Marco Island, FL
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
Recently Cathy and I had a little escape down in Marco Island, FL (Marco). It was our first trip staying in this part of the Sunshine State and it will not be our last. We have frequented various locations up and down both the East and West coasts of Florida over the years. Most of our time has been on the west coast of the state but never as far south as Marco Island. The area is the last major town/city on the west side before the main road cuts across the southern-most tip of the state on alligator alley which cuts through the heart of the Everglades. There were so many interesting aspects about Marco and being so close to the Everglades results in seeing things you would not normally see in other parts of the state. More on that in a minute.
The west coast of Florida is well known for captivating sunsets and Marco did not disappoint us in this category. We enjoyed many beautiful sunsets with cocktails in hand. Every so often a dolphin would entertain us swimming with the waves or chasing fish for dinner. Also, there is such a large variety of birds that can be seen along the shore, on the golf course or as you walk through neighborhoods that line the canals creating waterways for boating traffic. There are pelicans, egrets, storks, ibis, herons, terns, eagles, osprey, hawks, burrowing owls and cranes. Those are just the birds that I remember their names. It is not just birds, but the abundant wildlife in general. Of course, there are alligators, which I did see several around the ponds on one of the golf courses I played. Many road signs warned you about bobcats and panthers, yes panthers. We did not see either this trip but in years past have seen the large cats. We did see a group of 6-7 wild boar on the side of the road. Those catch your eye because that is not something you see every day, especially in CT.
There was no shortage of restaurants to choose from and we were fortunate that we were able to walk to at least a dozen or so places to eat. There was the array of choices from fine dining to tiki huts on the beach. I love a good tiki hut. We did venture around the island to experience other restaurants that were recommended to us by people we chatted with. We were rewarded for our adventurous efforts and found some great “off the beaten path” spots that had a true island feel as well as fabulous food. We looked up friends that live in the area and it was fun to reconnect with them and hear about living in the area and not just being there on vacation like we were
You can’t talk about Marco and not reference the beautiful beaches. There are miles of white sandy beaches to walk that are dotted with countless shells of every variety. You never know what the tide or each wave will bring in and the inventory of items that washed ashore was ever changing. We took many walks without bothering to look for shells because we were too busy looking at the beautiful water, looking for dolphins, listening to the waves or just people watching as we strolled along. The beach was not only long and great for walking but also very wide. This was an added benefit in that it never felt crowded because there was so much space between where you walked on to the beach and the water.
Kelly and Dave joined us for several nights and we showed them some of our favorite locations around the island. It was great to spend time with them in such a warm and beautiful setting. While we were enjoying walks on the beach and watching sunsets and drinking cocktails, the weather in CT was bitter cold and snowing. We were all glad to be in Marco together creating memories.
If you have been to Marco, I hope this brought back some fond memories. If you have not had the opportunity to visit the area, I highly recommend visiting the island if you have the chance. If you have a trip planned to the area and you are looking for some recommendations on places to eat, let me know and would be glad to share some thoughts. As mentioned, Marco is not a one and done for us. We will go back at some point to experience some new and different items in the area as well as revisit some of the places we enjoyed along the way.
Life is good in Marco Island, very good!
Until the Next Tom’s Take………………