The Finest Issues To Do In Marco Island, Florida


A visit to Marco Island can really feel such as you’ve found the candy spot of southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast. Lower than 20 miles southeast of the luxurious riviera of Naples, this island gives the perfect of all worlds: a relaxed fishing village with tranquil seashores and unspoiled nature in addition to oceanfront lodges, scrumptious eating choices, and plenty to do each out and in of the water.

Order honey-Sriracha snapper on the Snook Inn.


Its distinctive place on the coast gives entry to the Gulf of Mexico, with its white sands and well-known sunsets, and the Ten Thousand Islands, a distant archipelago that’s dwelling to an unlimited mangrove forest and tons of of species of wildlife. “We have now a number of issues that draw folks right here—however to me, this a part of the state is an outside city in disguise,” says Capt. Ryan Younger, the founding father of Rising Tide Explorers, a neighborhood firm providing kayak and boat excursions.

Whereas it might be tempting to spend a whole weekend sipping poolside cocktails, it might be a mistake to not enterprise out. From catch of the day culinary experiences to glowing horizons and postcard surroundings, Marco Island is filled with alternatives for having a superb time. Right here’s our information to seeing it for your self. 

Outdated Florida Stays

Situated within the historic district, the Olde Marco Island Inn & Suites has been the crown jewel since 1883, when it was a boardinghouse of types. The unique construction, which continues to be on the property, has been reimagined because the French restaurant Bistro Soleil and is adorned with basic John James Audubon prints to boost the Outdated Florida attraction.

The inn itself encompasses a assortment of two-bedroom suites with dwelling areas, full kitchens, and screened porches. Hearkening to days previous, the pool deck has lounge chairs, umbrellas, a tile-accented pool, and swaying palm bushes. You’ll be able to even bike to close by stretches of sand—the closest is the well-known Tigertail Seashore. 

There’s loads of room for splashing round on the pool on the JW Marriott Marco Island Seashore Resort.


Some name The Boat Home Motel the island’s best-kept secret, and it does an impeccable job of sustaining its motor courtroom really feel with a daring turquoise-and-white facade and retro accents at each flip. This quaint 20-unit property with entry to Collier Creek, simply seconds from the Gulf of Mexico, is household run and provides a correct style of the island’s greater than 100 miles of waterways.

Non-public boat slip leases complement the straightforward suites, whereas the poolside views typically embrace dolphin sightings or pelicans flying in formation. In case you’re bringing a ship, head over to Keewaydin Island within the Rookery Bay Nationwide Estuarine Reserve; it’s accessible solely by water.

You’ll discover sandbars, shells, and weekenders having fun with fare from floating food and drinks boats. Or hitch a trip with the Hemingway Water Shuttle leaving each day from Rose Marina, and really feel the wind in your hair. 

Dinner with a View

Whereas well-known for the good eating places discovered at its resorts, Marco Island is extra well-known for its regionally owned seafood dives and watering holes. Stationed for greater than 35 years on Large Marco River, with views of undeveloped Stingaree Island, the Snook Inn stands out with its umbrellaed patio eating, the exercise of boat site visitors, and the palm thatched Chickee Bar.

Favorites from the menu embrace shrimp cocktail with a rum runner at sundown and mahi-mahi tacos or honey Sriracha snapper for dinner. The eatery, which is beloved by residents (who typically consult with it as “The Snook”), has been briefly closed since Hurricane Ian. 

Simply down the highway, a significant contender within the race for greatest grouper sandwich is Lee Be Fish, positioned in The Outlets of Olde Marco within the historic district on the northern finish of the island. This space has brick paved walkways and colourful coastal shanties that have been was outlets, eating places, and artwork galleries.

Seaside Adventures. Seize dinner at Lee Be Fish, stroll within the surf at Tigertail Seashore park, and catch glimpses of coastal birds among the many many acres of mangroves in Collier Seminole State Park.


Began by a business fisherman named Lee Tinter, this restaurant has a menu simply as numerous because the morning’s catch, which frequently consists of grouper, snapper, and stone crab. The place different fishermen pack and ship their bounty off to cooks across the area, Lee Be’s holds onto theirs and serves it to a loyal following.

Sunshine State of Thoughts. Seize cocktails with a facet of salty air at Little Bar Restaurant. Make sure you save room for a chew of the well-known (and award-winning) Key lime pie after a meal at Lee Be Fish. Settle in for a gracious keep amid the elegant environment of JW Marriott Marco Island Seashore Resort.


Don’t miss brunch a brief stroll away at Smith Home Restaurant and Tavern, the place you’ll discover basic consolation meals plus vegetarian and vegan choices. The west coast of Florida is famed for its glowing sunsets. These are greatest loved on the patio or within the indoor eating room at Sale e Pepe within the Marco Seashore Ocean Resort.

Infinity doorways open extensive to let within the heat mild at this gorgeous spot on the coast. The restaurant gives an intensive wine checklist, however if you happen to’re feeling adventurous, attempt a tiramisu martini. Sale e Pepe’s Italian menu additionally has seasonal seafood choices, like fish crudo with Florida citrus and olive oil and grilled sea bass. 

Toasting with a tiramisu martini from Sale e Pepe restaurant.


One other can’t miss Gulffront spot is Kane Tiki Bar & Grill on the JW Marriott Marco Island Seashore Resort. Sitting at a comfy cocktail desk, you possibly can get pleasure from a menu of Indonesian road meals in a tropical setting. 

Select from blended rum drinks, tuna poke bowls, their much-loved lechon kawali appetizer (crispy pork stomach with soy dipping sauce), and different tempting choices. 

Tasting and Toasting. Don’t miss the possibility to attempt a plate of coconut shrimp from Kane Tiki Bar & Grill at JW Marriott Marco Island Seashore Resort or the tiramisu martini from Sale e Pepe restaurant.


On the east facet of Marco, positioned within the fishing village of Goodland, is Little Bar Restaurant. Scorching pink bougainvilleas climb its exterior, a blues band will typically play, and a number of regulars welcomes you to settle in and have a superb time.

What began as a group headquarters has developed over 44 years into an iconic waterfront restaurant and bar that’s adored by locals and guests alike. Because the proprietor, Niki Bauer, says, “Little Bar is dwelling to lots of people. Our workers is one massive household, and our clients are household to us too.”

Seize cocktails with a facet of salty air at Little Bar Restaurant.


The spot is well-known for its recent seafood and du jour menus. Chef Christopher Kneipp says, “We’re bringing within the catch on ice daily, typically carrying it straight within the again door after strolling it over from Kirk Fish Firm simply 300 ft away.” Take pleasure in their stone crabs, fried soft-shell crab sandwich, and tangy Key lime pie on the patio. 

Seashores Price Combing

The shores of Marco Island are its calling card, that includes pristine white sand, bountiful shells akin to those discovered on Sanibel Island, and water heat sufficient to swim in year-round. Past soaking within the sheer leisure and vitamin D, a day at Tigertail Seashore is a should for shell collectors.

Enterprise out early to catch low tide and embark on the stroll from Tigertail Seashore to Sand Greenback Spit, so named for the abundance of sand {dollars} that naturally wash up right here.

Salk within the surf at Tigertail Seashore park.


Pack for the actions of the day, as this spot is flanked by Tigertail Lagoon, with calm waters good for paddle boarding, bird-watching, and wading. Different close by public sands of be aware embrace Marco Island South and the Keewaydin Island seashores.

The Wild Aspect

A real out of doors oasis, Marco Island is the most important of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, located the place the Everglades meet the Gulf of Mexico. Past the seashore, views of the pure world might be discovered within the lush ecosystem of the Rookery Bay Nationwide Estuarine Analysis Reserve.

“We’re on the sting of untamed Florida,” says Captain Younger of Rising Tide Explorers. “Considered one of our mantras is ‘You’ll be able to’t see Florida from a lounge chair.’ ” With many picturesque mangrove islands, marshes, and tons of of species of wildlife, this primal magnificence is ideally skilled by one in all Rising Tide’s small-group, biologist-led boat or kayak excursions.

“Spending three hours in some of the ecologically fascinating locations on the planet with somebody who has devoted their life to learning it—there’s nothing prefer it,” says Younger. “We wish to assume we’re serving to our friends develop an appreciation for this place so they’ll then care extra about defending it.”

Catch glimpses of coastal birds among the many many acres of mangroves in Collier-Seminole State Park.


A few 15-minute drive north of Marco Island is the Briggs Boardwalk path. This half-mile loop is a simple stroll with a lot to see. You’ll encounter completely different habitats, numerous coastal chicken species, and a scenic overlook. Binoculars are really useful. 

Additionally alongside the connecting Tamiami Path (U.S. 41) is entry to Collier Seminole State Park, which lies throughout the nice mangrove swamp of South Florida and has cypress swamps and pine flat woods too.

Island Historical past

Earlier than Marco Island was based within the late 1800s by the Collier household, it was dwelling to the Calusa folks of the southwest coast of Florida. They have been professional woodworkers, making canoes, piers, and sculptures just like the Key Marco Cat, which is taken into account to be one of many best items of pre-Columbian Native American artwork present in North America. The cat (which is on mortgage from the Smithsonian Establishment’s Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past) might be seen on the Marco Island Historic Museum by 2026.

Nestled on this alluringly wild surroundings are biking and mountaineering trails, plus entry to the Blackwater River for boating, canoeing, and fishing. Regardless of the place you roam on Marco Island, there’s at all times loads of journey available on this tiny slice of Florida paradise.