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New Year 2010 www. marcoreview. com Page 51 SHOPS OF MARCO

Having lived on Marco for over fi fteen years, we've been asked many times what activities we'd recommend to fi rst time visitors. There are so many things to do it's hard to know where to start, but here goes.... We're assuming that funds are unlimited ( which, sadly, isn't often true at the moment) and the weather is perfect ( which, happily, it usually is). Also that the vacationers are able- bodied and energetic ( they'll need to be if they do everything we suggest here!) but don't forget, the ideas are interchangeable and along the way we've listed many other ideas which may be more applicable, so mix and match to create your ideal plan. For those of you who are only staying for a few days we've also marked with * the things we consider to be absolute " must sees". You'll fi nd more details about most of our suggestions in the Activities Guide on pages 70- 72 and in the ads throughout the magazine. And please don't think, because we haven't recommended many restaurants ( unless they offer something unique), we don't want you to eat while you're here! It's just that dining is so subjective we'd prefer you to make your choice by referring to our Dining Guide on page 108 and our more detailed Restaurant Review starting on page 111. DAY 1 - Getting to know us! Walk on South Beach Break yourself in gently with a stroll along the beach at the south end of the island. It's great to sit on the rocks at the tip of the beach, breathe in the clean salt air and watch fi shermen, birds and boats go about their business. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some dolphin or a manatee swimming by, and you should be able to fi nd some great shells here at low tide so don't forget to take a shelling bag along with you. For more info see " Life's a Beach" on page 66. Marco Island Blue and Orange Line Trolley Tours Get your bearings on this narrated 90 minute tour of Marco and Goodland. You can get off at any of the ten stops along the way and reboard later, but check that you're not on the last tour or you'll get left behind! Eco/ Shelling/ Sightseeing Boat Tours* SW Florida is famous for its wonderful wildlife and an eco boat tour is one of the best ways to see, experience Best Happy Hours Chefs' Express Cocomo's Nacho Mama's Sale e Pepe The Sand Bar Sandcastles Sasso's Stilts Sunset Grille and learn about it. You can expect to see dolphin ( often jumping behind your boat) Ice Cream Parlors Beebe's Ice Cream Chocolate Strawberry Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Annie's Tutti Frutti manatee, osprey, and many other water birds on most trips. Our area also boasts some of the best shelling in the world and, although you can fi nd wonderful shells on Marco's beautiful beach, a boat trip to a local uninhabited island is by far the best way to fi nd unusual shells in abundance. See page 90 if you need help identifying your fi nds. Many of the private boats will also customize your tour to include trips around the island, sightseeing in the canals, and perhaps lunch or dinner at a waterside restaurant. See the " Boating & Watersports" section in our Activities Guide on page 70.