Stone Crabs, Snapper and Shrimp ..OH MY!

 

 

Calling all seafood lovers!  It’s almost time for the Everglades Seafood Festival, a popular annual event steeped in tradition with great live music, fun arts and crafts, and the finest, freshest seafood South West Florida has to offer.

This quaint little community of fishing and farming will be celebrating another year of fun festivities and boasts of the city’s most famous produce – seafood.  Among the craft booths and carnival rides, visitors will be entertained by the sights and sounds of live music being performed by some of Nashville’s up and coming stars. An assortment of culinary vendors will also be in attendance to tempt your taste buds with a variety of tasty delights from fresh Stone Crab Claws to fried gator and other country fair favorites.  Don’t forget the kids!  They will be sure to have a good ole time with the mechanical bucking bronco and high-flying amusement rides.

Festival Schedule:

Friday, Feb. 10 – 5:30pm to 10:30pm

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 10:00am to 10:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 12 – 11:00am to 6:00pm

Tips from Our Team:

Traffic can be tricky, so arrive early and bring your patience.

Wear comfortable shoes!  You will be walking!

Bring cash.  Very few vendors take credit cards.

No Pets

No Coolers

Bring your appetite!!!

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Gem Hidden: Tigertail Beach

Located on Hernando Drive on sunny Marco Island, Tigertail beach offers thirty-one acres of everything from natural resources to beachside amenities, making your visit a rewarding one.   Tigertail’s dunes, famous bird watching setting, and a plethora of lagoon wildlife suggest picturesque calm many seek in a day at Marco Island’s famous beach.  A short distance across the tidal lagoon, what only ten years ago was Tigertail’s sandbar is now Sand Dollar Island, a barrier island in the making.  Changes in the formation of the island are noticeable on a yearly basis and it’s development is a welcome occurrence for the many shorebirds using it as a nesting site.  You will see Herons, Egrets, Ibis and many kinds of Terns, Sandpipers, Plovers and Gulls.  You will even see birds of prey such as the Osprey gliding overhead.  A trip to Tigertail is not complete without a stroll along the beach for shells and other beach items!  You may even find a sand dollar or two!

Location: Herando Drive
Hours: 8 am to sunset
Phone: 239-252-4000
Parking: $8.00 daily rate
$1.50 hourly rate

Amenities:

  • 6 boardwalks
  • Tigertail Beach Café/full service restaurant serving breakfast and lunch/beer and wine available
  • Restroom Facilities
  • Education Kiosk
  • Children’s Playground
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Picnic Area with Tables and Grills

 

Beach Rentals:

  • Stand-up Paddleboards
  • Kayaks
  • Electric Seaquirts
  • Water Trikes
  • Electric Boats
  • Paddleboats
  • Beach Cabanas and Chairs

 

Posted in Marco Escapes News

New Year’s To Do List: Part Two

July:  Take a Swing – Situated along the sun drenched coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, Naples boasts more than 10 miles of Florida’s pristine sand and warmest waters.  The city is known just as much for its golf as for its beaches.  With more than 35 golf courses right in the city and over 50 championship courses in the surrounding area, Naples is the state’s self-proclaimed Golf Capital.  The city has the highest ratio of golf courses to golfers In the country.

August:  Natural Park/Natural Sites – Florida is home to well over a dozen national parks and monuments, all of which are a joy for the visitor to explore.  A must see is the Everglades National Park, which occupies much of the Southwest portion of the state.  The largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., the Everglades is home to many rare species of animals, birds and plants and an airboat ride to view them is a must.  State Parks are excellent as well, like Sarasota’s Myakka River Park where guests can experience a diverse natural area of wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands.

September:  Splish Splash with Watersports- Visit a state surrounded by water and you will no doubt want to take advantage of the myriad of water sports available there.  Take your pick-from calm and water related pursuits like fishing or sailing to more exciting adventures, such as jet skiing, scuba diving, kite or wind surfing, wake boarding, parasailing and more.  With 8,500 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes, 320 spings and 35 rivers, the possibilities are endless.

October:  Cast a line – Southwest Florida has some of the best backwater and deep sea fishing in the state.  Angling is extensive in the network of bays, mangrove islands and tidal creeks that permeate the region.  There are thousands of miles of shoreline, countless oyster bars and acres of seagrass beds that attract an abundance of salt water fish.  Roaming these waters are five of the state’s most sought after game fish: snook, redfish, snapper, grouper and tarpon.  Always a sure catch in these waters!

November:  Key Lime Pie – This delightful confection had it’s start in the Keys.  In fact, nearly every restaurant in the Keys, especially in Key West serves this dessert.  The key lime tree arrived here in the 1500s and recipes for the pie began appearing as early as the late 1800s, though it became really popular in the 1930s.  Some restaurants make it with a graham cracker crust, others with pastry crust.  Either way, it’s a must-have several times over.

December: Beaches, Beaches, Beaches – By far, the number one reason for scheduling a Florida vacation is to sit on the Sunshine State’s incredible beaches and enjoy the soft sand, warm water, and beautiful sunsets you’ll find there.  With thousands of miles of coastline, the beaches in Florida are many and quite varied.  Wherever you go, you’ll find a Florida beach where you can sun, swim and enjoy the view.

 

Posted in Marco Escapes News

New Years To Do List: Part One

With the new year finally here we know the routine of “New Year’s Resolutions”  all too well.  We decided to spice it up this year!  Out with the what NOT TO DO’s…. And in with the what TO Do’s!  So here are 12 reasons we think our Sunshine State remains the place you want on your bucket list this year!

January:  Ode to Sports – Major League Sports are an important part of life in Florida.  With teams like the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays calling Florida home, it’s no wonder some guests come here annually just to enjoy the sports that take place their year round, from NFL football to NHL hockey to pre-season and regular season baseball.  Add to that all the wonderful college teams and it’s easy to understand why this is a sportsman’s mecca.

February:  M-I-C-K-E-Y – Many Individuals would dub this the number one reason for vacationing here.  Theme park fanatics, most especially Disney fans, often head to the Sunshine State every year to get their dose of magic.  Speckling the state, Florida always lands the annual list for theme park enthusiasts.

March:  Shop till you Drop! – Every good vacation has a little shopping time built in.  The shopping options are many varied, ranging from upscale shops in ritzy Naples and South Beach Miami to popular outlets in Ellenton, St. Augustine, Florida City and Orlando.  You will also find everything in between at the many malls that dot the landscape.

April:  Learn a Little History – While most people tend to visit here for the recreation, the region’s interesting history is one of those side perks guests experience while exploring the region.  From the Calusa Indians settling on Marco Island, to the Spanish style architecture of St. Augustine – the oldest continuously occupied European established city in the US, to Tampa and it’s ties to the cigar industry, to the rich military history of the panhandle, Florida excites and educates visitors who enjoy gaining a little knowledge while on vacation.

May:  Take it to the Dance Floor – Nightlife sizzles in many areas of Florida.  On the east coast, the most popular nightlife spots are Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Naples and West Palm Beach.  On the west coast, Tampa’s lively Ybor City area is a favorite with the under 30-crowd, but the remainder of the Gulf Coast beach towns also offer a good collection of nightclubs and other popular party spots geared towards various age groups.

June:  Arts and Culture – Florida is lined with museums and entertainment venues up and down both coasts and everywhere in between.  Visitors can grab tickets for rock concerts, Broadway-style shows, dinner theater, and much more.  Other cultural sites include incredible art museums, history museums, aviation museums and science museums.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

‘Tis The Sea-Sun

 

As this Jolly season approaches, we can’t wait to build our sand snowmen and decorate our Christmas palms!  So pack your bags, leave the sweaters at home and get ready to spend this holiday season in abundant sunshine!  Don’t worry about leaving the snow behind, our beautiful island offers plenty of merry happenings to get you in the seasonal spirit.

Marco Island’s Annual Boat Parade

Come enjoy a little slice of Marco Island at the Annual Boat Parade.  This is a wonderful festive family evening for all ages.  Watch the boats sail by, decked out with festive holiday lights and decorations!

Date: December 10, 2016

Time: 6pm-9pm

Admission: Free

Recommended Viewing Spots:  The Esplanade on Smokehouse Bay and Snook Inn on the Marco River

Christmas Movie in the Park

Want to see a movie to get you in the spirit with the luxury of laying on the lawn in the Florida warmth?  Veterans Park is offering just that.  They will be showing The Year Without a Santa Claus, which is a great movie for all ages.  So bring a blanket and some snack, and see your movie Marco Island style.

Date: December 16, 2016

Time: 5pm-7pm

Admission: Free

Recommended:  Blanket and snacks of your choice

Christmas Street Parade

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season at the Marco Island Annual Street Christmas Parade!  The floats will line up on San Marco and head down towards Goodland!  Recommended to find a spot early.

Date: December 17, 2016

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Admission: Free

Recommended:  Early arrival, extra parking at Publix supermarket

Naples Botanical Holiday Party

Enjoy this spectacular holiday light show featuring entertainment, family activities, festive sweets and treats and much more!  This year, Night Lights in the Garden will include their seasonal exhibit, Origami in the Garden, lit especially for the evening event, proving a dramatic view of the enchanting sculptures.

Date: December 15-23, 2016

December 26-30, 2016

January 2-4, 2017

Time: 6pm-9pm

Admission: Adults: $20

Children: 4- 14 / $7

Children under 3: free/ticket required

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Halloween Activities On Marco Island

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Just because you’re spending Halloween on an island doesn’t mean it has to be any less fun or frightening.

Marco Island has plenty of spooktacular fun for families, couples and more!

Families may enjoy Marco Island’s Halloween Spooktacular 2016 on the evening of October 29th, 2016.  Kids and their parents will enjoy an evening of jolly Halloween fun including the annual costume contest all in the vicinity of Mackle Park.  Pumpkin patch, kettle corn, inflatable playgrounds, critter show, balloon twisting and more await! The Halloween Spooktacular is a free event supported by the City of Marco Island’s Park and Recreation Department.  Please visit the event’s Facebook page for more information.

Looking to participate in a little bit of old fashioned trick or treating? Consider heading into our local neighborhoods for your yearly fix of what Marco Island calls “Halloween Madness”. On October 31, the neighborhoods around our schools are the most popular for island trick or treating. These areas of the island become the most festive areas of Marco for ghoulish fun because they are highly decorated and extra spooky! Take a peek into what you may experience during your Marco Island trick or treating experience here.

For the older crowd, consider hopping aboard the Marco Murder & Mayhem Halloween Frightseeing Ghost Tour on October 30th, 2016. The frightful evening begins at 8:00 pm with a complimentary cocktail. The two-hour frightseeing ghost tour departs from Olde Marco Inn. Costumes are encouraged! A special prize will be awarded to guests dressed in 1880-1930 period costumes.  $39.00 per person. www.marcomurderandmayhem.com

For a real night of fright, head off of the island and into the swamp. World famous photographer Clyde Butcher and family are hosting an open house in Big Cypress Preserve on October 29 & 30, just in time for Halloween! Sign up for swamp walks led by Big Cypress National Preserve rangers and explore the Everglades under the glow of the moon. Swamp walks are $50 per person (kids free). Learn more here.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Goodland Gears Up for Season!

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It’s that time of year again!  Season is just around the corner and what better place to kick off the celebration than our own little town of Goodland, Florida?

Goodland is a tiny community located off of State Road 92, at the southeast corner of the island.  Home to only 200 residents, this fishing community continues to buck the significant developmental changes around it.

Every Sunday, hundreds of residents and visitors make the pilgrimage to Stan’s Idle Hour for an afternoon of outdoor music, drinks and dancing. Come by boat or car, Stan’s is a staple crowd pleaser for an afternoon of fun in the sun.

If you are looking for that one of a kind souvenir to take home from your Florida vacation, you can step right next door to the Island Woman.  One of the oldest family owned businesses on Marco Island, and the only known retail store on Goodland, they offer a plethora of Florida novelties.

Hungry for some locally caught seafood?  The famous Little Bar Restaraunt is a short walk away.  Sit outside and watch the local fisherman bring in their catch right off the dock!  Going into their 37th year in business, this is one we recommend you not miss!

Stan’s Idle Hour
221 Goodland Drive
Goodland, FL 34140
239-394-3041

Fia’s Island Woman Botique
217 Harbor Place
Goodland, FL 34140
239-642-6116

Little Bar Restaurant
205 Harbor Place
Goodland, FL 34140
239-394-5663

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Bars on Marco Island: Nightlife done Island-style!

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If you are visiting Marco Island and are at least 21 years old, why not enjoy a night out on the town? Mingle with locals and visitors at Marco Island’s most popular bars, pubs and nightlife spots. From seductive, romantic wine bars to energetic tiki bars, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to watch the sunset or dance late into the night.

La Tavola

Sophisticated, contemporary and stocked with vino, La Tavola is the epitome of a luxuriously casual evening out on Marco Island. Pair your red, white or rose with a number of delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres and full sized meals.  High quality ingredients and service, menu variety, amazing specials and a refined atmosphere put La Tavola at the top of our list!

www.latavolarestaurantandbar.com

Happy Hour: 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (House Wine/Domestic Beer/Well Drinks)

Phone: (239) 393-4960

Address: 961 Winterberry Dr.

Sand Bar

Celebrating 30 Years on Marco, the Sand Bar offers “Great Food– Great Prices – Great Fun…. For the whole family!” Open every single day until 2am, you’re sure to find late night fun at the Sandbar at any point during your Marco Island vacation. A great bar, though not full of traditional island glitz and glam, this is the best “hole in the wall” bar on Marco Island where you’re sure to leave with more friends than you came with!

www.sandbarmarco.com

Happy Hour: Daily, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM & 10 PM to Close

Phone: 239-642-3625

Address: 826 E. Elkham Circle

Dolphin Tiki Bar and Grill

At Dolphin you’re sure to get just what you bargained for when choosing a tiki bar for the ultimate island night out. The newly renovated open-air bar and casual atmosphere are the highlights of an evening spent at Dolphin’s. Sip on your favorite tropical cocktail as you gaze over the moonlit waters of Marco Island. Thatched roof included.

www.dolphintiki.com

Happy Hour: Daily, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM; Bar open until 10:00 PM

Phone: 239-394-4048

Address: 1021 Anglers Cove, Marco Island, FL 34145

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Island: Keewaydin Island

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We know that our Marco Escapes customers always value exclusivity. What could be more exclusive than a private island sitting in the Gulf of Mexico waiting for you to touch its pristine sands, play in her waves and explore her landscapes.

With no roads, bridges or cars, you can only have the pleasure of spending an afternoon on Keewaydin Island if you arrive by boat. Bring your own vessel or hire a local charter or take the water taxi—we promise the trek to her sandy shores is worth it, after all, it only takes about 10 minutes to cruise over!

Once on Keewaydin, there are a variety of activities to indulge in. Go for a hike along the shoreline and collect beautiful seashells, this barrier island is known for it’s amazing shelling! Also, keeping an eye out for Loggerhead turtle nests, this area is one of the most popular nesting spots for these endangered animals. Do a little onshore fishing or build a sandcastle in her sugary sands. Snorkeling can also be fun too!

Feeling peckish? There are a handful concession stands that provide island explorers with snacks sandwiches and more. The best part? These concession stands are actually boats stocked with all of your fun-in-the-sun favorites.

Be sure to bring any beach toys, chairs or umbrellas you may need as there are no facilities to rent these items from on the island.

Keewaydin is most peaceful and serene in the offseason (summer, early fall months).  Though it is always beautiful, there is something special about making a trek out to your very own private island surrounded by nothing but the sounds of the gulls, the swaying palms and the roaring surf. There is truly nothing more Floridian than that.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Unique Marco Island Experiences

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In paradise, it seems like we have it all. The sun, the sand, the surf and the serenity…

But there is more to Marco Island than what just meets the eye. Dig a little deeper and uncover exceptionally unique Marco Island experiences. Dig your toes into the sand and soak up the sun, but take the time to experience the other side of Marco you may not know about.

If you’re looking for hands down, the best sunset experience, drop by Quinn’s on the Beach.  Go for the food and scenic beauty but stay for the fire dancing. Every evening, just after the sun sets over the horizon, a traditional fire dancer will appear on the sand and put on a unique performance full of flames, tricks and photo ops!

Another unique activity will provide you with an entirely new perspective on Marco Island. Get a birds-eye view of our beautiful island as you float underneath a parachute. Go parasailing! Hop on a boat, put on a safety harness and allow trained captains and professionals to send you into the clouds as you take in views you won’t see any other way. If you’re looking to make a memory that will last a lifetime, parasailing around Marco Island is for you.

A trip to the tropics isn’t truly complete until you release a little bit of your inner pirate and Pirates of Marco is here to help! Fun for the whole family, spend your afternoon aboard the Black Pearl and head out to sea. Children are provided pirate garb and face paint, and adults are provided access to a cash bar. Throughout the cruise, learn how to talk, sing, dance and play games like a true buccaneer of the high seas. End your swashbuckling adventure firing off 12 high-power water cannons at pirate enemies. This interactive pirate adventure is not one that you will easily forget.

Explore wondrous Marco Island and uncover the enjoyable experiences that make our island unique.

Posted in Marco Escapes News