Festivals Offer A Taste Of Paradise

Fun, family and—importantly—food come together at these much-anticipated Naples festivals throughout the year. The Paradise Coast is fast becoming recognized as a food lover’s destination. When you combine the area’s many dining accolades with beautiful outdoor venues and longstanding local traditions, you get a year-round lineup of food festivals and food events sure to make mouths water.

Annual Food Events in Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades

Takes place: January or February
“Authentic” is the keyword at this annual family-friendly event in Naples. You’ll see the German influence in everything from the music to the dancing, but especially in the food and beer—schnitzel, beef rouladen, bratwurst, knackwurst, spaetzle and more. Prost!

Greek Fest
Takes place: February
Immerse yourself in the culture of Greece at this weekend-long festival, where they serve up plenty of delicious Greek eats, beer, and wines. Can’t stay for the party? They also offer takeout via the drive-through.

Everglades Seafood Festival
Takes place: February
The Everglades Seafood Festival is true Old Florida at its finest! This three-day event has been an Everglades City tradition for nearly 50 years, with locals and visitors alike coming together for carnival rides, live country music and—of course—plenty of its namesake seafood, including fresh Gulf shrimp, fish, stone crab claws, steamed lobster and more.

Marco Island Food and Music Festival
Takes place: March
More than 10,000 visitors flock to this sunny festival on Marco Island each year. From its modest beginnings as a fundraiser for the local Rotary Club, the event has boomed into what is now a three-day food and music festival featuring cuisine and beer offerings from a handful of local restaurants and breweries, as well as live music performances all day long.

Taste of Collier
Takes place: End of April or beginning of May
This long-standing Naples tradition is the perfect opportunity to sample savory offerings from dozens of area restaurants, all in one place. When it’s time to take a break from taste testing, watch local chefs go head to head in cooking demonstrations. The cherry on top: The views of Naples Bay at Bayfront, home of this outdoor event, can’t be beat.

SWFL Restaurant Week
Takes place: Spring(May-June) and Winter(November-December)
Mark, your calendar for the best 14 days of dining deals Naples and Marco Island have to offer. Twice a year, dozens of the best local restaurants offer major discounts on three- and five-course prix fixe menus.(Some offer wine pairings options, as well.) The only downside? Not being able to try them all in just two weeks.

Stone Crab Festival
Takes place: October
Kick off the start of stone crab season at this three-day waterfront festival at Tin City, Bayfront and the surrounding areas. Block parties, live entertainment and ice-cream eating contests abound, but best of all: more than 20 restaurants featuring fresh stone crab, local seafood and a variety of other delicious eats and treats.

Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience
Takes place: October
This sophisticated new addition to the Naples culinary scene showcases the best food, wine, beer and spirits from local and national chefs and mixologists. Part of a 12-city tour collaboration by USA Today Network and Martha Stewart, this extraordinary experience brings the chance to sample favorites from local restaurants, sip fine wines and craft beers, meet celebrity chefs, and partake in cooking demonstrations and seminars.

Takes place: November
You guessed it: BaconFest celebrates all things bacon. Try innovative bacon dishes from local restaurants and food trucks, test your skills in the bacon-eating contest, and enjoy live music and family-friendly activities throughout the day.