We visited this beach on July 27th, and we absolutely adored it for a number of reasons.
We went early in the morning - around 8 a.m. - and basically had the entire beach to ourselves for nearly two hours. It has soft white sand, unlike many of the Naples beaches that are covered in sharp seashells. But, the nice part is that there are still tons of shells near the shoreline for collecting if you're into that. The water is crystal clear - we had goggles and we swam looking for shells. We found tons of conch shells with live creatures in them - we threw them back because it's illegal to take live shells, but unfortunately we saw a lot of people taking them anyway. If you swim about 200 meters out into the ocean there is a large sandbar area where the water only comes up to your waist and there are hundreds and hundreds of live sandollars (so many that we felt like we kept stepping on them, which I'm sure we were.) We also saw a sting ray and more fish that we could believe. It was truly beautiful.
In the morning the trees create shade which makes it really comfortable. The facilities were great - the snack bar area offers great food and seating and the bathrooms were clean,albeit a bit small. The facilities are run by the Waldorf Astoria but can be used by anyone on the beach. They also rent out cabanas, beach chairs, umbrellas, kayaks for the ocean and nearby mangrove forest and stand-up paddle boards. Around noon, the beach really started to fill up and it sort of had a party vibe - lots of people with coolers drinking beer on the beach. It never felt overcrowded though.
A couple of other things:
1. Parking is $8 for the entire day which is pretty comparable to other beaches in the area - we went in the morning and then returned for the sunset without having to pay more
2. The boardwalk is lovely, and makes for a lovely walk, but if you're carrying anything, take the tram, otherwise the walk seems long. Yes you might have to wait a few minutes for the tram, but it is worth it.
3. In the evenings , the gnats - down there they call them "no-see-ums" are truly awful. They are everywhere and they swarm you. Some people don't react to their bites, but I have dozens upon dozens of tiny red welts from their bites, almost a full week later. Someone told me bug spray doesn't phase them, but I would recommend it in mass quantities if you're going back for the sunset.
We highly, highly recommend a visit to this beach if you're in the Naples or Southwest Florida area. Of all of the beaches we visited in the area, this one was by far our favorite.
If you own or manage Clam Pass Recreation Area, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.