Marco Island restaurants, resorts, entertainment and shopping offer an unparalleled opportunity to have a luxurious yet affordable vacation experience. This vibrant waterside residential community, with all its amenities, is set against the backdrop of the unspoiled natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, the 10,000 Islands and the Florida Everglades, creating an island destination which is totally unique. That's why TripAdvisor has ranked us the NUMBER ONE Island in the USA, and NUMBER FOUR in the world in 2014!
Situated approximately 100 miles west of Miami and 180 miles south of Tampa, Marco is the largest and most northerly of the 10,000 islands. It is connected to the mainland by two road bridges: the Judge SS Jolley Bridge to the north and the Goodland Bridge, now know as the Stan Gober Bridge, to the south.
Just six miles long and four miles wide, Marco Island's climate is semi-tropical with an average year-round temperature of 74 degrees. (Even in high summer it never reaches more than an average of 91 degrees, although the high humidity does make it feel hotter than that.) We have an average annual rainfall of 49 inches, which occurs mainly in the summer and early fall. The average water temperature of the Gulf in January and February is in the low 60s; in April, May, November and December it is in the 70s; and it reaches the low to mid 80s between June and November.
With the exception of a few small industries, such as pineapple growing and clam canning, Marco Island remained pretty much undeveloped until the early 1960s. In 1962 the Mackle brothers, of Deltona Corporation, developed a master plan which involved the construction of 91 miles of canals, complete with seawalls, to make Marco the beautiful waterside community it is today. The first Deltona sales office opened on Marco Island 51 years ago this January so Modern Marco is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year.
Marco Island was incorporated as a City in 1999. Our population fluctuates between approximately 17,000 in the summer and around 40,000 in the winter months.... our "season."
Attractions include around a hundred restaurants and several great shopping centers. But, as we are surrounded by the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the tranquil backwaters of the 10,000 islands, water sports and beaches are the main draw of a Marco Island vacation. Activities such as world class sport fishing and exceptional eco-tours head the list of things to do on Marco Island, closely followed, of course, by golf.
Let's not forget the incredible wildlife, which includes dolphins, osprey, herons and many endangered species like the bald eagle and the manatee. Then there's the beautiful five mile natural crescent beach, which is world famous for its wonderful shelling. While walking the beach in spring and summer you are likely to sea turtle nests and thousands of shore birds nesting on the spit of land that separates Tigertail Lagoon and the Gulf.
And last but not least, Marco Island is also known as the gateway to the Florida Everglades. Just a short drive away, the Everglades National Park, which lies between Marco Island and Miami, covers 1.5 million acres and is the second largest park in the lower 48 states.
With all this and more to offer, why would you go anywhere else? Start planning your Marco Island vacation today! For more information on things to do on a day trip to Marco and also seven days of activity suggestions see the "Exploring Marco Island" feature in our Activities page