Last updated on July 4th, 2020
An Introduction to Marco Island
As most of the world is attempting to restore some semblance of normal after Covid-19 turned it upside down for months-on-end, Mora & I decided to join my brother, Jeremy, & his wife, Allison, on a mini vacation down to Marco Island, FL. Parts of Florida have seen a rise in case numbers, but Marco Island has not had nearly as many so far. As our trip went on, the overall state totals continued to climb, which has us currently back in quarantine for the foreseeable future back in Saint Petersburg.
Going into this trip, I had no idea what to expect as I had never been to Marco Island or read many articles about this particular locale; the only thing I knew to expect was it should not be crowded compared to public beaches like Clearwater or St. Pete. Marco Island is virtually parallel with Miami but on the opposite Gulf of Mexico side.
Heading into our journey, the forecast for the week looked a bit shaky as frequent storms were expected; thankfully, we lucked out and avoided it for the most part, outside of a few popup storms. One thing I noticed as we drove through the island was how beautiful all of the homes are; it’s safe to say the vast majority of people that live here have money coming out the wazoo, as they say.
We stayed in a nice 1st floor condo at the Club Regency looking out to the pool and hot tub area. After stocking up the condo with food and booze, we went to the virtually empty pool and spent a couple of hours swimming, relaxing, and enjoying how nice it felt; there were some dark clouds, but no storm hit. Afterwards, while the ladies went to check out the sunset, the guys grilled some burgers and hot dogs and enjoyed the rest of the night lying out on the easy-to-snooze-in patio loungers.
The next morning, Mora & I woke up in time to see the beautiful Marco Island sky as the sun rose on the other side of the buildings. For me, there are few things more peaceful than a morning walk along the beach.
After a lovely breakfast, the crew made our way out to the beach. After making my way through a few rum-and-cokes in the bright & sunshiny weather, I noticed my arms and shoulders were scorching. It appears 50 SPF sunscreen is no match for my Irish blood as it has always been very easy for me to get sunburned. Not to get political, but I was definitely feeling the Bern (LOL kidding).
All jokes aside, it took 5-6 days, a lot of Tylenol, and over half a bottle of aloe vera later for the pain to subside. However, not to worry, I still made my way to the pool and beach several more times over the next few days.
We had some great meals at places like Snook’s Inn and Ristorante Davinci, but I won’t focus on them too much in this post as I will be doing future reviews on each restaurant. I visited a bar called CJ’s On the Bay twice on this trip, and while very pricey, it is an absolute must-visit when you come here. The view, ambience, food, and drinks make this an all-around great stop. My suggestion: get the CJ’s burger on a kaiser roll, and add cheddar, fresh jalapeños, and crispy onion strings for a burger that is sure to surprise you with how good it is; I recommend pairing it with a Miami-brewed Freedom Tower beer. 👍
While Jeremy & I were at CJ’s the first time, Mora & Allison went to some colorful shops to grab some souvenirs and take some pictures, so I had a couple of hours off as Instagram husband. For all of you that are interested in great Instagram photos, while Marco Island is small, you will have no trouble finding some great shots.
There are various water sport activities you can pay for, such as wave runners, jet skis, kayaks, paddle-boards, para-sails, etc. We held off on those this time around and went with a private 3-hour boat tour with Eco Endeavors. Again, there was a threat of storms, but we lucked out once again for our 9 am tour, outside of a little light rain towards the end. Our tour captain was very nice & informative; he is a retired businessman who has been guiding tours for the past 8 years and seems to really enjoy it.
We visited some cool-looking ruins and an island not frequented by tourists very often, so there is an abundance of shells to choose from if that’s something you enjoy. All 4 of us came away from the tour impressed as it exceeded all of our expectations going in; I highly recommend choosing them if you do a boat tour, especially a private one.
Overall, we thought Marco Island was a fantastic place to visit if you are looking for a more relaxing type of vacation. If you are looking for more of a party atmosphere with many bars & clubs open late, I would recommend going elsewhere (for example: Miami or Key West, to name a couple). However, in the current Covid-19 climate, I can think of very few places that top this in terms of relaxation and being able to still socially distance from other groups of people.
I would love to know your thoughts about Marco Island, whether you have been before & have some insight or if you simply find it interesting and would like some additional information. I would be more than happy to answer any questions!
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