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Things to do in Marco Island, Collier County

Our most recommended things to do in Marco Island, Collier County

Marco Island: Dolphin-Watching Boat Tour

1. Marco Island: Dolphin-Watching Boat Tour

Dive deep into the tropical Floridian scenery with a scenic boat tour through numerous islands. Departing from Goodland, cruise through the Ten Thousand Islands and Marco Island, and discover the species that call this place home. See playful dolphins swimming in the wild. Board your boat in Goodland and allow your guide to teach you all about Marco Island, including its history, flora, and fauna. Identify a variety of birds as you sail, like the snowy egret, blue heron, and roseate spoonbill. Depending on the time of year, you may also spot manatees and sea turtles. Travel through the fascinating environment of Marco Island and the neighboring Ten Thousand Islands, surrounded by lush vegetation and crystal-clear water. Spot the resident dolphins, who live in the region year-round, and learn about them from your guide. End your tour back at the starting point.

Marco Island: Shelling and Sightseeing Boat Cruise

2. Marco Island: Shelling and Sightseeing Boat Cruise

With this two-hour Marco Island Sightseeing and Shelling Tours you will experience one of the most popular adventures we are known for. Departing from Goodland Boat Park just East of Marco Island, enjoy a cruise through the 10,000 Islands, made up entirely of mangrove trees. These islands are home to a large variety of beautiful birds. Keep your eyes peeled on the water as this area is home to resident dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, rays, and sharks. After you cruise through the islands you will stop on a private beach in search of the most exotic sea shells that the Gulf Coast is famous for. This is a semi-private or private tour. Boats are very kid friendly, with comfortable seating and a ladder for easy boarding. The Gulf Coast of Florida has a lot to offer when it comes to hidden and not so hidden coastal treasure hunts. This guided boat tour will take you to a deserted beach where you will find beautiful shells that you will take home with you as a Marco Island souvenir. Among the most popular ones we can name the Banded Tulip, the Clam Shell, the Coquina Clam Shells, the Cowry Shell, the Florida Fighting Conch, the Lightning Whelk, the Lined Moon Snail Shell, the Murex Shell, the Oyster Shell, the Ribbed Cantharus Shell, the Scallop Shell, the Scotch Bonnet Shell, and the Turret Shell. Tell us what’s your favorite and we will find it during the tour!

Marco Island: 2-Hour Dolphin, Birding, and Shelling Tour

3. Marco Island: 2-Hour Dolphin, Birding, and Shelling Tour

On this 2-hour tour near Marco Island, explore the Ten Thousand Islands with a Florida Master Naturalist Guide. Enjoy the wild dolphin show before visiting an uninhabited barrier island beach to collect shells and other treasures. Depending on the season, expect to see manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, bald eagles, ospreys, herons, egrets, pelicans, alligators, rosette spoonbills, and numerous species of fish and shorebirds. Learn about the Everglades eco-systems, flora and fauna, rich heritage, and long history. The area's wildlife moves around so each tour is different. Many species are seasonal and inhabit different areas depending on environmental conditions. Be sure to bring your camera, binoculars, sunglasses, snacks, favorite drinks, a hat, and towels.

Marco Island: 10,000 Islands Shelling Tour by Boat

4. Marco Island: 10,000 Islands Shelling Tour by Boat

Learn the fine art of shell collecting on the remote barrier island beaches of Florida’s 10,000 Islands, and escape the shelling hordes of Marco Island and Captiva. Make your own way to Goodland Boating Park to climb aboard a boat that will take you to remote beaches that have not been picked over by others. Few shell collectors know about - or can get to - the beaches of these islands, resulting in pristine shelling opportunities. Touring in small groups, you will be led by a shelling guide with decades of experience. Learn about the nuances of the tide, winds, and locations that affect shelling, and the life cycle and habitat of different species. Your guide even has the knack of finding the Gulf Coast's most prized shell treasure; the junonia!

Marco Island: 1Ten Thousand Islands Dolphin & Shelling Tour

5. Marco Island: 1Ten Thousand Islands Dolphin & Shelling Tour

Experience the natural world around Marco Island as you spot sea turtles and other local wildlife, collect shells, and admire the Cape Romano Dome Homes on this boat excursion. Begin with a boat tour among the Ten Thousand Islands. Take in the local wildlife and search for dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles with your naturalist guide. Encounter ospreys, bald eagles, ibis, roseate spoonbill, egrets, herons, and a large number of shorebird species. Enjoy commentary from your Florida Master Naturalist guide who will talk about the area's ecosystems, history, and culture. Next, explore a remote barrier island beach, an island only reached by boat. Learn about beach dynamics, stroll through the tidal flats, and wade the tidal pools. Collect shells, sand dollars, and other treasures on island beaches that are untouched. Learn about individual shell animals and how to shell from your naturalist guide. Have a hands-on experience, perfect for the young and old alike. From here, venture to the edge of southwest Florida, the Cape Romano, and the Gulf of Mexico. Here, you will see the well-known Cape Romano Dome Houses. Hear how they were once on the beach, but have slowly moved into the water over time. Snap some memorable photographs here.

Marco Island: Boat Tour to Cape Romano and 10,000 Islands

6. Marco Island: Boat Tour to Cape Romano and 10,000 Islands

Find beautiful shells on this boat trip from Marco Island. Weave through the forgotten islands of the 10,000 Islands, sail along the coast of Cape Romano, and laugh at the dolphin's antics. Meet your captain on Marco Island and begin your shelling excursion. Head out into the sea and keep an eye out for dolphins and fish swimming alongside your boat. Sail along the coast of Cape Romano, marveling at the white sand beaches and the crumbling Dome houses. Continue to the Ten Thousand Islands and learn how to spot unbroken shells from your guide. Stop at some of the most secluded islands to hunt for prized and beautiful shells. As you sail, enjoy bottled water and, if you wish, bring some drinks or food of your own to put in the cooler.

Marco Island: Guided Manatee-Watching Kayaking or SUP Tour

7. Marco Island: Guided Manatee-Watching Kayaking or SUP Tour

Explore Marco Island's crystal clear waters on a guided tour in a SUP or kayak. Marvel at the fun-spirited manatees, see sea turtles and pelicans, and paddle through mangroves. Meet your guide and get an introduction to using a standup paddleboard. Practice on land before taking your practice into the water. If you prefer, join the tour in a kayak instead. After you're ready, paddle down the beautiful waterways of Marco Island. As you paddle, keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and live conch. Look up to see pelicans swooping into the water and pink spoonbills flapping as you travel through mangroves. Stop at some of the islands to see the beautiful scenery and hear about the history of the area.

Marco Island: Kayak Mangrove Ecotour in Rookery Bay Reserve

8. Marco Island: Kayak Mangrove Ecotour in Rookery Bay Reserve

Discover the relaxing calm of the waters of Rookery Bay reserve on this kayaking tour from Marco Island. Explore the most pristine mangrove forest in North America and search for wildlife with the help of your biologist and Florida naturalist guides. Meet your guides and get set up with your kayaking gear. Keep your things dry with the included waterproof bag. Start off with paddling instructions and a safety briefing to ensure that you are confident in the kayak before setting off on your adventure.  Ride through the mangrove mazes and tunnels where you can discover some of Southwest Florida’s most popular wildlife. Try to spy some of the over 150 species of birds that call this area home, as well as manatees and dolphins. Glide over oyster reefs, mudflats, and hidden bays. Get so close to the mangroves that your guide will be able to show you the small creatures that live in this beautiful forest, like the mangrove tree crab and the mangrove periwinkle. Search for shells, such as, the famous horse conch and the lightning whelk. Peer into crystal-clear waters for the chance to spot sea stars and urchins. Listen as your guide shares important facts about this amazing ecosystem.

From Naples, FL: Marco Island Mangroves Kayak or Paddle Tour

9. From Naples, FL: Marco Island Mangroves Kayak or Paddle Tour

Hop on a kayak or paddleboard and experience the magic of Florida's natural mangrove formations. Follow your guide through the intricate tunnels that make up this unique coastal forest and head toward Marco Island for the possibility to spot dolphins, manatees, and seabirds. Begin your journey in Naples with a short briefing and immerse yourself in the maze of tunnels on your way to the island. Enjoy a relaxed experience surrounded by the saltwater and freshwater species that call the mangroves home. Rest assured there are no alligators or dangerous animals around. Weave your kayak or paddleboard through and under the branches, always accompanied by your guide. Find hidden coves and stop at Marco Island to discover the beautiful untouched habitat.

Marco Island: Ten Thousand Island Jet Ski Guided Tour

10. Marco Island: Ten Thousand Island Jet Ski Guided Tour

Reach parts of the Ten Thousand Islands that boats just can't get to, on a guided jet ski tour. Search for dolphins and birds, and visit the pristine waters of Rookery Bay as you ride the waves on the back of a jet ski. Discover the rich wildlife and diverse ecosystems of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the everglades. Zip in and around the small uninhabited islands that make up the chain of islands known as the Ten Thousand Islands. Pass small islands overgrown with red mangroves and see the rich ecosystem the unique archipelago is famous for. See an array of wildlife in and around the water, including the elegant Great Blue Herons and Egrets in their natural habitat. Jet across the calm water, passing oyster flats, and small sandy beaches. Ride your jet ski to Rookery Bay National Reserve which stretches across 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands, and protected waters. Keep an eye on the water for playful dolphins in the larger bays. Local resident Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins use this area to hunt for their meals, play with each other or catch up on their sleep. They share the waters with manatees and w wide variety of other marine life.

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What people are saying about Marco Island, Collier County

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 169 reviews

Glen was engaging, knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating when he took our group out. The boat seats were comfortable and swiveled so easy to look all around. He found dolphins and got them to "play" with us; took us to a great beach and we collected beautiful shells and even found sand dollars; was informative about the Ten Thousand Islands which Marco Island is a part of and the trees in the Mangroves from Glen who has been in the area for over 30 years. He took us to a spot he knew and we saw a Rosy Spoonbill "fishing" which was so cool!! We highly recommend Capt Glen!

Fantastic time!! Captain Ed knew how to find the dolphins and they were happy to jump and play in the wake of the boat. Amazing shelling on a people-free island. Captain Ed was super knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly!

I would highly recommend! Very easy going tour, very informative guide. I have been going to Florida for many years but this was a totally new experience for me!

Very friendly captain. We had a great time looking for dolphins, which we saw quite a few, and shelling. Would recommend.

So much fun! We had a pod of dolphins follow us almost all the way to the beach. Lots of shells, very fun.