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First Timer - Must do's????

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Chicago
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First Timer - Must do's????

Usually spend a week in the Caribbean, but wanted to keep our tourism dollars in the US this year.

Rented a beachfront condo on the southern end for a week at the end of May. Mostly just want to lie on the beach, swim a little, soak up some sun, and then head out for some seafood and a couple drinks. But we do want a little adventure. Planning on:

-A day exploring the everglades, do an airboat tour.

-Some sort of sunset cruise or something on a boat.

-Check out Naples for dinner and a couple drinks at least once.

My question is: Is there anything that a first time visitor simply MUST do to get the full Marco Island experience??

I’m open to just about anything, but really enjoy water related activities.

London, United...
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1. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

The Marco Princess does great food on their sunset cruise, and you get to see a lot of the island that you won't see from land. Also, I would recommmend a shelling tour. The Marriott runs one,and takes you out to sand bars where you will find plentiful and amazing shells. Usually you see dolphins too.

There is also a boat tour from the rangers' station near Everglades City. Not an air boat, but as it heads out towards the sea and picks up speed, dolphins follow it, and practically leap aboard. Great fun.

Chicago
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2. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

I read about the tours from the ranger station after doing a little research. I think that might be a definite option. Looks great. I'll check into that sunset cruise. Have done those in several locations and usually like them.

Thanks

Western NY
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3. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

You must go to Stan's on Goodland on Sunday. Its a true Marco experience and one that you shouldn't miss. Stan's is located on Goodland, an island just south of Marco, connected by land bridge. Take San Marco Road all the way to Goodland.

I recommend happy hour and dancing under the stars at The Star Bar at the Esplanade. Wonderful views and people watching, plus shops and restaurants if you're hungry. And you can get in the line (maybe its not too bad in May) for Cold Stone Creamery afterward.

But my favorite place on Marco is Jack's Lookout, a local joint at Marco River Marina. Its a shack built on the docks but the company is great, the deck is great and the curbside seat at the daily "pelican show" is awesome. When the fishing charters come in at the end of the day and feed the leftovers to the pelicans, they show up by the dozen and you have a front row seat. Yes, you're drinking out of a plastic cup and you're standing in the parking lot but it can't be beat.

If you want something that doesn't involve cold drinks, the drive down to Everglades City is interesting. The museum in town was very good.

Cincinnati, OH
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4. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

Have gone for years and have to second Stan's and Jack's Lookout. Nothing fancy. Plastic cups and food comes in baskets. However, some of the best seafood we've had anywhere. Great time, great food and incredibly great people! Enjoy!

Chicago
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5. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

Jack's Lookout certainly sounds my style. Loved sitting down in the old marina area in Key West watching the boats unload, so this seems to be a fit for me.

Keep hearing about this Stan's place on this board. I love random "hole in the wall" bars. Would have convince my GF, but I think I can as long as I promise a high end meal or two as well.

Thanks everyone.

Western NY
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6. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

Oh, and we'd be remiss if we didn't send you to The Snook Inn for a frozen cocktail, great grouper sandwich, some Jimmy Buffett music and fabulous water views with lots of dolphin sightings. Go to their web site (wwww.snookinn.com) and click on their web cams to check out the view. As a first-timer, you can't miss Snook.

Dayton, OH / Marco...
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7. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

A must for me is to walk the Marco Island beach. I must do it each day for the exercise and shells.

If you like to walk a while go to Tigertail Beach then walk to Hideaway beach.

Go early in the day ... if you don't the heat.

Chicago
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8. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

I will be walking the beach plenty, that's for sure.

I'm assuming that the gulf temp will be decent at the end of May? I can handle it being somewhat cool, from the Midwest afterall. I need to get some swimming in everyday.

Dayton, OH / Marco...
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9. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

And another thing ....

My wife must have stone crabs in season from a local restaurant.

One more Marco must.

London, United...
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10. Re: First Timer - Must do's????

Gulf is like a warm bath at the end of May. Lucky you.