Things To Do On Marco Island
Having Fun on Marco
To assume that life on Marco Island is all about sun and surf would be a mistake. True, the beaches are impossible to ignore and a must to enjoy, but there is a great many more fun things to do on Marco Island. Here is a only a snippet of them.
Public and Residents' Beaches
There are three principal public beaches on Marco Island, all found on the west side of the island – Tigertail Beach, Resident’s Beach and South Beach. There is also a 2-mile stretch of beach along the north coast which is part of the Hideaway Beach Club, but can be accessed by the public by boat.
Tigertail Beach can be entered at the intersection of Spinnaker Drive and Hernando Drive just a little south of the Hideaway Beach Golf Course. Open from 8am to sunset, it has facilities for all the family, including a kids play area, boardwalk, volleyball courts, parasols, and water-toy rentals.
Entrance to the main Resident’s Beach is at the intersection of Collier Boulevard and San Marco Road. Visiting this beach is amongst the favorite things to do on Marco Island, especially when seeking a perfect view of sunset. In fact, beach-side benches are provided for that purpose. A Residents’ Permit is required from the Marco Island Civic Association.
South Beach is the most southerly of the beaches on Marco Island, but is sited in front of the most prestigious hotels and condominiums on the island. No facilities are provided, but the hotel restaurants and cafes can be accessed.
On the Water
Some of the best things to do on Marco Island are on, or even in, the water. For example, you can rent kayaks and take to the water in Collier Bay or one of the many other bays in the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Boating is a common pursuit too, while keen anglers can go deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, or take an excursion south of Marco Island, through the Ten Thousand Island area where a variety of catchable fish are found.
You can also arrange dividing excursions and investigate some of the old shipwrecks that have lain beneath the water surface for hundreds of years – maybe even spot some sunken pirate treasure!
The Great Outdoors
Fun is not confined to waters and beaches of Marco Island. Lovers of the great outdoors may prefer to journey inland to the Collier Seminole State Park and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. You can speed across the world-famous Everglades on swamp buggies at the Big Cypress Nature Preserve, or either canoe or hike through the spectacular Everglades National Park further to the south.
Of course, amongst the key things to do on Marco Island is golf. There are two superb private courses on the island – the 9-hole Hideaway Beach Golf Course, and the 18-hole Island Country Club – but further inland are the world-class Hammock Bay Country Club and the Rookery at Marco. Other courses include Eagle Lakes Golf Club and the Lely Golf Resort, also close to Naples.
Dining, Arts and Nightlife
Marco Island boasts some of the finest dining in Florida, with many venues offering superior meals overlooking the beaches of Marco Island restaurants. Many are associated with the major luxury hotels on the island, but popular independent restaurants include Marco Polo Restaurant, on Marco Lake Drive, CJ’s On The Bay overlooking Smokehouse Bay, and the Old Marco Lodge Crab House on Papaya Street.
A vibrant arts community adds something different to the list of things to do on Marco Island, with the Island Theater Company and the off-beat The Marco Players producing shows. The Marco Island Center for the Arts supports the island’s most talented artists, while the Marco Island Historical Museum teaches visitors the secrets to the life on the island through the passage of time.