Begin collecting lifelong memories and seashells in Marco Island, where the pace is slow, the people are friendly, and the beach is nothing short of heavenly. Once you’re convinced a Marco Island vacation should be on your horizon, sift through our charming Marco Island beach rentals and book your favorite. If you have tips on how we can make our Marco Island Travel Guide better, please send them our way.
When you're done with our Marco Island travel guide, read even more about the city (like resort information).
Marco Island is the biggest of Florida’s “Ten Thousand Islands,” which technically, is just one hundred. The barrier island is essentially slivers of land, sliced and diced by miles and miles of rivers and canals – and it all barely hangs on to the mainland. This “almost” island might as well be separated from the rest of Florida… it sure feels that way. As you’ve probably guessed, the beach is not just one of several Marco Island attractions, it’s the Marco Island attraction. The ocean is everywhere in Marco Island and its gentle personality has rubbed off on all the locals.
Top things to do in Marco Island, Florida? Easygoing beachgoers are content with searching down sea shells – like “banded tulips” and “lettered olives” – on the shore, fishing off the pier, and reading a book underneath the sun (even bad books lead to a good tan). Other more adventurous visitors get bored on the shore and remedy things by boarding a deep-sea fishing charter, making waves with a pair of jet skis, seeing the view from a canoe, and trying to wind surf for the first time.
Like shelling, Marco Island fishing is a favorite pastime – redfish, snapper, and trout might be your next meal. Some local restaurants will prepare your catch for you!
When you’re not snorkeling or sailing, the Marco Island outdoors still have a lot in store. Tigertail Beach is not only great for swimming, but for playing volleyball. Other scenic Marco Island parks include Caxambas Park, the Frank E Mackle JR Community Park, and the Collier County Racquet Center. So, brush up on your tennis skills, go for a hike, and play a game of basketball while you’re here.
How about a round of Marco Island golf? Southwest Florida is a golfer’s dream-come-true because most its courses are as challenging as they are scenic. While many Marco Island visitors head to nearby Naples to golf, local courses like the Island Golf Course at the Island Country Club should suffice.
Of all the Marco Island things to do, though, bird watching is the most unique and celebrated. After all, Marco Island’s backyard is the Florida Everglades, which is teeming with wildlife. Hundreds of species of birds, ranging from pelicans to American Bald Eagles, can be spotted here. Whether you’re strolling the beach, paddling a kayak, or fishing from your boat rental, keep your eyes peeled!
With all this outdoor activity (and inactivity), it seems that a rainy day would virtually destroy your fun. That’s just not the case. Marco Island has a little art and culture up its sleeves. For instance, the Big Cypress Gallery features the award-winning black and white photography of Clyde Butcher. As well, the many aforementioned recreational centers have lots to do indoors, too. Not to mention, your Marco Island beach vacation rental is perfect for a lazy day of lounging around.
From ospreys to manatees to sand dollars, Marco Island is filled with natural sights to see. Don’t blink too often or you might miss a dolphin jump out of the water or a bald eagle fly above your head. If you’re not the most observant person in the world, consider taking a guided boat tour out into the Gulf – you’ll never forget the moment when you saw an endangered West Indian manatee. The Marco Island Trolley is another great mode of transport for sightseeing if you’d rather stay on land.
As far as manmade Marco Island attractions go, there’s the Cushing Archaeological Site, where you can take a look at 3,000-year-old Native American artifacts. This is one of North America’s most impressive excavations to date.
Much of Marco Island’s best dining and shopping is open-air; why would you want to waste a minute of time inside when the weather outside is so welcoming? Favorite restaurants include Captain Brien’s Seafood and Raw Bar and the waterfront Snook Inn. Even if you’re not a seafood lover, you’ve got lots of dining options, like Verdi’s American Bistro and the House of Mozart (which serves up Austrian entrees).
Got some spending money? Watch the Marco Town Center Mall and the Esplanade Shoppes eat up hours and hours of your time! Find a unique keepsake at a specialty shop or try on some beach wear at a high-end retailer.
Marco Island’s population blows up in winter, as snowbirds flee their hometowns to thaw out in Florida. However, summertime and Spring Break vacationers swarm Marco Island, too. The good news is Marco Island is a four-season destination, with high temperatures of 70 to 91 degrees throughout the year. The bad news is you’re never going to be the only Marco Island tourist around. However, with a Marco Island beach condo, you can avoid the crowds and keep to yourself if you want!
If you need a little more guidance about timing your Marco Island vacation, consider coming for the Marco Island Seafood Festival on March 28th and 29th.
Tigertail Beach is the city’s highlighted public beach. It opens at 8 am and closes at sunset. While admission is free, you’ll have to pay $8 for parking. (A Marco Island beachfront rental saves you that pesky fee.)
As you make your Marco Island vacation itinerary, you’ll realize that planning is overrated in this breezy beach town. Which begs the question: is Marco Island for kids? Will they get bored of swimming after a while? Marco Island prides itself on its relaxing, yet sophisticated atmosphere. This is why Marco Island weddings aren’t anything unusual. While Marco Island does not scream “family-friendly,” our vast (and diverse) selection of Marco Island beach house rentals are gradually changing that. With a spacious, amenity-filled accommodation, Marco Island is just as great a family vacation spot as any other Florida beach.
Finally, if you plan to partake in Marco Island fishing or shelling while you’re here, do a little research beforehand. Find out what types of fish are in season and what you’re supposed to do with a live shell.
The Marco Island tourist will be well taken care of! Fishing guides, boat charters, multiple marina and tackle shops, watercraft rental stores, and childcare services are all at your fingertips. Remember, weddings in Marco Island aren’t uncommon, so if you're planning one – the city is equipped to help out with the ceremony.
The Naples Municipal Airport and the Marco Island Airport are the most convenient to fly into, but you’re more likely to fly into the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. If this is the case, hop in a rental car or taxi and head down I-75 South; then take exit 101. At that point, Collier Boulevard (951) will lead you to Marco Island. In total, the ride from the airport to your Marco Island vacation rental should take an hour, more or less.
If you’ve got a Marco Island beachfront rental waiting for you, find out from the owner what’s included in it. After you get your answer, make your packing list. No matter what, though, there are certain “musts” for a Marco Island vacation – like sun block and beach wear (swimming suits, cover ups, sandals). Keep in mind that Marco Island is known for being laidback, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in luxury… bring a nice outfit or two for those nights on the town!
Whether you’re planning a quiet Marco Island wedding or a fun-filled family getaway, a Marco Island waterfront vacation rental will accommodate you and your fellow vacationers. Gulf views, spacious bedrooms, private balconies, high-speed internet… because there’s such a wide variety of Marco Island condo rentals and vacation homes, you can find exactly what you need for your trip.
Well, what are you waiting for? Beach bliss is just a click away... check our our Marco Island beach vacation rentals today!