Shelling Around Marco Island

Dreaming of a deserted island where you can cruise across the sand for hours collecting buckets full of shells? Our island neighbor, Keewaydin Island, fits the bill. The deserted barrier island is covered in rare shells that are naturally scattered across its 8-mile coast. Located directly to our north, planning a day trip to the idyllic island is one of the most popular destinations for shelling enthusiasts around the world.

Keewaydin is completely unpopulated and undeveloped. Home to sugary white sand and expansive gulf views this island is the perfect destination for shellers and sunbathers alike. Keewaydin’s coast aligns with the Rookery Bay National Estuary which makes this location prime for viewing shorebirds, manatees, pelicans, ospreys, dolphins, and more!

After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by the floating pontoon boats serving up burgers, ice cream, and more.

Keewaydin Island is only accessible via boat. Many local watersports, water taxis, and tour establishments offer transportation to the island.

We recommend that you bring your own beach chairs, beach toys, towels, sunscreen, snacks, and anything else you will need during your time on the island—there are no established facilities that provide these items to you on the island. Some tour operators and marine transportation services will provide these items and others for you.

Our valued guests trust us with their precious vacation time and our executive guest services concierge is always on call to provide you with island information including local attractions and activities. At your convenience, please call us and ask us what we can do to make your Marco Island escape a getaway you will never forget 239-217-6300.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Events on Marco Island: April

It’s time to celebrate springtime on Marco Island! Enjoy plenty of festival seasonal activities throughout the months of March and April when you make Marco Island your destination during spring 2020.

Join thousands at the annual Marco Island Spring Jubilee at Mackle Park. On Saturday, April 11th for one of the most beloved April events on Marco Island where attendees will experience the largest Easter Egg hunt on the island. The City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation invited your family to enjoy a day of themed games, crafts, food, live music, train rides, face painting and an appearance by the one and only Easter Bunny! Children 10 years old and younger are invited to participate in the egg hunt featuring over 20,000 eggs. This event begins at 10 am. Egg hunts begin at 11:30 am and are separated into age groups. Mackle Park is located at 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island, FL 34145.

Another fantastic event for those who wish to celebrate spring in the most Floridian way possible is the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Greater Family Marco Family YMCA. Visit the island YMCA facility to dive for candy-colored Easter eggs all day long on Thursday, April 9th.  Kicking off at 10 am, children ages 0-5 will kick off the festivities followed by kids aged 5-7 at 3:30 pm and ages 7-10 at 4:30 pm.

Participants will be given a colored necklace, based on their swim experience levels. The color of the necklace designates which area of the pool they may search for eggs. For children that are not yet comfortable in the water, Easter Eggs will be hidden around the pool area. What to Bring: Swim Suit, Towel, Life Jacket or Puddle Jumper, Change of Clothes.

During your luxury vacation on Marco Island, take a break from the sun and sand to immerse yourself in our island community!

Our valued guests trust us with their precious vacation time and our executive guest services concierge is always on call to provide you with island information including local attractions and activities. At your convenience, please call us and ask us what we can do to make your Marco Island escape a getaway you will never forget 239-217-6300.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Island Makes ‘Safest Cities in Florida’ List — Again

Congratulations our island community!

Marco Island has been named as one of the safest cities in Florida for the third year in a row. The National Council for Home Safety and Security, along with, has placed Marco Island as #3 on their list of the Safest Cities in Florida- 2020. FBI crime data from 129 cities was analyzed to compile the list.

The crime rate in Marco Island — population 18,122 —  5.74 per 1,000 people, with 0.33 violent crimes and 5.41 property crimes

Here’s what the council had to say about Marco Island:

“Marco Island has a lot in common with (No. 2) Key Biscayne: both are tourist-frequented island communities where crime is scarce. Marco Island’s violent and property crime rates are even lower than those of (Key Biscayne), yet the city falls slightly due to its lower law enforcement-to-residents ratio.”

To identify the safest cities, the council collected data from the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. Cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000 were eliminated. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association comprised of companies in the security sector, including licensed alarm installers, contractors and other relevant trade groups.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

March Events on Marco Island: Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 

March is one of the most desirable months of the year to visit Marco Island. Perfect springtime temperatures, as well as popular community events, draw visitors from all over the world to our island paradise. One of Marco Island’s most popular events is the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, returning on March 20, 2020. This 3-day event brings thousands of residents and visitors to Veterans Community Park for a weekend of freshly-caught seafood and the area’s best live artists for a celebration of everything that makes springtime great on Marco Island.

If you plan to attend, come hungry. A wide variety of all your favorite seafood specialties will be available including local grouper, crab cakes, stone crab claws, shrimp, crawdads, chowder and more. A wide variety of traditional landlubber favorites will also be offered for those seeking a bit more variety. Beer and wine will be available to quench your thirst.

Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival features more than just delicious local delicacies. Over 60 arts and crafts vendors will be on display throughout the weekend. Shop handcrafted items, original artwork, island souvenirs and more. The kids will love spending time in the Kid’s Zone where a bounce house, slide, rock climbing wall, trampoline while you enjoy the music, the food, and friends. Musical entertainment is planned all day long.

Headliners include: Friday:  6-9 pm  Catch a Wave – Beach Boys Tribute; Saturday:  3–6 pm One Night Rodeo & 7–9 pm Absolute Queen; Sunday: 2–6 pm Ben Allen Band

The festival will be open: Friday, March 20 from 11–9 pm; Saturday, March 21 from 11–6 pm; Sunday, March 22 from 11–6 pm

There is ample parking on the festival grounds. However, free bus transportation is offered on Friday and Saturday along Collier Boulevard to Veterans Park and return.

Single-day admission $10 per person. Two-day admission $16 per person. Children under the age of 12 are free. 

For more details on the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, call the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce at 239-394-7549. Veterans Community Park is located at 901 Park Avenue Marco Island, FL 34145.

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Marco Island Day Trips: Chokoloskee Island

December plays host to some of the most comfortable and moderate weather we experience on Marco Island all year long. If you happen to catch us on one of our rare days when it is just a little too cool to lounge by the pool or put your toes in the sand, why not hop in the car and explore one of the most unique local communities in the entire state of Florida?

Located less than one hour east of our island paradise rests sleepy Chokoloskee Island. In no time, you will be transported away from traditional Floridians tourist attractions and back to the early days of life on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Old Florida reveals itself at the end of a 3-mile-long causeway revealing a quiet island of roughly 150 acres. Chololoskee is actually a large shell mound created by the ancient Calusa Tribe many thousands of years ago.

A world-renowned anglers’ paradise, this small island is sometimes billed as the Snook Capital of the World. There are many options to cast a line as many of the local businesses provide charter and guide services. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and other watersports activities are also beloved by day-trippers.

The most popular attraction on Chokoloskee Island is the Ted Smallwood Store. Constructed in 1906 by Charles Sherod “Ted” Smallwood, one of the earliest pioneers in Collier County. Raised on stilts, the store rests on the shore of a stunning mangrove bay. Over the years (including many hurricanes) the store has been maintained, and in some cases restored to its early days. Visit the store to view an array of antiques from the early part of the century. Discover the story of the pioneers who tamed the vast wilderness of The Everglades, also known as “Florida’s Last Frontier”. Learn about the Calusa Indians and later the Seminole and Miccousukee Tribes that traded at the Trading Post. Visit the Tigertail gift shop located inside the Smallwood Store Museum to pick up holiday gifts for your friends and family back home. You will find books & DVD’s related to Southwest Florida History, authentic Seminole crafts & carvings, artwork & photography from local artist, alligator heads, t-shirts and much more.

Due to the remote nature of the island and its status as a prolific fishing village, there is no doubt that fresh seafood is in abundance in this area. Sample seafood pulled straight from the water by local fishermen at several local restaurants. During the month of December, Stone Crab season is operating with roaring force and savoring this local delicacy is a real treat.

Our valued guests trust us with their precious vacation time and our executive guest services concierge is always on call to provide you with island information including local attractions and activities. At your convenience, please call us and ask us what we can do to make your Marco Island escape a getaway you will never forget 239-217-6300.

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Christmas On Marco Island: 2019

The time has come! The holiday season has finally descended upon Marco Island and we can’t wait to share the holiday spirit with you. We may swap pine for palm and snow for sand, but that doesn’t mean Christmastime is any less festive when you celebrate in paradise. Join the island community to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year on the most wonderful holiday destination in Florida.

Kick things off at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at centrally-located Veterans Community Park. Gather with holiday revelers as the iconic Christmas Tree is set alight with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. The annual tree lighting marks the official beginning of the holiday season on Marco Island. The tree lighting will occur on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at 901 Park Ave. Bring the entire family for this event starting at 6 pm.

Just days before Christmas, join the Marco Island Center for the Arts at the posh Victorian Holiday Tea event on Friday, December 13, 2019 from 3-5pm. Taking cues from our friends across the pond, enjoy sampling savories, scones, sweets and delicious tea with locals and visitors. This brand-new holiday tradition at the Art Center will take place in the Lauritzen Gallery surrounded by the Clay Guild show perfect for gift giving. The Center’s Gift Gallery also has beautiful, unique gifts that will look great in your family and friends’ stockings. The Naples Carolers, dressed in Victorian costume will be on-site to perform all your holiday favorites. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are necessary, and seating is also very limited. To reserve, please contact Marco Island Center for the Arts at 239-394-4221. The Center is located on 1010 Winterberry Drive.

Marco Island is also a wonderful destination to check off items printed on all your loved ones Christmas lists. Throughout the month of December, The Village Shops on Venetian Bay plays host to their Holiday On The Bay celebration. Enjoy a snow show, holiday entertainment, photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, carolers and dancers, and extraordinary shopping and dining. Destined to resemble the classic Mediterranean architecture of Venice, The Village Shops is the perfect island-destination to browse more than 45 waterfront retailers and waterside restaurants. This is holiday shopping—island style! Holiday On The Bay will occur on Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 24 from 5pm-8pm. Snow shows start at 7 p.m. (4 p.m. on December 24th)

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December Events on Marco Island: Tour de Taverns 2019

Pedal around Marco Island enjoying great food and drinks, the company of locals, snowbirds, and island visitors, all for a good cause. Join in on the fun at the annual Tour de Taverns event, one of the most popular December events on Marco Island.

The event is a self-proclaimed “poker run” on bicycles that will take participants to some of the most popular Marco Island restaurants and bars. Bring your own bike or snag a complimentary bike provided by Island Bike Shop. Check in at Marco Island Brewery (1089 N Collier Blvd) to pick up a t-shirt and a ride card that contains the route map. From there, participants will ride to several dining establishments where they will randomly select a playing card, ending up with 5 cards total when you arrive at the final location, The Speakeasy (1106 N Collier Blvd). The attendee with the best poker hand wins! Food and drinks will be available at every restaurant/bar as well as great raffle prizes. Expect hundreds of participants—this is one of Marco Island’s favorite annual events!

Participating partners include Marco Island Brewery, Nacho Mama’s, CJ’s By The Bay, Crazy Flamingo, Snook Inn, Old Marco Pub & Restaurant and Speakeasy.

Head to The Brewery or The Speakeasy to sign up. The cost is $25 per person with proceeds benefitting local children and their families that are experiencing undue and often debilitating hardships associated with childhood illnesses. The event partners with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida to locate children and families in need.

Tour de Taverns will occur on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

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November Events on Marco Island: Goodland Civic Association Holiday Bazaar

Kick off the holiday season in one of the most unique local destinations, nearby Goodland, Florida, celebrating alongside locals and visitors at the 10th annual Holiday Bazaar. Travel 5 miles east of Marco Island to this quaint fishing village, perched on the edge of the world-famous Florida Everglades.

The Goodland Civic Association will host this annual event on Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th from 10 am-4 pm, at MarGood Harbor Park. Browse unique products and locally-made goods under the palm and banyan trees, you may just find the perfect gift for your family and friends. Discover fine art, handcrafts, and more as you enjoy outstanding live music by Rob Brehm of Billy J & the Big Easy, as well as delicious local food (including seafood), and a beer and wine tent. Goodland merchandise, fifty-fifty raffle and a Holiday bake sale will also be accessible to all guests.

Music Schedule for the 2019 GCA Holiday Bazaar:

Charlie Logsdon: 10am-2pm
Robert Houghtaling: 12-2pm
Allen Brothers: 2-4pm

SUNDAY 11/17
Mike McManus: 10am-12pm
Raiford Starke: 12-2pm
Ben Olson: 2-4pm

The venue, MarGood Harbor Park, holds well-documented historic and environmental significance. Today native landscaping and lovely walkways wrap around a charming harbor-front. The park also features a museum/interpretive center, 2 open-air pavilions, and kayak launch.

About Goodland, Florida: Located just outside of Marco Island, Goodland is an eclectic fishing community full of food and funky fun. Dine on freshly caught seafood as you watch the fish, shrimp, and world-famous stone crab arrive directly from the gulf. Johnny Roberts is believed to have founded Goodland in the late 1800’s. He named it Goodland Point because it featured a 40-acre shell mound left by the Calusa Indians that was ideal for growing fruit and vegetables. Goodland’s isolation remained virtually intact until 1938 when the main road was completed. Just like in the good old days, Goodland offers visitors a laid-back charm unlike any other place in South Florida. Visitors enjoy a simple stillness, a community frozen in time that plays host to plenty of laid back activities including outdoor music, drinks, and dancing.

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Halloween On Marco Island

October brings cooler temperatures as well as smaller crowds looking to enjoy Marco Island’s beauty and natural landscapes. As we near the end of the month, the spirit of the Halloween season begins to take over and what better way to get into the spirit of this time of year than celebrating Halloween on Marco Island.

Join the Marco Island community and the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department for the #1 Halloween celebration on Marco Island—The Halloween Spooktacular!

Held in the heart of Marco Island at Mackle Park, bring your entire group to this family-friendly event for an evening of ghoulish fun. On October 26, 2019, island visitors and residents will put on their Halloween Costumes and descend on the park for a costume contest, haunted house experience, live music, games, crafts, inflatables, balloon animals, critter show, and tasty food for purchase.

The costume contest begins at 5:30 p.m. Participants will be judged in the following categories: Most Creative Costume, Funniest Costume, and Scariest Costume in each age division ( 3 and younger, 4-5 years, 6-7 years,8-10 years). The haunted house is open to children 10 years old and older.

The Marco Island Halloween Spooktacular is located at 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island, FL 34145 and will take place from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Our valued guests trust us with their precious vacation time and our executive guest services concierge is always on call to provide you with island information including local attractions and activities. At your convenience, please call us and ask us what we can do to make your Marco Island escape a getaway you will never forget 239-217-6300.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Fall on Marco Island: Swamp Walks with Clyde and Niki Butcher

While others up North are picking apples, pulling out the scarves and gloves, and raking up fallen leaves, down in Marco Island we’re still enjoying the beach, the sun, and the beautiful natural sites across Southwest Florida. This Fall, vacationers and locals are offered the unique opportunity to explore one of the natural wonders of the world with the world-famous photographer who has shared images of this environmental gem to many all over the world.

Legendary photographer Clyde Butcher, considered the foremost landscape photographer in America today. Clyde and his wife Niki will be hosting Swamp Walks inside the pristine Bald Cypress Preserve on October 26 & 27

The walks are $50 per person (kids 17-and-under are free, no tickets required) with 100% of the proceeds supporting the Swamp Water and Me Program (SWAMP) in Big Cypress National Preserve. SWAMP is an outdoor science education program that introduces thousands of 6th-grade students from Collier County to the Big Cypress every year on school field trips.

Please note, attendees will get wet during this hike. The walks are approximately 2-hours long and water levels may be waist-deep in places with submerged obstacles and uneven terrain. Wear closed-toe shoes, clothes that can get wet and/or muddy (long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and shoes with laces that will stay on your feet), and bring some dry clothes to change into after your walk.

The walk will begin at Clyde’s gallery, Big Cypress Gallery, located at 52388 Tamiami Trail, Ochopee, Florida 34141.

About Clyde Butcher:

Clyde has been called the next Ansel Adams by Popular Photography magazine, awarded as a humanitarian for acting for the betterment of his community and recognized as a conservationist for bringing issues to the forefront of public consciousness through his art. His photography transcends political boundaries, challenging us to work together to protect natural places across the globe.

Posted in Marco Escapes News