Hypnotizing and alluring, the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands – Marco Island is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. Known for its beautiful white sand beaches and vast choices of popular vacation resorts, this tropical island is a must-visit destination throughout the whole year.
Marco Island is the perfect place for relaxing and chasing adventures, with numerous water sports and activities like fishing, dolphin watching, kayaking, canoeing and shelling available at any time.
When it comes to shelling, there’s no better place than Marco’s sandbars, where you can spot a wide variety of whelks, olive shells, scallops and hundreds of other kinds of seashells. Eco-tours like dolphin watching are a popular choice as well, during which visitors can record activities and behaviors of the more than 200-member dolphin population. Boating is a way of life for locals and visitors alike, with many year-round and vacation homes located on the water.
For seafood lovers, fresh from nearby Everglades City, the stone crab claws are the most popular favorite seasonal dish, followed by fresh grouper, stuffed shrimp, and crab cakes.
Located 15 miles south of Naples, the Ten Thousand Islands area features miles long beaches on one side, and mangrove estuaries and access point Everglades National Park on the other. Taking a kayak, canoe or boat through the mangrove estuaries will be an amazing experience, during which one can spot manatees, sea otters, alligators, crocodiles, wood storks, brown and white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets and more.
More than just another island full of beautiful beaches, Marco Island can be a top destination for all those interested in heritage tourism too – the island being a home to several ancient burial mounds and more than 3,000 years old artifacts dating back to the Calusa Indians. The Marco Island Historical Museum features priceless items documenting the Calusa Indian settlements on the island.