Tucked amid the Ten Thousand Islands strung along the southernmost reaches of the Gulf of Mexico, visitors will find Marco Island.
Although today a popular beach vacation destination, the island still retains remnants from its days as a turn-of-the-century Indian trading post.
Off the southernmost tip of the county, Marco Island’s long, crescent-shaped beach provides miles of whitewashed sand edged by calm turquoise waters.
Visitors can dine at Olde Marco Inn, a quaint gathering place for islanders since 1883 or stop by Smallwood’s Store, a 1906 general-store-turned-museum that displays old patent medicines, ledgers and hand tools, plus pelts and hides once swapped for supplies.
For more ancient and mysterious sights, visit the remains of the Marco Island witch’s watchtower, remnants of the Caxambas clam colony, ancient Indian burial mounds or the Cushing Archaeological Site, where 3,500-year-old Native American artifacts have been unearthed.
On the mainland, Everglades City, known as "the town where time stood still," breathes the legacy of Indians, poachers and gun-runners.
The town’s historical centerpiece is the Rod and Gun Club, a grand Southern lodge built in 1840 by fur traders.
Now a 17-room inn with an eccentric eatery, the club offers visitors a wide veranda where they can sit in the same surroundings that once hosted millionaires and dignitaries such as President Roosevelt.