Marco Island is the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands and is the gateway to the Everglades. It is connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Judge S.S. Jolley to the north and the Goodland Bridge to the south. There are 100 miles of man-made waterfront canals on Marco and the majority of the home sites are on water. The boating in this area is unsurpassed. Back water or offshore, we have many fun places to cruise to and the fishing is great too.

Our beaches are spectacular with 3 ½ miles of crescent shaped beach and beaches you can access by boat on some of the other 10,000 Islands. There are three main access points to Marco's crystal beaches. Golfing is another great pastime and we offer several quality courses in the area. Marco Island is just 16 miles south of Naples, about 45 minutes south of Southwest Florida's International Airport and 98 miles due west of Miami.

Marco Island is the southernmost point on the Gulf of Mexico. We get the best weather possible and we get very favorable breezes in the summer and less rain than the mainland in the rainy season.

HISTORY

Over 13 thousand residents celebrated the 30th anniversary of the modern Marco Island in 1995. Although William Thomas Collier has been given the credit of the founding of Marco Island in 1870 it is proven by archeological finds the first settlers were the Calusa Indians. Samples of Calusa artifacts are in various institutions around the world. One famous artifact is the Key Marco Cat. The cat is a Calusa Indian wood carving of half-man, half-panther and is about six inches high. It is dated to 500-800 A.D. It was discovered on Marco Island in 1896.

ARTS

The Art League of Marco Island is located at 1010 Winterberry Dr. You can purchase paintings & sculptures, attend a workshop instructed by a famous artist (they bring outstanding artists to Marco from all over the United States), or just browse thru the Gallery. Classes, lectures, workshops and gallery shows are conducted on a regular basis.

Philharmonic Center for the Arts - This landmark is home to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, shows and special events. The extensive and diverse schedule includes classical, traditional and popular events with orchestral music, opera and ballet as well as musicals, comedy and drama.

LIBRARY

The Marco Library is the largest of seven Collier County Branches. It is spacious with a large collection of books, videos and magazines. They offer an extensive schedule of free programs to children and also to adults.

DINING

There are more than 80 restaurants in the area that offer diversified cuisine. Many spotlight Florida's freshest seafood straight from the docks - you will enjoy shrimp, sweet scallops, succulent crabs and of course the best grouper you could ever imagine.

SCHOOLS

There is one elementary school (Tommie Barfield) and one Charter school located on Marco Island. There are several elementary and high schools located in nearby Naples. Educational opportunities are not limited to those offered only through the public school system. Many private schools exist to augment the public system, offering pre-school and high school education.



SOME OF MARCO'S RARE WILDLIFE

Manatees - The manatee is the most endangered aquatic mammal in the United States. It is estimated only 1800 survive in the wild.

Brown Pelicans - The pelican flock to docks to eat cleaned fillets and even hooked fish - often with deadly results. They are expert anglers but are famous for freeloading.

Stone Crabs - Stone Crab season runs from October 15th to May 15th. Once a crab is caught, if both claws are legal size, they are pulled off and the crab is thrown back in the water. The claws can regenerate up to five times in less than a year.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle - Turtle nesting season is May to the end of October. Five species of endangered turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on Florida beaches. During sea turtle season keep all beach facing lights off since hatchlings instinctively head towards the brightest light on the on the horizon - which should be the moon over the gulf.

Burrowing Owls - These tiny, nine-inch tall birds of prey are underground dwellers. If abandoned holes aren't available, they will excavate their own homes in grassy fields and vacant lots. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls forage for insects, mice, snakes and other pests.

Alligators - Florida has one of only two species of alligators left in the world, the American alligator. Today, alligators have recovered from near extinction..

PLACES TO VISIT

Brigg's Nature Center - You can view a variety of wildlife at the center, including over 100 species of birds. Located about nine miles north of Marco.

Collier-Seminole Park - Here you can camp or just bring your family to hike the many nature and wilderness trails. Along the way you will see many tropical trees, plants and orchids.

Big Cypress National Preserve - The Preserve has over 700,000 acres. The canoeing is great here and they have trails for hiking also..

Everglades National Park - The park offers numerous hiking trails and here you will see some of the rare wildlife I described. You will have the opportunity to see alligators, turtles, manatees, snakes, deer, cougar and other wildlife, not to mention the exotic plants.