Attractions in Southwest Florida: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Experience the western Everglades and get up close and personal with one of the rarest flowers in the world, all just one hour north from Marco Island. Travel from the beach to the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary home to longstanding bald and pond cypress trees, a bounty of wildlife and the main attraction– the “Super” Ghost Orchid.

Travel along a 3km (1.9 mi) elevated boardwalk above the swampland and under a stunning canopy of old-growth cypress trees, some over 600 years old. Listen to the constant chirping of wood storks, herons, and the famous and colorful Painted Bunting. Alligators float in the shallow swamps and sun themselves on shallow banks.

Summer visitors are treated to an extremely rare sight, the blooms of the famed “Super” Ghost Orchid. Discovered in July 2007, the Corkscrew “Super” Ghost Orchid has been in the spotlight each summer since as it continues to produce many flowers year after year.  This orchid has drawn attention from around the world as it is the largest ghost orchid discovered so far. The plant generally blooms from July through the end of September.

If you plan to visit the sanctuary to see the “Super” Ghost Orchid, bring binoculars because the blooms are located 50 feet high up on a bald cypress tree. The reach the site of the orchid, visitors will need to walk just under one mile past the short cut trail on the main boardwalk loop. There is a small sign on the rail to help you locate the orchid.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is also host to several annual community events including the upcoming Family Fun Fest. On the evening of Friday, October 18, 2019, bring your family to enjoy discovery stations, critter crafts, booths, and exhibitors. Children will have the opportunity to meet a live baby alligator, snakes, and tarantulas. Kids 18 and under are free. Adult admission is just $14. he After Hours event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located at 375 Sanctuary Rd W, Naples, FL 34120

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Activities on Marco Island: Paint and Sip

Discover a different kind of island activity where you can get artsy and boozy at the same time. The Spirited Painter is Marco Island’s original Wine and Paint Studio, and the perfect attraction for couples and larger groups. Locally-owned by a sister duo and their mother, The Spirited Painter opened in 2015 much to the delight of island residents and visitors.

Credit: The Spirited Painter

Guests are invited to bring their own wine and beer to the studio where a trained artist will guide your group through a painting session to create an island-inspired masterpiece. This is your night out for fun, so we provide the canvas, easel, brushes, paint, aprons, water, set-up, cleanup and step-by-step instruction by a local artist for each painting. All you need are drinks and snacks (if you wish) and a mindset ready for fun and relaxation. The subject of the work changes daily, but if there is a painting you would like to paint but is not featured on the night you plan to attend, give the studio a call and they will do their best to meet your request.

Additionally, if you register within 3-hours of a class, please call the studio to ensure that you are accommodated.

On Monday’s, join the Monday Afternoon Madness event from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Regularly scheduled sessions begin at 5:30 pm Wednesday- Sunday. The studio is closed on Tuesday.

The Spirited Painter recently began to offer classes where guests can marble on silk scarves. After your scarf has been painted and dried, enjoy this unique souvenir as a wrap, belt, around a hat, across the bed… the opportunities are endless! This class requires a fee of $59 per attendee.

Please note that the staff will check guests’ ID cards prior to enjoying a glass of wine or beer. Children are allowed (12 years and older please), but please notify the studio ahead of time. The Spirited Painter routinely hosts events specifically for children. Check their website for more information.

To attend a Paintshop, please make a reservation on  https://www.spiritedpaintermarco.com/ or call (239) 313-0012.

The Spirited Painter is located at East Elkcam Circle, Marco Island Florida 34145.

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Posted in Marco Escapes News

September Marco Island Events: Celebrate National Estuaries Day!

This September, we encourage you to enjoy one of Marco Island’s most cherished outdoor activities. Celebrate our beautiful natural landscape at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for National Estuaries Day! Located at the northern tip of Marco Island, Rookery Bay is one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America.

Home to 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest and protected waters, there is no better place to celebrate National Estuaries Day than at one of 29 national estuarine research reserves in the nation.

If you’re not familiar, an estuary and their surrounding wetlands are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to brackish water—a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater.

Celebrate this natural wonder on September 28, 2019 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm with a day of staff-narrated boat tours (bus transportation provided to the boat 15 minutes away), introductory 30-minute kayaking trips, stand-up paddleboarding demos on Henderson Creek, Estuary Encounter experience with touch tanks, live animal presentations, crafts, Junior Scientist lab activities and more! Additionally, foods truck will be on-site during lunch hours. The best part, it is all free!

Activities are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up begins when doors open at 9 a.m. Age restrictions may apply for certain activities.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America—you won’t want to miss this annual event during your time in Marco Island in September.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Island Included On List Of Cities With The Most Sun

In just a few weeks, the breath of Fall will descend on many of our Northern friends. However, on Marco Island—it is summer all year long.

24/7WallSt.com has reviewed the metropolitan statistical areas with the most hours of peak sun per day using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s North America Land Data Assimilation System, and Marco Island has made their list of cities with the most sunlight.

Six Florida cities rank among U.S. cities with the most hours of peak sun per day with Marco Island beating out both Miami- Ft. Lauderdale and Punta Gorda.  

According to the data provided by 24/7 WallSt.com concluded that Marco Island hosts 5 hours and 23 minutes of full-sun per day, meaning visitors and locals get additional time to enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine.

There are countless ways to enjoy the additional sun we experience on Marco Island. Explore world-famous beaches, nature preserves teeming with wildlife, majestic mangrove canals, and of course, relaxing at your sun-drenched luxury vacation home.

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 in the sun. 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.

24/7 Wall St., LLC is a Delaware corporation which runs a financial news and opinion company with content delivered over the Internet. The company’s articles are republished by many of the largest news sites and portals, including MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Time.com, USAToday, and The Huffington Post.

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Wine Tasting on Marco Island

Unwind. Relax. End the ultimate island day with a perfect glass of wine. Marco Island is home to two highly respected establishments that specialize in serving award-winning wines from all around the world. If you’re looking for the finest wine in Marco Island, we highly encourage you to stop by the following restaurants located on Marco Island’s iconic South Collier Boulevard located steps from the sand.  Served by the glass or the bottle, sample the flavors of the world from South Africa, Argentina, California, Italy, France and more.

Sale E Pepe is an award-winning fine Italian restaurant is home to stunning Gulf of Mexico views, a Zagat approved menu of delicious Italian favorites and a flawless wine selection. Sale E Pepe is a recipient of the prestigious Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for the past fourteen consecutive years. The restaurant is among an elite group of only 1,168 Best of Award of Excellence recipients worldwide. Honorees must offer a wine list of typically 350 or more selections; consistently provide a superior presentation and display either vintage depth – with several vertical offerings of top wines – or excellent breadth across several wine regions. Served by the glass or the bottle, sample the flavors of the world from South Africa, Argentina, California, Italy, France and more at Sale E Pepe.

For your second glass, head a bit further down on South Collier Boulevard to The Oyster Society, a locally owned seafood restaurant listed as the No. 1 restaurant on Marco Island on Tripadvisor.com.  The Oyster Society received their first Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence in 2018 and is known for its highly curated wine list. Hand-selected by the wine director at the restaurant, over 100 varieties of champagne, sparkling, Bordeaux, Italian reds and whites, Grenache, cotes du rhone, and more are available by the glass or bottle. Craft cocktails are also available including seasonally inspired beverages. Happy Hour is served from 4:30-6:00 p.m. where patrons can snag a glass of wine for $7-$8.

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 Listed Amongst Tripadvisor’s List Of “Scenic Island Vacations In The US Oozing With Charm”

If you are familiar with our island paradise of Marco Island, you are familiar with the unique charm at atmosphere that permeates our 22-mile barrier island.

The travel professionals at Tripadvisor have taken note and have added Marco Island to their list of scenic island vacations ‘oozing with charm.’ The article, featured on the travel magnate’s Tripadvisor Rentals Blog at the end of June 2019, features 14 scenic islands located across the country with Marco Island being #3 on the list. Other featured destinations include Nantucket, Massachusetts, Galveston Island, Texas and more.

Here’s what Tripadvisor had to say about Marco Island’s distinctive charm:

“Marco Island is located on Florida’s Paradise Coast—one look at the azure Gulf waters from beach shores or the deck of a boat and you’ll see why it earned its nickname. If you need to escape the heat, head inside the Marco Island Historical Museum for a look at fascinating Florida history.”

The article also included links to Marco Island Vacation rentals where our beautiful luxury home, Salvadore Court, is featured at #1, as well as information about tours and activities on Marco Island.

Writers also explain why opting for a vacation rental versus a traditional hotel room is a great decision. When it comes to luxury vacation rentals, Tripadvisor states:

“No matter which of these island vacations you choose, get the most out of your trip by staying in a vacation rental. You’ll enjoy extra space, and amenities like a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and perhaps even a private patio and a pool!”

View the entire article at www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel platform, and helps 490 million travelers each month make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 760 million reviews and opinions of 8.3 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

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Marco Island Guide: Flamingo Magazine Explores Florida’s Southwest Coast

This month, Flamingo Magazine published an official guide to southwest Florida’s outdoor scene. Our area, described by the publication as a “remote, magical wilderness” is home to the Ten Thousand Islands, a 35,000-acre labyrinth of mangrove islands located inside Everglades National Park is home to freshwater and saltwater marshes, brackish ponds, winding channels, sandy beaches, and shallow bays. Considered one of the world’s most mysterious places, exploring the Ten Thousand Islands is easy when you vacation in Marco Island.

Source: ww.nps.gov

Flamingo provides a detailed guide to exploring this unique landscape by kayak, boat, and foot.

The publication reads:

“If you’re unfamiliar with it, the uninhabited islands and mangrove clusters might seem challenging to explore on your own. But if you’re open to adventure, there are simple and exciting ways to see it.”

When it comes to exploring our area from the water, there are several local options for kayak rentals. A fun and low impact paddle to local uninhabited islands just off the coast of Marco Island yields beautiful scenery and unbelievable animal encounters with sea birds, dolphins, manatees and more.

If you would prefer to travel into more remote areas of the Ten Thousand Islands, guided boat tours will navigate through mangrove tunnels and open water while answering all of your questions and transporting you back to a time when the native Calusa roamed these waters. Many tours will also allow you to go shelling on islands untouched by human hands.

The Ten Thousand Islands can also be appreciated on foot. Located a short drive east from our barrier island on the edge of the Everglades, The Marsh Hiking Trail, is the perfect location to get up close and personal with the mainland portion of the Ten Thousand Islands. The 2.3-mile walking trail is home to a stately observation tower that bird watchers and photographer are sure to love.

Read the full article from Flamingo Magazine at www.flamingomag.com.

Flamingo is a sophisticated, quarterly feature magazine and website covering people, travel, outdoor pursuits, food, conservation, culture and style across the state of Florida. An unmatched combination of meaningful narratives, serious reporting and beautiful images elevates Flamingo above other lifestyle and general interest publications in the state. Flamingo, in print and online, will be the authority on living an authentic Florida lifestyle, from Pensacola to Key West and all points in between.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

July Events on Marco Island: Everglades City Parade

Our neighbors to the east are celebrating Independence Day early at the annual Everglades City parade. Located approximately 30 minutes from Marco Island, Everglades City is the western gateway to Everglades National Park, and is known as the “Stone Crab Capital of the World.” As one of south Florida’s original settlements, Everglades City and nearby provides visitors a glimpse into Southwest Florida’s past, with museums and small-town charm.

On June 29th, this historic coastal town will celebrate The Fourth of July with an all-day celebration of patriotism to commemorate America’s founding.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall followed by followed by the patriotic parade around the little city at 10:30 a.m. The 2019 theme is “Hats Off to America” and there will be prizes for the best parade participants, which may include vehicles like golf carts or swamp buggies.

For the first time, parade organizers will be awarding a prize for “Best Hat.” Everyone in attendance is encouraged to showcase your favorite hat for a chance to win.

The celebration continues in McLeod Park when booths open at 11 a.m. Enjoy hotdogs and sodas, bake sale, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, raffles, kiddies’ best dressed contest, and playground games all day long.

The grand finale of a picture-perfect day of patriotism is the magnificent fireworks show. Join crowds of locals and visitors for a spectacular show of red, white, and boom starting at 9 p.m.!

We highly recommend dining at a local seafood restaurant. You will find some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in Florida during your time in Everglades City. Sample the local flavors from right off the in one of the quaint local restaurants or purchase a few prime items by the pound to take home your own haul for preparation in your luxurious rental kitchen.

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

Things To Do On Marco Island: Otter Mound Preserve

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Calusa American tribe inhabited our barrier island of Marco Island. These native people used what was provided by nature to survive including shells, oysters, clams and other shellfish. As time passed, large shell mounds were created as they disposed of these items after use. Evidence of these shell mounds still exists today including a massive mound that at one time stretched a whole 80 acres!

Credit: Atlas Obscura

Because of Marco Island’s unique climate and soil, many Calusa artifacts including pottery, tools and bones remained preserved in the mounds for thousands of years. As the years passed, a tropical hardwood hammock formed atop the elevated landscape and created homes for wildlife.

Many years after the Calusa disappeared a local settler named Ernest Otter established his home on top of the shell mound in the 1940s. He used many of the shells to build his home. The area now known as Otter Mound Preserve opened to the public in 2004. Now protected by Collier County, visitors are encouraged to visit the site and travel back 12,000 years in time.

The site is now just 2.45 acres but provides visitors the opportunity to stroll along a trail lined by gumbo limbos, strangler figs, and swaying palms. A few structures from Earnest Otter’s settlement remain on the site and include walls constructed of lightning whelk shells. It truly is a unique can’t-miss destination during your stay on Marco Island.

Tucked away in a residential area on the southern tip of Marco Island, Otter Mound Preserve is located at 1831 Addison Court. There is a small three car parking lot. Parking and entry is complimentary.

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 June Events: SWFL Sizzle Restaurant Week

Making plans to visit our beautiful island in June? Come hungry and join the Southwest Florida community for SWFL Sizzle Restaurant Week. Stretching from Marco Island all the way up to our neighbors to the north, Cape Coral, dine on delicious regional flavors while supporting local students at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Restaurants will offer specially crafted, two course lunch and/or a three-course dinner with fixed price menus, starting at just $16 or $21 for lunch and $26 or $36 for dinner.

SWFL Sizzle Restaurant week provides visitors and residents to sample truly homemade meals by locally-owned businesses. No “chain” restaurants are provided access into the event.

The best part? You don’t need to leave Marco Island to indulge in the best dining opportunities in the area.

Local restaurants CJ’s on the Bay, Island Gypsy Café & Marina Bar, Marco Prime, and The Oyster Society.

Considered one of Marco Island’s most popular eateries, CJ’s on the Bay restaurant and bar offers fresh seafood and steaks and is a must see in the Marco Island dining scene, plus CJ’s offers spectacular waterfront dining overlooking Smokehouse Bay.

Enjoy another meal at Island Gypsy Café & Marina Bar. Dine on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico at home to a seafood-heavy American menu and cocktails in comfy dockside digs.

Marco Prime Steaks & Seafood is a welcome and new addition to the city dining scene offering a fine dining interpretation of the classic American steakhouse with hints of French, Italian & Asian influence throughout the menu. The Carvelli family has brought again their many years of experience to Marco, creating a contemporary restaurant with all the warmth and attention to detail you can highly expect.

Round off your dining adventure at The Oyster Society, a high-style seafood restaurant & raw bar with fine wines & craft cocktails in art deco digs.

A list of all participating restaurants and more information is available at www.swflrestaurantweek.com.


Posted in Marco Escapes News