Craving a beach vacation? Alaska Airlines offers direct flights from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the perfect gateway to a variety of experiences, whether you’re looking for sand, surf or adventure.
I highly recommend heading to Marco Island in Southwest Florida, along the Gulf Coast, just two hours west of Fort Lauderdale, where you’ll find six miles of beach and over 100 miles of waterways within its 24 square miles. It’s the most beautiful gem tucked in the famous Ten Thousand Islands.
Where To Stay
The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is a dreamy retreat with a Balinese-inspired ambiance and every amenity at your fingertips. You’ll find this luxury haven on three miles of white sand beach with ten restaurants, two 18-hole championship golf courses, three pools, a spa and water activity rentals. It really has everything you need to stay and play…
We had the opportunity of staying in the new Lanai Tower, which is part of the $320 million renovation featuring new restaurants, guest rooms and suites, along with a virtual entertainment center.
Known as a ‘vacation playground,’ the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is perfect for all ages, providing that sweet and savory combo of relaxed luxury in the ultimate dreamy locale.
A scrumptious pairing to the resort is the Spa by JW which offers treatments tailored towards your exact needs and focused on delivering four distinctive benefits: Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew. Within the peaceful walls of the 24,000-square-foot spa retreat, you’ll find a variety of treatments, products, and activities to savor. *Definitely make time for this!
Where To Play
Though there is plenty to do at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, I always like to explore new areas and there is so much to offer in Southern Florida!
One of our Marco Island highlights was provided by Everglades Excursions, including a full narrative through the Everglades by an eco-trained tour guide. We also visited an alligator sanctuary, and rode through the backwaters of the Gulf via an airboat, navigating through the mangrove tunnels and old Indian trails.
This was such a perfect family-friendly activity – the airboats are safe for kids ages 3+ and noise-cancelling headphones are provided – along with ponchos if it’s a little drizzly.
Departing daily from the Marco Island beachfront, the 2.5 hour Calusa Spirit Dolphin and Shelling Cruise is aboard a 45ft catamaran that glides smoothly across the Gulf, venturing around the tip of Cape Romano, passing the famed “dome houses” and into the 10,000 Islands at the edge of the Everglades.
The onboard naturalist pointed out the dolphin, fish and shore bird varieties while sharing the history and eco-system of Southwest Florida.
You’ll also get an hour on the remote island of Cape Romano to search for seashells and put your toes in the water. The kids were so excited about their newfound shell collection that we picked up a shell identification book after the tour which continued the conversation the rest of the trip.
*Calusa Spirit offers sun and shaded areas of the catamaran, snacks, as well as, an onboard restroom.
On our way back from the dolphin cruise we enjoyed a beautiful lunch at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa signature restaurant, The Deck at 560. Dining under white canvas umbrellas with breathtaking waterfront views, it was the perfect slice of Florida heaven paired with island fusion cocktails – I recommend the Beach Mule!
Executive Chef Corey Hepburn recently introduced a holistic chef’s garden with organic herbs and produce which adds to their already unparalleled menu. Definitely include the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa to your foodie itinerary!
Marco Island was just selected as the safest city in Florida, making it a welcome respite for families looking for luxury, adventure, dining and plenty of beach to roam.
Make sure to book your flight to Fort Lauderdale via Alaska Airlines, our preferred domestic airline which has been inspiring travel for over 85 years. Their route system spans over 118 destinations and 5 countries…and just recently added Virgin America to their fleet! Check out their flight deals and packages on AlaskaAir.com!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!