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.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

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.


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Marco Island Named #1 Location in the U.S. for Well Being

According to the Gallup Well-Being rankings released in March 2019, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area has topped a national ranking of well-being for the fourth year in a row, receiving a score of 66.

The Well-Being Index score for the U.S. and for each metro area is based on scores within each of the five essential elements of wellbeing: Career: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals. Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life. Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security. Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community. Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

In the annual National Health and Well-Being Index, Gallup evaluated 156 communities across the country based on factors relating to the following categories: career, social, financial, community and physical well-being. Gallup surveyed around 10,000 adults for the index each month in 2017 and 2018 and averaged the data from both years to increase sample sizes.

The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida metro area took the top spot for the fourth year in a row. Naples ranked No.1 in three of the five main index categories, including social well-being, financial well-being and community well-being.

Gallup, Inc. is an American analytics and advisory company based in Washington, D.C. Founded by George Gallup in 1935, the company became known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide.

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Marco Island Events: The Taste of Marco

Presented by the Greater Marco Family YMCA, The 29th Annual Taste of Marco brings tasty treats prepared by Southwest Florida’s finest restaurants together for a day of food, music, and family fun.

Credit: Marco YMCA

On April 28th, crowds of hungry locals and visitors will flock to The Esplanade on Marco Island for the annual food festival, one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, with all proceeds benefiting the Marco YMCA Scholarship Fund.

Attendees will spend the day savoring the flavors of paradise while enjoying live music by The Ben Allen Band. Kids games, as well as two 50/50 raffles and a wine auction, are also on the agenda during the event.

The local restaurants participating in the 2019 event include: Italian Deli, JW Marriott, 10K Alley, Mango’s Dockside Bistro, Marco Island Yacht Club, Michelbob’s Ribs and Steak, Pincher’s Crab Shack, Subway on North Collier, Verdi’s Bistro, and ZAZA Kitchen.

Not only are the local restaurants sharing their best recipes with attendees, they are also competing to win awards such as “People’s Choice”, “Best Decorated”, and “Best Theme”.

Beer, wine, and other beverages will be available for sale.

Admission is $8 for adults with kids 12 and under FREE with adult paid admission. Parking is free and boat slips are available for those who would live to arrive on the water.

The Esplanade is located at 760 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island FL 34145.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Forbes.com Recognizes Marco Island

In a January 2019 article titled “Florida’s Paradise Coast Blends Upscale Elegance and Wild Everglades Style” posted on Forbes.com, Marco Island received high praise for its sub-tropical elegance and enchanting attractions and activities.

Highlighting Marco Island’s ability to blend an old Florida atmosphere with a sophisticated beach lifestyle, Forbes highlights the unique experiences available to visitors in the area.

The first attraction mentioned was the famed Marco Island Historical Museum, a destination that is home to one of America’s most precious examples of Pre-Columbian Native American art.

Long famous for its Key Marco Cat, an artifact from the original Calusa people who lived here before white settlements, the museum also explores the island’s growth: from wild outpost to prime seller of  real estate for the Miami-based Deltona Corporation (“We’ve got land in Florida for you,” was their clarion call).

The museum also has fun mid-century modern artifacts like a mermaid-shaped lamp and other items from the island’s 1950’s era.

Outdoor adventure attractions cited in the article include two of our favorites: Dolphin Explorer and Paddle Marco are also mentioned.

Dolphin Explorer takes you around the area with pods of dolphins often trailing the boat. The guide has images of local dolphins you can recognize from fin patterns and other details. Paddle Marco takes you wild-side with kayak expeditions into Marco Island’s mangrove swamps. Definitely wear your bathing suit to this experience as a small tip in and you’ll find yourself waist deep in muddy water–it’s all fun and games through and no gators in this swamp.

The final recommendation made by author Gretchen Kelly encourages visitors to savor the flavors of Southwest Florida’s seafood, including our world-famous stone crab.

Before you leave “Paradise” don’t forget to get stoned..that’s stoned crab, of course. Local eateries like Pinchers have Stone Crab Festivals where these hard but tender beauties render up their tasty meat with the snap of a crab-cracker.

Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

Marco Island March Events: Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival

The Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, one of Southwest Florida’s most iconic events, returns to sunny Marco Island, Florida on March 22, 23, and 24. Enjoy a weekend full of fresh seafood, great local music, family-friendly fun, and more!

Credit: Marco Island Seafood Festival

Originally a two-day event, the festival has grown since its inception in 2008 and has become the largest yearly single event on Marco Island with over 10,000 visitors annually.

Hosted by The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise, The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, the 3-day festival brings the best of Marco Island to Veterans Community Park in celebration of local food, talented singers and songwriters, and our tight-knit island community.

A wide variety of seafood will be available during the festival, including Southwest Florida’s world-famous Stone Crab and “Pink Gold” jumbo shrimp, caught fresh from the Gulf of Mexico. Non-seafood favorites will also be available on site. Alcoholic beverages including Pina Coladas, Margaritas, and Rum Runners will be offered for those of legal drinking age.

Live musical entertainment is planned all day for each day of the festival.

Headliners include:

   – Friday, 6 – 9 pm. Disco Inferno.

   – Saturday, 3-6 pm. Ben Allen Band & from 7- 9pm The LandSharks

   – Sunday, 2:00-5:00pm. One Night Rodeo

The Festival also includes over 60 Arts and Craft Vendors and a Kids Zone.

Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed inside the festival, but coolers are not.

Tickets for the annual event are available at www.marcoislandseafoodandmusicfestival.com. A one-day admission ticket is $10, and a two-day admission ticket is $16. Children under 12 are free.

The festival hours are:

Friday, March 22 at 11:00 am -9.00 pm.

Saturday 11 am – 9:00 pm

Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Veterans Park is found at 901 Park Avenue Marco Island, FL 34145. 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.

Posted in Marco Escapes News