Last week the USA Today featured Naples and the "Paradise Coast" - and gave special props to Ave Maria:
Unlike many Florida cities, Naples has a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown, centered on Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, both lined with shops, cafes and more than 130 art galleries. This commercial core is linked by boardwalk to beaches and parks. Fishing and sailing are popular, but so are inland activities. More than 80% of surrounding Collier County is protected open space, including Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park...It's also still a place where most home buyers can find something affordable. Although mega-mansions inside double-gated enclaves command eight figures (one recently sold for $40 million), houses and condos in some of Naples' most popular communities can be had for $300,000 to $400,000 and in outlying enclaves for less than $200,000...If you're looking for something a little less expensive, the new town of Ave Maria (avemaria.com) is 20 miles north of Naples. It opened in mid-2007 and is built around Catholic Ave Maria University. Religious-centric living may not be for everyone, but the prices are: six communities offer single-family houses beginning in the high $100,000s with many options in the low- to mid-$200,000s.