I know it's very touristy, but when I get to a new place I like to take the Hop On/Hop Off Tour Bus as one of the first things I do. This way I get an overview of the area and have more real-life info as so what might be most interesting, and I can prioritize the Must Sees from there.
There are a few disappointments with the tour. First, the Marco Island Trolley costs as much as most Hop On/Hop Off city tours- $25/person. The ads read that this is an "All-Day ticket"- however, the tours only run from roughly 9:40 to 1:20 pm. Therefore there isn't much of an All-Day to it.
Second, there isn't that much history to Marco Island, when you compare it to Philadelphia, or San Francisco, or even Vienna- other big cities with Day Tours that cost about $25/person. On these tours, you get information pretty much constantly. Not so much on this tour.
That said- my husband and I agreed that we are glad we took the tour. The tour did help us get our bearings on the island. We learned about the history, from the indigenous Indians, to the wild life (we learned which canal the manatees frequent, where the tortoise live), to the cost of real estate. Our tour guide, Smokey Joe, went out of his way to show us three fish markets on the island after we asked him where we could buy fresh native fish. He pointed out the public beaches, and other general sites of interest.
So overall, it was a good way to learn about the island. We give this a thumbs up- we'd recommend it, but only for one trip. Compared to other similar tours, I think it's a bit over-priced. If the tours ran longer, you could hop off the trolley in Old Marco for lunch, pick the trolley back up and go to South Beach, then take the afternoon to tour the Estate section- then it would really be an All Day Pass and it would be worth it. We visited on the off-season, so if they have a greater number of trolleys running throughout the day during the busy season, maybe this becomes a better deal.
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