Dave and I have fallen in love with Marco Island, and visited the island several times in the last few years. For being such a small island, I am amazed at how we always find something new and exciting to do each time! We spent 5 beautiful days on Marco in early February, and booked a Marco Island Boat Tour for the first time ever.
In this post, I’ll share a bit about our experience, and if we would do it again!
Why we chose a guided tour
In our previous trips to Marco Island, Dave and I have rented a boat, and boated ourselves around the Intracoastal, and to Keewaydin Island. I’ve always wanted to visit the Cape Romano Dome House, but it’s juuuust a little bit out of our comfort zone boating ourselves there (in unfamiliar water!)
Additionally, when we rent a boat, Dave is in Captain-mode all day. He constantly has to pay attention to the time, to the tides, and for water depths. We always see so many people stuck on sand bars – it’s not hard to do!! Having a guided tour allowed Dave to actually enjoy himself, and we didn’t have to worry about a thing!! Except, maybe sunscreen 😉
We had also shelled several times on Keewaydin, and I was excited for the possibility of some local-knowledge on other shelling spots in the Ten Thousand Islands!
Who we booked our tour with
After a little Instagram research, I landed on Florida Adventures and Rentals. The location was easy to get to, but had minimal parking – which is something to keep in mind! (It’s also worth mentioning parking is $10!)
Florida Adventures and Rentals offered a few different tours, like: dolphin tours, sunset tours, and shelling tours. We opted for a Sight-seeing/shelling tour. We figured it was the best of both worlds. The tour would take us from the Caxambas Park to a sand bar island for shelling, then take us to the Cape Romano Dome Homes. I booked a private tour, so it was just Dave, me, and our guide, Marco.
Our tour was scheduled for 9am, and we were to be there 30 minutes early to check-in. They do have bathrooms there, and a little shop.
Where did we go
Our guide, Marco, was awesome. I couldn’t write this review without mentioning how above and beyond he went! Marco knew I was excited for shelling, so he suggested we go to the shelling location first. This way we’d be some of the first people on the island — crucial for finding the best shells!
While on the island, he learned I was interested in finding urchins, and promptly gave us an urchin-hunting lesson. He found several for us! We were only scheduled for 1 hour on the island, but Marco gave me a little more time on the beach by boating down to the end of the island, so we could walk a bit more.
After shelling, we boated around to Cape Romano.
Marco won more brownie points here by taking some phenomenal photos of us in front of the Dome House. He was incredibly knowledgable and told us the history and had photos of the Dome House in its former glory, and also had a few photos to show us of the other houses that once stood on the beach, too!
On the way back, we looped through the Intracoastal, where we spotted some dolphins. Marco was able to get the dolphins attention and soon they were jumping around the wake behind our boat!
Dave and I have seen dolphins in the Intracoastal before, and several times off-shore, but seeing them jumping and playing right by us was a VERY cool experience!
Would we do it again
We would absolutely book another guided tour with Florida Adventures and Rentals!! It was an incredible experience, and I loved walking away with some fun facts about the island! I would definitely recommend an earlier tour. The parking lot was chaos by the time we got back (11ish), and to beat the heat/highest sun of the day, too!
What we thought would be such a cheesy, tourist-y day ended up being one of the highlights of our trip!