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Florida Beaches Guide – Marco Island Beaches

Beach 411 ~ Marco Island ~ Tigertail & South Beaches

Marco Island, Gulf Coast (South)

  • Beach type: Family beaches, quiet with greater access to the South Beach area
  • Beach geography: 5 miles of walkable beachfront with soft powdery white sand and abundant shells along the blue-green waters of the Gulf coastline for collecting. Tigertail Beach is more natural with its tidal lagoon and natural habitat for shorebirds. South Beach fronts the resorts and condo’s so sees more beachgoers.
  • Ease of access: Parking is easily available at Tigertail Beach Park (north end) and along Swallow Ave for the South Beach access. The parking rate of $8 allows access to both parking locations.
  • Extra costs: Aside from any paddleboard or watersport rentals, no other fees apply.
  • Beach amenities: Unless you are staying at one of the resorts along the South Beach with loungers available, it’s a bring-your-own style of beach. Tigertail Beach does have a playground, restroom and a canteen, the South Beach area does have some restaurants central along South Collier Blvd.
  • Special note: Tigertail Beach, as a natural setting has a couple hundred feet walk through the tidal lagoon area to the barrier island beachfront.
  • Geo-locator: Where are Marco Island beaches?

South Marco Beach, Florida5 miles for shelling and a nature walk out the tiger tail

Marco Island’s beaches sit probably the farthest south along the Gulf Coast span of soft white powdery beaches. A 40-minute drive south of Naples, Marco Island is the last stop before the natural wilderness of the massive Everglades National Park.

Marco Island is a shelling bonanza (click any pic to enlarge)The west-facing span of Marco Island offers about 5 miles of soft powdery sand to relax and catch some Florida sun (especially the sunsets)! And shelling – it’s a bonanza of shells! Along the shoreline, the gentle surf tumbles in conches, starfish, sand dollars and shells galore with abundant colors and sizes. Find a great patch to sift through and you’ll be shell-y rewarded – with maybe some sharks teeth for an added bonus.

If you love to beach walk like we do, 5 miles is just enough so as not to overheat. From the resort zone of Marco Islands South Beach to the northern stretch of Tigertail Beach Park, the resort beach busyness changes to a natural barrier island beachfront abundant in shore birds and a more natural untended beach environment.

take a walk out the more natural tiger tailIf the natural, less crowded beachfront is more to your liking, park at Tigertail Beach Park and walk the nature path through the tidal lagoon itself to access the upper reaches of the barrier island naturalness – continue north for another 1½ mile to the tip of the “tiger tail”. In low tide when I visited, the tidal lagoon was thigh deep – an easy slosh across. If walking through the warm tidal lagoon waters isn’t for you, a longer walk around the tidal lagoon takes you out to a massive expanse of flat beachfront along the shoreline.

Marco Island activities and attractions

As Marco Island is more of a natural barrier island edging Everglades National Park, most of its activities relate to the abundance of nature surrounding it.

Marco Island events and nightlife

Marco Island’s local community is family-oriented and tame from a party-goers standard. If you broaden your horizon to the larger Paradise Coast that includes Naples and EverGlade City, more options open for you to enjoy.

Marco Island Beach hotel recommendations

Accommodations on Marco Island are dominantly along the beachfront strip. While the popularity of staying beachfront has its appeal, along with that goes the higher price tag. A block or beach access is easy from the resort stripso from the water or along one of the waterside quays may be an option also to consider.

Paradise Coast weather

Naples area weather (click)With a position inside the Gulf of Mexico and leeward to the windy Atlantic, this allows Naples a tropical band of patterned weather with hot and wet summers, and warm and dry winters. Excitedly and enviously, theNaples area boasts more than 2,900 hours of sunshine a year and more than 300 sunny days a year – that’s worthy of beachy celebrations!

For more information or help planning your next Florida getaway, visit:

Planning your next Florida beach getaway, visit our other Florida Beaches Guides:

Ever been to Marco Island in Florida? We'd love to hear what you most loved about it! Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – and let's continue the conversation!

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