Vacation Guide to Southwest Florida

2022 Ultimate Guide to Marco Island

Marco Island Vacation Travel Guide

Marco Island Vacation Travel Guide


Here is your 2022 Ultimate Guide to Marco Island!

You’ve booked your flight and you know where you’re going to stay… but you still haven’t finalized what to do during your trip to Marco Island. And it’s no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed since there’s an abundance of great activities to keep you engaged and having a fun time in southern Florida. 

If you’re finally ready to plan your trip, this Marco Island vacation travel guide is for you. In this post, we’ll cover things to do in Marco Island.  Also included, logistics around the beaches in Marco Island (including parking!), restaurants you may want to visit, and other things to do during your stay. 

Get your pen and paper ready because you’re going to want to take notes! Let’s dive in. 

When looking for Marco Island things to do the main attractions are the beaches and waterways. It is a boating and fishing paradise, with mangrove islands galore. The back-country fishing is extraordinary and there are plenty of boats waiting to take you on a sightseeing tour. Shelling is also a visitor’s favorite pastime. Marco Island is known as the “western gateway to the Everglades”, where you have easy access to various Everglades excursions.

2 Hour Cape Romano Shelling and Sightseeing Boat Tour from Marco Island

With over 650 5 Star Reviews this Boat Tours is a must do when in Marco Island.  Hurry and book as it frequently is Sold Out!

Map of Marco Island Attractions & Tours


Marco Island is located at the southernmost tip of mainland Florida’s west coast, just west of the Everglades. It is the largest inhabited island of the 10,000 Islands. It is about an hour’s drive south of the Southwest Florida International Airport. Charter and private flights arrive at the Marco Island Executive Airport.


Of course, one of the first things you may be wondering about is Marco Island public beach access. Unfortunately, many of the beaches in this area are private, which means you can’t just walk up and enjoy them. Fortunately, two great beaches welcome any and all to enjoy: Tigertail Beach Marco Island and South Beach. 

When it comes to Marco Island beach parking, both Tigertail Beach and South Beach have a public parking lot. Keep in mind, however, that you have to pay to park at Tigertail Beach ($1.50 per hour or $10 for the day). If you want to enjoy Marco Island South beach access, you’ll need to bring $8 for South Beach parking. 

Each of these beaches offers something slightly different. Tigertail Beach provides visitors with the opportunity to explore tidal pools. This is a great place to visit if you’re excited about Marco Island shelling opportunities. You can even rent gear to maximize your time on the beach, including: 

  • Jet skis
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards

In addition to getting out on the water, this beach also has a playground and provides a great place to sit back and relax with a picnic. This park is open year-round from 8AM to sunset. 

Since you’ve gotten Marco Island South Beach and public parking all figured out, you may also be interested in learning more about this beach access point. South Beach is slightly less busy than Tigertail Beach, making it a great option if you want to step away from the crowds. Marco Island South public beach access also provides amenities such as restrooms, a playground, and a picnic area — on top of the phenomenal beach, of course.

Marco Island Shopping:

There’s nothing like enjoying shopping in Marco Island, especially after a long day at the beach. This beautiful beachside oasis has numerous boutiques where you can find that special something to take home with you as a souvenir. This includes open-air shopping centers like Marco Walk Plaza and the Esplanade Shoppes, which offer a variety of retailers and fine dining. 

You may also consider visiting the Marco Island Farmer’s Market. This is a great option for anyone who wants to do some cooking during your visit, as it’s the perfect place to grab some incredibly fresh and local produce. 

Marco Island has resort boutiques and specialty shops for all your needs. The Esplanade Shops offer upscale retailers, small specialty stores and fine dining. Check out Marco Walk Plaza, a open-air plaza of fine restaurants, small boutiques and the Marco Movie Theater.

Marco Island Dining:

After all your beach visits and shopping, there’s no doubt you’re going to kick up an appetite. Fortunately, there is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Marco Island — especially when it comes to eating seafood at a restaurant with a view.  For the complete 2022 Marco Island Restaurant Guide is found here!

If that’s what you’re looking to do, you’ll want to pay a visit to Sunset Grille in Marco Island. The Sunset Grille is located right off South Beach, meaning you can visit it straight after a day spent sunbathing and swimming. Enjoy watching the sun set on the Gulf of Mexico as you enjoy delicious food. This restaurant offers a variety of menu options (much of which is seafood) including: 

  • Stuffed shrimp
  • Calamari
  • Fish tacos
  • Much, much more! 

After your dinner, you may even consider a post-meal walk on the beach so you can truly maximize your vacation time by the sea. 

Another great meal option is visiting CJs on the Bay Marco Island. CJs on the Bay is an excellent option if you want to enjoy a fancy cocktail while you eat seafood. This is a great place because it’s right on Smokehouse Bay, making it another location to experience waterfront dining. This restaurant even provides waterfront access for boating, so you can arrive at the restaurant in style!  Marco Island offers many restaurant options.

Kretch’s is a good value, seafood/continental restaurant known as Marco’s best all around restaurant. You can visit Snook Inn by land or by water (plenty of boat parking) and dine aside the Marco River. They feature seafood, steaks, chicken, sandwiches and a salad bar. You’ll enjoy Arturo’s Italian Restaurant for an Italian dinner and Marek’s Collier House for fine dining.


Marco Island Florida Hotels Map

Area Guides

Info on Attractions, Beaches, Shopping, Dining & Hotels.

Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach

Bonita Springs


Marco Island



Attractions/Tours Map