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The History of Crayton Cove

By May 6, 2016March 2nd, 2018Naples Fishing

The Naples City Dock at Crayton Cove is one of the places I set sail from for one my daily fishing charters. The Cove is a full-service marina and has been a “town center” for people since 1915. It is situated between the Naples City Dock and the Dock Restaurant. Over the last 100 years, Crayton Cove has been through several transformations, but it has always been a big part of Naples’ social and business scene. Below is a brief history on this beautiful area:

The area where Crayon Cove is situated was referred to as the “Back Bay,” because it was Naples’ first sheltered moorage. The Back Bay Docks attracted the fishing trade. The Back Bay area was turning into a community center for those who were building the Tamiami Trail; the Trail helped further develop the fishing industry and other ventures in Naples. A hotel with Naples’ first pharmacy, the Bayview Inn, and a grocery store were built that made the area start to feel like home, and attracted more people to the area. In 1927, Naples’ first newspaper, The Naples Transcript, was published out of the Bayview Inn by Vernon Lamme.

In 1935, “Benny” Wistar Morris bought most of the Back Bay area.

In 1950, developer “Benny” Wistar Morris IV built the first and new “Crayton Cove” development; the area was named Crayton Cove in honor of Morris’ friend E.W. “Ed” Crayton, who he purchased most of the Back Bay area from. Crayton is responsible for all of the early development in the area and was Naples’ first city council president. The Crayton Cove development was designed to include boathouses, docks, shops, and offices. In 1952, Crayton Cove became the headquarters of the Naples Guide Boat Association.

Hurricane Donna hit Crayton Cove hard in 1960. The fishing pier was destroyed and was later rebuilt. Unfortunately, the Bayview Inn had to be demolished. Four years later, the Cove Inn opened; it sat on dredged and filled land. By 1969, the Inn was converted into condominium hotel, and sells many units within a couple weeks.

Walden University was founded in the building that now houses The Dock restaurant in 1970. Two teachers began this university as a place for working adults to get their doctoral degrees. Today, Walden is still open as an accredited online university. In 1976, The Dock restaurant in the Cove is opened. For its one-year anniversary, the restaurant held a canoe race. Thirty-nine years later, the Great Dock Canoe Race is known as a popular, annual Naples event that attracts thousands.

Crayton Cove was renovated for better parking and pedestrian access for people to explore the beautiful marina area; a new landscape and hardscape was created.


In 2010, businesses within Crayton Cove came together to promote the area as a destination place with the marketing campaign “Discover Crayton Cove.” These days, Crayton Cove is filled with fish cleaning stations, a bait shop, bathroom facilities, hotels, retail stores, offices, restaurants, and more.

Explore Crayton Cove

Crayton Cove is full of history and culture and it is great place to sail out of with me for a fishing adventure. Before or after your charter trip, explore Crayton Cove by going for a walk, visiting a gallery, or grabbing a bite to eat; there’s a lot to see and do in this beautiful fishing marina.

To book a Naples fishing charter out of Crayton Cove with me, click here for more information or call 239-216-0378.

Staff Writer

I write fishing articles for Chasin' Tales Charters from time to time.