I love beach (or lake) communities where so many people get around by boat. Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, and is surrounded by estuaries and mangrove islets along the intracoastal waterway, and the Gulf of Mexico. We spent one lazy morning tooling around on a little pontoon boat we rented, and couldn’t have been happier. We never ran across any manatee, but we saw plenty of dolphins enjoying the boat wakes.
One of my favorite afternoons while in Florida the last few days was ambling through Collier-Seminole State Park. It “lies partly within the great mangrove swamp of southern Florida, one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world.” I followed the directions online to call and ask what trails may be fully or partially closed, and I’m glad I did. Their Wilderness Trail, which is usually about 6.5-miles, was reduced to just around two. So rather than planning a whole half-day adventure, we left early for lunch and adventured beforehand.