Marco Escapes: Your One Stop Destination For Island Fun

stone crab photo Marco Escapes

While staying at Marco Escapes vacation rentals, we have listed some fun activities you can enjoy while you are visiting the area in October.

Kiwanis Family 5K Run in Hideaway Beach

When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

Where: 490 Hernando, Marco Island. The event is family friendly and is ideal for all ages and abilities. Whether you are running, jogging or walking, the course offers beautiful views. The scenery on this 3.1-mile course includes the exclusive Hideaway Beach community and its gorgeous preserves, scenic golf course and Gulf views. Net proceeds from the event will go to project, eliminate a charity dedicated to ending maternal/neonatal tetanus. Stroller runners are also welcome.

The race will begin and finish at Tigertail Beach. All runners, volunteers and sponsors will be eligible for free parking.

Early Bird Registration Fees:

Adults (13 years and up) $17.50 plus $2.50 sign up fee
Children (5-12 years-old) $12.50 plus $2.50 sign up fee
Young Children (1-4 years-old) FREE

Race Day Registration: (payments by cash or check only):

  • Adults (13 and up) $25
  • Children (5-12) $20
  • Young Children (1-4 years old) FREE-no time chipping or t-shirts

Please register between 7:00-7:45 am (*Shirts & Gift Bags Not guaranteed if you register on race day*). For more information go to www.marcoislandkiwanis5k.com/

2nd Annual Golf Tournament for the Arts

When: Sat. Oct. 11
Where: Island Country Club Marco Island
Cost: $125 per player includes lunch, cart and green fees. Shotgun start is 1 p.m. The top prize is a two-year lease for a Mercedes Benz. For more information call (239) 394-4221.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday October 24- 26 Fifth Annual Stone Crab Festival in Naples.

For those of you who love stone crab, the season begins in mid-October. You can come and enjoy these succulent crustaceans as well as locally harvested fish and shellfish at the Fifth Annual Stone Crab Festival October 24-26.

The event is taking place at the historic Old Naples Waterfront including Tin City, Bayfront and Port O’Call Marina. Event goers can enjoy free admission, live music, a variety of events and can enter to win valuable prizes by completing the Stone Crab Festival Treasure Map. By visiting the key locations on the map, getting it stamped and turning it in you will be eligible for all the drawings.

Parking is $5 at the former Grand Central site and Port O’Call Marina. For more information call 239 430-7020 or go to www.stonecrabfestival.org

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Orange Facts

Florida’s sandy soil and sub-tropical climate are ideal for growing oranges. The most common types are Navel, Hamlin, Ambersweet and Valencia. Orange season typically runs from October through April. More than 80 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges.

Oranges are full of vitamin C which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals that cause illnesses like cancer and heart disease. They are also full of potassium that keeps the heart functioning properly.

A fun place for orange lovers to visit is Sun Harvest Citrus. The store is located in Fort Myers. Sun Harvest sells fresh squeezed orange juice as well as orange-cranberry, orange-strawberry and grapefruit juice. It also offers free juice samples.

During season, visitors can tour the facility to see how juice is produced. Sun Harvest also sell oranges grown in their own groves as well as jellies, wine, bakery items and soft serve ice cream.

orangechicken

Orange-Dijon Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts halves
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
½ cup of onion
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place chicken in a 9 x13 inch baking dish. Spread mustard evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped onion. Coat lightly with ¼ cup of brown sugar and pour in enough orange juice to cover chicken. Add butter on top.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, then remove remaining sauce from baking dish and pour into a saucepan. Sprinkle chicken with the last of the brown sugar and return to oven. Whisk flour into sauce in saucepan. Add any leftover orange juice and heat on high until the sauce thickens. Remove chicken from oven and place on a serving dish; pour sauce over the chicken and serve.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Get a bird’s-eye view of Marco Island.

Marco-seaplaneIt seems to be an insatiable human desire to see things from above. On Marco Island, you can satisfy that need with Air Expeditions.
The company flies a seaplane, as well as other planes, for sightseeing over Marco Island and the 10,000 Islands. The flights are slow and low so you can actually make out what you are looking at.
As a bonus, because the plane can land and take-off from almost any navigable water, you can charter the flight to pick you up from your dock or boat, or pull up on a deserted beach to let you out to explore on foot.

This the kind of excellent adventure that Marco Escapes admires. It seems to us that guests staying in a Marco Escapes vacation rental property of distinction would find this an enjoyable way to get off the island – we mean really “off”.
In the category of information you don’t really need if you are discerning enough to be renting on Marco: Air Expeditions also offers charters to other places. But why would you want to leave Marco Island?

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Are you a resident of Marco Island? You may be and may not know it.

Marco residents beach 3Marco Island’s Residents’ Beach is one of the city’s most beautiful beaches, some say in the world. As the name implies, access is limited to Marco Island residents, with one exception

If you are renting a Marco Island residential property for a month or more, such as the beautiful, luxurious Marco Island vacation rental properties of Marco Escapes, you may apply for a Residents’ Beach “membership”. This grants you access to the Residents’ Beach for a year, and includes access to Sarazen Park. Both are managed by the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA).

The membership includes use of the Paradise Grill, with shaded tables, convenient parking, restrooms, showers and other valuable amenities. Plus amenities at Sarazen Park.
Application for annual membership can be submitted through http://www.marcocivic.com. Information via telephone is available at 239-642-7778.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

It’s one of the wildest parties in Florida.

Fantasy Fest

It’s Fantasy Fest. But it’s not in Marco Island. It’s in Key West.

Fortunately, the Key West Express departs from Marco Island and returns on a regular schedule to Marco Island on each day of Fantasy Fest from October 17 to October 26.

Marco departures are at 8:30 am with ticketing and boarding beginning at 7:00 am and last call at 8:00 am. Return to Marco Island departs at 5:00 pm, with ticketing and boarding beginning at 4:00 pm.

With a 3.5 hour transit, you get plenty of time to enjoy the fun and festivities – costume competitions, promenades, street fairs and a grand parade – and still return to the comfort of your Marco Escapes accommodations without the need to rent a hotel room overnight in Key West.

Mark your calendar for Fantasy Fest week in October.
Fantasy Fest 2

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Where shall we shop on Marco?

Wise vacationers who choose an upscale Marco Escapes residential property for their Marco Island stay, are likely wise shoppers as well. If you’re not a resident, however, how do you know where to shop. Here are some suggestion from the Marco Review magazine:

Marco Town Center, between N. Collier Blvd. and Bald Eagle Dr., features 30 stores and restaurants. (You can’t shop without dining, can you?)

Marco Walk, 599 South Collier Blvd., is touted as Marco’s entertainment and dining center. If shopping is your major form of entertainment, this could be the place.

Esplanade, 800 North Collier Blvd., includes the distinction of overlooking the marina at Smokehouse Bay. It’s the home of “smokin” boutique and gallery shopping.

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Shops of Marco, San Marco Rd. and South Barfield Dr., is a long-stadng favorite of Islanders. In addition to clothes, shoes and gifts, it fills daily needs like grocery and beverage shopping.

The Collection at Olde Marco, Royal Palm Dr., is as trendy as the name suggests and is in the style of our neighbor to far south, Key West.

Goodland, an old fishing village, applies “quaintness“ to attract Marco Island guests the few minutes off-island.

Don’t miss these opportunities to spend your time and money enjoying the Marco Island shopping experience. Take home memories along with treasures.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Let’s go bike riding on Marco Island.

If you have bikes or access to them while staying in an excellent Marco Escapes vacation rental, you are in the center of a cycling nirvana. One resource for bicycle route information and directions in Marco Island is MapMyRide One route they feature runs Cyclists Picalong the beach. Others run through residential areas, allowing riders to see beautiful Marco Island homes up close. The web site also has a provision for loading trail maps to your smart phone so you can keep track of your directions, distance and rate. Or, if you are more adventurous, Everglades Guided Cycling tours invite you to explore the largest remaining wilderness in the United States – The Everglades.

All Equipment is included and large or small groups are accommodated for a fun and unique experience in the Everglades. For more information, call 239-455-4611

Posted in Marco Escapes News

French Bistro Petit Soleil

petit-soleilAt Marco Escapes we are always striving to ensure our guests enjoy the best that Marco Island has to offer. For those who love French fare, there is a quaint bistro called Petit Soleil that offers delectable French breakfast and lunch selections. The restaurant is in the Shops of Olde Marco at 210 Royal Palm Drive. Breakfast and lunch are served daily. The restaurant is open from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Petit Soleil is owned by Bistro Soleil. Chef Denis Meurgue delivers delicious breakfast choices including croissants, Belgian waffles, baguettes, omelets, traditional Egg Benedict or Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon.

Lunch fare includes favorites such as comte macaroni and cheese, croque monsieur, croquet madame, salads, traditional French sandwiches on a baguette, famous quiches, French country pate, a cheese plate, jambon beurre or roast beef boursin.

Beverages include cappuccino, lattes, soft drinks, juices and beer and wine.

Petit Soleil is truly a touch of France right here in beautiful Marco Island! You can dine in or enjoy outdoor patio seating. The restaurant offers the perfect ambience for meeting with family and friends. Takeout is available for those in a hurry.

In addition, Petit Soleil offers gourmet cooking ingredients for you to create fabulous recipes at home for your family and friends. Why not take some of these delights back to your vacation spot and surprise your mate with a homemade French meal? A Marco Escapes Vacation is always enhanced when it’s topped off with great cuisine.
Bon appetit!

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Island’s Caf-fiends may have a new place to stoke their cravings.

Proposed new Starbucks location. Photo by Lance Shearer / Marco Eagle Correspondent.

Proposed new Starbucks location. Photo by Lance Shearer / Marco Eagle Correspondent.

Starbucks is a fascinating business. It built an entire world-wide franchise based on strong coffee and a strong brand. Lots of people go out of their way to have a cup of Starbucks, sit on a comfy easy chair and power up their laptops and tablets on the cafe’s free wifi.
We’re sure Marco Island has it share of these dedicated aficionados, either living here or visiting and relaxing in an outstanding Marco Escapes vacation rental property.

Here’s good news for all. Marco Island’s Planning Board has approved an application for a new, freestanding Starbucks venue.
Assuming approval by the City Council, the new location will be on Collier Boulevard near the intersection with East Elkham Circle. It’s unclear whether the new store will replace the exiting cafe store in the Esplanade or will be an additional home for those who can’t go anywhere without a cup of mocha or dark coffee.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Tigertail and Sand Dollar Spit

One of the most natural local places for people staying in a Marco Escapes vacation rental home is Sand Dollar Spit and the lagoon that separates it from Tigertail Beach, Tigertail Lagoon.
Tigertail Lagoon is a wonderful setting for water adventures in a generally sedate body of water. Because it is separated from the Gulf, it tends to be calmer. Locals say it’s ideal for paddle boards, aqua-trikes, kayaks and squirt boats. Families with younger children can hang out there in relative comfort. There even are cabanas for rent from a nearby vendor. By the way, it’s wise not to slough off the availability of cabanas. After a few hours in the sun, the relief of a shade cover is a welcome respite.
Once in the lagoon, you can pull into little inlets in the mangroves to disembark and stroll to the Sand Dollar Spit beach,where nature abounds with shells, sea birds, herons, ibis and kingfishers strut their stuff. Bring your camera for great nature shots. (Please keep your distance so as not to disturb the birds, who may be nesting.)
Bring water and snacks if you plan to be on the Spit or the lagoon for several hours.

Posted in Marco Escapes News