Are you looking for an escape to Florida with sunshine, sandy beaches, and relaxation but minus the crowds you find on Miami or Fort Lauderdale beach? It sounds like you want a little island off of the Gulf coast called Marco Island. Inside of this post, you will find a quick guide. 

Marco Island 

Marco Island is about two hours from Fort Lauderdale. If you’re driving from South Florida, you can get there by driving across Alligator Alley.

If you are flying to Marco Island, Southwest Florida International is the closest airport.  

Tigertail Beach

Tigertail Beach in Marco Island

There’s a reason why Tigertail is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Several, actually. Aside from its 32 acres of powder white sand and crystal clear waters, it also has an offshore sandbar to play in, and large seashells to choose from. Plus, a playground for families with children. 

Fun fact: Tigertail got its name from a Florida Seminole Indian leader who liked to wear a strip of panther skin from his waist. 

Big Cypress National Preserve

airboat on the water in the mangroves of the Everglades

If you want a different fill of nature, check out the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. Go out for a hike or schedule an airboat tour. 

Olde Marco 

Like most older, downtown areas, you will discover plenty of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings located in Olde Marco. 

More places to Eat 

Start your morning with Doreen’s Cup of Joe. Many of their products are locally sourced including coffee beans, orange juice, and sausage patties. 

Arrive for dinner at Snook Inn by car or boat and enjoy the freshest seafood with a view of Marco River. 

For a different kind of view, drop in at Mango’s Dockside Bistro, where you can also find a waterfront view as well a 750 saltwater fish tank and waterfall. 

If you’re still craving seafood, try Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill next!