Check out by checking into one of these prime staycation spots for food lovers.
Tarpon Lodge (13771 Waterfront Drive, Pineland; 283-7658, tarponlodge.com): For some, Pine Island is less than 20 minutes by car, but it can feel a world away—even more remote than the Everglades, as the terrain is interrupted only by lush farms and a handful of tourists. If you can look past the no-frills surroundings, this budget-friendly Old Florida inn (pictured) on the western coast prides itself on high-quality food coming out of the kitchen from morning to night. Make sure to pick mangos nearby, buy local honey and spear-fish by sea.
Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort (400 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island; 394-2511, marcoislandmarriott.com): Long a jewel on the island's beachfront crown, the gargantuan hotel cementing its status with a three-phase $250 million renovation that will transform it into a JW Marriott, the brand's highest tier. Ario, a new fine-dining spot featuring haute surf and turf, has replaced Kurrents, and a celebrity chef-driven restaurant is on the docket to debut in the next year. The hotel is also a great a base to explore more coastal cuisine, like the winsome Italian at Sale e Pepe.
South Seas Island Resort (5400 Plantation Road, Captiva; 866-565-5089, southseas.com): While almost all hotels open their grounds to Curious Georges, this private retreat on the northern end of Captiva is totally closed to the public. Unwind at the various waterfront eateries with marina, bay and beach views, but The Pointe is not to be missed (eat there to see all three pools plus the glistening azure beyond). A fun and festive time to go is during the Captiva Holiday Village weekends.
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