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Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

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Wilmington, North...
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Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

Hi folks,

My family of 4 is renting a home in Marco for the Christmas week. It will be myself and husband and our 2 kids, 21 and 18. The guys like to golf and we would like to kayak, explore, see manatees and anything else that might interest us. Any great suggestions on food, activities, golf courses etc. and on a reasonable budget???

Thanks for any suggestions! We are very excited!

Windsor, Canada
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1. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

We are coming down the week after.....have booked a cruise with Cool Beans Cruises....check them out....we can't wait!

Knoxville
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2. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

We spend every summer in Marco and most winters. The ONE thing I would recommend over everything else is getting out on the water. The water surrounding Marco is dotted with islands to explore and that is one of the things that drew us to Marco! My personal suggestion would be to rent a boat for the day, but there are also several good tour guides in the area, such as Captain Ron's and Cool Beans (suggested above).

Manatees can be seen in the waters all around Marco, but are best seen in the canals. There is one particular canal (behind Florentine Gardens Condominiums) where we almost always spot them! We have also swam close by when at the jetties on South Beach, although I probably wouldn't venture that deep into the water in December . . . BRRRR!

There are a lot of golf courses in Naples, but I am not familiar with them . . . You might want to post a question in the Naples forum. Another fun thing to do would be to take a day and go into the Everglades. Many places to go and things to see there! You could even book a free hiking or kayaking tour through the Big Cypress ranger station.

Good luck and have fun!!:)

Knoxville
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3. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

Oh, and our personal favorite restaurant is Marker 8 1/2 in Goodland. Some others we enjoy: Crazy Flamingo, Pelican Bend, Island Gypsy, Capri Fish House (previous 3 are in Isles of Capri), Lee Be Fish for takeout, and Snook Inn for views and drinks ONLY (we don't think the food is worth the price, but the view is to die for).

Wisconsin
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4. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

Golf: Lely Mustang and Flamingo course are both public and just a short drive off the island -- nice courses too. There are usually a couple price breaks each day associated with teeing off later in the day. There is also a fairly nice driving range at Lely which you can use all day long with a paid tee time. Fiddler's Creek is also a short drive off the island. This is private but you should be able to golf here during Christmas week as it will not be too crowded. There are usually price breaks here too. Practice facility is fantastic. Fiddler's is usually a bit pricier than Lely courses though.

If you search the term golf in this forum you will find a ton more info on golf.

There is a golfer's guide which you can pick up at the various grocery stores, etc. for free. This will tell you of current golf specials in the area. Also, the Wednesday Naples newspaper usually has a section on golf specials.

Edited: 11:38 am, December 04, 2013
yorkshire
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5. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

Finally arrived on Marco last night. hi blondynana! the island is more beautiful than we remembered. there's lots of trips to book both on line or when you arrive. Pick up a Marco guide magazine for ideas and coupons.

We had an almighty breakfast in "ne nes". good but will try hoots tomorrow our doorman at the Hilton recommend. will post trips and prices as we do them.

Edited: 12:16 pm, December 04, 2013
Windsor, Canada
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6. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

ppmaiden,

Hi to you!! Can't wait till we get there!

Thanks for all your postings!!

Wilmington, North...
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7. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

Thank you so much for the information! We will definitely get out on the water and thanks for the tips on the manatees. My son has loved manatees since he was little and saw them at Sea World so that will be the highlight of his trip, even if he is 21 now!

My husband and son appreciated all the golf suggestions and my daughter and I will look into the free kayak tour and Cool Beans cruise. Will these cruises book up at Christmas? do we need to book now? What happens if the weather is bad and you need to re-book?

The restaurant suggestions are great _ especially like the truth of Snooks for just views and drinks! Sounds perfect!

Coupon books! You are speaking my language! ppmaiden - have a great trip!

Thanks again! This is an awesome forum for Marco newbies like us

Terry

Knoxville
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8. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

I can only speak for the Everglades ranger-led tours (we have a boat, so we don't go out in the ocean with a tour group), but you probably should book that a week or so in advance. I think we have always called a week or two in advance and been able to get reservations. The winter is the dry season in the Everglades (that's the reason for the winter tours) and so we have never been affected by the weather - I don't know what they would do, but assume they would try to fit you in on another day.

These forums are WONDERFUL and we are more than happy to share tips when we have them! My family is taking the upcoming summer and going out West for a few weeks for the first time and these forums have been invaluable to me. I am SO grateful for all of the helpful tips I've received! Only thing is, we have to give up Marco for the summer . . . AGHHHH!:(

plymouth
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9. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

We are on Marco over the New Year and have pre-booked a few tours and restaurants after spending hours on this forum looking at the recommendations!

We have booked a pontoon boat for the day with Isles of Capri Marina and also a fishing/shelling trip with Reel Kind Fishing and Tours, we found them really helpful and put together a trip that would suit us combining fishing with a stop off to do some shelling and some wildlife watching!

They are located at the Goodland boat park so thought we would try out Marker 8.5 after.

We have put together our own Everglades trip, stopping at a couple of the nature reserves to follow trails and boardwalks and a drive around the Loop road.

chicago burbs
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10. Re: Our 1st visit to Marco Island and X-mas

If you have access to a printer, try www.groupon.com/naples for great discounts on activities in Marco & Naples. Some deals allow you to use an iPhone, just be sure before you know this dor sure before showing up. Also make sure you read the fine print too (for example, on the luxurious Naples Princess Yacht, you're unable to choose a sunset cruise).

Here are some current deals:

http://www.groupon.com/deals/pure-naples

www.groupon.com/deals/naples-princess-4

http://www.groupon.com/deals/pure-naples-9

groupon.com/deals/captain-cjs-everglades-jet…

We like going to the Skunk Ape Headquarters in nearby Ochopee, FL for the short & inexpensive tour. The tour features a Reptile & Bird Exhibit of huge gators, constrictors and a variety of exotic birds. Admission is $5 per person.

skunkape.info/component/…

Also, go on an airboat ride through the Everglades!

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34210-Activitie…

I agree with Marcomamma about Crazy Flamingo & Marker 8 1/2 (Goodland) & Snook Inn (waterfront chickee hut) for drinks. I also want to add Dolphin Tiki (waterfront chickee hut) for lunch/dinner or drinks. Sand Bar (sports bar-great reasonably priced food) for all meals. We also like Stonewalls, Italian Market & Deli (carry out only) pizza/subs & Michelbob's Ribs (carry out only on Marco). Carrabas (italian food) in Naples, Pinchers in Naples in the Tin City Waterfront Shops.

Esplanade on Thursday nights where there is a dj outdoors. Stan's on Goodland on Sundays where there is great live music & always a lively crowd 1:00-6:30

www.stansidlehour.net/WhatsHappening.html