Santa Arrives in Marco to Celebrate Christmas Island Style

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Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Marco Island, Florida kicks off their annual Christmas Island Style celebration with none other than the arrival of jolly ol’ St. Nick!  Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in style to greet the community at the Shops of Marco on November 27, 2015, at 6 pm.

Make your plans now to visit our island paradise, where we are ready to indulge you in the finest accommodations mixed with sublime relaxation before the hustle of the holidays shifts into high gear. While visiting with us, please join in the island’s annual holiday kickoff celebration.  The evening will be filled with joy and merriment as The Shops of Marco are transformed by holiday music and cheer. Many merchants will have extended hours of operation, and some will have information tables set up along the sidewalk.  Come dressed as your favorite reindeer or elf, enjoy face painting and photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause, and the sales and giveaways being offered on this special night by The Shops of Marco merchants. The team from ‘Joy of Giving’ will be on hand collecting donations for their annual drive to raise funds to benefit the underprivileged in Collier county.  

On Saturday, November 28th, we’ll gather at Veteran’s Community Park to further turn up the holiday cheer with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.  Local musicians and dance groups will be on hand to entertain the crowds as residents and visitors gather in droves.  Many tailgate, and it’s a celebration and opportunity to reacquaint with old friends while making new ones, too.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Sail into Marco Island brings the Christmas Parades!

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Marco Island, FL is revered for its subtropical beauty year round, but come the Christmas holidays, Marco brings the joy and spirit of the season to life with the annual Christmas Boat Parade followed a week later by the Street Parade!

The annual Christmas Boat Parade, held Saturday, December 5th from 6pm – 8pm is an enchanting, festive family evening. Watch as festive boats sail by, decked out with glittering holiday lights and decorations! Recommended viewing spots include The Esplanade and Snook Inn.  However, you can set up your own spot anywhere along the Marco River and around Collier Bay.  Pleasure crafts of all sizes, Santa’s ship, and the Marco Island Princess will be adorned and aglow with holiday finery and lights from bow to stern, steering down Marco River, leaving onlookers full of the joy of the season.  Honors will be bestowed upon the vessels winning for People’s Choice, Best in Parade, Best Holiday Spirit, and Most Entertaining. It’s a can’t miss, must be there or be square event for kids of all ages!

On Saturday, December 12, 2015, join us for the 28th Annual Christmas Street Parade! The festivities start at the corner of San Marco Rd. and Balfour.  You’ll want to start your stay with us on Friday so you’re well settled into the Island life and ready to get there early for the best viewing spots.  
We look forward to the magic of Christmas island style, and hope you do, too!

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Seeking Seafood in SWFL: 6th Annual Stone Crab Festival

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Welcome to Fall from Marco Escapes!  No matter the time of the year, we relish the surprise and awe from our guests as they take in the wondrous tropical beauty that envelops them as they settle in with us. Perfect for a romantic getaway or family reconnect time, we welcome each and every one to our paradise on Marco Island, FL.

When planning your October adventure, plan to come for the 6th Annual Stone Crab Festival, taking place October 23-25, 2015. This annual festival is a weekend of food and fun featuring all things stone crab, designed to inspire and entertain the entire family.

Attend the festival for live entertainment, amazing food, kid’s activities and FREE admission!  The festival begins with a kickoff party at Pincher’s Crab Shack with live entertainment by Deb & the Dynamics to get everyone in the fun zone! Over 20 craft vendors will be on hand with their local art, custom-made jewelry and unique Florida novelties. Fresh stone crabs, drink specials and more await. The family fun atmosphere offers something for everyone, your appetite will be dancing along with your feet as you enjoy the best of Fall’s festivals in one of Southwest Florida’s premier venues.

The party begins at 4 pm on Friday October 23rd and continues through to October 25th. You do not want to miss all of the excitement!! For more information visit the official event website, here. Proceeds benefit a variety of local non-profit organizations, which include: Freedom Waters Foundation, American Cancer Society, Paws Assistance Dogs, Golden Retriever Rescue, VA, and the Boy Scouts.


Posted in Marco Escapes News

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: “Critters of the Night”

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Just a short ride north of our Marco paradise sits the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, an ancient Bald Cypress sanctuary that lives in Collier County.  The first of their ‘After Hours’ events is October 16, 2015.  In celebration of Halloween, join the sanctuary for “Critters of the Night”, a night of fun, education and stargazing! Kids (up to 18 years) are FREE with Parents admission of $14 per person (good for 2 consecutive days).

The evening’s line up will allow participants to experience the boardwalk in the evening light and join in the fun of educational programs, interpretive exhibits, guided walks, and stargazing with astronomers from the Everglades Astronomical Society.  While there, you will enjoy live music and art exhibits in the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, shop for unique and beautiful gifts in the Nature Store and enjoy a treat in the Tea Room Cafe.

The Blair Audubon Visitor Center will have all sorts of activities for kids: Face Painting, 3D Puzzle Station, Creation of Slime and dry ice bubbles, exploration discovery stations with real skulls, skins and furs, critter crafts, and living critters to inspire you, too!

Learn “How to be a Bat Scientist.” Allyson Webb, Corkscrew’s Resource Manager for Panther Island, will deliver a kid-centered program focusing on bats. Lisa Trebilcock, children’s book author, will have a table where she will be helping children write a story, ‘S is for Swamp.’ Lisa can autograph any of her books purchased from the Nature Store during this After Hours event.

Festivities run from 5:30 until 9 p.m. There will be guided walks beginning intermittently from 6-7pm. Space is limited, so get there early to sign up at the admissions desk.  While there be sure to register for the raffle for one chance to win a family membership to Corkscrew and a special gift from the Nature Store.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

2nd Annual Pepper Ranch Sunflower Festival

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In Southwest Florida, we enjoy temperate weather year round, and Fall is no exception with sunny days washed with mild sea breezes and calm, comfortable evenings that render themselves to quiet moonlit strolls. At Marco Escapes, we are surrounded by the idyllic beauty of subtropical flora and vegetation. When you visit, you can find yourself entranced by the allure of our paradise oasis, your toes sunk deep in the inviting, white sandy beaches as you relax, stroll for shells and soak in our bliss. In October, you can also revel with us during the treasured 2 – 3 weeks when we see Fall bloom all around us as sunflowers open themselves to the glorious sky!  

Conservation Collier and Collier County Parks and Recreation reunite to bring the 2nd Annual Pepper Ranch Sunflower Festival at Pepper Ranch Preserve. This festival honors nature’s stunning display as the fields are blanketed in fall’s golden hues of the Southeastern Sunflower.  These beauties are an annual herb found only in Florida and parts of southern Georgia.  

This event brings Fall to life in Collier county with a day of festive, fun, family style activities.  Entrance to the festival, hayrides, tours, hikes, presentations and children’s activities is free to the public. Ranch tours will offer a glimpse into the day to day operations of the preserve. Tours and old fashioned hayrides begin around 11 am, be sure to get there early as they fill up fast. Children’s activities will begin at 10 a.m. and will be ongoing throughout the day. There will be two guided, 45 minute hikes beginning at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and will go along the mile and a half Kowiachobe Trail.  Everyone will have eyes open looking for the wildlife most often observed at the ranch, including wild turkey, crested caracara, hog, deer, alligators and sandhill cranes.
It’s a day for everyone and will surely become a treasured memory.

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National Estuaries Day at Rookery Bay

Aerial_view_of_an_island_in_Rookery_BayWhen planning your September visit to Marco Escapes, you have an array of beauty, mystery, history and fun to look forward to! Located on the largest barrier island in the Ten Thousand Island chain, Marco Island’s white sand beaches, idyllic year round weather and stupendous adventure opportunities make Marco the ultimate vacation destination for those seeking an outdoor experience.

Join Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve as they host National Estuaries Day on September 26, 2015. This annual event includes boat tours, introduction to kayaking 30 minute trips, and stand up paddleboarding demonstrations on Henderson Creek. For kids of all ages, there will be a marine critter touch tank, live animal presentations, games and crafts, behind-the-scenes tours of the science labs, native plant walks, films, food and more. Don’t miss the featured presentation (9:30am-10:15am): Tales from the Coast: 30 Years of Adventures at Rookery Bay, by former reserve director, Gary Lytton

The Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve started in 1964 when concerned citizens blocked the “Road to Nowhere” and started on the path to raising money and purchasing what is now 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forests, upland hammocks and protected waters of Rookery Bay. Situated at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Island chain, Rookery Bay is one of few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America, home to 150 species of birds and many threatened or endangered animals.

Whether your visit coincides with the annual National Estuaries Day or not, the next time you are at Marco Escapes, do plan a visit to this remarkable reserve. Spend some quality time at the Environmental Learning Center, over 16,000 square feet offering four research laboratories, classrooms and a variety of hands on experiences including a 2300 gallon aquarium. Schedule a Naturalist Guided Tour, by boat or kayak, to take in the astounding beauty of the mangroves, learn about the area wildlife, and engage in memorable recreational activities. There are also lots of ways to explore on your own. Geocaching, with four caches placed in the reserve, give visitors the opportunity to go on a modern day treasure hunt. Nature trails, fishing and primitive camping are also available to those wanting to become ‘as one’ with the outdoors.

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Get Artsy In August

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August brings the dog days of summer with lingering sunny days and steamy, late summer nights. At Marco Escapes, we welcome you to our pristine slice of sensation-filled paradise that is Marco Island, FL. The largest of the barrier islands in the Ten Thousand Islands chain, we are the jewel of the Gulf with our lush, tropical habitat and diverse, artistic culture.

This month The Naples Depot Museum presents “Through My Eyes”, paintings of Naples and the Everglades by local artist Kevin O’Brien. These works go on display August 5th and can be seen through October 24, 2015. Kevin O’Brien is a third generation artist who comes from artists, as both his mother and grandmother were aspiring painters. Born and raised in Rocky Neck, Cape Ann, Massachusetts, the oldest, still working Art Colony in the U.S., O’Brien grew up surrounded by the opportunity to appreciate art and develop his personal expressions from some of the finest artists.

“Through My Eyes”, captures the beauty of the rich local landscapes, promoting the spirit of the area’s vast array of natural wonders. His pieces have been completed both in Plein Air and at his studio. O’Brien’s work shows his instinctual creativity which marries the light and colors of Southwest Florida into his preferred artistic mediums of acrylics, oils, gouache and watercolors. O’Brien states that, “To be surrounded by all of this beauty, I am inspired! I only hope that my ART communicates the same sense of peace to the viewer that I experience during its’ creation.”

The Naples Depot Museum, which inhabits the 1926 Seaboard Airline railway station in downtown Naples, welcomes you to experience this astounding collection. Visit with us anytime, and check out these stunning pieces by resident artist Kevin O’Brien starting August 5, 2015.

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Let Freedom Ring over Marco Island this 4th of July

One of the most endearing traditions on Marco Island began 23 years ago by just a few local families equipped with only spirit and sparklers. The Marco Island “Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam” held each Independence Day on Residents Beach has become one of the most beloved community celebrations on the Island.

Hosted by the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA), this all-American, all-day event has fun, games, contests and excitement for kids of all ages! Though usually private, Resident’s Beach is open to all in celebration of America’s Birthday.

Bring your coolers, lounge chairs, sunscreen and umbrellas, and join in on tug of war, hula hooping, limbo, face painting and more! Whether you are a participant or an observer, the infamous hot dog eating contest, the “most patriotic” bathing suit contest and the unique and colorful sandcastle sculpting contest are can’t miss events.

As night falls, the gorgeous Marco Island sky is lit up with over $42,000 of fireworks in honor of our Nation. Dig your toes into the sand as the sensation stimulating fireworks performance unfolds over the Gulf of Mexico. What better way to wrap up the Independence day celebration than resting on the shores of one of the most beautiful islands in the world, enjoying the colors of freedom light up the sky from sea to shining sea.

Read all about how Marco Island celebrates the 4th, as told by the Naples News.

Resident’s Beach is located at 130 S Collier Blvd., Marco Island, Florida 34145. The celebration begins at 12 noon with fireworks starting around 9:00 PM.

If parades are your preference, you may be interested in heading just north of Marco Island to Naples for the City of Naples July 4th Parade and Fireworks Celebration.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of colorful and festive Independence Day themed floats as they glide through some of the area’s most popular streets. The patriotic parade’s route is from Broad Avenue South to Third Street South proceeding north to 5th Avenue South, east on 5th Avenue South, and South on 8th Street South past City Hall, ending at 8th Avenue South and 8th Street South.

The City of Naples 4th of July Firework Display begins at 9:00 p.m. at the Naples Pier. The popular presentation features a twenty minute display, complete with special effects that are musically choreographed to patriotic selections that are simulcast on the radio station WAVV 101.1 FM. You are invited to bring chairs or blankets to viewing spots in town, as the fireworks can be seen all along the Naples beach. This event is extremely popular, and with limited parking around the pier, be sure to get to the beach early to snag a spot.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Collier County Celebrates the Nation


“Summer Vacation” brings an amplified level of excitement when the thrill of Independence Day parades and fireworks are added to the mix! Collier County sparkles big with a week of celebrations beginning on Saturday, June 27, 2015., with the Annual Everglades City Independence Celebration and Parade!  The day’s excitement starts at 10:30 am with opening ceremonies on the steps of City Hall, followed by a Patriotic Parade and prizes for the best floats. Festivities go all day at McLeod park with food, fun, arts & crafts and raffles.  Fireworks will wrap up this day of celebration and family fun, beginning at 9 pm.  Just thirty miles south of our sun drenched, sparkling waters at Marco Escapes!

There’s not a better time to plan your summer getaway at Marco Escapes than when we celebrate our great nation’s birthday!  Book your vacation now while we have availability, and come prepared for a spectacular adventure on Southwest Florida’s most breathtaking island.  We have the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico dressed with white sandy, shell covered beaches to give you all the fun and relaxation that comes with them.  For activity enthusiasts, there’s sailing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and golfing all within easy access.

Come stay and play for our Independence Celebration Week!  The biggest and best wraps up the week with the Annual Naples 4th of July Parade through downtown Naples beginning at 10 am. Enjoy electrifying fireworks, complete with special effects synchronized to a selection of patriotic tunes, from the Naples Pier beginning at 9 pm. Just 20 miles north of our luxurious accommodations, the Naples fireworks will be the idyllic end to what’s sure to be the most memorable week of your summer 2015.

The remarkable subtropical beauty, welcoming temperatures, unique dining and shopping, stimulating activities and exquisite accommodations are ready to spin some magic into your summer plans.  When you are ready for the best of vacation offerings, call us at Marco Escapes.


Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Escapes: Keeping it Low-key through April and May

For those looking to experience Marco Island without all of the madness of ‘seasonal’ travel, renting a vacation home in late April and Early May may be the perfect time to visit our island destination! Less traffic and crowds mean more ‘you’ time with less travel stress. Enjoy the beaming Florida sunshine along with all of the activities and events that make Marco Island and Southwest Florida one of the most memorable vacation destinations in the world! If you are visiting Marco during this time, be sure to check out the following family-friendly for some off-beach fun!

Earth Day Festival 2015

Smoke from the Honey Prairie and Pains Bay fires, Atlantic Ocean

Where else to celebrate our wonderful planet than in natural and beautiful Southwest Florida? Celebrate Earth Day with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on Saturday, April 18th from 10am to 4pm. Rejoice in the Earth’s water, land, wildlife and resources, all the while learning about conservation efforts. The festival will be jam-packed with activities for the whole family including live animal demonstration, live music, family activities, food and much more! Admission is discounted for guests and free for all Conservancy members.
Visit for more information.

ArtsNaples World Festival

Viva France! Join in the celebration of the wonderful culture of France at the 2015 ArtsNaples World Festival. Make the short drive from Marco Island to Naples to take in all of the best that French culture has to offer during the 4th annual festival taking place April 27- May 10, 2015.

During the festival, attendees experience an amazing variety of performances and artistic displays of French Culture through special events. Witness as international talent takes center stage in local galleries, concert halls, schools, libraries and museums in Naples and the surrounding area. Enjoy French art, chamber music, cinema, cuisine, dance, opera, fashion, theater and orchestra.

For more information, please visit

Posted in Marco Escapes News