See Marco Island on Marco Pedalboat

Marco Pedalboat is a Favorite!

Our Marco Pedalboat Tour

We encourage our guests to see Marco Island on Marco Pedalboat. We have taken several different cruises around the islands and this has been one of our favorites!

The Marco Pedalboat docks at Isle of Capri (next to the Island Gypsy) at 292 Capri Blvd, Naples. (239) 920-1230. https://www.marcopedalboat.com

This company offers 1 1/2 hour and 2 hour cruises. The cost is affordable, ranging from $35 to $45 with ages 3-12 at $25 and under age 2 free. The ride is family friendly. The most popular of the tours is the 2 hour sunset cruise. We took this tour recently and saw a simply stunning sunset. The captain of the boat takes complimentary photos of the passengers to send by email. The quality of the photos are really good!

Larry and I really enjoyed our sunset tour on the Marco Pedalboat!

About the Marco Pedalboat

The Marco Pedalboat seats 16 people on comfortable “bar stools” and is a large pontoon style boat. We had the option of pedal or not. The motor really doesn’t need one to pedal at all, but it is fun to try it out! Our captain encouraged us to try pedaling just to see how much speed we could develop to move the boat. Needless to say, we didn’t quite move the boat as fast as the motor!

What You See

The Marco Pedalboat travels about Isle of Capri and Marco Island. This is a truly fun trip. We were able to see some of the more interesting homes on Marco Island; in addition, the captain told us some interesting tales/facts about them. Some homes are just unusual or are/were owned by celebrities that we saw. Along the way, especially in the Marco River, we saw several dolphins. This was also the first time either Larry or I have seen Black Crowned Night Herons. These are nocturnal feeding herons that are often seen near sunset.

What to Bring – Enjoy the Music

Guests on the tour are encouraged to bring snacks and/or dinner, in addition to drinks on the boat. Iced coolers are provided on the boat. Having your favorite snack or beverage as the boat travels the Gulf waters makes a relaxing and fun trip. Upbeat music makes the boating experience even more fun! Music requests are honored with a wide variety play list.

The Marco Pedalboat is definitely something we will recommend to our guests at Sea Mar Condo! What a fun evening we had, and we can’t wait to do it again soon!

Sweet Liberty Sailing Catamaran Tours Naples

Sweet Liberty

Sweet Liberty Catamaran

The Sweet Liberty Catamaran https://www.sweetliberty.com operates out of Naples Dock in Naples, FL. It is the largest sailing catamaran in Southwest Florida. This 53′ vessel offers awesome sunset, shelling, and sightseeing tours. Sweet Liberty Catamaran tours are mentioned as the #1 thing to do in Naples by the New York Times, local residents, and tourists to the area. The cruise is very affordable (around $40 for the sunset cruise).

Sweet Liberty Sunset

Sunset Cruise with Sweet Liberty

Sunset tours aboard Sweet Liberty sail nightly and are a family friendly adventure. The tours leave from Naples Dock, located in Crayton Cove in Old Naples at 880 12th Ave. S, Naples. The first 30-40 minutes of the cruise are outgoing from the dock and proceed down the Gordon River, passing Port Royal. This route will pass some of Naples largest multimillion dollar homes and yachts. Once out in open water, it is delightful to watch the sails go up on this beautiful catamaran.

We encourage you to bring along a small cooler or picnic basket (beer/wine are welcome). On the outgoing route guests see mangroves, dolphin, and other wildlife. The evening hours also offer a quiet time to enjoy a nice glass of wine while enjoying the beautiful Gulf waters. Watching the sun sink below the horizon with tones of orange and pink skies is breath taking.

The total time for this tour is approximately 3 hours.

Sweet Liberty Cruise

Beach Island Shelling Cruise

The beach Island Shelling cruise aboard the Sweet Liberty leaves at 9:30 am and goes to Keewaydin Island. Keewaydin is a 7 mile barrier island with beautiful waters and is great for shelling. Guests will spend approximately 1 hour on Keewaydin, also know as Key Island for beach and shelling time.

We encourage guests to take along a small cooler with drinks and snacks.

The total time for this tour is approximately 3 hours.

Afternoon Sightseeing and Sailing

The afternoon sightseeing and sailing tour is a great way to learn about the Naples area. The tour offers great scenery with opportunity to see dolphin and wildlife. Guests can also see multimillion dollar homes and yachts along the prestigious Gordon River area of Naples.

We encourage guests to bring along a small cooler sign snacks and beverages.

This Sweet Liberty Catamaran tour leaves at 1:30 in the afternoon and is approximately 2 hours in duration.

Visit our website https://www.seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!

Calico Crab

Marco Island’s Colorful Calico Crab

Calico Crab Shell

One of my favorite “shells” to find on Marco Island is the Calico Crab shield. Calico Crabs are also known as “Leopard Crabs” because of their colorful carapaces. They can be found along most of the Gulf of Mexico, including Marco Island’s Crescent Beach and Tigertail Beach.

The Calico Crab lives in shallow water along beaches and offshore. It can reach up to a 3 inch wide white carapace with large red spots and darker outlines.

Calico Crab on Marco Island's Crescent Beach
Live Calico Crab on Marco Island’s Crescent Beach

Food Sources and Habits

Calico Crabs are walking crabs, with their back legs designed for moving rather than being flattened for swimming and digging. This crab buries itself completely in sand until food is close by. Then they become very aggressive, moving quickly out of the sand to capture their prey. The normal food sources are decomposing organic matter from plants and animals (minnows, worms, clams, and other small invertebrates). This small crab’s predators are rays, fish, and sea turtles.

Carapace Shedding Process

Thanks to Treasure Seeker’s Shell Tours for the following information on the process of the Calico Crab shedding the carapace: https://treasureseekersshelltours.com.

Calico Crab Shield …when this guy starts the process to shed his shield it takes him up to two weeks to shell, if it is long it can take up to two months. Crabs are crustaceans, and we often see them on our beaches in the sand and they love mud . One of the important characteristics of the crab is that they can shell, they will not only shed their shells once in a Lifetime, but will shed their shells a dozen times. It is very likely that we can observe their shelling phenomenon . If the interval is relatively short then the crab can only shell once in about 2 months .

Visit our website https://www.seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!

Kayaking Around Marco Island

Kayaking Around Marco Island

Mangrove or Open Water?

Kayaking around Marco Island is fun and adventurous because even for beginners it is doable. There are two types of kayaking in and around Marco Island, thus preference and skill level are important. One option, mangrove tours are a great way to see backwaters and mangroves, live shells, and wading birds. Secondly, open water kayaking to nearby sandbars and islands is the perfect way to explore. In addition, the beaches are virtually deserted and a great place for a picnic, a long walk, and shelling.

Mangrove Kayaking

You may choose to rent your own kayak and explore areas in Rookery Bay, however, an organized tour with an experienced guide is always a good option. Larry and I book through Rookery Bay Learning Center with Rising Tide Kayak Tours. We meet our guide, Matt, just before 8 am at the Isle of Capri Boat Ramp. Our group consists of 8 people (including the guide). This tour is for all levels of expertise in kayaking, which makes it perfect for beginners. It will be approximately 3 hours in duration. You need to be able to paddle for most of that time. Matt takes pictures of the group to send to us later for keepsakes.

https://rookerybay.org/

https://risingtidefl.com

Our Day Kayaking Rookery Bay Estuary

Beginning the Mangrove Tour

Safety procedures of kayaking in the mangrove area are explained up front. We are also given dry bags for our belongings, which are fairly large in size. Then we are shown how to get in our kayaks. Our group leaves from the boat ramp out into a wide (and calm) area of water. Along the way to the mangrove area, our guide points out the jellyfish, coral, and wading birds.

After about an hour of paddling, Matt takes us to a very shallow area of water where we tie our kayaks together and get out to explore. While wading through this shallow area, there is a large live horse conch. We are shown the proper way to hold it and put it back in the water. In addition, the group also spot red and yellow coral, which is not safe to handle.

The Mangrove Area

Upon leaving the shallow water area, we paddle as a group to the mangrove area. This area has three types of mangroves: red, black and white plants. Matt points each out to us and tells how to identify them individually. He also tells us how mangroves reproduce by growing pods. These pods mature and drop from the tree and later attach to a rock or other plant to grow. Paddling the mangrove areas can be a little “tricky” because they are somewhat narrow. The water is also a little more swift at times. Larry and I are both beginner kayakers. We do not have any problems (outside of catching a tree limb a couple of times to help us along). Actually, everyone in our group does fine.

The mangrove areas are beautiful and full of sea life, plant life, and wading birds. It is a true learning experience that we highly recommend to our guests at Sea Mar Condo.

Open Water Kayaking Around Marco Island

When kayaking in open water, you can rent your own kayak or arrange to go with a group. Larry and I, along with our property manager, rent our own kayaks. Marco Island Kayak Rentals deliver to Caxambus Park Boat Dock. We start out around 8 am after receiving instructions on what areas would be best for us to explore. Our rental guide also explains about the morning and afternoon tides and how to kayak using them to our advantage.

https://marcoislandwaverunnertours.com

Shell Island

The first area we visit is Shell Island, a 15 minute paddle from the boat ramp. Water in this area is open, but is in a “no wake” zone. Paddling is in relatively calm water with a slight current. Shell Island is just as it sounds, a sandbar made of nothing but seashells. We ground our kayaks and walk around the entire sandbar in about 20 minutes. It is also great place to look for those particular shells you are seeking.

Dickman’s Point

Upon leaving Shell Island, we are on our way for another 20 minute paddle to Dickman’s Point. This is an area that a lot of shelling tours visit, thus shelling is great! Water around the island is crystal clear the day we visit. It is easy to wade around looking for the perfect shell! We find conch shells, nutmegs, scotch bonnets, sand dollars, and an alphabet cone. I am hoping to find that elusive Junonia, but no luck today. After a bit of shelling, we find some shade in a small mangrove area, eat our lunch, and take a beach walk. Around 3 pm it’s time to paddle back along Shell Island, which brings us back to the Caxambus Boat Ramp. After this, our kayaks are ready to be picked up. Kayaking around Marco Island is fun and our day has been perfect!

Visit our website https://www.seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!

Cape Romano and Keewaydin Islands Boat Trip from Marco Island

A FUN DAY ON THE WATER

Cape Romano and Keewaydin islands are very near Marco Island by boat. Boating around these islands while visiting Marco Island is a fun day on the water! If fears of operating a boat on the ocean and navigating the waters around Marco Island are holding you back, fear no more!

Before Leaving the Marina

Boat Rental from Dolphin Cove Marina to go to Cape Romano and Keewaydin
A Boat Rental from Dolphin Cove Marina on Marco Island Is Affordable and Easy

Our group arrived at Dolphin Cove Marina https://www.boatrentalsofswfl.com on Bald Eagle Drive around 7:30 in the morning. Our boat was ready and waiting for us at the end of the dock. A member of the staff there provided us with instructions on operating the boat (a 21′ deck boat) and safety procedures while on the water. We were shown where life jackets were and given custom navigational charts showing the 2 locations we wanted visit. The navigational signs located in the Gulf were also explained and how to use them during our trip.

Cape Romano

We left the marina around 8 am and navigated toward Cape Romano and the Dome Homes. This took about 45 minutes, taking us past Tigertail Beach and South Beach. We went around the point of Cape Marco, past Dickmans Point and Kice Island before arriving at Cape Romano. We were able to get some fantastic pictures of the Dome Homes and docked at water’s edge of Cape Romano to walk the beach and do some shelling and sightseeing.

The Dome Homes at Cape Romano were built in 1979 by retired businessman Bob Lee from Gatlinburg, TN. He and his family lived there until 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed the interior of the house. Since that time, erosion and Hurricane Irma in 2017 have left the homes further from land and 2 of the 6 domes are now underwater. Since we and our visitors are from this area, the now abandoned homes of Cape Romano hold a special interest for us.

Boating Cape Romano
Boat Rentals Can Accommodate from 2-16 People
Cape Romano Dome Homes
Cape Romano Dome Homes

Our group consisted of Larry and me, and a couple of our friends visiting Marco Island. Larry and I both had previous boating experience on a local lake around our home in Kingsport, TN, however Larry and I had not operated a boat on the ocean before.

Larry Navigates the Waters
Docking at Keywaydin Island

Boating Experience

Once you learn to follow the navigational signs in the water and use the map provided by the marina, boating around Marco Island was fairly easy. It does help to have previous boating experience, but previous experience on the ocean is not required. Dolphin Cove Marina did a great job of explaining everything upfront. They also provided us telephone numbers to call if we needed assistance during our boating excursion.

Keewaydin Island

After leaving Cape Romano, our group boated to Keewaydin Island to the North of Marco Island. Keewaydin is an 8 mile barrier island that has no cars, roads, or bridges. The island is part of the pristine Rookery Bay Reserve. It is only accessible by boat, and is a popular boating destination, especially on weekends. Among the boaters there, you will also find snack boat concessions selling burgers, brats, hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream. Note: There are no bathroom facilities on the island. The waters around Keewaydin are crystal clear and beautiful.

Arriving at Keewaydin
Keewaydin Island is a Popular Boating Spot on Weekends

A Fun Day of Boating

This was a fun day of boating for our group, and it is something I would definitely recommend to others. The boating was fun, the waters smooth and crystal clear, and the scenery beautiful. Renting a boat will no longer be something we hesitate to do because we know now that with the proper instruction, it is easy. Taking a boat trip to Cape Romano and Keewaydin Islands is something we will definitely do again.

Visit our website https://www.seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!

Early Morning Walk Down Tigertail Beach

Beautiful, Serene Tigertail Beach on Marco Island

Start Your Walk Early in the Morning

An early morning walk down Tigertail Beach, a 2 1/2 mile stretch of beautiful white sand is a great way to start the day! Walking early, especially in the hot weather season, is also more comfortable as the late morning and afternoon hours often become very hot.

Larry and I get up around 6:30 and start our walk around 7 am. We take along our water bottles, a snack, cameras, and shelling bags. Tigertail Beach offers a wide variety of shells and is a serene and peaceful environment. Its location is also along the Florida Great Birding trail.

It is always good to time your Tigertail beach walk around the tide chart. Timing your walk around the window of 2 hours before low tide and 2 hours after low tide offers the best shelling opportunities.

Shell Trees and Sand Dollars

One of Tigertail’s shelling trees is the first thing you will see on your walk. These trees offer one the perfect opportunity to hang your “shell print” on Marco Island. Find a shell with a little “hanging hole” in it and place it on the perfect spot on the tree for all to see! This is also a great place to get a beautiful picture of the shell tree with the ocean in the backdrop.

Sand Dollars Galore!

A little further along the beach walk, you will come to Sand Dollar Split, named for the many sand dollars that tend to wash up on this particular area of Tigertail Beach. We literally have to step around all the sand dollars on our walk. Sand Dollars are very fragile; however, with careful handling we collect them and bring them home for beautiful souvenirs of our trips to Marco Island. (We have instructions in Sea Mar Condo for cleaning and caring for your shells).

Tigertail Beach Lagoon

As you come along Tigertail Beach Lagoon, you will also notice several wading birds. The white egrets can be quite comical as they practically walk along the beach with you in their strutting fashion. Larry and I get very lucky on our walk and see a pink spoonbill (Roseate Spoonbill) in the lagoon area. This is one of my favorite birds on Marco Island, but it is not always easy to spot them.

Tigertail Beach Park and Wading Birds
Roseate Spoonbill in Tigertail Lagoon

Tigertail Lagoon is a nice place to paddleboard and it is not uncommon to see both paddleboards and kayaks in the lagoon. Many wading birds make their nests along the lagoon as well. At times during the year both least tern and black skimmers nest in large groups around the lagoon area.

To Wade or Walk Around Tigertail Lagoon?

Many beachgoers take the “short cut” and wade across Tigertail lagoon to reach the beautiful white sand beach on the other side. Although very safe as the water even during high tide is around waist high, the lagoon appears to be quite “murky” because of the silt in the bottom. Walking with a shuffle is also recommended as there are stingrays in the water at times. We also recommend wearing beach shoes. I much prefer leaving our condo and walking around the lagoon as I enjoy my beach walks over wading the lagoon waters.

A Serene and Calming Beach Walk in Early Morning

From the lagoon area, the early morning walk along Tigertail beach is peaceful, serene, and calming. You will not find a lot of other beachgoers because this is not a populated area. There are no hotels or other commercial establishments along this beach. Look to your right as you walk toward the north end of Tigertail and you will see very nice houses and a private beach area. This is the Hideaway Beach community, a private gated beach area, thus it is accessible only to residents.

Calming Blue Waters

As you continue your walk, be sure you keep an eye on the calming crystal blue waters. You may be rewarded with seeing dolphin or even a manatee. I have seen both in this area. It is also common to see lots of pelicans, osprey, and at times eagles. You will definitely be rewarded with a beauty that calms the soul. Did you know that Tigertail Beach has been named by “Coastal Living” magazine as “one of the top secret beaches in the world”?

Early Morning Walk Down Tigertail Beach
Tigertail’s Peaceful Waters
Early Morning Walk Down Tigertail Beach
The North Side of Tigertail Beach

Our Tigertail Bounty

Larry and I are rewarded with some very nice pictures, a also a lot of sand dollars (my fav), and Florida fighting conch shells (Larry’s fav) from our walk. We also get a very perfect large banded tulip along the walk as well. On our return we encounter an osprey on a tree branch that even poses for our picture taking! Our walk takes around 3 1/2 hours although we stopped for snacks, water, and picture taking along the way. Even though we have walked this part of the beach many times, it never gets old, and perhaps even more rewarding each time.

Start Your Day with Peace and Serenity

There are few places in this world where you can see this kind of beauty and experience the peace and serenity that this 2 1/2 mile stretch of Tigertail Beach offers. Tigertail Beach was named by Coastal Living Magazine as one of the top private beaches in the world to visit. Thus, we highly recommend an early morning walk down Tigertail Beach to start your day on Marco Island!

Early Morning Walk Down Tigertail Beach
Teresa on Tigertail beach

Sea Mar Condos are located between Tigertail Beach and South (Crescent)Beach in Marco Island, FL. In addition, we are in South Seas Northwest resort in Tower 3 and Tower 4. Our location makes it easy to visit both of these beautiful beaches while staying in first class accommodations. Our views are also some of the best on the island. Come relax in Paradise!

Visit our website https://www.seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!

Marco Island Farmers Market: A Fresh Slice of Paradise

Farmers Market

The Marco Island Farmers Market is a great way to spend a few hours on a Wednesday.  All of the fruits and vegetables look really fresh and snacks like kettle corn and chocolates are delicious.  It’s also a pretty place with all the fresh cut flowers and beautiful arrangements of fruits and vegetables.  The farmer’s market is also the perfect place to pick up a take home souvenir or a gift.

Marco Island Farmers Market

Larry and I always try to make this part of our Marco Island stay during market season. We enjoy talking to many of the vendors and learning about their products or crafts.   One can’t believe the selection of goods and the beautiful layouts of each vendor.  The beautiful aerial photograph of Marco Island for Sea Mar Condo is a Farmer’s Market purchase. Our guests love it!

The Farmers Market is open every Wednesday during mid November through mid April from 7:30am – 1:00pm.  The market is operated by the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation.

Marco Island Farmer's Market

Visit vendors who will be selling items such as: fresh fruits, garden vegetables, herbs, fresh flowers, seafood, baked goods, honey, sauces, kettle popcorn, chocolates, fresh flowers, soaps, exotic jewelry and works from local artists.

One great thing about the Marco Island Farmer’s Market is admission is free.

Sea Mar Condo Logo

Visit our website to see our rates and availability. Our website also provides lots of information about things to see and do in Marco Island.
Let us help you make the most of your Marco Island vacation!  https://seamarcondo.com

21 Fun Things to do with Children in Marco Island

Children In Marco Island

Things To Do With Children in Marco Island


Before arrival, many of our guests inquire about things to do with children in Marco Island. We love our young visitors to Sea Mar Condo and wanted to put together a list of the many fun activities for children in Marco and the surrounding areas.

Fun, Fun, Fun…..

  1. Our pool is great! The pool is open from morning until dusk.
  • 2. We highly recommend that you take youngsters on the “Dolphin Explorer” tour. We have heard great things about it, although we have not personally been on the tour – and it is on our bucket list. Their website is www.dolphin-study.com. This tour is an interactive study of the dolphins around Marco Island. They get the kids very involved on the tour and their ongoing dolphin experience. https://dolphin-study.com
Dolphin
  • 3. We enjoy kayaking at Tigertail Beach. Several places will deliver kayaks and paddleboards to South Seas. Once you leave the pool area and cross the boardwalk to the beach, you will turn right to get to the launching area.
Swamp Buggy Ride
  • 5. Marco Golf and Garden has mini-golf and is located at 971 Winterberry Drive.

Family Fun…....

  • 6. One of the most fun things we have done is a sightseeing cruise or a dinner cruise on the Marco Island Princess. The cruise is beautiful (especially sunset), the food is good, and the prices are very reasonable. Children 4-11 are half price and those under 4 are FREE.  We have done this cruise 3 times – 2 for dinner and 1 for sightseeing and it was great each time. (239) 642-5415
Marco Island Princess
  • 7. The Snook Inn has waterfront dining with live music each night. Many parents love dancing with the kids to the music each night.
  • 8. A fun FREE adventure is just to walk the beach collecting sea shells or go on a shelling tour. There are many colors and shapes on the beach. We have shelling baskets in the condo and there is a shell washing station around the gated area to the beach.
Types of Shells Marco Island
  • 9. Golisano Children’s museum of Naples is a 30 minute drive from Marco Island and is great for young children. It is located at 15080 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109.  https://www.cmon.org
Naples Children's Museum

And Lots More Fun……

  • 10. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is in Naples. What child doesn’t enjoy a trip to the zoo? http://www.napleszoo.org
Naples_Zoo
  • 11. We also have games, puzzles and beach toys in Sea Mar Condo for our young visitors to enjoy. Or make a nice “Dolphin Snack” – the kids will love it! https://seamarcondo.com/dolphin-snacks-for-everyone
  • 12. The Marco movie Theater is located in the marco Town Center at 599 S Collier Boulevard and is a great place to take the kids on a rainy day or on a day you are taking a break from the beach. They offer at-your-sea-dining options of casual American foods for you to enjoy during the movie.
  • 13.  Rent a bicycle from Marco Bike Rentals and bike around the island.
  • 14.  See the fire dancer at Quinn’s Restaurant at the Marco Marriott Hotel.  The show begins each night at sunset and is a high energy performance that kids love!  They can also meet the fire dancer and have their pictures taken with him after the show.
Fire Dancer at Quinn's on the Beach
  • 15.  Take an airboat ride with Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides.  Children get the chance to get up close to alligators and other wildlife.  This was at the top of our nieces fun things to do during their vacation. https://cbairboatrides.com/
Corey Billy's Airboat Rides

Fun For All Ages…….

  • 16.  Family fishing the Gulf waters.  Marco Island is know for it’s spectacular fishing either on the island or on a deep sea adventure.  Some captains even specialize in first timers.
Fishing on Marco
  • 17.  Rookery Bay Learning Center is a fully air-conditioned 2 story facility with a variety of hands-on-experiences, including a 2,300-gallon aquarium and interactive exhibits.  There is also a nature store and picnic area.  Admission is free for kids on Friday.  https://rookerybay.org/
Rookery Bay
  • 18.  Visit Marco Island’s Playgrounds.  Both Mackle Park Playground and WaterPark and Tigertail Beach Park have full facilities.  They offer play structures, swings, monkey bars, and slides as well as water activities.
Mackle Park


  • 19.  Take an ice cream break at Sweet Annies!  Yummy!!!!  Children of all ages enjoy this tasty treat. In addition to the ice cream there are lots of souvenirs for all ages in this cute ice cream parlor. 
Sweet Annies
  • 20.  Build a sand sculpture on the beach.  Who doesn’t like to play in the sand?  We have the perfect toys and buckets in Sea Mar Condo to make the perfect sand castle!
Sand Sculpture Marco Island
  • 21.  Pirates of Marco Island.  Climb aboard the Black Pearl for an interactive family adventure.  Watch your children transform into little buccaneers complete with pirate tattoos and pirate’s attire!  The Black Pearl offers interactive pirate themed tours, sunset cruises and special event charters. https://piratesofmarco.com/
Black Pearl Pirate Ship
Sea Mar Condo Logo

Reserve your fun family vacation now in Marco Island at Sea Mar Condo.
Visit our website for rates and availability.  https://seamarcondo.com

Boating Around Marco Island with Eco Endeavors

Eco Endeavors

What could be more fun than seeing Marco Island by boat?  Boating around Marco Island with Eco Endeavors offers you the opportunity to tour by boat or kayak.  They offer public and private tours to see the Ten Thousand Islands, sea life and many bird species, shelling, and beautiful sunsets.

Eco Endeavors

Josh Erickson has been running charters for 18 years and started Eco Endeavors 4 years ago.  Eco Endeavors specializes in group adventures through the Ten Thousand Island area, Rookery Bay and the mangroves of Everglades National Park.  Their professional captains and guides will navigate through the beautiful Gulf waters and mangroves while highlighting wildlife along the way.

Tours

Eco Endeavors offers several types of excursions including day tours, moonrise cruises, and private island beach days.  Their boats are USCG inspected and can accomodate parties of up to 16 passengers.  An Eco Endeavor tour is the perfect way to celebrate birthdays, weddings, bachelor & bachelorette parties, and family gatherings.  It can also be the perfect get-away for you and that special person in your life.

Dolphin and Shelling

Dolphin2

The Dolphin and Shelling tour is a 3 hour excursion that takes you through mangroves and the barrier islands around Marco.  The tour covers over 25 miles round trip.  You will get the opportunity to see aquatic wildlife and a diverse species of birds.  Guests also visit a quiet barrier island only accessible by boat for shelling.  This is the perfect time to see dolphin, pelicans, herons, eagles, osprey and the beautiful roseate spoonbill.  You may also find that perfect rare sea shell (think junonia). There are three times for departing tours (9am, 12:30pm, and 4:00pm).  Seasonal sunset tours are also available.

Paddle the Islands

Eco Endeavors Kayak

The kayak tour offer guests the chance to explore the mangroves of the 10,000 island National Wildlife Refuge and Rookery Bay.  Rookery Bay offers some of the best kayaking in southwest Florida.  Kayakers paddle through thick mangroves and narrow winding creeks.  The route offers abundant wildlife.  This is the perfect tour to experience a calm, serene environment in this coastal ecosystem

All Eco Endeavors kayak tours are private with single and double kayaks available. These tours are perfect for beginner paddlers to avid kayakers. Life jackets are included with the tour. Half day and 3 hour tours are available.

Sunset Dolphin Tour

Bird at Sunset Marco Island

The sunset dolphin tour is an excellent excursion for wildlife viewing!  In addition to seeing a fabulous sunset, you will search for dolphin, manatee, and several species of birds.  A visit to the Cape Romano Dome house is also on the tour.  The captains will share their knowledge of local history and ecology.  It’s a great time to learn more about Marco Island, the dome houses, and the 10,000 islands.

The tour is between an hour and a half and two hours in duration.

Moonrise Cruise

Cape Romano

The moonrise cruise is a unique experience.  The tour takes guests around Marco Island and out to the Cape Romano Dome House.  You will cruise along the coast of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. In addition to beautiful scenery you will see dolphin and diverse species of birds.  As the boat cruises back to dock, guests will watch the sunset over the Gulf accompanies by a magical full-moonrise.  The tour covers over 40 scenic miles.

This specialty cruise is weather dependent and is 2.5 – 3.5 hours in duration.

A Private Island Beach Day

Keewaydin Island

After boating around Marco Island with Eco Endeavors, how about your own private island beach day?  This specialty tour begins with an eco-tour through the 10,000 Island National Wildlife Refuge.  You are then taken to a beautiful barrier island only accessible by boat for a private beach day.  Eco Endeavors sets up all amenities (chairs, umbrella, noodles, paddle boards, horse shoes and sand toys) ready for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

This tour is a 6 hour adventure with drop off and pick up shuttle service from the barrier island.  The tour times are 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Departures

All boat tours depart from Goodland Boat Park, 740 Palm Point Drive, Goodland, FL .

Kayak tours depart from Capri Palle Park, 1295 Capri Blvd, Naples, FL.

What to Bring on Your Excursion

Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Camera, Towel, Water Shoes, Hat, Shelling Bag, Reusable Water Bottle

Water and Ice are provided – you are welcome to bring snacks

Wear swimming attire

Contact Information

Boating around Marco Island with Eco Endeavors is easy to schedule.  Contact information is below:

Phone or Text:    (239) 877-5902

Website:  https://ecoendeavors.org  

Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL

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We recommend Eco Endeavors to our guests at Sea Mar Condo.  Please visit our website https://seamarcondo.com for more information on things to see and do on Marco Island.  Our 19th floor penthouse condo with beautiful views of South Beach and the Gulf is perfect for your stay on Marco Island.  We would love to have you as our guests!  

Bird Watching on Marco Island

Bird Watching Roseate Spoonbill

Bird Watching on Marco Island

Marco Island’s beautiful birds are one of the island’s greatest assets.  Bird watching on Marco Island is especially rewarding.  There are many species native to the island.

Marco Island Ospry

I photographed this osprey posing on Tigertail Beach.    Although these majestic birds are not normally people friendly, this one seems to enjoy the attention!!  If you are like me, it is special to capture a beautiful photo to use in your home.  What a precious vacation memory!  This osprey’s picture is now in Sea Mar Condo for our guests to enjoy!

There are many birds which are native to Marco Island and the southern Florida area. Some birds that are more common on Marco Island include the white egret, osprey, pelican, bald eagle and burrowing owl.

The Great Florida Birding Trail

Tigertail Beach Park is located on the Great Florida Birding Trail. It is a nice place to see and photograph many species of birds. There are also other bird watching sites around Marco Island. They include Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Briggs Nature Center,  Frank E. Mackle Jr. Community Park, Eagle Lakes Community Park and Sugden Regional Park.  A  short 40 minute drive to Big Cypress Welcome Center and Turner Loop Road near Everglades City are also great birding sites.

Burrowing Owls on Marco Island

Burrowing Owls at Resident's Beach

Marco Island has been recognized by the Audubon Society for their efforts to increase the numbers of burrowing owls. The small owls are protected by both the state of Florida and the city of Marco Island.  Many island residents have volunteered to adopt and offer protective housing (borrows) for these beautiful birds.  For the last three years, a family of burrowing owls have made their nest on Resident’s Beach, a private beach for residents on the island.  The owls are given a wide roped off space, but are yet visible to beachgoers.  Hint: They tend to pose for pics in the morning and late afternoon hours.

Osprey on the Island

Anytime you are on the water around Marco Island, you will likely see large osprey nests built of sticks on channel markers.  Ospreys have a large brown back and a white underside.  Visitors to Marco Island see these birds soaring around condo buildings and over the Gulf waters.  They are very large with wingspans of between 4-5 feet.  Ospreys soar above the shallow water along the beach, then hover briefly before diving feet first to grab a fish.  The bird then takes off with its fish to carry it back to its nest or perch.  It is not uncommon to see ospreys perched on a building or along the beach on driftwood in the Tigertail area.

Lots of Pelicans on Marco Island

Brown Pelicans

Marco Island Brown Pelican

This is my favorite bird to watch on Marco Island!  What fun it is to see these impressive divers circling high above the Gulf waters before diving headfirst in search of the perfect feast.  Often you will see the brown pelicans fly in group formation in a V-shape along the water.  Pelicans are plentiful on Marco.  It is common to be in the water and see one swoop within a few feet.  Watch the pelican as it expands its throat pouch (gullet) to trap fish, filling it with over 2 gallons of water, then enjoying a tasty meal!  A friend of mine took the picture to the left as we left on a Marco Island Princess dinner cruise.  This picture is also in Sea Mar Condo for our guests to enjoy!  See our full article on The Brown Pelican at https://seamarcondo.com/marco-island-wildlifethe-brown-pelican.

White Pelicans

More rare to spot on Marco Island are white pelicans. They arrive in the area in late fall and stay until the early spring.  The white pelican has white feathers and a pink-tangerine colored bill.  Isolated areas like mangrove islands are preferred habitats since these birds are shy and less social.  Your chances of seeing a white pelican are better during a boat tour of the 10,000 islands with binoculars.  White pelicans work as a team to herd their food prey,  fluffing their wings to assemble and gather the fish.

Bald Eagles on Marco Island

Marco Island Bald Eagle

Marco Island Nature Preserve is home to the island’s nesting American Bald Eagles during nesting season.  The preserve is located at 665 Tigertail Court, Marco Island, FL.  This organization works alongside volunteers of Marco Island to guarantee the safety of active Bald Eagle nests.  Visitors may visit during nesting season between November and May.

The Marco Island Nature Preserve & Bird Sanctuary also has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MarcoIslandNaturePreserve.  The page has lots of great information on these majestic birds and their activity.

Roseate Spoonbill

Pink Spoonbills in Flight

Birdwatching on Marco Island is more exciting with color!  Another of my favorite birds around Marco and the 10,000 island area is the roseate spoonbill.  The spoonbill is a beautiful pink wading bird. Although rare to see on Marco, they are sometimes spotted near Tigertail Lagoon.  Visitors taking eco tours of the 10,000 islands commonly get to see the roseate spoonbill.  Besides Tigertail Lagoon, my sightings include one on a boat tour a few years ago and again on a drive along Turner Loop Road in the Everglades.

The roseate spoonbill has bright pink feathers and red eyes with a giant spoon-shaped bill.  These birds are especially beautiful in flight flying with their outstretched necks.  A couple of neat facts about the spoonbill:  They bald as they mature by losing feathers from the top of their head.  And, their pink color comes from the crustaceans they eat, which contain pigments called carotenoids that turn their feathers pink.

Least Terns Nesting on Marco Island

Least Terns on Tigertail

The least tern is the smallest of the American terns.  They grow to a length of 8 1/2 to 9 inches with a wingspan of 21-23 inches.  Tigertail Beach on Marco Island is one of the largest nesting areas in Southwest Florida for the least tern.  This bird has a gray back, black wings, a yellow beak and a white belly.  It also has pointed wings and a forked tail.  Least terns nest in colonies and stay on sandy beaches with a path to the water.  They are also a threatened species.  Visitors to the island can walk along the north tip of Tigertail Beach during nesting season (April-August) and see large colonies of 200 or more least terns nesting. Roped areas protect the nests.  Signs give warnings to keep a distance from nesting birds.

Black Skimmers on Marco 

Black Skimmers

Black skimmers are on Marco Island year round.  The island has the largest black skimmer colony in the state of Florida.  Many black skimmers on Marco are banded to track movements, lifespans, and survival rate.  Black skimmers nest in large colonies around April-August on Tigertail Beach.  Visitors to Big Marco Pass during nesting season can see colonies of 400 or more black skimmers.  Roped areas keep visitors a safe distance from nesting birds.  Although normally a calm bird, the black skimmer will dive bomb anything getting close to a nest of newly hatched chicks.  During the winter months, visitors to the island will see black skimmers resting on the beach in front of the Marriott.

The black skimmer has a wingspan of around 45 inches.  They have a black back, white belly, orange-red legs, and a black-and-red bill.  Orange color on their bill and legs make them easy to spot.  Black skimmers fly very low above the water.

Snowy Egrets Along the Beach

Snowy Egret

It’s not often you walk along Marco Island’s beautiful beaches without one of these guys joining you!  Known for their “strut” and “ruffled feathers” the snowy egret can become quite comical in their appearance.  (Makes for a great photo!)  The snowy egret is a water bird that is around 26″ tall with white feathers and a black bill.  It has black legs and bright yellow feet.  In spring, the egret has “fancy” lace-like feathers on its head and along its back for its showy displays of courtship.  Marco’s snowy egrets are very used to people and will virtually “walk the beach” with you!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The great blue heron is the tallest of the wading birds.  It is slate blue in color with a white head, a black stripe above the eye, and a yellow bill.  This bird has a wing span of 65-79 inches.   Blue herons are solitary birds that are normally seen standing motionless in shallow water.  Tigertail Lagoon is a good place to look for this bird. Taking an eco tour or a drive to the Everglades along Turner Road is also a great way to see a great blue heron.

Anhinga (Piano Bird)

Anhinga

The Anhinga is a most unusual bird.  It swims with its webbed feet.  They also dive under water, and spear food by rapidly stretching out the neck.  Anhinga’s feathers are not waterproof as other types of water birds.  Their feathers get soaked when they are submerged in water, thus they cannot stay in the water for long periods of time.

Anhinga diving

The bird stands with it’s feathers fanned out to dry.  Anhingas also pridefully sit in trees with outstretched wings once they are dry enough to fly.  The male anhinga is glossy black with white tail feathers.  When outstretched, the bottom of the male’s wings have white strips that resemble piano keys and they are sometimes called “piano birds”.  The female is pale gray in color or light brown.  I took the picture of this bird at the Big Cypress Welcome Center along the boardwalk.

Sea Mar Condo is the Perfect Place to Stay for Bird Watching on Marco Island

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Sea Mar Condo is located on the south end of Tigertail Beach and the north end of Marco Island’s South (Crescent Beach).  Our 19th floor penthouse condo overlooks South Beach with beautiful views of the beach and Gulf waters.  We are a short 40 minute drive to Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades City.  There are many guided eco tours of the 10,000 islands from a short 5 minute drive to Caxambus Park or Rose Marina.  All of these areas are perfect for bird watching on Marco Island (and surrounding areas).  Visit our website https://seamarcondo.com for more information on Marco Island and Sea Mar Condo.  We would love to have you as our guests!