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Many people (perhaps even yourself included) find out about Marco Island in their search for a beach vacation getaway. As a local who has grown a family here, we often hear visitors explain how they came for a simple beach retreat – a beautiful stretch of white sand to call their own for a week and to kick back and relax to the gentle hum of waves without having to think about work. 

We don’t blame you! Marco Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With six miles of beaches and 100 miles of waterways within its 24 square miles, Marco Island proudly boasts the title of the largest Barrier Island within Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands area. 

If you come for the beach, we can assure you that you will not be disappointed, but Marco Island is more than just a beach.  In fact, it is more than you could possibly imagine. With unequaled access to wildlife, mysterious ancient history, alien-like coastal structures, and more, visitors quickly realize they’ve found a hidden sun-soaked gem that will have you thinking of excuses to return as soon as possible! 

From the unique insight of a Marco Island local company, here are the top Marco Island attractions that make our home more than just a beach! 

1. The Deep History of Marco Island

The history of Marco Island begins at least 6,000 years ago at the arrival of the fierce Calusa Indians. With the finding of ancient burial mounds and artifacts from this civilization, Marco Island is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in North America. Among artifacts of pottery, animal carcasses, shell tools, arrowheads and harpoon spears made from shells, perhaps the most well-known discovery is the Key Marco Cat, which is described as one of the finest pieces of Pre-Columbian Native American art ever discovered in North America. It has survived against all odds, and you can see it for yourself by visiting the exhibit where it is on display at the Marco Island Historical Museum until April 2026. 

Ancient and vanished civilizations are not the end of Marco Island’s history. Visitors can also learn about the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 1500’s who would go on to name the island, “La Isla de San Marco”, or rest with a cool drink or overnight stay at the Olde Marco Island Inn which dates back to the 1800’s. 

2. Unmatched Access to Nature 

Marco Island attractions include access to nature unlike anywhere else in the world. In addition to the beautiful plants and flowers you’ll see, there is a great variety of animal species including: 

When visiting Marco Island, it is imperative that you take advantage of being able to explore the tropical paradise and experience all of its wildlife. The best way to achieve this, by far, is going on a jet ski tour. Take a thrilling 30-mile round trip into the 10,000 islands, experiencing a mix of wildlife education and adrenaline-fueled adventure on a personal jet ski. You can expect up-close encounters with the island’s aquatic wildlife, including unforgettable side-by-side journeys with playful dolphins. Jet ski tours are a great activity for families and people of all ages and experience levels. At Avi’s Watersports, our Marco Island jet ski dolphin tour offers an exciting and memorable experience for families looking to create lasting memories. It is truly a Marco Island attraction you cannot miss! 

3. Fascinating Cultural Centers

Marco Island is steeped in a unique culture for you to enjoy. From a weekly farmers market and the Marco Island Center for the Arts to the plethora of marinas and the Island Theater Company, you’ll instantly feel immersed in the local culture. We also have several parks (including the visitor-favorite Canine Cove), a historic Catholic Church, pineapple plantations, a classic movie theater, and numerous salons and spas. There’s something for everyone, and the culture of Marco Island will be sure to make you feel at home. 

4. Sports and Activities 

Marco Island includes several attractions for sports lovers as well. You can experience some of the best golf in the world with scenic tee-offs and views of the city and the sea. Visitors can also find several bicycle rental shops, putt-putt golf and games at Marco Golf and Garden, plenty of fishing opportunities, tennis courts, paddle boarding and kayak rental shops, pedal boating clubs, and even fitness and gym centers across the island. 

Come for the Beach, Stay for the Fun

You’re not alone in wanting to relax on the beach for your vacation, but after a day or two of recouping your energy, you’ll surely want to tap into the extensive Marco Island attractions. Between all the attractions we discussed (history, wildlife, culture, and sports) there’s one activity that will ensure you can do it all! Reach out to Avi’s Watersports to learn more about our jet ski tours and how they can turn your vacation into the experience of a lifetime. 

Nested in the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is one of the best places in the world to spend your spring break. Offering crimson sunsets, long, sandy beaches, and breathtaking access to nature’s wonders, it’s impossible to go wrong for a week-long getaway. Looking for things to do in between sessions of much-needed rest? We got you covered! 

This article will take you on a virtual tour offering a curated list of exciting activities and places that you should not miss when vacationing on the breathtaking Marco Island during spring break. So, pack your bags and fasten your seatbelt for the escape of a lifetime!

Jet Ski Dolphin Tours 

Jet ski dolphin tours are, hands down, the most memorable thing you can do on Marco Island. Are you looking for an exciting, unforgettable adventure? Want to experience an up-close, once-in-a-lifetime encounter with dolphins and other wildlife natural to South Florida? 

Join the family at Avi’s Watersports with over 20 years of experience for a high-throttle adventure into the 10,000 Islands. You’ll be led by a friendly, dedicated, and knowledgeable guide who is devoted to making sure every participant has a phenomenal experience. Whether you're a seasoned jet skier or a beginner, a jet ski dolphin tour should be on your must-do list! Avi’s Watersports guarantees safety, fun, and the thrill of an exciting journey for 30 miles over the course of two hours. Take a look at some of the jaw-dropping photos taken on our excursions, and see what happy customers have had to say. 

Tour the Island

Rent a bicycle, e-bike, or golf cart, and see the whole island on your terms. Marco Island may be a small, close-knit community, but there is so much to see, especially during a short spring break trip! Given that Marco Island is six miles in length and four miles in width, having a bit of additional transport assistance is always beneficial.

Explore by Water

Prefer to get your sea legs while on our beautiful island? Rent a paddleboard and explore the canal system, mangrove tunnels, and more. There are 100 miles of man-made waterfront canals on Marco Island, and the majority of homes are waterfront locations. So whether your preference is natural beauty or manmade luxury, getting around by paddleboard will be sure to help you explore paradise. 

Visit Tigertail Beach

There is a reason why Trip Advisor voted Marco Island as the #1 island in the U.S. and #4 in the world. Among its many beaches is the renowned Tigertail Beach - one of the best beaches in Florida. A white-sand beach, developing barrier islands, bird watching and shelling opportunities, tidal pool exploration, breathtaking sunsets, and glorious sunrises await visitors. This beach also has a playground, picnic area, parking, and full facilities. Whatever outdoor activities you enjoy best, you’re likely to find it here. 

Marco Island Beach Bars

Relax with your shoes off at one of the many Marco Island beach bars throughout the island. Thirst-quenching drinks and island-themed cuisines are sure to get you in the spring break mindset! Wherever you might be staying, just head to the beach and follow the delicious smells. 

Small Boutiques 

Shop the plethora of small boutiques scattered about the island for everything from souvenirs to jewelry, gifts, and more. Be sure not to miss the Marco Island Center for the Arts. It has a free gallery that includes a gift shop selling locally produced art pieces.

Explore the Everglades

Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands and is the gateway to the Everglades. This means you can expect beautiful wildlife beyond anything you could imagine. From dolphins to gopher tortoises, burrowing owls, iguanas, sea turtles, bald eagles, bobcats, manatees, and so much more! 

Exercise at Marco Island Racquet Club

If you’re looking for a little bit of exercise, look no further than the City of Marco Island Racquet Club! Here you can play an afternoon of tennis or pickleball on high-quality clay courts. From 4-6 p.m., the courts are free on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Hit the Links 

There are 90 different golf courses in Naples, Marco Island, and Collier County, known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. Three of the very best are located on Marcos Island, so be sure to book your tee time well in advance! 

Explore the Paradise Coast Unlike Ever Before

One thing is certain: a week at Marco Island is sure to fly by with all the wonderful activities that will fill your time. With so many things to do on Marco Island, we recommend prioritizing the most memorable experiences and booking your activities in advance. Our dolphin jet ski tours are one of the most popular adventures on the island, so give us a call or book your excursion today! 

South Florida is a vacationer’s paradise. Few places in the world compare with its white sandy beaches and stunning, golden-red sunsets. If you’re looking to plan your next vacation and are looking for a spot that has all of the natural beauty but with smaller crowds and brighter, cleaner beaches, than some of the other popular locations, Marco Island is the place to go. 

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is the ideal coastal getaway for your next family vacation. If you’ve convinced yourself and the family it’s time to take a break, here’s our expert guide to planning the perfect family vacation in Marco Island! 

What is Marco Island? 

Marco Island is your next dream destination. As a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida, Marco Island is home to resorts, hotels, marinas, boating, and golf courses. It has a network of inland waterways and is covered with sandy beaches along most of the west coast. 

Marco Island is connected to the mainland near Naples, so it is an easy journey to the ultimate holiday retreat. Enjoy six miles of white beaches and over one hundred miles of waterways, all while living your best life - whether that means kayaking, fishing, swimming with dolphins, or simply relaxing. 

Choose the Time of the Year and Length of Your Trip

First thing first: When are you coming? To really get the ball moving (and to move your plans from ideation to action), the first thing you’ll need to do is gather the family council and decide on the best time to retreat to Marco Island. South Florida can be extremely hot during the summer, so the best time of year to visit is usually on the fringes of summer. Late spring (May) and early autumn (September-October) are, seasonally, the months with the most enjoyable weather, but it’s possible to find great travel deals during the offseason as well. 

No matter the time of year, you can bet on having absolutely delightful weather. 

After you determine which time of year is best for your family, the next step is to decide on how long you will come to visit. There’s no limit to how little or how long you’re allowed to come (unless work has something to say about that). Some people even love it so much that they never leave! 

We’ve found that a week is usually the minimum amount of time to fully experience Marco Island with its attractions and natural beauty while having plenty of time for relaxation as well. No matter how long you can come, there are plenty of memorable things to do throughout your time here. 

Plan Your Activities

You’ve arrived at the stunning beauty of Marco Island; but what’s next? We highly recommend booking activities well in advance, especially if you’re arriving in peak travel season for Marco Island. But if you’re already here and looking for a bit of inspiration, here are some of the top recommended activities for the perfect family vacation. 

Dolphin Excursions

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Avi’s Watersports combines the thrill of exploration with the natural beauty of Marco Island with dolphin jet ski tours! For over 20 years, Avi Watersports has been delivering the most memorable experiences for people of all ages, and we’re ready to make your vacation one to remember. 

Experience close encounters with dolphins and other wildlife native to the Gulf of Mexico during a 30-mile round trip. Our excursions are a two-hour journey on your own jet ski and they are led by experienced, friendly guides. Come explore deep into the 10,000 islands and see the world like never before! 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be at least 16 years old to drive; otherwise, children as young as 5 can hop on board jet skis driven by an adult. Operators will need to bring an ID and undertake a boater’s safety course

With your excursion, you can expect: 

You’ll need to bring: 

Interested in seeing what our tours look like? Take a gander at our photo gallery to get an idea of the beauty you can expect. 

Land Activities

Outdoor enthusiasts will find numerous family-friendly trails in Marco Island. Take a leisure walk along the boardwalk at Otter Mound Preserve, winding through tropical hammock habitat. Or, explore the historic Marco Island and its ancient life forms at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Throughout the museum, children can partake in various interactive exhibits and learn about the Calusa Indians who once lived on the island.

For families seeking a blend of relaxation and active adventure, Marco Island houses several mini-golf courses. Each course presents unique challenges that are fun and engaging for all age groups. Marco Golf and Garden or Coral Cay Adventure Golf provides a fun day out with perfectly manicured landscapes, exciting obstacles, and lots of laughs. 

A trip to Marco Island just wouldn’t be the same without visiting the pristine white-sand beaches that stretch across the island. The most famous is Marco Beach, which offers a haven for swimming, shelling, water sports, and relaxation. Families can enjoy building sandcastles, lounging under the umbrellas, or swimming in the warm, shallow Gulf waters. The Tigertail Beach Park, with its large playground and picnic areas, is a perfect spot for a family gathering. The park's sand dollar spit, a unique carousel of pristine sands and shallow tidal lagoons, is an excellent spot for children to explore marine life safely. 

Plan a Trip to Remember

Vacation isn’t vacation without a fair amount of R&R. The last thing you want is to return home without having relaxed at all! That’s why it’s important to not overbook yourself. Give yourself and your family ample time to simply do nothing, enjoy the peaceful beaches, and sink into an extra nap or two. On the days you do plan on keeping busy, choose activities that are sure to be remembered forever. 

Ready for your next getaway? Grab the whole family and journey to sunny Marco Island. Between the natural beauty of our beaches and wildlife, a dolphin excursion is the perfect complement to the best family vacation. Contact Avi's Watersports to reserve your spot today!

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