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.

Posted in Marco Escapes News

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)

Posted in Marco Escapes News

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.

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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

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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 or call (239) 313-0012.

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


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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.

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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/ 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 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,, USAToday, and The Huffington Post.

Posted in Marco Escapes News