In many respects, Florida is all about the beaches, and Marco Island is no exception to that age-old rule. Blessed with picturesque stretches of glistening white beaches and endless gulf vistas, Marco Island is a beachgoers paradise; South Marco Island Beach on South Collier Boulevard is one of the area’s most convenient public beaches. The beach is popular for its variety of shells and nearby lodging, dining, and recreation options, and it’s not uncommon to see dolphins frolicking in the surf just offshore
At nearly 100-feet long, the Marco Island Princess has been a recognizable feature on the waters around the island for years. For those who long to get a view of the Florida coast from the water, there’s no better way to do it than aboard the Princess. The Princess sails from the Rose Marina in Marco Island, and each tour features narration by the captain that includes historical and natural insights you won’t likely find elsewhere.
Bailey-Matthew National Shell Museum is located on Captiva Road in Sanibel, and for many guests, it’s one of the most memorable experiences of their trip to the Florida coast. Sanibel and Marco Island are ground-zero for the state’s avid shell collectors, there’s no better place to get a unique insight into the area’s shells than at the museum.
The unspoiled, inexpensive, and remote are words you often use to describe your perfect beach destination, then Tigertail Beach is probably a good fit. Tigertail Beach doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as other beaches, so it’s perfect for those looking for fantastic scenery and peace and quiet; it’s also one of the area’s best kept shelling and beachcombing secrets. From conchs and sand dollars to whelks and scallops, the shells are amazing.
At nearly 14,000 acres, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples has been open for almost seven decades, and is home to one of the largest cypress swamp areas in the country. The sanctuary is most well-known for its easily walkable elevated boardwalk, from which it’s common to see a variety of animals – like gators, snakes, turtles and an array of wading and predatory birds.