The Best Beaches on Marco Island

Posted by Pat Wilkins on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at 8:26pm.

Marco Island Beach Guide

Nestled in the Mangrove Islands of Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, the tropical sun-washed beaches of Marco Island are a world-renowned destination for residents and tourists alike. With a yearly average high temperature of 81 degrees, 266 days of sunshine per year, and the warm Gulf water tumbling onto white sandy beaches, Marco Island seldom allows for a bad beach day. The beautiful high rises lining the beach, the combed sand, and the landscaped walkways set the standard for beach elegance.

beautiful sunset on marco island florida

All beaches are family friendly

Constantly patrolled by law enforcement, and frequented by diligent residents, Marco Island’s beaches are a serene alternative to the other rowdy destinations lining the Gulf Coast. Marco beaches are truly family friendly.


South Marco Beach

South Beach is open to both residents and visitors from 8a.m. through sunset. Lined with luxurious high-rises and hotels, and easily accessible by public walkways from paid parking, South Marco is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. There are few amenities on the beach, but restaurants are available. Marco Island Watersports offers Jet-ski, paddleboard and kayak rentals, as well as Eco-Tourism and parasailing adventures. South Beach allows visitors to catch a glimpse of life of one Southwest Florida’s most sought-after communities.


Tigertail Beach

Considered by many to be the most popular beach on Marco Island, Tigertail offers many of the amenities beach-goers expect:

  • Concession stands

  • Concession stands
  • Five boardwalks

  • Beach equipment rentals

  • Restrooms and showers

  • Picnic tables and barbecue grills

  • Children’s playground

Pay the reasonable rate to park (over 200 spaces available) at the adjacent lot, and cross the boardwalk to find a mile-long stretch of white sand beaches on the loveliest part of the island. The water is relatively shallow so before barbecuing on one of the grills, let the kids jump in for a swim.

Tigertail Beach is also a premiere destination for bird watching. Listed in the Great Florida Birding Trail Guide as one of the best all-around birding locations in Southwest florida, these 32 acres provide wintering and nesting homes for osprey, pelicans, plovers, black skinners, and snowy plovers.

And a word from the expert, you don't have to walk through the lagoon! When you first enter the parking lot, drive as far left as you can go, then walk across the bridge over the mangroves and head south. You'll follow a wide footpath out to Gulf. Once you reach the Gulf, you can trek south along the beach all the way to Marco River. 

Sand Dollar Spit

Explore the tidal lagoon that separates the Tigertail Beach Park from the state managed Big Marco Critical Wildlife Area, popularly known was Sand Dollar Spit. The Lagoon is home to a wide variety of wildlife including horseshoe crabs, needle fish, Florida fighting conchs, and some of the best shelling in the world.

Note: if you visit this site, be aware of seasonal posting designated to protect the nesting colonies, always practice the stingray shuffle, and don’t flush the birds.

Beach Map for Marco Island Florida

Beach Access

South Beach is accessible through three different public walkways off of Collier Blvd, and Tigertail Beach parking lot is at the end of Hernando Drive. Use this map provided by the City of Marco island to find the nearest parking and public access points.

Important Beach Rules:

  • No glass bottles

  • No pets

  • No littering

  • No firearms


Want to find a home by one of these great beaches? Visit meet Pat and schedule a showing today.

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