Boasting a tropical climate, white-sand beaches, and luxury resorts, Marco Island is the only inhabited island in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge set off Florida's southwest coast. Visit the island for a beach vacation that offers options to explore the surrounding labyrinth of mangroves, waterways, and wildlife.
Surrounded by water and mangroves, Marco Island offers everything you need for a classic tropical vacation, plus easy access to wilderness and outdoor recreation activities. One of the best ways to explore the surrounding islands is on a sightseeing boat tour. Tours stop for beachcombing (seashells are plentiful), wildlife viewing, and swimming. You can also take a kayak or canoe tour or rent a boat and paddle around on your own.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Marco Island is an easily accessible tropical Florida vacation, perfect for those who want to combine relaxation and outdoor recreation.
- The island is family-friendly and not popular with spring break crowds that flock to other Florida beach towns.
- Parking is limited at public beaches, so stay at a beachside resort to avoid the hassle.
- Make reservations in advance if visiting in peak season (January–April).
How to Get There
Marco Island is easily accessible as it's connected to the mainland by two major highways. The closest airport is in Naples, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Marco Island. You can take a taxi from the airport, but it's more common to rent a car and drive. From Naples, take US-41 to Collier Boulevard. Collier Boulevard takes you directly to the island.
When to Get There
The dry season, from November–April, is the best time to visit Marco Island. Less popular than some of Florida’s other beaches and islands, Marco Island is not typically overcrowded. However, if you visit over holidays or on weekends you may want to get up early to snag parking and stake out a spot on the beach.
Public Beaches on Marco Island
While Marco Island’s entire Gulf Coast is lined with beaches, public access is limited to four main spots—access along the rest of the coastline is blocked by resorts. Among the most popular public beaches is South Beach Access Point at the island’s southern tip. The next public access points are found at Madeira Beach Access and Marriott Beach Access. At the northern end of the island, you can find public access to Tigertail Beach.