Things To Do In Marco Island


Marco Island is the largest barrier island within the Ten Thousand Islands, the chain of small islets and mangrove islands rising up from oyster beds between Cape Romano and the mouth of Lostman's River.

If visiting the Everglades is on your Florida bucket list — and it should be — then kayaking Marco Island through the waterways of the Ten Thousand Islands and the Everglades is an absolute dream. There are remote and deserted barrier islands to explore, interesting local wildlife, and some of the most beautiful beaches in southwest Florida.

You’ll have your choice of several Everglades kayak tour operators. Many have knowledgeable Florida naturalists and biologists to guide and narrate your paddle.


Marco Island boasts some of the best year round inshore and offshore sport fishing in the world. With the Gulf of Mexico and Ten Thousand Islands in its backyard, Marco is perfect for some serious fishing. At different times of the year anglers can target the shallows for tarpon, snook, sea trout, and redfish.


If you’re looking for Marco Island things to do for nature lovers, exploring Rookery Bay tops the list. Maintained by Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the half-mile long boardwalk loop at Briggs Boardwalk Nature Center showcases seven habitats in the complex local ecosystem and is a bird watcher’s paradise at the right time of year. Signs along the boardwalk help to identify and understand the flora and fauna in the different habitats making for an easy self-guided tour.
Next door and just down the road from the boardwalk is the entrance to the 110,000 acres of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,

one of only twenty-nine protected reserves in the US and the only remaining intact and undisturbed mangrove habitat in the US.


When it comes to Marco Island attractions, remember this: Marco Island is the gateway to the Florida Everglades, and you’re only 30 minutes from Everglades National Park, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and Big Cypress National Preserve, a huge part of Everglades. Although the Glades are remote, there are many opportunities to explore this fantastic wilderness right along Rte. 41, the main road transversing the Glades from west to east.

A visit to the Everglades is like stepping back into a primordial time and there are many ways to experience the natural world. Hike along well-groomed walking trails and boardwalks that will take you deeper into the swamp.

Paddling is especially serene and popular for exploring. Take an Everglades airboat tour through mangrove tunnels and across wet grasslands and look for alligators in the Glades. There are a few small areas to learn about the Native Americans who once occupied the Glades.


The barrier island of Keewaydin between Naples and Marco Island is mostly deserted for much of the year except on the 4th of July and New Years when boaters raft-up just off the beach. Only accessible by boat, Keewaydin is a beach and nature lover’s paradise, and especially fun for kids as they can run around to their heart’s content without worry.

Shelling on Keewaydin is without question some of the best to be found anywhere in Florida. Many tour operators offer a tour of local waters combined with an hour or so of island shelling. They’ll help you to identify those small treasures that are precious souvenirs of your day on the beach.