Marco Island is the biggest among the Ten Thousand Islands, a magnificent series of islands off the coast of Florida. Despite its proximity to Naples and the fact that it is accessible to the mainland by two separate bridges, the island retains its lonely, secluded character.
There are several enjoyable outdoor activities, restaurants, wedding locations, and day excursions available on the island. Beaches abound, with two public and many offshore island beaches to choose from.
Table of Contents
Top Things To Do On San Marco Island Florida
100 Palm Street // (+239) 537-8353
As the name implies, Marco Mystery & History blends parts of Marco Island’s past with ghost stories for a spooky two-hour trolley tour with Martha Horror, an actor, and your guide. A 340-year-old Indian burial mound, a ghostly inn, and a cemetery are among the stops.
Excursions are provided from October to March, and private tours can be arranged at any time. Hear stories about Captain William D. Collier’s curse, the Key Marco hanging tree, violent local tribes, lawlessness, strange disappearances, and murders, many of which are still unresolved to this day. A free pre-tour drink is included in the ticket fee at the Olde Marco Inn.
Visit South Marco Beach
930 S. Collier Blvd // (+239) 252-4000
The sole public beach on Marco Island is South Marco Island Beach. It is the calmer of the two beaches, making it ideal for families looking to unwind, shell, or watch dolphins frolic in the water. The beach offers a few facilities, such as paid parking, bathrooms, and a paved approach to the beach.
Off the Hook Adventures, Sailing-Shelling-Sightseeing and Florida Adventures and Rentals are three companies that offer excursions and adventure activities on the beach or nearby. The 1-acre beachfront is surrounded by palm trees and is close to numerous high-end hotels.
180 S. Heathwood Drive // (+239) 252-1440
The Marco Island Historical Museum is a historical museum dedicated to Marco Island’s history and development, with displays on the Calusa Indians. The museum has a whole area dedicated to a reproduction of a Calusa village, which provides visitors with a peek into the daily lives of this long-gone civilization.
Many items unearthed in an archeological excavation on Marco Island are on display in the museum’s displays.
The displays recount the island’s history from its beginnings as an Indian settlement, through its years as a pioneer fishing town, and finally to its meteoric rise to prominence as a world-class tourist attraction.
In what has been termed one of the most significant archaeological finds in North America, archaeologist Frank Hamilton Cushing demonstrated the importance of Marco Island to ancient Calusa Indian culture, which stretched throughout Southwest Florida and even into the Keys, in 1896. The Key Marco Cat, a 6-inch wooden figure discovered during his dig, has become famous.
The original, which is presently on display at the Smithsonian Institution, has returned home for a nearly 30-month special exhibition with other findings from the groundbreaking dig. The museum’s courtyard, which was built to mimic the tribe’s shell mounds, is guarded by a permanent, super-sized bronze copy.
951 Bald Eagle Dr // (+239) 642-5415
The Marco Island Princess is a lovely 90-foot boat that offers daily sightseeing tours. The Marco Princess tours leave from Rose Marina and are an excellent opportunity to see the Marco Island area in luxury. Guests may select between a buffet-style lunch cruise and two sunset dinner cruise choices, all of which include nature and historical narration by the skipper.
The Marco Island Princess serves a variety of delectable dishes, including prime rib, turkey breast, salad, freshly baked cookies, and more. Private charters of the boat are available, and it is especially popular for weddings, anniversary celebrations, and corporate gatherings.
560 S. Collier Blvd. // (+239) 642-3377
Marco Island Water Sports leases water sports equipment from four locations on Marco Island. The Marriott Beach Resort, Hilton Marco Island, Marriott’s Crystal Shores, and the Goodland Backbay Marina are all places where visitors may locate the firm.
Guests have the option of renting wave runners and exploring the local waterways on their own or joining one of the company’s excellent adventure trips. Wave runner excursions, parasailing, marine life eco-cruises, and more are among the tours and activities available.
Daily activities depart from the seashore or several nearby hotels. Guests are encouraged to make reservations to ensure a seat on the popular tours.
292 Capri Blvd, Naples, FL 34113, United States // (+239) 389-4626
The Isles of Capri Marina is a full-service marina in Naples and Marco Island that rents out boats. The marina is ideally placed near the Marco River, making access to the coast and adjacent waterways simple. Pontoons and kayaks are available at the marina.
Kayak rentals are ideal for exploring the Marco River and kayaking to islands that can only be reached by boat. Powered pontoons allow bigger groups to share a boat and go further distances. The marina staff is informed about the region and can give directions, directions, and suggestions for exploring the area’s waterways.
300 Tower Rd // (+239) 530-5940
The reserve’s Environmental Learning Center performs an excellent job of explaining the estuary’s ecosystem in a contemporary, state-of-the-art building.
A gallery with rotating exhibitions of wildlife art, as well as a gift store and an outstanding, welcoming gallery of interactive exhibits, including a 2,000-gallon aquarium constructed into the roots of a replicated mangrove tree, a touch tank, and wonderfully produced exhibits, can be found on the first level.
Upstairs, have a look at the History of the Naples area and stop by a Cracker hut to hear about human history. Then cross Henderson Creek and go across the bridge to a small nature trail on the opposite side.
Guided hikes, kayak trips, and other educational programs are also available at the facility. It is located near Marco Island and is well worth a visit, particularly for families. Inquire about kayaking trips that explore backwater estuaries weekly.
951 Bald Eagle Dr. // (+239) 642-6899
The Dolphin Explorer, which is part citizen-science research boat and half sightseeing cruise, welcomes tourists as part of the 10,000 Islands Survey Team Dolphin Project. This is the trip to take if you want to see dolphins because the researchers know the populations by name, as well as their size and fin and tail patterns.
The huge pontoon boat explores the waterways of Marco Island’s bays and estuaries. With the aid of passengers, the researchers on board take photographs of each one they see. Anyone who discovers a new dolphin is allowed to name it. Passengers may learn about dolphins and other sea species from an onboard naturalist as they go.
A shelling stop on a barrier island is included in the tour, as well as complimentary family and group photographs. It’s instructive and soothing, and it’s just as satisfying and entertaining for adults as it is for kids. Wear or carry shoes to the beach since the shells can be rough on your feet.
Capri Paddlecraft Park // (+239) 777-5423
Marco Island, on the border of the Ten Thousand Islands, is surrounded by and laced with picturesque waterways that take you away from the resort area’s condominiums and concrete. Paddle Between the main island and the Isles of Capri, Marco begins its 2.5-hour Mangrove Tunnels Kayak Tour from the Paddlecraft Park.
It weaves its way through an estuary maze, home to a variety of birds, shells, fish, and other marine life. Rent a kayak or paddleboard at Paddlecraft Park or Caxambas Park for your trip. Daily and weekly prices are available, with a minimum rental of two hours.
Visit Keewaydin Island
Keewaydin Island // —
Wild boar, white-tailed deer, bobcat, iguanas, and the gopher tortoise live on Keewaydin Island, a barrier island off the coast of Naples. Loggerhead turtles frequently lay their eggs on the island.
There are no vehicles, highways, or bridges on the island, and only dirt paths connect private docks to residences. Visitors may enjoy a pristine, natural habitat since the natural beauty has been preserved to a significant extent.
A picnic consisting of a burger from the local burger barge, which sells sandwiches and cold beverages on the sand, is a fantastic idea at the public beach. Visitors must hire a boat, join a tour, or go with a private individual who owns a boat to get to the island.
The Hemingway Water Shuttle runs seven times a day to Keewaydin Beach for drop-offs and pick-ups. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are permitted to ride with their owners on the shuttle.
1104 N. Collier Blvd. // (+239) 777-5707
The fishing in the Marco Island region is well-known. The Gulf seas, freshwater lakes, and adjacent rivers provide excellent fishing possibilities all year. Marco Island Boat Tours provides one-of-a-kind guided fishing expeditions as well as personalized tours of the area.
The excursions are never the same since the guides choose the itinerary based on the weather and tidal conditions of the day to give tourists the best chance of seeing animals.
The majority of their tours are private, with up to six persons per boat, making for a more personal tour experience. Guests have total control over every element of their tour, allowing them to create it precisely what they want it to be.
1083 N. Collier Blvd. #322 // (+239) 695-0000
Marco Island Boat Excursions specializes in educational tours of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park, and other protected places in the Florida Keys. All of the company’s guides are environmental educators and Florida Master Naturalists, making it one of a kind.
One of the company’s most popular tours is the Family Beach Half Day Tour, which takes tourists on a 4-hour journey to discover the different sides of the Ten Thousand Islands. The tour includes a naturalist-led boat tour of the area’s native animals, time on the beach for shelling and swimming, and a family-friendly fishing opportunity.
1141 Bald Eagle Dr // (+239) 389-7889
Scuba Marco is a full-service dive shop with a variety of diving tours and certification classes. Both PADI and SSI diving certifications are available at the business. Non-divers can participate in “Dive-N-A-Day” experiences.
These introductory lessons include anything from a 90-minute pool session with scuba gear to a trip out on a dive boat to get a taste of real-life diving. Everything needed for diving, including masks and fins, is available for rent or buy at the shop. They also have a trained technician on-site who can do diving equipment repairs.
Marco Island and the surrounding areas are recognized for its gorgeous beaches, the wealth of unique shells, and laid-back lifestyles, and sun-seekers from all over the country flock to the island.
The natural setting of Marco Island and the surrounding area is ideal for both relaxed and adventurous activities. If you enjoy spending time on the water, you’ll appreciate the fishing, boating, dolphin watching, kayaking, canoeing, shelling, and other activities available.
Marco Island provides visitors a variety of cultural, artistic, and festival activities in addition to natural beauty, so remaining interested and amused throughout your visit should not be a problem.
While on San Marco Island, read the following article to find out which restaurants are a must-visit:
Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our other guides:
- 9 Fun Things To Do In Vero Beach Florida
- 8 Best Vero Beach Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Clearwater Florida Restaurants
- 7 Best Celebration FL Restaurants
- 7 Best Kissimmee Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Cape Coral Restaurants
- 9 Must-Try Madison FL Restaurants
- 9 Fun Things To Do In Amelia Island
- 7 Best Neptune Beach Restaurants
- 9 Must-Try Restaurants In Atlantic Beach FL
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Palm Beach Florida
- 9 Must-Visit Miami Seafood Markets
- Best Of Florida Food
- The 12 Best Things To Do In St. Petersburg, FL
- 13 Best Disney Springs Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Universal CityWalk Restaurants
- 20 Best Restaurants In Universal Studios
- 6 Best Ft. Myers Beach Restaurants
- The 8 Best Downtown Ft. Myers Restaurants
- 12 Fun Things To Do In St. Augustine
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever