A half hour’s drive south of Naples, Marco Island is the last main community on Florida’s west coast before the Everglades swallow up 1.5 million acres of land with uninhabited wetlands.
Marco Island is a treat for the senses. It’s comprised of 20 square miles of tropical foliage, charming homes, and coastal winds that blow a constant refreshing breeze across an otherwise hot, sunny island.
Below is an overview of the characteristics that make Marco Island the quintessential Florida beachside vacation destination and some of the fascinating small towns and villages that surround it.
An Overview of the Main Parts of Marco Island
Marco Island can be divided into a few smaller regions, all easily accessible by land or water.
The majority of the west coast of the island is lined with sparkling beaches. Most of the resort hotels are contained in the southern half of the island, along the west coast.
The north is quieter and more remote, giving visitors staying at beachfront vacation rentals on Marco Island a chance to connect with nature. Here you will find many pet-friendly and family-friendly rental properties along the beach, backing onto a canal, or with on-site pools.
Naples is just 30 minutes north of Marco Island with its great selection of restaurants, attractions, and shopping opportunities.
While staying on Marco Island you’ll have plenty to do right on the island itself and in nearby Naples, but there are several other fascinating small towns and villages in the area to explore as well.
Immokalee, FL is about an hour northeast of Marco Island and is packed full of attractions for such a small town including the Immokalee Regional Raceway and the Seminole Casino – big city attractions uniquely located in a rural setting. It has a very walkable downtown filled with quaint shops and restaurants to explore and has a long settlement history that dates ab
You might find yourself keeping nearby Goodland, FL close to your heart after you leave.
This charming fishing village just 10 minutes east of Marco Island has a population of about 300 with plenty of things to do and see. It home to scenic MarGood Harbor Park on Pear Tree Avenue which offers activities like bocce ball, horseshoe, and volleyball.
Grab a bite to eat at the quaint waterfront eatery, Stan’s Idle Hour on Goodland Drive. Goodland is also a gateway to Coon Key Pass and a large area of preserved mangroves.
Ave Maria, FL
Ave Maria, FL is about an hour north of Marco Island and is unique in that it is a town currently undergoing a lot of development.
The goal is to create a vibrant college town that can help fuel the economies of communities on the outskirts of Naples.
The town is renowned for its architecture, including the iconic Ave Maria Catholic Church, as well as its Italian sculptures. It offers the rare opportunity to see a small town coming into its own.
Everglades City, FL
Everglades City, FL is about 35 minutes east of Marco Island and is known as the “Gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands”. Try a fishing excursion or hike the Big Cypress National Preserve near this community. It’s a top spot to find amazing wildlife tours, guided paddling tours, and other outdoor activities.
The Ten Thousand Islands
Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands offer miles of mangrove tunnels to paddle and winding canals to explore. It is a twisting run of tight waterways, dense mangroves, and isolation where you can paddle for hours and hike marshy trails.
At more than 50 square miles in area, the region is filled with lush foliage and natural beauty. If you’re an experienced paddler, check the tide tables and head out to scenic Indian Key Pass, a passageway that runs through a series of small islands, during low tide. Or, camp overnight on the aptly named Picnic Key– one of the more adventurous things to do.
Marco Island is an isolated vacation getaway with some truly incredible activities and outdoor adventures that await. The surrounding towns, waterways, and islands are certainly worth a visit for their Floridian aesthetics, local charm, and remarkable scenery and wildlife.
Explore the fascinating Ten Thousand Islands and surrounding small towns using Marco Island as your base. Stay at some of the best and most luxurious beachfront vacation rentals on Marco Island – a home or condo of your own for your next beach vacation getaway to southern Florida.