Marco Island City Guide
Looking for a one-of-a-kind, relaxing beach getaway? Marco Island is consistently voted as one of the top islands in the U.S. – and for good reason. It’s situated on the Gulf of Mexico in an area known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. This is where miles of white sandy beach meets crystal blue waters, and unmatched beauty abounds.
If you’re planning a vacation, want a break from the winter weather, or just need some rest and relaxation, there’s no better place to visit than Marco Island. Keep reading for more information as well as tips and suggestions for making your visit to the island one to remember!
Fun Facts About Marco Island
Ten Thousand Islands
Marco Island is the largest inhabited, barrier island within Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands.
The Paradise Coast
Marco Island, Ft. Myers, and Naples make up the area known as “the paradise coast”.
The Olde Marco Island
The Olde Marco Island Inn & Suites is a historical treasure. Built in 1883, it continues to provide comfortable accommodations on the North end of the island.
Marco Island’s original inhabitants were known as the Calusa – a Native American tribe that is now extinct.
Cape Romano Domes
The Cape Romano Domes are alien-looking structures situated off the coast of Marco Island. Now in a state of disrepair, these unique buildings were once used as a vacation home in the 1980s.
The population of Marco Island is around 15,000, but it more than doubles in the winter months when people flock to this popular beach town.
Marco Island is relatively small compared to other popular coastal towns. It’s just 24 square miles, making it an easy place to explore from top to bottom. Keep in mind that parking can be difficult to find, and some places charge to park, so renting a car isn’t always the best idea. Taxis and rideshares are available but can be difficult to find, especially during the high season.
The best way to make the most of your time and experience all the island has to offer is to book a scooter, Scoot Coupe, golf cart, or ebike. At Marco Island Sun-N-Fun Sport Rentals, you can rent for as long as you need – from two hours to two weeks, or more if you want to. Plus, gas refills are included in the price of your scooter, scoot coupe, or golf cart. Enjoy seeing the sites in a fun new way – skip the car and book a rental with Marco Island Sun-N-Fun Sport Rentals.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Marco Island may be known for its beaches, but it’s also a food lover’s paradise! Whether you enjoy comfort food favorites in a relaxed, casual atmosphere, or prefer upscale dining with an elegant touch, Marco Island has something for everyone! Check out some of these local favorites:
Looking to book a stay in Marco Island? First, consider whether you prefer to be in the popular South Beach area, or the quieter, historic district in the North End. You’ll be closest to all of the main attractions in South Marco, but if peace and quiet are what you’re looking for, consider booking your stay in Old San Marco.
Top 5 Gift Shops
Marco Island has many great places to shop for all kinds of unique gifts, art, books, or other treasures you might find! Here are some of the most popular shops on the island.
Snook Inn Gift Shop
On the North End of the Island, this gift shop is away from the main strip of Collier Blvd., but it’s worth the cruise, especially on your favorite Sun N Fun rental.
Snooks is one of Marco Island’s famous landmarks and doubles as a place to grab lunch, dinner, or just and afternoon beverage. Head over in the evening to watch a beautiful Marco Island Sunset and enjoy waterside dining both inside and outside. When you finish, head to the gift shop for plenty of amazing options to leave with a souvenir.
Fia’s Island Women Boutique
Ok, we get it, this is technically not on Marco Island, but it’s a favorite family-owned business in Southwest Florida that’s only about a 10-min. cruise from Marco Island.
If you’re heading to Goodland, Fl, during your stay, don’t miss Fia’s Island Woman Boutique. Fia’s prides itself on being an eccentric and fun little shop. Full of island charm, their boutique offers an elaborate selection of clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and just about anything else you can imagine!
Take a stroll down San Marco Rd. on your favorite Sun N Fun rental ride and enjoy an afternoon of food, drinks, and shopping in Goodland.
Located in: Main Strip off Collier Blvd.
Shore Goods is one of our favorites that supply a variety of local artists and gifts. They have a unique blend of nautical antiques, vintage salvage, locally handcrafted gifts, DIY craft supplies, & seashells. All inspired by the beautiful coastal Floridian climate
Alvin's Island - Marco Island #317
Located in: Main Strip off Collier Blvd.
You can’t miss Alvin’s Island on the main strip. They have a good selection of souvenirs and some great deals. The inventory covers a wide selection of items you can spend a good time finding gifts and souvenirs to take back home. It’s very well-lit and clean. Forget a beach towel, swim trunks, hat, or sunscreen…this is the place to go.
Marco Island’s best resort wear store. Biggest selection in quality T-shirts, sweatshirts , hats, gifts, souvenirs, toys, and a lot more for all ages.
Marco Island may be small, but there’s a LOT to see! Check out some of these “must-see” attractions while you’re in town.
- South Marco Beach
- Tigertail Beach
- Keewaydin Island
- Old Marco Island
- Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
- Cape Romano
- Marco Island Historical Museum
Marco Island Beaches
The top attraction on Marco Island is definitely the beach. Here are some favorite activities that can be enjoyed on or near the water.
- Go shelling! Our beaches are known for them!
- Take a boat tour
- Rent a jet ski, kayak, or SUP
- Go parasailing
- Book a fishing charter
- Rent a boat and explore on your own
FAQs About Marco Island
How Did Marco Island Get It's Name?
Spanish explorers visiting the area in the 1500s named the island “La Isla de San Marcos”, after Christian gospel writer St. Mark.
What is Marco Island known for?
Marco Island is a laid-back, tropical oasis and popular vacation getaway in South-Western Florida. It’s known for its shimmering, white-sand beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and abundant natural attractions.
Is Marco Island a good place for a family vacation?
Yes! Marco Island is the perfect vacation destination for families with kids of all ages. There’s plenty to do from playing at the beach and looking for shells, to spotting manatees and dolphins in their natural habitats.
What is the Closest Airport to Marco Island?
The closest airport and the one that almost everyone going to the island flies into is Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), located in Fort Myers. It’s less than 50 miles from the airport to Marco Island.
What is the best time of year to visit?
When it comes to planning your trip to Marco Island, keep in mind that there really aren’t any bad times to visit. The weather tends to range from warm and sunny to warmer and sunnier. The summer months can be hot and humid, but it usually isn’t a problem for those who plan to spend most of their time at the beach. Winters are milder, and for many, it’s the ideal time of year to visit.
Mid-December through mid-April is the high season in Marco Island. This time of year is particularly popular for those looking to escape from the cold, wintry weather in the north and instead, relax in a tropical, beach paradise – even if for just a week. During these months, you can expect hotels and vacation rentals to be more expensive and you’ll have more people to contend with at the most popular attractions. That being said, even with an increase in visitors, Marco Island maintains its relaxed vibe, never turning into a “party town” like Daytona or West Palm Beach.