Marco Island is an island and a city that is situated in Collier County, Florida. It is situated off Southwest Florida’s coast in the Gulf of Mexico. It covers an area of seventeen square miles and has a population of thirteen thousand residents. Notable residents from Marco Island include Leighton Meester, Michael Collins, Alan Jackson, Bob Turley, Herbert Garrison, John Spiker, Mike Vanderjagt, Ken Venturi, Lauren Embree, Pat Bradley, Robin Quivers, Gene Sarazen, James Douglas, Shania Twain and Ara Parseghian.
A popular attraction on Marco Island is Key Marco. This archaeological site was excaved by Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1896. During his dig he recovered more than a thousand wood artifacts of Native American art. Key Marco was a muck pond that was able to keep the artifacts in a preserved state. Artifacts that came out of Key Marco include carved animal heads, painted masks, carved clubs, mortars, pestles, bowls, ropes, fish hooks, tablets and nets. It is believed that these artifacts were from the Muspa tribe, who lived on the island.
At the northern end of Ten Thousand Islands is the Rookery Bay Reserve. This reserve is one of the last undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Environmental Learning Center features interactive exhibits that showcase the parks cultural and natural history. It contains a twenty-three hundred gallon aquarium and exhibits featuring the plants of Rookery Bay Reserve, its ecosystems and the history of the Native American tribes that lived there. It also contains an art gallery that features exhibits of nature in art. Other key features include classrooms, a gift shop and a research lab.
Tigertail Beach is located on the northern section of Marco island and is a fairly popular tourist attraction. This beach contains a shallow lagoon and a sandbar. It is a great location to practice windsurfing or swimming. Also located on the beach is Tigertail Beach Rentals. This rental place has everything you need for your day at the beach including umbrellas, sailboats, cabanas and chairs. Tigertail Beach has full amenities which include a playground, restrooms, volleyball nets and even outdoor showers. On display is an exhibit of shells that were taken from around the area. If your day at the beach leaves you hungry than Todd’s is there to satisfy you. Todd’s serves sandwiches, drinks, snacks and hot dogs. Tigertail Beach is open from sunrise to sunset. There isn’t an admission charge, but their is a charge for parking.
During the winter months, the population of Marco Island triples. Its sub-tropical climate is a draw to tourists from around the world. There are beachfront hotels, condos, five star resorts and private homes that dot the beaches. Most hotels in the area offer steam rooms, heated swimming pools, miniature golf complexes, fitness centers, massage therapy, game rooms, children’s programs and tennis courts. Another attraction is Collier Seminole State Park. This park is located only a few miles from the island and features camping, fishing, picnic grounds and boating. Located nearby is Briggs Nature Center. Here visitors can breathe in the natural beauty of the wilderness. Other attractions on Marco Island include Capt. Ron’s Awesome Cedar Bay Boat Rentals, Everglades Adventures, Isles of Capri Marina, Waterski and Wakeboard Charters, Marco Island Water Sports, Enterprise Charters, Sunshine Tours, Serenidad Public Sailing Cruises, See Manatees, Make a Memory Fishing Charters, Island Hoppers Aerial Adventures, Marco Island Princess, Marco Island Marina, Marco Island Trolley, Wooten’s Alligator Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dolphin Explorer. Restaurants on the island include Snook Inn, Old Marco Pub & Restaurant, Arturo’s Italian Restaurant, Marek’s Collier House Restaurant, Kretch’s Restaurant and Captain Brien’s Seafood & Raw Bar.