Marco Island, Florida

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Marco Island.
Every time I go the trip turns out to be one of the most relaxing, carefree, fun spirited getaways ever.  The atmosphere isn’t like other Florida communities that consist of snow birds but here you find a mix of ages with attractions to suit everyone.  Also, a difference that I noticed is that along with the resorts and high-rise condominiums there is a large contingency of homes too which is why I believe there is a younger generation that frequents there (they stay at their parent’s house).  

One of my favorite things to do there is free…head down to a dock after the sun goes down; bring a bottle of wine and your favorite playlist to watch the marine life play.  Under the lights of the docks all sorts of fish, manatees, and squid like creatures put on a show that lasts all night.  Bring a fishing pole or just lay under the Floridian stars for a fantastic night!


Marco Island is located on Florida’s Southwest Gulf coast south of  Naples and is one of their principal city.  While the west coast has ten thousands of islands, Marco Island is the largest barrier island and offers a perfect tropical climate with crystal clear waters, long white sandy beaches and sunsets that will blow your mind.  

When to go:
Any time of the year is great to visit Marco but October to June is the best.  The summer months are the wet season and extremely hot so head down during the winter for temps in the 70s-80s and clear skies.  

Best way to get there:
Marco is served by Southwest Florida Regional Airport aka Fort Myers which is 52 miles north.  Also close by is Fort Lauderdale at 120 miles and Miami at 130 miles away.
Regardless of where you fly into I highly suggest renting a car because the area offers a multitude of amazing destinations that are close by.

Where to stay:
I personally would rent a house with a private pool that is on the water for your stay but I like privacy – if you are a social butterfly go with a hotel or resort.

Things to do: 
Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant is a MUST DO on any Sunday during high season! 

While I have never actually eaten there the entertainment and Buzzard punch are enough to satisfy any hunger.  This place is nothing fancy and actually is a bit on the redneck side but man do they know how to party.  It is located in the Goodlands of Marco Island so it is more local southwest Florida style.  Stan’s attracts all walks of life – a lot of bikers, the ritzy, the rednecks, babies to blue hairs.  There is always live music and contests going on and you can buy fun souvenirs in their gift shop.  Trust me when I say that a visit to Stan’s is an experience of a lifetime!

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Collier Seminole State Park is a fantastic place to kayak the mangroves and see alligators, flamingos, rookeries, and learn about the local habitats that surround the fancy resorts and high rises.  

The second time I went me and our guide found a pelican that was suspended upside down from a mangrove limb by old fishing line.  We paddled over to it and while I held his bill closed the guide un-wound the line that was tangled on his feet.  That day I saved a beautiful bird from the mess of humans.  

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Take a day trip to Naples!

Just north 18 miles is the beautiful town of Naples….

“Naples is the crown jewel of Southwest Florida — nestled on the sun drenched beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.  It is known for world class shopping, dining and abundant, challenging golf courses.  It is also, only steps away from island seclusion or the untamed tropical wilderness of The Everglades.”

Hitting the main drag for shopping is so much fun, even if you just window shop.  That is what I do and then we usually eat at the Tommy Bahama restaurant for lunch – head over to the Bellasera Resort to watch the sunset, shop some more and then dine somewhere for dinner.

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Another thing you should consider doing is heading to Key West via ferry from the Marco River Marina.  You can spend just a day or stay for however long you like when you buy a roundtrip ticket. The total trip time heading one way is 3.5 hours and depending on what the seas are doing it could be less or more.  
Check here for rates and reservation information!

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This trip is a perfect getaway to use United Military Travel – they can book your hotel, car rental and airfare all at once!

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