Man, I wish I were back on the beach after uploading all of these photos! If you’re looking for a nice spot to get away in Florida that isn’t too crazy, Marco Island is where it’s at. We love it because it’s a quick and easy trip to the Ft. Myers airport, which is a totally pleasant and small airport to navigate.
Marco Island is pretty much the farthest south you can get on the gulf side of Florida (after that, it’s the Everglades!). We love the gulf side of Florida for a lot of reasons, two main ones being 1) beautiful sunsets and 2) amazing shelling. Marco Island itself is a relatively newish spot to vacation – it was only developed for visitors in the 1960s. There’s not too many hotels but the ones that are there are great and there are condos for rent and family-friendly restaurants.
Here’s some photos from our trip with links to tours we took:
We stayed at the JW Marriott Marco Island. This was our first time visiting it as a JW – it was previously a regular Marriott, where we had stayed two times prior to this trip.
There were some growing pains we found with this visit (it was very overbooked when we were there – first time that’s happened) but they are still in the midst of construction so I’m sure things will smooth out with time.
We love the beach for the small waves. This overpriced $20 inflatable turtle turned out to be the best $20 we spent on the trip as my boys loved playing on it in the waves for hours.
And as I mentioned, searching for shells each morning was the highlight of most days. My favorites are the tiny shells. They are everywhere. Literally it’s a shell frenzy in the morning and you could spend hours just combing through a tiny area because there are so many:
This one above was one of the cooler, rarer shells we found.
We had plenty of pool time (with margaritas!):
Two trips we took that I wanted to mention were both through Sunshine Tours Marco Island. The first was a backwater fishing trip that Jon and my boys took. (I sat on the beach!) They had lots of success catching fish and it was the first time they did serious fishing and had a lot of fun.
Our last night, we sailed aboard the Marco Island Princess. They have a sunset dining cruise where you eat dinner while you watch the sunset out in the gulf. The food was nothing to write home about but the price wasn’t bad ($55/pp) since it included a full meal plus a two hour cruise.
We just love Marco. It did seem like the island was more crowded this visit more than it has in the past. It could have been a fluke given the long weekend with Presidents Day; or maybe more people are discovering it! Either way, we hope to go back again soon.