Hello and thanks for stopping by! Today I’m sharing a Travel Guide for our recent trip to Marco Island and Naples Florida. We took a 6 night trip in early June and flew into Fort Meyers, Florida. It’s about a 45 minute drive to Marco and around 30 to Naples from the airport. If you’re interested to see where else we’ve been, check out those Travel Posts here.
Where We Stayed:
The photo above is one of the beautiful pools at the JW Marriott on Marco Island. I think it’s safe to say this is THE most popular place to stay while visiting Marco. There are a few other resorts but not many. It’s one of those beach towns that’s not full of chain restaurants or hotels, which actually makes it nice. I can see why you’d not want any of that if you lived there. JW Marriott is a huge resort and convention center. If you’ve ever been to a Marriott convention center you know how large they can be. There was actually a few conferences going on while we were there.
We had an ocean view king room (you can see the room tour video on my Instagram) and stayed in the Palms Tower. It’s the tower on the left of the picture above. It was quiet and overlooked the Spa pool. A lot of the rooms face one of the two pools. I have to also mention that the elevators in the Palm Tower were quick (as they were all over) but not as busy as the main first tower right off the lobby. We rarely had anyone else in the elevator with us and there were several in that area. I’m not sure about you, but quick elevators and not crowded ones are much appreciated in a hotel for us. The resort had a mix of families and couples.
Where We Ate:
There are several options in the resort so you really wouldn’t have to leave if you didn’t want to. We ended up at two of the restaurants and went out to eat at local places as well. That’s part of the fun for us while on vacation, exploring the area and finding new places to eat. There were more options than we had time for and I’ll list some of those as well.
Quinn’s On The Beach – we had a casual dinner here our fist night. There are actually tables on the beach and outside seating. We had fish tacos that were great! I pretty much try those everywhere. We also had late afternoon dessert stop there one day. I had the key lime pie and my Husband had the cheesecake. Both were very good. They also serve the pool area and we had lunch while hanging at the pool the last day.
Tesoro – this is the adult only Mediterranean tapas style bar and restaurant located on the rooftop. Great for light bites, cocktails and watching the sunset.
CJ’s On The Bay – we met some friends here for lunch one day. There’s shopping and a few other restaurants in this area and the view of the Bay and marina is beautiful! I highly recommend checking out this area for dining or just walking around and taking in the view. I had a kale salad with shrimp and my Husband had the grouper sandwich, both were very good.
The Oyster Society – we had dinner here our last night. It came highly recommend as well as their sister restaurants which are all next to each other (Da Vinci’s & Marco Prime Steak & Seafood). It’s about half a mile from the resort so you could walk if you wanted. Dinner was good, we both had one of the fish specials. Unless you want oysters (which obviously they’re known for) skip the appetizers. They were ridiculously expensive for what you got. We decided on the scallops and we got this over the top presentation with 2 scallops for $25.
Deep Lagoon Seafood
What We Did:
This section is a little lackluster, lol. I wouldn’t say there is a lot to do in Marco Island, but that’s kind of the point. We were just checking out the area and relaxing on the beach. We always search out marinas when we vacation because we both miss the water and boating since moving from Florida and my Husband loves to fish. You can usually find some good restaurants that way, too. It’s always fun just to drive around and look at homes as well. Even though we both lived in Florida for many years, we had never visited south west Florida before. If we go back, we’d definitely check out Tigertail Beach.
Where We Stayed:
After looking up our options, we chose to stay at Naples Grande. Keep in mind it’s not directly on the beach. There’s a nice walking path or you can take the complimentary shuttle (golf carts) over and back. We had a king ocean view room. The balconies were nice and large as was the room, although the bathroom needed some upgrading. There aren’t many resorts on Naples and we were limited with availability based on what nights we were there after staying in Marco Island. I didn’t get any pictures of the resort because I don’t recommend it. My two other recommendations based off reviews and where we looked into staying would be the Ritz Carlton and LaPlaya Resort. Inn On Fifth is an option we considered as well but decided against it last minute. It’s more for a night or two if you are only wanting to be downtown. We wanted a view and near the ocean.
Where We Ate:
The food in Naples did not disappoint! We had great lunches and dinners while visiting. There were so many places to choose from and I’ll actually link the site I used to figure out where we wanted to go here.
The Boathouse on Naples Bay – we stopped here for lunch our first day. I say it on the map when looking at the downtown area. It’s got a great view of the Bay and it had that old Florida restaurant feel inside. My Husband had the burger and I had the fish sandwich and both were good.
Bayside Seafood Grill – We had dinner here our first night because it was on the list of best restaurants in Naples. It was probably the best meal we had the entire trip! We’re still talking about the chocolate mousse cake we shared. We dug in so fast I forgot to take a picture. We both had the filet and it was one of the best. We sat outside overlooking the water, which I recommend.
Buzz’s Lighthouse – we ended up here for lunch the next day after driving around and exploring more of the area. It’s on the bay but across the street from Vanderbilt Beach. It’s one of those hole in the wall type spots that’s on the water and has good food. I had probably the biggest fried shrimp ever and my Husband had peel and eat shrimp.
The French – we knew we had to eat lunch or dinner on 5th Avenue while in Naples so we made sure to have a reservation at the number one restaurant. Sit outside and enjoy the people watching and the occasional high end cars going by on 5th to really soak up the atmosphere. The food was good but not my favorite. Again we both had steak (I was apparently on a kick) I just didn’t like the way it was prepared. I’d had a great filet once at a French restaurant and was probably expecting the same, my fault. The desserts were out of this world good though, as was the wine of course. I had lemon creme brûlée and my Husband had the eclair.
M Waterfront Grill – another recommendation from the list and it’s also at the same location but across the street at the Village Shops on Venetian Bay. Both of these restaurants were really close to where we stayed as well. I ended up having the filet again. It was good but not as good as the one at Bayside. We shred the bread pudding for dessert. We sat inside at a table by the water. The service and atmosphere were both great.
Bayside Seafood Grill
M Waterfront Grill
What We Did:
Again, not much to say about this section. Naples was very different that what we were expecting. I was thinking more Palm Beach of the Gulf Coast. The homes downtown and along the beaches were similar and we enjoyed driving around those neighborhoods. We laid by the pool one day and the other we explored and did a little shopping. I was disappointed in the shopping area. The stores were nice but nothing like what was advertised, some were closed or not open. The Nordstrom there has been closed for awhile and the Saks was not up to par with what it should be for Naples in my opinion.
The first day we did check out the Naples Pier and it was nice to see and a fun place to people watch. It’s a popular place for fishing and spending a day at the beach.
Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my Marco Island and Naples Florida travel guide! I hope you found it helpful. If you’d like to see what I wore while on this trip, be sure to watch that video here.