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Sanibel or Marco Island?

Mundelein, IL
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17 posts
37 reviews
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Sanibel or Marco Island?

Driving for an overnight with the girls from Ruskin. We are considering Marco or Sanibel.

Any thoughts?

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Clarendon Hills
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26 posts
76 reviews
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1. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

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.

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Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sanibel Thriller
Sanibel Thriller
619 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Captiva Cruises
Captiva Cruises
830 Reviews
Captiva Island, FL
Captiva Island
Captiva Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Mundelein, IL
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17 posts
37 reviews
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2. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

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!

Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Marco Island
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1,295 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

This is an often discussed topic on this forum and the Sanibel forum. What time frame are you thinking of visiting?

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Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
yorkshire
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4,807 posts
106 reviews
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4. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

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...

Paradise found....

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Knoxville
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3,501 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

Advice, yep! It's biased and you may have a totally different opinion, but we like Marco WAY better than Sanibel!! Some differences I see:

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!

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Dayton, OH / Marco...
Destination Expert
for Marco Island, Everglades National Park, Goodland
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4,186 posts
21 reviews
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6. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

Maui reminds me of Marco .... They call Marco and Naples, Everglades Paradise Coast.

Island time baby!!!

You are out in nature ... Today pilot whales beached themselves on shore south of Marco. Everyday is an adventure!!!

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Naples
Naples
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
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16,176 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

"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.......

We do enjoy Sanibel/Captiva, although we prefer places that are more pedestrian friendly.

Mentioned in this post
Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Captiva Island
Captiva Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Mundelein, IL
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17 posts
37 reviews
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8. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

Thanks everyone!

I'll continue to check back.

Wish I was at either now as it's getting cold in Chicago!

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Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Dayton, OH / Marco...
Destination Expert
for Marco Island, Everglades National Park, Goodland
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21 reviews
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9. Re: Sanibel or Marco Island?

Once you find home ... you no longer try new or old things ... I have no interest in Sanibel/Captiva ... to each his own.

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.

Mentioned in this post
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Captiva Island
Captiva Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Mundelein, IL
Level Contributor
17 posts
37 reviews
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10. Re: Sanibel or Marco 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.