Things to Do in Marco Island

Situated 17 miles due south of Naples, and a stone’s throw from the Everglades National Park, Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Connected to the mainland by Collier Boulevard, there are plenty of beaches, attractions and things to do on Marco Island. While retaining its own individuality as a barrier island escape, it is in touch with all that southwest Florida has to offer in terms of dining, golf, luxury accommodations, shopping, and cultural attractions.

Marco Island Beaches and Watersports

Covering just 12 square miles, Marco Island has several beautiful white sandy beaches right on the Gulf of Mexico. Tigertail Beach is one of the most popular beaches and has excellent shelling. The clear water is perfect for swimming and there are watersports rentals for those looking for a little more excitement. Parking is available near the public access for those not staying right on the beach.MustDo.com | Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, Florida offers beautiful white sand, shelling, tidal pool exploration and a playground making this a great family beach and one of the most popular in the area. Photo by Jennifer Brinkman.

South Marco Beach is ideal for families with clean sand and shallow Gulf waters. It’s a great place for walking but there are no amenities so you have to bring your own chairs, umbrellas, drinks and snacks.

Between Tigertail and South Marco Beach is Resident’s Beach, lined with some of the high-rise hotels and luxury resorts. As its name suggests, you need to be a resident or have a lease for a least one month to obtain access to the excellent facilities and tiki huts on this perfect stretch of beach.

Beach activities on Marco Island include renting boats, waverunners and standup paddleboards. You can even book a guided nature tour around the 10,000 Islands on waverunners. Parasailing and sea kayaks can all be enjoyed along with excellent fishing right off the beach. Wildlife abounds with plenty of wading birds on the shoreline and pods of playful dolphins just offshore.

Boats and Fishing on Marco Island

Rose Marco River Marina is one of several places offering boats for hire. Stable pontoon boats are ideal for exploring the uninhabited islets and tranquil waterways around the 10,000 Islands. Boat charters offer nature spotting, shelling, swimming, bird watching and dolphin-spotting at your own pace. You can also rent fishing equipment or join a fishing charter for sport fishing in deeper Gulf waters.

MustDo.com | Relax on calm waters aboard Sunshine Tours & Charters beautiful 90' Marco Island Princess for a spectacular sightseeing, sunset, or nature and history cruise. Marco Island, Florida.

For the ultimate sunset cruise, join the Marco Island Princess for a buffet dinner with drinks as you relax and enjoy the sights at sunset.

Top Places to Visit on Marco Island

Other things to do on Marco Island include the excellent Racquet Center with lighted courts, pickleball, and indoor racquetball courts. Golfers can enjoy the 18-hole championship golf course at the Island Country Club or the 9-hole Hideaway Golf Course, which both require membership. However, there are many public golf courses just 15 minutes from Marco Island that welcome visiting guests.

For shoppers, Marco Walk is an excellent place to find souvenirs and ice cream on South Collier Boulevard. You’ll also find a busy Farmer’s Market at Veterans Park each Wednesday selling local produce, artisan bread, crafts, and snacks during the winter season.

The Marco Island Center for the Arts regularly hosts cultural art-themed events, workshops and Art Shows and the Blue Mangrove Gallery always welcomes browsers.

MustDo.com | The Marco Island Historical Museum, Marco Island, Florida, USA. Must Do Visitor Guides SW Florida vacation information.

Marco Island Historic Museum on Heathwood Drive is worth a visit to learn about the Key Marco Cat and other artifacts recovered during an archaeological dig on the local shell mound and pond. This informative museum traces Marco Island history from Calusa Indian settlement, to fishing village, pineapple plantation, and tourist hotspot.

With so many things to do on Marco Island, you won’t want to leave!

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Nita Ettinger is the co-publisher for Siesta Publications and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed publications and the website MustDo.com. Must Do Visitor Guides are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County chambers of commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications are found.

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