GETTING THERE: AirTran and US Airways (from Reagan National), Independence Air (Dulles International) and USA 3000 (Dulles or BWI) are among the airlines that fly nonstop to Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla. Fares start at about $138 round trip, with restrictions. Downtown Naples is a 45-minute drive south.

GETTING AROUND: The area is best navigated by car; plenty of rental agencies surround Southwest Florida International Airport.

WHERE TO STAY: Accommodations in small properties downtown practically put you on the stoops of the top shops, while hotels and resorts along the beach are a short drive away. Downtown, the 87-room Inn on Fifth (699 Fifth Ave S., 888-403-8778, www.innonfifth.com; from $150 a night double) is a Mediterranean-style boutique hotel with a new spa. Also within walking distance is the 34-room Lemon Tree Inn (250 Ninth St. S., 888-800-5366, www.lemontreeinn.com; from $69), a classic Floridian-style hotel with palms in its courtyard garden.

Outside the downtown area, the 318-room Naples Beach Hotel (851 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., 800-455-1546, www.naplesbeachhotel.com; from $149) has a seaside golf course, beachfront swimming pool and four restaurants. Naples is also one of the few cities in the world with two Ritz-Carlton properties -- the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort (2600 Tiburon Dr., 239-593-2000; doubles from $179) and the Ritz-Carlton Naples (280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., 239-598-3300; from $209). Info: 888-856-2164 or www.ritzcarlton.com.

WHERE TO EAT: The restaurants in Naples are as high-end as the shops, but many still have the casual air of beach-town cafes. Along Fifth Avenue, one of the hottest spots is Bistro 821 (821 Fifth Ave. S., 239-261-5821, www.bistro821.com) where Euro and Asian flavors mingle atop superbly grilled fish and in creamy risotto; entrees from $11.95. Nearby, Pazzo! Italian Cafe (853 Fifth Ave. S., 239-434-8494, www.pazzoitaliancafe.com), with dishes like grouper saltimbocca and veal piccata, has a 250-bottle wine list ($25 to $295 a bottle) and an elegant dining room; entrees from $17.95.

Hemingway surely would whittle away hours on the breezy, ceiling-fanned patio of Tommy Bahama's (1220 Third St. S., 239-643-6889), where the drinks are large and fish ideally cooked. Don't miss the pina colada cake ($8), a fluffy creation of vanilla cake, dark rum and chopped pineapple and topped with chocolate mousse and coconut. Entree salads from $14, dinner entrees from $22.

For someplace more affordable, the Dock at Crayton Cove (12th Avenue South on Naples Bay, 239-263-9940, www.dockcraytoncove.com) has sunset views and conch fritters with banana ketchup ($8.50) that the locals gobble up. The "Shellfish Tower for Two" is a $34.95 masterpiece of oysters, mussels, crab claws, shrimp and clams. Appetizers and raw bar from $5.95.

INFORMATION: Greater Naples/Marco Island/Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-688-3600, www.paradisecoast.com.

-- Elissa Leibowitz Poma