Dining at Marco Island’s Sunset Grille

Dining at Marco Island’s Sunset Grille

Dining at Marco Island’s Sunset Grille

Dining at Marco Island’s Sunset Grille is always one of my favorite nights out on the island. The restaurant is a family friendly restaurant located in the Apollo condominiums. The Sunset Grille is right on Marco Island’s South Beach.

Spectacular Sunsets

The restaurant is named appropriately as this is one of the best places to view Marco Island’s spectacular sunsets in the evening hours. You can see the sunset from pretty much any seat in the restaurant.  However, relaxing at the tiki bar or dining on the outdoor patio makes the experience even better.

July 4th Flag from Sunset Grill

Recommendations and Hours

The Sunset Grille offers a wide range menu including a variety of sandwiches and entrees such as steaks, seafood, and pasta. I highly recommend the snow crab legs, which are my all time favorite!!! Another recommendation is their crab cakes with a creamy lobster sauce – yummy!

The Grille is open 7 days a week, serving lunch and dinner. Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 2-5 pm.

Sunset Grill Crab Legs

Whether you arrive by car or stoll up from the beach, you are sure to have a memorable time dining at Marco Island’s Sunset Grille. They also offer complimentary taxi service from A CARR Transportation.

Our guests at Sea Mar Condo are provided with a copy of menus from most of the restaurants on Marco Island to assist you in making your dining choices. Visit our website at www.seamarcondo.com to see more information on things to see and do on Marco Island.

An Endless List of Activities in Marco Island

An Endless List of Activities in Marco Island

An Endless List of Activities in Marco Island

The great thing about “Paradise” is there is an endless list of activities in Marco Island and the surrounding areas of Naples and the 10,000 islands.

It’s summer time, and that means vacations to the beach, fishing trips, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, and touring. Marco Island has enough activities to keep you busy all summer, or at least enough adventures for a week’s vacation to this beautiful island.

Tigertail Beach Aerial PictureMarco Island Aerial Picture

Beach and Water Activities

Most of Marco Island’s visitors come to walk, relax or shell along the island’s beaches. Walking along Tigertail, South Beach and Sand Dollar Split offers a diverse walk. South Beach offers water activities, incredible hotels and resorts, and a beautiful crescent shaped beach. Tigertail is a nature lover’s paradise with it’s seagrass, many shells, shore birds and turtle nests. Sand Dollar Split is great for shelling, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

Marco Island’s beautiful weather and unspoiled natural beauty offer the perfect opportunity for an endless list of activities during the summer months, or any time of the year. The island is surrounded by the pristine, aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the tranquility of the 10,000 islands, water sports, beautiful beaches, world class fishing and eco-tours. Several tours go to the Everglades, offer opportunities for spotting dolphins and manatee, many go to other neighboring islands, and provide fun activities like parasailing or fishing. You can also rent your own water craft for jet skiing, boating, sailing, paddle boarding or kayaking.

Fishing2

Paddleboarding

Parasailing on Marco IslandChildren In Marco Island

Everglades National Park

Marco Island is the gateway to the Everglades. Everglades National Park is only 15 minutes away and offers a natural beauty all its own. A short 45 minute drive gets you into the heart of the Everglades with abundant wildlife such as alligators and colorful wading birds. A kayak trip or an airboat ride through the mangroves is an awesome experience!

Everglades Airboat Tour

Kayaking the Glades

Sea Mar Condo – Our “Top 10” List

With an endless list of activities in Marco Island is is sometimes hard to decide what to do first. You most certainly will not have time to do everything in just one visit. Many of our guests at Sea Mar Condo come back to Marco Island year after year to try something different.  They are never disappointed. It’s time to book your get away now at www.seamarcondo.com and start your own list of activities in Marco Island.

Please visit our website at www.seamarcondo.com to see our “Top 10” list of things to do on Marco Island.

 

Burrowing Owls Are Year Round Residents of Marco Island

Burrowing Owls Are Year Round Residents of Marco Island

Burrowing Owls Are Year Round Residents of Marco Island

Burrowing owls are year round residents of Marco Island.  These small owls can be quite entertaining to visitors and island residents alike.

This owl isn't quite sure what to think of its new neighbor. Friend, or food?

Posted by Burrowing Owls of Marco Island on Saturday, May 26, 2018

When the City of Marco Island started monitoring the burrowing owls in 2001, only a few were counted there. Thanks to a volunteer group called “Owl Prowl” who provide oversight of the burrowing owl population on Marco, the numbers have grew to over 400 from 2001 to 2015. In 2015, the Audubon of the Western Everglades too over monitoring duties, and “Owl Watch” was born.

Where are the Burrowing Owls on Marco Island?

In fact, this year a borrow was found on Resident’s Beach, a private beach on the island for residents and those renting on the island for more than a month.

Normally, the burrowing owls dig their burrows on vacant lots around the island. Breeding is between February and July, although some rear their young outside this time period. The owls are useful in pest control since they consume insects including roaches, mole crickets, amphibians, and rodents.

Burrowing Own on Marco Island

Burrowing Owls can be found all over Marco Island and are year round residents. When driving around the island, look for empty lots that have the burrows marked with PVC pipe, rope, and wooden perches. By driving slowly, pulling off to the side of the road, and rolling down your car window you can usually get a great picture of a few of these little cuties!

How to Get a Fantastic Picture of a Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

Many land owners welcome burrows on their property. It is important to respect both the land owners and the burrowing owl population by staying on the sidewalk or in your parked car for observations. Stay only for a short time. Give owls plenty of space and if one hisses at you or raises its wings or chatters, you are too close. The owls need plenty of rest in the daylight hours since they hunt at night. Never feed wildlife as human food can attract other predators that can cause harm to the burrowing owls.

Burrowing owls are listed as a Threatened Species in Florida and are protected by state and federal laws.

Thankfully, the burrowing owls on Marco Island are having a much better time at the start of their nesting season after a record 2017, when 119 pairs successfully raised 317 fledglings. The best way to keep up to date with the adventures of these cute birds is to follow “Burrowing Owls of Marco Island” on Facebook.

If you find an injured owl during your visit to Marco Island, call von Arx Wildlife Hospital at (239) 262-2273.

Some interesting facts on Burrowing Owls:

*They are the only species of owl to live underground.
*Their burrows are up to 3 feet deep and 5-12 feet long.
*They return to the same burrow each year.
*Once they choose a partner, they mate for life.
*The oldest know owl was 9 years, 11 months.
*They are about 9 inches tall.
*They are diurnal and nocturnal, hunting day and night.

Looking for Manatee on Marco Island

Looking for Manatee on Marco Island

ng for Manatee on Marco Island

As frequent visitors and part-time residents, we often find ourselves looking for manatee on Marco Island. Although there are several of these gentle giants on the island, if is often hard to spot them.

Eco boat tours touring through the 10,000 island Gulf waters offer guests a good opportunity to see a manatee up close and personal. Manatee viewing is a pastime enjoyed by many visitors and resident in any season on Marco Island.

Manatee

Manatee Behavior

Manatees are plant eaters.  They feed on a variety of submerged and floating plants found in many of the canal areas. They are mammals and must surface to breath air on an average of every three to five minutes. The average adult male is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1200 pounds.

Because of having to surface for air frequently, manatee stay close to the surface of the water. Unfortunately, this makes them easy targets for boat propellers. From April 1 through November 15, seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to protect these beautiful sea creatures.

How to Spot Manatee on Marco

The best way to see manatee in the water is by wearing polarized sunglasses to help see through the glare on the water. Manatee also make large circles on the water called “manatee footprints”. Also, look for a manatee’s snout sticking up out of the water or a large dark spot in the water.

Manatee prefer waters that are aoub 3-7 feet deep like the Marco Island canals and the surrounding 10,0000 island area. Often times, it is best to drive by some of the island’s canals and make a stop to look for the manatee.

Of course, if you fail to see a manatee on either your eco boat tour or on your canal tour of the island, you can always spot the many manatee shaped mailboxes on the island.

Manatee Mailbox on Marco

Visit our website at www.seamarcondon.com.  Our “Top 10 List” provides information on bird watching, sea life, and fishing on Marco Island. Several recommended tour companies are listed to make looking for manatee on Marco Island more enjoyable.

“Do You Play Pickleball?”

“Do You Play Pickleball?”

“Do You Play Pickleball?”

If you are planning a trip to the Marco Island/Naples area, you are likely to hear someone say “Do you play Pickleball?!” If you are like me, you may have no clue what they are talking about. Actually, until a few years ago, I had never heard of the game.

Actually, I have learned that Pickleball is the fastest growing sport, especially among retirees, in the US today. Some are saying this is the biggest sport to hit our country in history. The city of Naples just hosted the 3rd U.S. Open Pickleball Championship with 42 states and 12 countries represented.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a game played with a hard paddle similar to a ping pong paddle, but a different shape and material. The ball used is a wiffle ball, very light with holes in it. When hit, it makes a “popping” sound. The ball is served underhanded rather than overhand like tennis. The nets are set lower and shorter than a tennis net. The court is shorter than a tennis court as well. The speed of the game and the level of play is up to the players. It is a great game for players of all ages.

Pickleball Balls

U.S. Open Pickleball Championships Games

In 2016, the city of Naples held the first U.S. Open Pickleball Championship game ever held in the world! Thanks to a few enthusiasts, CBS Sports was contacted to cover the game nationwide. The Pickleball Channel (yes, there is a Pickleball channel) also covered the game electronically. Championship courts with Deco Turf were built, registration was announced, and within hours 800 players from 36 states and 8 countries signed up to play in the first championship tournament in Naples. Players came from Australia, Japan, Singapore, England, France, and Germany. WOW!

The following year, a shade structure was built to shelter the camera, players, and audience from the sun. Tents were structured for players, additional bleachers for the spectators, bathrooms, and showers installed, and Minto signed for a 5 year sponsorship. The entire world became aware of the new major park for Pickleball play with the most deco-turf courts in any one area! in 2017, when Naples announced registration for the 2nd U.S. Open Pickleball Championship tournament, 1,300 players signed up quickly. They represented 42 states and 12 countries!

Pickleball

Naples: Pickleball Capital of the World!

This year Collier County added 10 more deco-turf courts and even more upgrades to the park. Within three hours of registration for the 2018 games, over 2,200 players signed up and registration had to be cut off. Another 300 were on the waiting list to play. Naples is now known as the Pickleball Capital of the World! There is now a total of 54 pickleball courts.

The Championship games are held in late April of each year and the age ranges represented are from 12 years old to 90 years old.

We Have Pickleball!

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were walking around the grounds of South Seas in Marco island. We hadn’t gone far before we were asked “Do you play Pickleball?” At least now we know what the game is about. Although we haven’t tried it yet, we have looked at the courts and agreed that it may be something good to learn in retirement.

Pickleball courts are available to our guests at Sea Mar Condo. We are also located 18 miles from Naples where the U.S. Open Pickleball Championship games are help. Visit our website at www.seamarcondo.com for availability and rates.

Mini Reefs Benefit Marco Island and Florida

Mini Reefs Benefit Marco Island and Florida

Mini Reefs Benefit Marco Island and Florida

Mini Reefs are benefit Marco Island and Florida. The reefs are being installed by many of Marco Island’s residents. They are now under docks in the many canals on the island. It started as a few baby fish came to use the mini reefs as their new homes. Later more fish came attracting larger fish. The reef owners are now spotting species of fish they haven’t seen in over 20 years around Marco.

The residents who have installed the mini reefs have also noticed that the waters have cleared greatly as a result of installing the reefs. They are also seeing more dolphins and fish than ever before. The reefs definitely help fight water pollution and decreased fish populations.

Avi's Water Sports

The Mini Reef Trend

The trend of installing mini reefs is catching on in other Florida cities. Currently there are Mini Reefs in, or about to be installed, in over 20 coastal cities in Florida. Residents from Pensacola around the Gulf down to Tampa, Cape Coral and Naples are installing the units. The Mini Reefs are affordable at around $450 each.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now looking into promoting the installation of Mini Reefs throughout the Florida Keys as one way to help restore fish populations and water quality in the Keys.

The First Mini Reefs in Marco Island

Four years ago the project started with 7 Mini Reefs installed in the waters around Marco Island. The island now has over 400 Mini Reefs and soon the state of Florida will have over 1,000 units installed.

Article adapted from an article in the MICAwave entitled “Marco island Has Started Something Big!!!” There is no doubt that these Mini Reefs are benefiting Marco Island and the state of Florida. And it all started on this island known for its beautiful coastline and aqua Gulf waters. Many visitors and residents to Marco island also love the many canals on the island. They have a beauty of their own, filled with dolphin, manatee, and fish.

“Neighboring Islands” by Denise Krier

“Neighboring Islands” by Denise Krier

“Neighboring Islands” by Denise Krier

I have been using “Neighboring Islands” on my website and social media posts since it “captured” me the first time I saw it. I found out yesterday this is a painting by Denise Krier. I just ordered a canvas print of “Neighboring Islands” for Sea Mar Condo and can’t wait to get it! I know our guests will love it as much as I will.

You can order your canvas print of “Neighboring Islands” by contacting Denise at KRIERLLC@AOL.COM.

One of the highlights of vacationing in Marco Island is being able to visit some of the neighboring islands including Goodland and Isle of Capri – some great restaurants and scenery on both.  And what’s not to love about a visit to Everglades National Park, which is a short drive away from Marco Island!  The Everglades are a nature lover’s paradise and a photographers dream!

 

 

Marco Island’s Key Marco Cat is Returning

Marco Island’s Key Marco Cat is Returning

Marco Island’s Key Marco Cat is Returning

Marco Island’s Key Marco Cat is returning to the island soon! The Key Marco Cat is one of the finest pieces of Pre-Columbian Native American art ever discovered in North America. It will be on display at the Marco Island Historical Museum from December 2018 through April 2021. This is something I can’t wait to see!

The Marco Island Historical Society has been trying for 25 years to bring the Key Marco Cat home to the island along with other Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts discovered on Marco Island, Florida in 1896 by Frank Cushing.

 

Key Marco Cat

The Key Marco Cat

The Key Marco Cat is only 6 inches tall and carved from buttonwood. The feline statuette has captured the public’s imagination for more than a century.  Replicas of the cat are at many gift shops on the island. Other important pieces in the MIHS exhibition will include a ceremonial mask, alligator figurehead, painted human figure and a sea turtle figurehead.

The MIHS is mounting the exhibit in collaboration with Collier County Museums, the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of ARchaeology and Anthropology. The loaned artifacts will be showcased in one of the Museum’s permanent exhibits – Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island.

The artifacts were originally buried in an oxygen-free layer of muck. These rare wooden objects are between 500 and 1,500 years old. They are astonishingly well preserved. The pieces provide extraordinary insight into the daily lives of the Calusa Indian tribe and their ancestors. The Calusas dominated Florida’s Southwest Coast and controlled South Florida by the time the Spanish arrived in the 16th Century.

The Key Marco Cat and many of the other exhibit pieces have been in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Key Marco Cat is from the Smithsonian collection.

These artifacts probably had deep ritual significance to the Calusa people that created them. The paint that remains on the wooden objects serves as an important reminder of the level of detail and skill of the native artists. One can only imagine the original beauty of the pieces. The fact that they have survived is incredible and provides a unique look into the past of the Marco Island area.

Marco Island Historical Museum2

Marco Island Historical Society Exhibits

Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island

The Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island exhibit will also include interactive activity stations, state-of-the-art projections, dramatic animations, stunning new original artwork and exciting additions to the museum’s immersive life-size Calusa Village.

Other exhibits at the MIHS Museum include Modern Marco Island and Pioneer Marco: A tale of Two Villages.

Modern Marco

Explores Marco’s explosive growth over the last 50 years, beginning with the vision of Deltona Corporation’s Marco brothers. Their massive development project forever changed the face of Marco Island, paving the way for people to live on the island.

Visitors are transported back to the 1960s when new houses on the island sold for as little as $14,900.

Pioneer Marco: A tale of Two Villages

This exhibit is an interactive exhibit which chronicles the evolution of the pioneer villages at Marco and Caxambas. It offers visitors an look at the people, industries and lifestyles on Marco Island during the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the late 1800s, pioneers began settling on what is now Marco Island. By the early 1900s these settlements had become Marco and Caxambas, two small villages separated by five miles of shell road.

Be our Guests to see the Key Marco Cat!

The display at MIHS will generate increased tourism for the Marco Island area.  It will also provide an extraordinary educational experience for both residents and visitors.

The Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S Heathwood Drive, Marco Island, Florida. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is free.

Sea Mar Condo View

We welcome visitors to the island as our guests at Sea Mar Condo. This is the perfect time to see Marco Island’s Key Marco Cat and schedule the vacation of your dreams! Visit our website at www.seamarcondo.com to see availability, rates, and contact information.

Briggs Nature Center at Rookery Bay

Briggs Nature Center at Rookery Bay

Briggs Nature Center at Rookery Bay

Trails

Briggs Nature Center is located between Marco Island and Naples at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The nature center features a total of 3 miles of easy trails, including a ½-mile boardwalk that allows guests to explore the area’s various habitats. The estuary is a natural nursery for fish, shellfish, and crustaceans and is home to many nesting birds.

White Egret

In addition to the boardwalk, there are two other short trails that offer views of Rookery Bay. Wildlife such as bald eagles, snakes, bob-cats, river otters, hawks, and woodpeckers are quite commonly seen by visitors to the nature center.

Briggs Boardwalk is a half-mile self-directed nature trail passing through five unique habitats from scrub to brackish ponds. This walk is kid friendly.  This is a great place for a family to enjoy a short, easy, free experience of the Florida marshes and wildlife.

Kayaking/Canoeing

In addition to the nature trails at Briggs Nature Center, kayak and canoe rentals are also available nearby to navigate the Gordon River and mangrove tree islands and tunnels.  This is a great way to see the birds and other wildlife in the area from the water.

Kayaking the mangroves

The Boardwalk is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Conservancy volunteers are on the boardwalk seven days a week from January through April, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Schedule may change in inclement weather and on holidays. Guided tours take place at 10 a.m. daily from January through March.

Signs along the walk describe the flora and fauna in each community and volunteers will help visitors spot and identify plants, birds and other animals.

The walk is a Great Florida Birding Trail site.

Briggs Nature Center
Rookery Bay in Naples
401 Shell Island Road, Naples, FL
(239) 337-3332

https://www.conservancy.org/offsite/nature-walks/briggs-boardwalk

To see other recommended activities near Marco Island, FL, visit www.seamarcondo.com.