The Naples Train Museum

The Naples Train Museum

by George Turczyn

Editor’s Note:

The Naples Train Museum is a true hidden gem in the heart of Naples!  We’ve lived in Naples since 2014, but only recently visited for the first time with two of our grandchildren. We had a blast!  The kids were mesmerized as they immersed themselves in the massive hands-on and interactive train displays.

My favorite part was getting to take a ride on the miniature outdoor steam train. 

We had no idea what we had been missing! 


Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum

A world-class collection of model trains

The Naples Train Museum hosts a world class collection of model trains including some rare models as well as operating a large layout running 10 trains.

Over 30 buttons surrounding the display table operate everything from sawing logs, loading coal, setting hot air balloons in flight to watching the fire station answer a call.

You can even see yourself on the Drive-In Movie screen. 

Naples Train Museum

History of the Naples Train Museum

The Naples Depot building was constructed by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and opened in 1927. 

The museum was founded in 2000 because of a gift from the William von Liebig Foundation.

Visiting the Naples Train Museum

The Naples Train Museum is located at the historic Naples Depot at 401 10th St South.  

 It is open to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM from mid-October to the end of April.  

Naples Train Museum

Hands-on and Interactive

The community and countryside include popular Naples landmarks and takes you back into the glory days of railroading.

A push of the buttons puts the scenes into action. Dimming the lights provides a night view of well-lit pas­senger trains, buildings, and streets.  

The entire visit is interactive and young visitors are amazed and the older ones are lost in memories.

Naples Train Museum

Take a train ride

Then there is the train ride outside around the Depot adjacent to US41 and 10th St.  

The 7 ½ inch gauge railroad features open air passenger cars pulled by either a Live Steam Locomotive, like the original Orange Blossom Special, complete with a steam whistle, or a period correct Diesel Locomotive.

Bringing up the end of the train is a WW2 era Atlantic Coast Line Red Caboose.

At the end of the run, the young and young at heart are invited up to either blow the whistle or sound the horn.  

Although the train is a much smaller scale, a little imagination makes the train ride exciting for adults and children.

Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum

How much does the Naples Train Museum cost?

Tickets include unlimited train rides and the interactive train museum.

The ticket is $8 for adults and $4 for children 3 to 13, first responders, and veterans, military and medical.

Children under 3 are admitted free.

The Naples Train Museum is Looking for Volunteers

The museum is operated by a staff of volunteers that are rewarded by Smiles and Laughter.

All the Trains, Buildings and Displays require constant maintenance.  Many of the needed parts are no longer available and the volunteers have often gotten parts custom manufactured.

The museum is always looking for volunteers to carry on the wonderful future for this unique community resource for many generations to come.

Interested in trains, interacting with children, making friends, learning new skills?

Got 4 hours on a Friday or Saturday?

The Naples Train Museum has a spot for you.

How was the Naples Train Museum impacted by Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian destroyed a good part of the outdoor Railroad.

The Engine House was filled with 26 inches of seawater and covered all our equipment.  It delayed our Autumn Opening Day.

It took the volunteers nearly 800 hours to rebuild all of it.

Our Diesel Locomotives required many new parts, including a new motor, complete rewiring, and restoration.

The Steam Locomotive had its boiler, flues, tender flushed of saltwater.

All the equipment was desalinated, cleaned and some cars were even repainted.

The tracks have been repaired.

The Trains are running.

We’re back and better than ever!

All of this became an unexpected financial drain.

Naples Train Museum

If you'd like to support the Naples Train Museum

Donations and Fundraising are critical to the success of the museum.   Donors play an essential role in keeping the Train Museum open, running, maintaining, and improving.  The museum is also seeking support to help us recover from Hurricane Ian.

You can support the museum through our Buy-A Brick program. Our donor website allows you to design and purchase a custom-made brick for our Outside Train Boarding Area.  You can add one of the many clipart images to the brick which you can choose on the website at

Simply click on the “Buy a Brick” icon. The cost is $65.00 for a 4”x8" concrete brick without clipart and $75.00 with clipart.

Cash donations are always welcome.

Naples Train Museum donation bricks

For more information on the Naples Train Museum

To learn more about our museum, email us at or go to

cute beach hairstyles
Naples to Marco Island by Boat

Naples to Marco Island by Boat

Naples to Marco by boat

If you ever spend any time in the Naples area of Florida and love being on the water, immersed in nature, then this is for you.

Renting a Boat

Sometime in late June or early July I received an email from Groupon offering a full-day boat rental for $220. I had rented boats a handful of times in the past and this Groupon offer seemed like a decent deal, so I took it.

The offer was from Bayfront Rentals in downtown Naples and by the end of August, we cleared a day in the middle of the week to take a day off and head down to Marco Island.

The Groupon was for $220, but that just covered the boat rental. There was an additional charge of $85 for fuel plus about 20 bucks in taxes, so the total out-of-pocket was about $325, which is still decent, but there are other comparable alternatives that can be found without Groupon.

Bayfront Rentals is located at the intersection of Goodlette-Frank Rd and Tamiami Trail (route 41.)

Starting From Naples

The groupon deal we had gave us the option of a small Hurricane deck boat or a pontoon boat. Since it was just two of us we went with the deck boat.

Starting from downtown Naples, it is a leisurely 90 minute trip to Capri Pass and the northern end of Marco Island.

Naples Bayfront

Bayfront Marina

With pelicans, seagulls, and cormorants all around us, we headed out at low tide and passed under the Tamiami trail bridge and past Tin City.

If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of experience, just stay inside the green and red channel markers and you’ll be fine. All along the way you’ll see signs that mark areas that are designated as minimum wake zones for areas frequented by Manatees.

The Naples airport is just to the northeast of Tin City, so as we motored past dozens of very large and very expensive yachts, a number of private jets taking off and landing were just overhead.

As you move out and south from the marina, you’ll see the Coast Guard Auxillary building and the Boathouse restaurant off to your right, and then the next thing you encounter are the beautiful waterfront homes of Naples’ Aqualane Shores and Port Royal neighborhoods as you approach Gordan Pass, which is your first opportunity to access the Gulf of Mexico.

Naples pelicans

Pelicans are everywhere

Into the Mangroves

Once you get beyond Gordon Pass you enter another world; other-worldly if you will, as you descend into a secluded mangrove corridor surrounded by nature on every side.

(Did you know you can grow your own mangroves at home from the "seeds" you see floating in the water or washed up on the beach? Check out my wife's post How to Grow Mangroves at Home to learn how!)

Boating through mangroves

Entering the mangrove corridor

To your right is Keewaydin Island; a long narrow strip of sun-drenched beauty that separates you from the Gulf of Mexico. To your left is what is essentially the northwest corner of the Everglades.

Joining the pelicans and seagulls, were blue herons and osprey, and too many other kinds of birds to mention, as well as at least three pods of dolphin along the way.

We didn’t see any manatee this day, but be on the lookout for them as there are a few designated areas that are marked as minimum wake zones frequented by manatees. The channel is marked as 30 mph inside the channel except for those areas marked as manatee zones. It is also minimum wake everywhere outside the channel.

osprey feeding babies

Osprey family in nest atop a channel marker; feeding the little Oprey babies

Rookery Bay

A few miles south of Gordan Pass, you’ll find Rookery Bay off to your left, and once you pass that area, Keewaydin Island narrows to about only 600 feet or even less. There are some private beachfront homes in this area with docks that you’ll see on your right, and to your left is Little Marco Island.

Keewaydin Island

Once you are past Little Marco Island, you’ve got less than a mile to go to reach the southern tip of Keewaydin and the Gulf of Mexico will soon be opening up before you as you enter Capri Pass.

That southern-most part of Keewaydin is a popular place to stop and ease your boat straight onto the beach and anchor and relax on the beach for awhile. Just walk your bow anchor several yards into the beach to secure your boat and enjoy.

Blue Heron

Little blue heron at the south end of Keewaydin

Capri Pass

However, for us, it was nearly lunchtime, so we continued on to, and through, Capri Pass.

On this day, Capri Pass was absolutely gorgeous. Sandbars forming little islands teaming with birds. A multitude of color; all shades of blue and green. The expanse of the Gulf of Mexico opening out before you is simply breathtaking.

Capri Pass – photos just don’t do it justice

Skirting the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, we continued south, straight for the northern end of Tigertail Beach and then turned into the channel heading east into Marco Bay.

Snook Inn

Just up around the bend was our lunch destination, the Snook Inn, but I made the mistake of bending back to the north side of the peninsula that divides Marco Bay, so we had to backtrack to get to where we needed to be. Also, if you happen to end up at the Marco Island bridge, you’ve gone too far.

Once at the Snook Inn, we drifted into the dock, tied up, made our way to the bar, and sat down to a half pound of peel and eat shrimp and a fresh blackened grouper sandwich. Boy did that hit the spot!

Snook Inn Marco Island

The Snook Inn

Snook Inn Hurricane Ian Update:

Sadly, the Snook Inn on Marco suffered major damage from Hurricane Ian that swept through Sept. 27-28, 2022. The historic storm surge totally wiped out the beautiful Snook Inn tiki bar. To see photos of the damage to the Snook Inn, see my post Hurricane Ian Damage in Marco Island, Florida (Photos One Week Later)

Keewaydin Island Beach

For the second part of our trip we headed back toward Keewaydin with the tide rising.

The wind had picked up a little as well and current was moving fast at the southern tip of the island.

Now we eased our Hurricane up onto the beach and enjoyed some time relaxing on the beach and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Deck Boat

anchoring at Keewaydin is very easy

Keewaydin Island

looking north out at the Gulf from the southern tip of Keewaydin Island

I had brought some fishing gear so I enjoyed about 30 minutes of casting about. I didn’t catch anything, but there were plenty of big redfish and a few snook in the area chasing schools of mullet.

We took our time heading back north through the mangrove corridor and had enough time left to venture out through Gordon Pass and take one last peek at the magnificent Gulf.

We frequent the beach on the north side of that pass, so it is kind of special to be able to see it from a completely different vantage point.

A late afternoon storm was threatening, so we quickened our pace from Gordon Pass back to Bayfront. 

Nosh on Naples Bay

We got back about 15 minutes early, unloaded the boat, loaded the car, and took a two minute drive over to Naples Bay Resort and stopped in at Nosh for their happy hour.

yes.  that is, indeed, prosciutto!

We had heard about Nosh, but this was our first time eating there and it did not disappoint!

The happy hour appetizers are amazing, and the service was great! I highly recommend the steak au poivre tips. And the flatbread of the day was terrific as well.  

It was a great end to a perfect day on the water. 

Other Boat Rental Options

I think that next time we will give Boat Rentals at Naples Bay Resort a try and report back on how it compares to Bayfront Boat Rentals.   Naples Bay Resort doesn't do Groupons, but the price is comparable even without the Groupon.  I also like that they don't charge a flat fee for fuel.  You just pay for the fuel you use.

If you have any recommendations for boating in the Naples area, we'd love to hear from you!

Leave a comment below with any boating questions, tips, or secrets you're willing to share.

Naples strong shirt
Marco Strong shirt