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The History of Naples Island, Long Beach CA

The History of Naples Island, Long Beach

Naples Island is a neighborhood of Long Beach, California, United States, built on a series of islands located in Alamitos Bay. Naples consists of three separate islands, divided by canals which open into the bay. Most of the streets on the island have Italianate names. The center of Naples features a large fountain which serves as a popular meeting spot.

History

In 1903 Arthur Parson built the islands of Naples in the marshy Bixby Slough of the artificial Alamitos Bay, in the mouth of the San Gabriel River. The design was by the firm Mayberry & Parker. The concept of canals and gondolas was similar to the “Venice of America” developed by Abbot Kinney up the coast. Parson’s Naples Land Company called its plans the “Dreamland of Southern California”, and projected that “through the canals and under the high arching bridges gay gondoliers will propel their crafts like those in the waters of the Adriatic under the blue skies of Italy.”  The project was completed in the 1920s, then rebuilt after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

Gondola Tours

Gondola rides in Long Beach through Naples

Long Beach offers gondola trips through the romantic canals of Naples. Gondola Getaway has been offering rides through Naples since 1982. Long Beach is only one of eight places in the Western United States where tourists may ride in a gondola.

Christmas Boat Parade

One very popular Christmas-time event in Naples is the “Naples Island Christmas Boat Parade”, with groups of decorated boats going through the canals of Naples and around Alamitos Bay past Belmont Shore. The parade has been held since 1946.

About the N.I.A.

Founded in 1928, the Naples Improvement Association (N.I.A.)
is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to promote and protect the civic and social interest of the Naples Islands community. You can find more information at the official NIA website.

About the N.I.B.A.

Naples Island Business Association. Day or Night, the businesses of Naples Island are a wonderful place to visit, without the hustle and bustle of crowded shopping malls and imposing business centers. Here is a place where you can actually develop relationships with business owners, practitioners, store keepers, restaurant staff and more…all in the friendly, small-town environment of Naples Island.

Take a moment and you will find a host of diverse stores, beauty and health facilities, restaurants, professional services, and many other “hidden treasures” that are easy to miss if you rush by.

We invite you to take time for yourself and see what we have to offer. Tie in your visit with a quiet stroll around the charming, tranquil canals of Naples Island. Naples is the ideal setting for getting things done…without the stress of crowds, traffic and parking issues. We can do wonders for your quality of life!

 

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