Our first stop was Marco Island. We took the Tamiami Trail route (Route 41) west to Marco. Along side the road for much of the way is a canal and I started counting the alligators I could see. I know there were a lot more than the six I spotted in the water but they are hard to see as you are moving along. The Miccosouke Indians have a large reservation in that area. There is a village you can visit that I'd like to come back to some time and see.
In about two and a half hours we were entering Marco Island. The landscaping was beautiful. When we met our friends for lunch, they told us that the town had received an award for all their trees. It was not quite as populated as I expected but then we didn't really spend a lot of time looking around. We enjoyed lunch and catching up with each other since our time together on our 2015 World Cruise.
From Marco Island we headed up I-75 to Sarasota for the night. We arrived around 4:30 and checked in. After looking around on TripAdvisor and Google Maps, we settled on going out to St. Armands Key to find a place to eat. In some ways it reminded us of Fernandina Beach but a lot busier. We found a nice place called Tommy Bahama's and enjoyed a great light dinner.
A stroll was in order since we'd spent most of the day in the car and we headed west to the beach. We lingered long enough to catch the sunset over the Gulf. The event was shared with several hundred other people who gathered on the beach to watch. A Florida sunset is an event every night.