There are so many things to do on a trip to Marco Island, Florida! Some activities can be done on Marco Island itself, but there are many other things within a 30-40 minute drive to the surrounding cities. Always do research on not only the city you are vacationing in but also the surrounding area.
Here is a list of 4 favorite activities we did on our most recent vacation:
This was by far our favorite! It is a private 2 1/2 hour boat tour looking for dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of birds. The tour is 2 hours on the boat and 1/2 hour shelling on an amazing private beach.
I actually found this tour on Groupon. That’s a good vacation planning tip. I always check out Groupon for the place I am vacationing to. The tour would normally be $295 buy I got a deal for $149! That’s an incredible discount. I must admit it is a lot of money for the full price, but if you can afford it do it. You will not regret it.
The manatees are very hard to see and we only caught a small glimpse of one. But the experience with the dolphins is stuff that dreams are made of! They literally were right next to the boat jumping in and out of the wake.
It was pretty darn amazing! Then we stopped at a private beach that was literally covered in thousands of seashells. It was breathtaking…
This is an experience not to be missed!
This beach is great for kids. There is a lagoon area that is separated from the gulf that is very calm with no waves.
You can wade through waist deep water and walk a minute over to the gulf side where there are lots of seashells and waves. My kids had a really hard time with this. They were very afraid and Eric had to carry Gianna over on his back. It really was just the fear of the unknown because they had no problem doing it themselves on the way back.
If you do collect some shells, they have a great little display to help you identify them. Make sure you snap a picture!
We chose to spend most of the day in the lagoon area. One of the best features at this beach is the cabana and beach chair rentals. For $35 you can rent a cabana and 2 Beach chairs. It provided great shade from the hot Florida sun! And the owner is amazingly nice and helpful.
We bought sand toys at the local Walgreens and packed a lunch. So for less than $50 we enjoyed a whole day at the beach. The kids made sand castles and played in the water for hours!
A highlight for my kids was having soda with lunch since it is a treat for them. HAHA!
The beach patrol even drove around and let the kids take pictures in their jeep.
So much fun!
For this activity, we ventured off Marco Island to Everglades City. It is a 1-hour airboat tour through mangrove trees to see all kinds of wildlife. They also have an alligator show and you get to hold them.
The price is $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for children. We also found a $10 off coupon in one of those little area info booklets you find in gas stations and restaurants!
The kids loved it because the boat goes super fast at times speeding through all the mangrove tunnels. Gets the adrenalin pumping for sure. The captain is very knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife. He really knows his stuff! He didn’t even get stumped with the endless amount of questions my kids asked. I could swear they are writing an encyclopedia in their little brains with all of their constant questions.
One of the highlights of the tour is this little family of raccoons that lives in the mangrove trees. They are so cute and came right on the boat. The captain sprinkled some of his iced tea on the bow of the boat and they climbed right on!
After the tour, you walk on over to their little gift shop. Through the gift shop is a short 2-minute alligator show and then you can hold one if you like.
Gianna was not at all interested in holding one, but she agreed to stand next to one for a picture.
This is another activity about a 30 minute drive from Marco Island. Admission cost is $22.95 adult, $14.95 child, and free under 2. Parking is free and they are open every day of the year from 9-5.
We spent about 3 hours here but you could definitely spend more time depending on your kids’ interest. They have lots of animals to see. There is a 15-20 minute primate expedition cruise where you see monkeys swinging from tree to tree.
You can feed the giraffes. Yes, I said feed the giraffes! For $5 you can buy 3 lettuce leaves and hand feed the giraffes. This was the highlight of the day for our family.
There are lions, zebras, lemurs, parrots, and all kinds of other animals. They have a 15-minute safari canyon show that is very cute. They also sell snacks and have a cafe where you can eat lunch. We have a more in-depth post on the Naples Zoo if you want to know more!