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Markus Hartwich

Boating Access

Nestled along the picturesque Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida, Naples and Marco Island are renowned for their stunning beaches and endless boating options within the huge network of waterways. Boating enthusiasts are captivated by the myriad of opportunities to explore the Gulf of Mexico with all its islands.

Situated on the edge of the Gulf, Naples and Marco Island boast a unique geography that includes countless bays, estuaries, and rivers, making it a boater’s paradise. From leisure cruises through scenic canals to thrilling adventures in the open waters, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

boating access

One of the standout features of the waterways is the sheer diversity of ecosystems they encompass. The area is home to the famous Ten Thousand Islands, a labyrinth of mangrove islands, channels, and creeks that provide a haven for wildlife. Exploring this maze-like network of waterways reveals a tapestry of lush vegetation, teeming birdlife, and marine creatures, creating a captivating experience for boaters.

For those seeking a leisurely boating experience, Naples, Florida waterfront real estate and Marco Island waterfront homes for sale offer an array of calm and picturesque canals that wind through charming communities. The Gordon River, which flows through the heart of Naples, is a popular spot for boat tours and rentals. Meandering along this tranquil river, boaters can admire the elegant waterfront mansions, observe the native wildlife, or even dock at one of the waterfront restaurants to savor a delicious meal with a view.

The Naples Bay is another popular destination for boaters. This expansive water body provides a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico and is a hub for various water-based activities. From fishing to kayaking, paddleboarding and jet-skiing, there are endless opportunities to immerse oneself in the pristine waters and there are lots of Naples Mansions for sale.

The allure of Naples’ waterways extends beyond leisurely pursuits. Fishing enthusiasts will find an abundance of game fish in these waters, including tarpon, snook, redfish, and grouper and casting a line from a personal vessel promises an unforgettable angling experience. The thrill of reeling in a trophy fish against the backdrop of Naples’ breathtaking natural beauty is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

To ensure the preservation of these fragile ecosystems, it is essential to practice responsible boating. Boaters should familiarize themselves with local regulations, especially regarding speed limits, no-wake zones, and protected areas. Respecting the wildlife and refraining from littering or disturbing the natural habitat are crucial to preserving the ecological balance of all waterways.

Whether you’re a seasoned boater or a novice looking for a new adventure, Naples real estate and Marco Island real estate offer a gateway to a world of aquatic wonders.

Tide Information for Naples (Naples Bay)
Tide Information for Naples (Gulf of Mexico)
Tide Information for Marco Island (Big Marco River)
Tide Information for Marco Island (Caxambas Pass)

Waterway access – The inland waterways

To get into the Gulf of Mexico there are different waterways that give you access. Naples has multiple inlets that connect the inland waterways with the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf access areas in Naples

gulf access

In the map you can see all areas that have access to the Gulf of Mexico through a waterway that has its own and different bay and canal system. If you want to open this Naples Gulf Access areas map in Google Earth click here. To get a better idea what the differences are, we are showing you the access type that is provided by these waterways that accommodate Naples, Florida waterfront homes for sale.

Yacht gulf access

This is an access for a very large vessel that usually requires a crew to operate. There are only two waterways in Collier County that provide water deep enough to get a yacht out into open water:

  • Naples Bay and Gordon Pass have a channel that provides deep enough water and connects the Naples City Dock Marina with the Naples Yacht Club Marina. If you own a yacht your best choice is to buy a property in the Port Royal neighborhood as this offers you the ability to park such a big vessel behind your property and navigate it out into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Big Marco Pass is another channel that gives you access to the Marco Island Yacht Club, the Marina at Factory Bay and Rose Marina. Marco Island and the Isles of Capri also provide select property owners with the option to keep their yacht right at the dock behind their home.

This access is usually provided with luxury homes for sale in Naples, Florida.

Direct or sailboat access

Direct or Sailboat Access simply means that your vessel will be able to get into the Gulf of Mexico without any obstruction by a bridge. The depth of these canals is usually shallower; however most boats will be able to manage in these waterways. Areas that include this type of access are for example the canals on Naples Bay East with Naples waterfront homes for sale, some sections of the Moorings, and the canals of Marco Island waterfront homes for sale, where no bridges obstruct the neighborhood canals.

Indirect or boat gulf access

This access is described as any navigable waterway that has at least one bridge to pass under for any vessel on the way out into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Boat non-gulf access

These waterways are navigable by boats but landlocked by some type of obstruction such as a dam or a weir. Areas that have these waterways are the majority of the Golden Gate canal system, and any other non-gulf access water body like a lake or closed freshwater canal system.

Small watercraft access

This waterway is defined as a shallow and/or narrow canal that can only be passed through by smaller vessels like a jet-ski, canoe, kayak, or paddle board. These smaller watercrafts could be blocked from passing a bridge when it is too low, and the watercraft needs to be portaged.

The 4 major inlets in Naples


gordon pass

Gordon Pass

Gordon Pass is located at the south tip of Port Royal and serves as the primary connection between the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay as well as most of the marinas.

This inlet is the widest and deepest waterway and is named after Wilson B. Gordon, who played a significant role in dredging and opening the channel in the early 1880s.

Gordon Pass mainly serves the areas of Windstar, Royal Harbor, Old Naples, Aqualane Shores and Port Royal.

The latter 2 areas include roughly 1,000 properties.

In these areas you will definitely find luxury homes for sale in Naples as well as Naples, Florida condos for sale.


doctors pass

Doctors Pass

Doctors Pass is located north of Lowdermilk Park at the Moorings and connects Hurricane Harbor in the South and the Moorings Bay, Outer and Inner Doctors Bay and Venetian Bay in the north to the Gulf of Mexico.

Doctors Pass serves parts of the Moorings, a small section of Coquina Sands, Gulf Shore Blvd, and Park Shore where you will see plenty of luxury real estate in Naples, Florida.

Doctors Pass earned its name as one of the boating access points along the coastline of Naples serving as a gateway to communities nestled along the water’s edge, often inaccessible by traditional means.

Equipped with medical supplies, expertise, and a spirit of service, the doctors set sail, embarking on a mission to provide healthcare access to all, regardless of location or circumstance.


wiggins pass

Wiggins Pass

Wiggins Pass is the northernmost inlet located at the northern tip of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park and connects the Gulf of Mexico to the inland reaching Cocohatchee River, the Vanderbilt Channel to the south and all the way north up to Little Hickory Bay.

Wiggins Pass provides access to the open water for more than 100 communities including single family homes for sale in Naples, Florida, and Naples condos for sale in Florida.

The pass itself is flanked by mangrove-lined shores, providing a picturesque setting for a leisurely cruise or a day of fishing.

Anglers will find ample opportunities to reel in a variety of fish species, including snook, redfish, and tarpon, among others.

Keep an eye out for dolphins playing in the waves or manatees lazily grazing on seagrass beds.

Wiggins Pass is named after Joe Wiggins, who lived in that area in the 1860s.


clam pass

Clam Pass

Clam Pass connects a community of approx. 80 single-family homes to the Outer Clam Bay and is an inlet only serving shallow draft watercraft.

Drop anchor and spend a relaxing afternoon sunbathing, swimming, or strolling along the shore.

With its uncrowded stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters, it’s the perfect spot for a day of beachcombing and relaxation.

As part of Clam Pass Park, Clam Pass Boat Access is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and ecological integrity of its surroundings.

Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible boating and adhere to park regulations to minimize their impact on the delicate ecosystem.


gulf aread

Gulf access areas on Marco Island

In the map you can see all areas of Marco Island Florida real estate that have access to the Gulf of Mexico through a waterway that has its own canal system.

If you want to open this Marco Island Gulf Access areas map in Google Earth click here.

The yellow marked areas show canals that use the northern exits of the island, the red sections use the southern ones. Lots of these properties are Marco Island homes for sale near the beach.

Gulf access real estate on Marco Island encompasses a variety of property types, from luxurious waterfront estates to charming seaside cottages and everything in between.

Whether you’re seeking a secluded retreat, a boater’s paradise, or a vibrant waterfront community, there’s something to suit every lifestyle and preference.

For boating enthusiasts, owning Gulf access real estate on Marco Island is a dream come true.

With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the vast expanse of the Ten Thousand Islands, residents can easily explore pristine beaches, hidden coves, and world-class fishing grounds right from their doorstep.

From leisurely cruises at sunset to thrilling offshore adventures, the possibilities for aquatic exploration are limitless.



The canal system and bridge heights

If you want to have more details on waterways or bridges and their heights in Naples and Marco Island, you can click here to open a Google Earth map in order to show you the following data:

  • Direct Deepwater Tall Mast Gulf Access Waterways
  • Direct Gulf Access Waterways
  • River Based Sailboat Access
  • Indirect Gulf Access Waterways
  • Freshwater Waterways with limited Gulf Access
  • Non-Gulf Access Waterways
  • Small Craft Waterways
  • Bridges over Gulf Access Waterways
  • Marinas and Launches

Collier County offers a variety of Naples Florida houses for sale and Marco Island homes for sale and there are lots of places you can explore.

While many boating enthusiasts like to visit destinations such as the local beaches, Keewaydin Island, Goodland, Cape Romano south of Marco Island or the Ten Thousand Islands area in general, avid boaters and yacht owners are excited to take the trip to the Keys. Key West is just 110 miles from Naples.

Legal Disclaimer: This map only serves as an overview of waterways and an estimated height or clearance under bridges. The map may contain errors or physical changes at bridges may lead to different clearances. Therefore this map should not be used as the basis for a real estate or boat/yacht purchase or be used for navigation purposes. There are official boating maps and approved routes available from third party vendors online or from the cities of Naples and Marco Island. Always adhere to the speed limits and comply with all other maritime laws of the respective city, county, and the State of Florida. Under no circumstances shall we have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of this map or any information displayed in it. Your use of the map and your reliance on any information shown therein occurs solely at your risk.

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