The sunny port of Naples, Florida, with its well-marked pass to the Gulf of Mexico and a location nearly equidistant from the suburban delights of Tampa/St. Petersburg and the tropical island attractions of Key West, is an ideal location for boat owners who are looking for a second home and also value easy access to a wide variety of watersports activities. Anglers can work the offshore wrecks for deep-diving grouper one day or pole the backcountry waters to the north and the Ten Thousand Islands to the south for skittish redfish and bonefish. I've seen schools of tarpon, a hundred or more strong, rolling or leaping into the air in the waters just offshore from Naples' Gordon Cut on their annual migration to nearby Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor. And for those who don't want to run offshore cruising north, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway provides well-sheltered passage all the way to Tampa Bay. With over 40 golf courses in the Marco Island/Naples area, and world-class shopping and dining choices, it's easy to understand why this part of Florida's southwest coast is so popular.
One of the best-known and most desirable addresses in the Naples area these days is Mediterra, a gated, master-planned community developed by the Bonita Bay Group, which operates five other well-known communities, 12 golf courses and two marinas, all in southwest Florida. Mediterra's attractions are numerous: The Piazza, which includes a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse for swimming, tennis and fitness, as well as formal and casual dining at the center of it all, surrounded by pastoral gardens and fountains evoking the charm and style of the Mediterranean; The Club at Mediterra, which serves as home to a pair of 18-hole golf courses designed by Tom Fazio, one of which is designated as an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary program; a private Beach Club on the Gulf of Mexico at Bonita Beach, with architectural details reminiscent of a Mediterranean seaside resort, providing indoor and alfresco dining, plus an elevated swimming pool, spa and sundeck, all overlooking the well-maintained beachfront.
Mediterra's master plan allows for a comfortable density of less than 950 residences on 1,697 acres, a generous 1,000 acres of which are devoted to open space that includes miles of paved walking and biking trails connecting a community-wide series of themed natural parks. Eleven single-family neighborhoods, four luxury villa neighborhoods, and two coach home neighborhoods, with prices ranging from $600,000 to more than $7 million, are being built by over a dozen custom builders.
Of particular interest to a select group of yacht owners will be the Village of Lucarno, 16 lakefront, single-family luxury villa homes offered by London Bay Homes, which include year-round exterior maintenance. Priced from $1.125 million to $1.45 million and offered in four distinct models with numerous optional features-antique brick, wood-beam ceilings, wood floors and rustic stone walls leading to outdoor balconies, covered loggias over water, fountain courtyards-these designs offer owners the flexibility to add semi-custom touches that define and serve their unique lifestyle. This builder is well known for blending indoor and outdoor living environments in the style of those found in Spanish and Italian home designs of southern Europe. n