dive for the remote at once: local defense attorney Sean King’s television ads. More...

BEST NEW TRANSPLANT

Donna McGinnis at Naples Botanical Garden

Brian Holley planted the roots of Naples Botanical Garden. Donna McGinnis is poised to nurture the shoots. When Mr. Holley retired after 11 years as executive director, Ms. More...

BEST GRAND OPENING

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

It’s America’s newest children’s hospital, and it’s right here in our backyard. More...

BEST GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

$3 million to WGCU Public Media

Myra Janco Daniels, who founded the Philharmonic Center for the Arts after she moved to Southwest Florida to retire, donated $3 million to WGCU Public Media, our local PBS station, to support arts programming. More...

BEST LUCKY DOG

Rescued from the jaws of a gator

Part-time Naples resident Donald Copps caused quite a commotion when he rescued Carbon, a 7-year-old black lab, from the jaws of a hungry alligator at Olde Cypress Golf Club. Mr. More...

BEST PLACE TO EAVESDROP

Naples Winter Wine Festival dinners

While any large-scale social function creates terrific opportunities to accidentally overhear quality gossip, the mother of all social functions is the Naples Winter Wine Festival’s Friday night celebrity vintner/chef dinners. More...

BEST PLACE TO GET ON THE RIGHT SIDE Of THE LAW

Citizens Police Academy

Perhaps you became a dentist instead of fulfilling your childhood dream of being a police officer. Is there any way to go back and do it all over again? More...

Bon appétit!

Going out to eat has become the great American pastime, but Neapolitans seem to make it their jobs. More...

BEST FRIED FISH YOU CAN EAT WHILE WEARING THE ACTUAL CLOTHES YOU WERE WEARING WHEN YOU CAUGHT THE FISH

Everglades City’s Island Café

You can’t miss the Island Cafe. It sits beside the only road into the fishing, crabbing, airboat-tour village of Everglades City. More...

BEST MEXICAN FIESTA

Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria

At Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria, their philosophy is simple: Ingredients should always be fresh and the recipes original. They cook all of their food from scratch continuously throughout the day. More...

BEST CATCH ON 41

Catch 41

It’s a great catch — and that is not a fishy story. A new chef and a fresh concept add up to a great catch at the Ramada Inn. The sprawling 200-seat restaurant and bar needed something more than just OK to keep it filled and profitable. More...

BEST ORIGINAL DINING STAPLES IN NAPLES

Ridgway Bar & Grill, Bayside Seafood Grill, Tony’s on Third, Sukie’s Wine Shop

Tony Ridgway opened his first restaurant in Naples more than 46 years ago, only a couple of blocks from where his Ridgway Bar & Grill and Tony’s Off Third wow diners today on 13th Avenue South off of Third Street South. More...

BEST TASTE OF SOUTHERN ITALY

Ristorante Limoncello

If you are looking for an intimate dining experience with friends or family, Ristorante Limoncello is the place to enjoy a fantastic Sicilian cuisine. More...

BEST UPTOWN PROGRESS

MidTown Kitchen + Bar, Public House

Long-time Naples restaurateur Michael Hernandez is taking his downtown mojo and heading to mid- and uptown with the opening of MidTown Kitchen + Bar at U.S. 41 and Golden Gate Parkway and Public House at Immokalee and Goodlette-Frank roads. More...

BEST LOCAL WATERING HOLE

Rusty’s Raw Bar and Grill

When people come to Southwest Florida, they envision the palm trees, warm breezes, white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, fresh seafood and, of course, a nice cold drink to wash their worries away. More...