Villa Fiore Vacation
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our accommodation calendar and rental rates
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Isles of Capri, Naples
Almost the whole length of Resident's Beach and the South Public
Island Visitor Guide - Location
The City of Marco Island is located
in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico; some 16 miles (26
of the City of
Naples off the US 41 (Tamiami Trail) and close to the western boundary of the
National Park. Marco is the largest of the 10,000 islands that
lie between it and the Florida Keys to the south.
Miami lies 100
miles (161 Km) to the east and Tampa lies 180 miles (290 Km) to the north (see our
Marco Map page for a guide to driving
distances and travel times from the main local Florida airports).
It is a flat barrier island which has been
developed almost fully over the last 50 years with a population
of around 17,000 within it's compact 6 mile length and 4 mile
width (9.6 x 6.4 Km). The population swells to around 40,000
with additional vacation visitors in the really busy
months between Christmas and Easter.
The more popular local visitor attractions are the fabulous
sandy beaches (see
below), boating, fishing, eating out and most important of all,
de-stressing and relaxing in the sun!
It is claimed that
around 6 out of every 10 of the most wealthy Americans choose to
vacation in the Naples and Marco area of southwest
Florida; together with the hundreds of celebrities, politicians
and well known business tycoons who live here permanently or who own
The Esplanade for boutique stores and
Marco Island Guide - Short History
It was originally called 'La Isla de San Marco' by the sixteenth
century Spanish explorers who noted it but never settled on what
would have been swamp and mangroves at the time. A limited
amount of tourism development first took place after 1870 by William
Collier (no connection with Collier County) A small hotel
opened in 1896 and the island was served by ferry boat service
from the Isles of Capri from 1912.
Barron Collier (who the County was named after and no relation
to William) purchased a large part of Marco in 1922. The
first rickety wooden bridge was constructed in 1938 and visitors
could now travel here by car. Between
the years 1927 and 1957 the island was known as Collier City.
In the 1960's the Mackle brothers Deltona Corporation started
major tourism and housing development of the whole island which has continued to
this day. The story of the Deltona Corporation's transformation
of the island in to one of Florida's top travel and vacation destinations is a fascinating subject, if you are interested in
exploring the recent history further. The SS Jolley bridge opened
in 1969 and the isle became the City of Marco Island in 1997.
Island Travel Guide - The
Marco has five fabulous
beaches, but they are all joined
together so the boundaries are somewhat blurred. The whole
western and northern sides of the island have a wide and
unbroken strip of sand some 6 miles (9.6 Km) long.
Starting in the northern end of the island we have Sand
Dollar Spit (which is separated from Tigertail (see below)
and Hideaway by
the Tigertail Lagoon). Sand Dollar can only be reached from
the nearest parking area located at Tigertail by either wading
through the lagoon or walking the long way around. The long way
involves turning southeast at the Lot then making a turn toward
the sea and the doubling back on yourself walking north along
the waters edge. Once you have arrived in the Spit you
will be greeted by the most fabulous Florida Gulf Coast beach which is
rich in shells, bird life and fine vistas.
Running parallel with Sand Dollar Spit, but slightly inland,
there is Hideaway Beach. This is technically a public
beach but because there is no right of way access by road or on foot,
the only way to visit Hideaway Beach on your vacation is by
renting a small boat.
Just southeast of Sand
Dollar we have Tigertail Beach.
There is ample visitor paid parking off Hernando Drive and from the
villa, Tigertail would be 10/15 minute cycle ride or 5 minutes
travelling in the car. Visitor facilities at Tigertail include restrooms, food and
beverages, a children's play area and water sport rentals, etc.
In the middle we have Resident's Beach, which despite the
name is still mostly a huge visitor beach apart from the
resident's only parking lot and the area of sand immediately in
front of the Lot. The Marco Island Civic Association
will issue temporary guest passes if you are renting
Villa Fiore for
a month or more (which includes visitor parking here and at Sarazen
Park). Public beach access is off S Collier Blvd near the
Marriott Hotel and visitor parking is available off S Collier
Blvd at the Turtle Lot which is located opposite the Charter
Club. From the villa, Resident's
Beach would be a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute cycle ride away
In the south near Cape Marco we have South Marco Beach. Public access
is from S Collier Blvd and paid parking is available at
Swallow Avenue. From
the villa, South Marco Beach would be 5 minutes travelling time in a car or
10/15 minute cycle ride.
For further information on access and visitor parking for your vacation,
please see our
Marco Island beach access page.
Sand Dollar Spit and
Tigertail public beach (photo