Marco Island, the biggest barrier island in the Thousand Islands, got its name from the biblical St. Mark. It was a quiet retreat on the west coast of Florida until the 1960s when the Deltona Corporation recognized its potential, bought a big part of the island and began making it a top tourist and vacation destination.
Coming to visit
When planning that first stay at a Marco Island vacation rental, many visitors start at the highest rated resort on the island, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort. With a championship golf course, a full service spa, a huge free-form pool and excellent restaurants, the resort does not rest on its reputation. It is celebrating the completion of the first phase of an over $250 million expansion and redesign project to create new experiences for its guests. Access to three miles of white sand beaches encourages you to spend a morning combing the sand for seashells, take a sunset walk on the beach and enjoy a little fishing in between. Nearby Marco Beach Ocean Resort has rooms with fully equipped kitchens, a pool elevated five floors over the beach, and a wonderful Italian resturant, Sale e Pepe, with views of the Gulf.
Stay for awhile
With under 20,000 residents and only a single bridge to the mainland, Marco has little crime and traffic, and homes can be purchased for half the cost of a comparable home on Key Biscayne or in the upper Florida Keys. If you are looking for a home or a condo as your Marco Island vacation rental, there are plenty to choose from. With Marco being only a 1 and a half hour drive from Miami, many families have bought second homes on Marco Island and use short term rentals as part of their plan to to cover their housing expenses. There are services like Vacation Rentals by Owner that you can search thru to see available prices and properties. Be sure to ask questions about all your needs like pets, beach access and boat storage. Most will charge a cleaning fee no matter if you stay one night or a week.
Other options include Eagle’s Nest, an interval ownership (timeshare) resort that is part of the Hilton chain so your you can acquire rewards points while renting a condo, it has a beautiful pool and a boardwalk to connect to an isolated streach of beach.
No trip to Marco is truly complete without fish, either on the hook or the plate. Great fishing is found on the shore and along the Thousand Islands and if you don’t have a boat there are plenty of guides for hire. For food, a personal favorite is the waterfront dining at the Snook Inn. Opened over 30 years ago, the legendary Snook Inn has an outdoor chickee bar, docks for dinners to come by boat, and awesome seafood. Have the Crunchy Grouper sandwich, enjoy a cold one, and smile with the realization that this is not your last trip to Marco Island.