We recently went on a family trip to Marco Island in Florida! Here are all the details of where we stayed, what we did, what we ate and what I wore!
One of our family trips this summer was to Marco Island in Florida! We went with Philip’s family and had a great time. Here’s a breakdown of all the details on our trip, including where we stayed, what we did and of course – what I wore!
Our Marco Island Trip
Where we stayed on Marco Island
We stayed at the JW Marriott. While we were there, I heard from so many people on Instagram who had stayed there too and loved it. It was beautiful, perfect location, and lots of fun things to do. They had two pools, one of which was closed for some repairs while we were there, but they had another gorgeous pool that was huge and never felt super crowded.
Since the pool was closed, they set up a giant inflatable water slide on the beach for two of the days we were there, which the kids loved!
They also had a ton of restaurants on property, and lots of beach activities right outside on the sand, including paddle boards you could rent, a banana boat, parasailing, jet ski rentals, and more.
We also heard it was the best place to find their famous Florida Fighting Conch Shells, and we found a lot!
What we did while we were in Marco Island
- This was a really fun activity and the kids spent a whole afternoon hunting for shells. We heard that the shell hunting was the best right in front of the JW Marriott. The kids each got a shell bag and they went out into the water to dig. Lots of people had little digging tools and snorkels, but the kids preferred to shuffle their feet around until they felt something pointy, and then they’d dive down and bring it up. One woman pointed them in the direction of a “hot spot” and they found about 12 shells in that area. Fair warning, these are shells that little animals have lived in (it’s illegal to take ones with live animals inside) and they smell so bad. Of all the things I read, nothing mentioned the smell, so here’s your warning. We laid them out on our hotel room balcony for a few days before bringing them home because they smelled so strong.
- We decided at the last minute to book a wave runner tour. We did it through the hotel, and it was about $300 for two of us to go (on one wave runner) and it was worth every penny. It was 90 minutes long and we rode around all these small islands covered with mangroves, some of them so tight that you could reach out and touch the islands on either side. We went out to the Cape Romano Dome House ruins and learned about those, and then we saw a family of dolphins and a large group of eight or nine manatees! It was magical and amazing. Highly recommend. We took the first tour of the day so it wasn’t hot, and it was perfect.
- This was a fun family friendly place inside our hotel. We spent a whole evening here eating dinner, playing mini golf and bowling, and playing arcades. The kids absolutely loved it, and honestly so did the adults. Highly recommend!
- When we were searching for an airboat tour, all of them that we could find had very small boats that only fit a few people. We have a group of eleven, so we needed more space. My friend Kristy recommended Captain Jack’s and it turned out to be perfect. It was a forty minute drive to get there, but we did the airboat and swamp buggy tour through the same company and it was a blast. The airboat tour was quick and super fun. It was really loud, so they provided headphones if you needed them. They drove us all around the mangroves, taking super tight turns and making us all laugh — it was like a roller coaster on the water!
- The swamp tour was through the same company, but you cross the highway to get from the airboat area to the swamp buggy area. The swamp buggy is like a double decker bus with an open top, and it drives right through the swamp! The tour was probably forty five minutes and the guide taught us a ton about the history of the area, the animals that inhabit it, the trees, climate, and more. The kids thought this was a little more boring, especially since it was super hot. But the adults all loved it!
- After the swamp tour, we walked back across the street to the airboat area where they had a gator show and some animal exhibits (and an air conditioned store with cold drinks and ice cream…we definitely took advantage of that!
Where we ate
- This was a little pizza place right on the JW Marriott property – it was good pizza!
- This was in the bowling alley/arcade and was more like bar food but it was good food!
- Quinns served at the pool with a limited menu, so we ordered there, but also went to their actual restaurant one night where they had a fuller menu. Highly recommend – it was good!
- This was a little hole in the wall restaurant in the Everglades. We went here after our swamp tour and airboat ride because it was literally the only restaurant open in the area, and it turned out to be great! They had a big menu and good food and the place was darling.
- We dressed up one night for a nice dinner and went here. It’s Italian food and it was delicious!
What I wore on our Florida Trip (and what to pack!)
I basically brought the bare minimum. Here’s what you need:
- swimsuits (I brought 5 for 4 days just in case and ended up wearing all of them!)
- 3 cover ups (mine are linked below)
- Basic t-shirts – my favorites are linked in THIS POST
- Shorts or skirt – I brought denim shorts and a longer midi skirt, both of which could be worn multiple ways
- Nicer dress for dinner
- Pool Sandals
- Nicer Sandals
- Workout clothes/shoes
Here’s a breakdown of everything I wore