Depends on what you want. We typically go to Sanibel, I consider Sanibel a little more laid back, very low key, but it is more family oriented. Sanibel has the bike paths. Miles of beach. Some shopping, grocery stores, but not much night life. Its has the Sanibel Thriller and Captiva Cruises, Yolo to rent from on Captiva. No high rises on Sanibel which is another thing I like about it.
Marco, has beautiful groomed beaches, Is bigger, a little more spread out perhaps. Also can rent jet skis and wind surfers on the beach. Guessing there is more night life, but really not sure as we just went out for dinner when we were there, did not go clubbing.
Thank you. We are going to veg. out, probably.
Like the idea of kayak rentals, restaurants and wildlife.
Any restaurants/hotels to recommend?
Appreciate the advice. We're first timers!
We are currently staying at the Hilton on Marco and have to say Marco is totally beautiful. we vowed to return a few years ago when we found it quite by accident. its the place dreams are made of.... Fun or as laid back as you like...
1) Marco has no toll bridge, Sanibel has a $6 bridge you must cross to get onto the island.
2) In Marco, you almost always have view of some water source - canal or beach. On Sanibel, we just saw vegetation when driving the island (not that that's a bad thing, be we prefer water views).
3) Sanibel SEEMS more nature driven, but Marco Island is big on protecting its wildlife and has PLENTY of opportunities to view manatees, hoot owls, dolphins, gopher tortoises, and more!
4) Sanibel has more "mom and pop" stores.
5) Marco has more condos lining the beach and what some people consider highrises.
6) Marco has a long, wide beach that is easy to access. We had a difficult time finding the beach access while on Sanibel.
7) Marco is known for being part of the 10,000 islands, so has TONS of small islands dotting the regions - they are fun to boat to and explore!
We go to Marco every summer and most winters, so you can see where my heart lies. I know a lot of people who LOVE Sanibel. You probably can't go wrong with either, but those are some of our observations. Hope they help!
"Maui reminds me of Marco ...."
I think that's true. Personally, I don't care for either one. I've only been to Maui once, way too busy and congested.
Went to Marco maybe 10 years ago, didn't care for it. Decided to give it another (short) try this past September. Still isn't for me.
I can't even tell you why.......
I find walking on Marco is one of my favorite activites. I walk the LONG beach, back streets and Collier in the evenings from the restaurants. Walking is great to stay young.
I am surprised Jean feels Sanibel/Captiva is more pedestrian friendly ... to me Sanibel is congested with car after car on 1 main drag ... perhaps it isn't so bad in the off season? Marco seems larger and not relying on 1 main street for access to island.
Heard about the whales and males me so sad.
Would love to see some.
Are they usually around?
We're going mid-January.
Would be a real treat.