There’s no place in Naples that captures vintage Florida charm quite like Tin City. Perched right on the Gordon River, this collection of tin-roofed buildings was once a busy hub for the local fishing industry. Today, it’s a must-see hub of quaint shops and waterfront restaurants that draw thousands of visitors each year. Here’s a look at Naple’s Historic Tin City.
The History of Tin City
Tin City’s roots date back to the 1920s when the construction of the Seaboard Airline Railroad turned this particular stretch of the Gordon River into a prime spot for clam shelling, oyster processing, and boat construction and maintenance. Fishing businesses thrived here for decades until the 1970s, when the area began to evolve into a marketplace. Seven of the district’s original buildings were transformed into the Old Marine Marketplace, which became the Tin City we know today.
Where to Eat & Drink
Visitors and residents alike love Tin City for its authentic, no-frills, pure-Florida dining. Choose from three waterfront restaurants:
The freshest seafood around can be found at Pinchers, where blue crab, stone crab, grouper and other Gulf-caught fish are delivered from dock to table every day. How do they do it? They have their own fleet of traps and boats, which helps earn them their motto: “You can’t fake fresh.” Pinchers offer two-for-one drinks all day, every day as well as reduced-price shrimp, oysters and wings during daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. Meals for kids are free with the purchase of an adult entrée. Reservations are not accepted, but you may call ahead 30 minutes in advance.
For “fresh fare, open-air and nautical flair,” grab a seat overlooking the water and dig into a Riverwalk tradition: fish and chips, fried oysters or the renowned Tin City Fry with sea scallops, shrimp and grouper. For the more health-conscious, Riverwalk also offers a Blue Zones-inspired menu, featuring plant-based, gluten-free and low-sodium options, as well as a variety of salads and daily fish selections prepared to order. Brunch is available every Sunday, happy hour happens daily and you’ll find live music on weekends.
You’ll love the retro, all-American vibe at M&M’s Café, which serves up award-winning Angus burgers, hot dogs, malts, floats and 28 flavors of house-made ice cream.
Tin City Shopping
Take a stroll along the indoor, air-conditioned wooden boardwalks of Tin City, and you’ll discover dozens of unique shops selling everything from jewelry to swimwear to gifts. Naples Soap Co. is a local favorite for its luxurious organic soaps and skincare products made from a variety of natural essences such as jasmine, sea salt, and hibiscus. The Naples Gallery features tropical-themed works by local artists. Kids love Tin City Magic, a treasure trove of games, puzzles, magic tricks and more. And don’t miss The Naples Winery, which stocks a wide selection of Florida-made citrus and berry wines, as well as wine glasses, holders and flavored smoothie mixes. (For those from out of town who may fall in love with them, they are available to ship, as well.)
Catch a Boat
Tin City is also home to Pure Florida, which offers a variety of incredible water-based excursions. See dolphins, enjoy the sunset or catch a glimpse of the breathtaking mansions along Naples Bay on a sightseeing cruise. For a more exhilarating experience, take a guided tour through the mangroves and Ten Thousand Islands on a personal watercraft, or hop aboard a jet boat for a fast-moving eco thrill ride.
To visit other nearby waterfront shopping and dining areas, hop on and off the Naples Bay Water Shuttle. Tickets are $10 and good for the day and evening of purchase.
Events at Tin City
Every year during the last weekend in October, the annual Stone Crab Festival kicks off stone crab season, bringing serious fun to seafood lovers with a full weekend of live music, activities, special pricing on sightseeing cruises, and—of course—fresh stone crab claws. Want to make a weekend of it around Tin City? Several hotels are within walking distance, including Bayfront Inn on 5th, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Hyatt House, Naples Bay Resort & Marina, Red Roof PLUS & Suites, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Lemon Tree Inn, The Inn on Fifth, Bellasera and Trianon Old Naples.
Situated on Naples Bay, this Mediterranean-style mixed-use shopping, dining, and residential area is easily accessible by boat, car or foot via the under-bridge walkway from Tin City.
On the hunt for beach and Naples-themed souvenirs to take home to friends and family? You’ll find plenty of them in the shops along this colorful cottage-lined boardwalk, just a short walk from Tin City. Stop by after a day at the beach for browsing and a bite to eat at the open-air Parrot Bar & Grill.
Fifth Avenue South
Downtown Naples’ main thoroughfare is Fifth Avenue South, which boasts an impressive lineup of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and national retailers, seven theaters, and an art center.
Finding those little spots away from the hustle and bustle is part of the fun of exploring on vacation. Be sure that Naples’ Historic Tin City is one of those places for you.