Things to do on Marco Island without breaking your bank!

Marco Island is graced with miles of white-sand beaches, luxurious real estate, beautiful year-round weather, sumptuous restaurants, fine shopping, dining, lively entertainment, attractions and plenty of recreational activities from boating and fishing, to golf and tennis, and more. All set amid the stunning subtropical beauty that is unique to Southwest Florida`s Gulf coast.

There are so many things to do on Marco island – when we have visitors, we plan their activities depending on their interests.


1.Beach lovers

If you are beach lover, or someone who like to lay in your bathing suit and relax with a book in hand all day, you will be spoiled for choices.

Relax and laze on your choice of world class beaches.


– South Marco Beach

This is our favorite beach being the closest to our home, in a few minutes drive and it has free public access being managed by the county!  A public parking lot is nearby and you arrive the beach via a lovely short walkway lined with sabal palms.  south marco beach signWe like it because being on one end of the beach, it allows for long walks/jogs passing the private beach of the larger hotels.  A great way to end is to stop by one of those nice tiki huts and grab a martini as you watch the golden sun drop into the sea. South Marco Beach is also not as crowded and a great beach for children.  There is an outdoor faucet just outside the restroom by the parking lot for rinsing off your feet and snorkeling gear before loading back your car.


– Tigertail Beach
Tigertail BeachSunset Tigertail beach May 2015

Also a short drive from our home, Tigertail boost of a great sandy beach amidst a backdrop of seagrass. It’s a lovely nature scene as you wander across white boardwalks to access the beach.  There are restroom facilities and a snack bar.  This beach is in a lagoon so water remains fairly shallow making it ideal for little ones to swim. During Marco Island’s “off season” , there are days when you could virtually have the whole beach to yourself!  So, if you prefer to skip the crowds, ask for our summer special rates!

This beach also is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s South Florida Birding Trail. Nesting shorebirds, including plovers, red knots, spoonbills, osprey, pelicans and even bald eagles are likely to make a home here.


– Sand Dollar Island

If you wade across the lagoon at Tigertail Beach, you will arrive at the Sand Dollar Island.  Water shoes are recommended since some areas are muddy and remember to shuffle your feet to warn the sleeping stingrays that sometimes rest on the lagoon’s floor!  You will get a closer encounter with South Florida’s shorebirds here as it is also a conservation area.  If you wait long enough for low tide, you can see the sandbar that separates Tigertail and Sand Dollar.


2. Water sports lovers


Experience Marco like a local.  Marco Islanders love to spend time on the waters.Are you a boater?  You are in the right place.  If you have no boater’s license, fret not, you can still be captain of your own boat.

There are several boat charters who would allow you to rent a small boat so you can take your family out for a lovely day to explore the 10,000 islands which no other transport means can access.  Besides, if you have a small party, renting a boat can be a one of the best option as it not only offers you an unique experience but also allow the family to enjoy adventures together in the safest way.  It is not necessary to rent a fancy boat to get around.  You’d be surprised how much fun that could be – and this is NOT just a tourist thing, locals get out all the time on their crafts!


The Caxambas Boat Launch (GPS Coordinates:  N 25.913    W -81.717)

Marco Island’s public boat access is located on 909 Collier Court – end of South Collier Boulevard. This is the only access point for boats to get to the northern Ten Thousand Islands.

There is parking but during season, it may be tricky finding a spot so go early to avoid having to part elsewhere and walk back to the park.  There is a little store that sells tackle, fish charts, and little conveniences like sunscreen, snacks food.  Behind the store is a clean public restroom which is a good visit before you start your big day.

boat launch

If you have never launch a boat, it will help to watch how others do it first so you avoid this…

boat launch disasterboat launch fee

Do it like the locals...Another way to avoid the “oops”, is having it already in the water! Imagine all you have to do is to pack your picnic basket, your fishing gear and launch your water adventure right from the backyard!  Plus, you save TIME + LAUNCH FEE!




For those who love adrenaline pumping excitement, a jet-ski would allow easier manoeuvre especially through the mangroves among the islands.  Just remember your way in and out – there are so many tourists who got lost when they ventured on their own, unguided. Many people take a group jetski tour.  Jetski rentals starts at 30mins to up to hours depending on how far and how long you want to use it. Make sure you cut out those coupons found in the local travel brochures which you can get free by 7-eleven or gas stations.

jetski tour

A good jet-ski guide would point out to you secret hiding places of wildlife and guide the group to approach one when he spots it, without scaring the animal so you can get your picture moment.

jetski speedjetski


Nature lovers who prefer a workout can combine your adventures on the water with a kayak rental.  It’s usually the best way to get up close and personal without disturbing the wildlife – you see more when you are powering through with a pedal rather than zooming through with a loud engine.  Plus, it is the most economical choice!