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South Florida is a vacationer’s paradise. Few places in the world compare with its white sandy beaches and stunning, golden-red sunsets. If you’re looking to plan your next vacation and are looking for a spot that has all of the natural beauty but with smaller crowds and brighter, cleaner beaches, than some of the other popular locations, Marco Island is the place to go. 

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is the ideal coastal getaway for your next family vacation. If you’ve convinced yourself and the family it’s time to take a break, here’s our expert guide to planning the perfect family vacation in Marco Island! 

What is Marco Island? 

Marco Island is your next dream destination. As a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida, Marco Island is home to resorts, hotels, marinas, boating, and golf courses. It has a network of inland waterways and is covered with sandy beaches along most of the west coast. 

Marco Island is connected to the mainland near Naples, so it is an easy journey to the ultimate holiday retreat. Enjoy six miles of white beaches and over one hundred miles of waterways, all while living your best life - whether that means kayaking, fishing, swimming with dolphins, or simply relaxing. 

Choose the Time of the Year and Length of Your Trip

First thing first: When are you coming? To really get the ball moving (and to move your plans from ideation to action), the first thing you’ll need to do is gather the family council and decide on the best time to retreat to Marco Island. South Florida can be extremely hot during the summer, so the best time of year to visit is usually on the fringes of summer. Late spring (May) and early autumn (September-October) are, seasonally, the months with the most enjoyable weather, but it’s possible to find great travel deals during the offseason as well. 

No matter the time of year, you can bet on having absolutely delightful weather. 

After you determine which time of year is best for your family, the next step is to decide on how long you will come to visit. There’s no limit to how little or how long you’re allowed to come (unless work has something to say about that). Some people even love it so much that they never leave! 

We’ve found that a week is usually the minimum amount of time to fully experience Marco Island with its attractions and natural beauty while having plenty of time for relaxation as well. No matter how long you can come, there are plenty of memorable things to do throughout your time here. 

Plan Your Activities

You’ve arrived at the stunning beauty of Marco Island; but what’s next? We highly recommend booking activities well in advance, especially if you’re arriving in peak travel season for Marco Island. But if you’re already here and looking for a bit of inspiration, here are some of the top recommended activities for the perfect family vacation. 

Dolphin Excursions

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Avi’s Watersports combines the thrill of exploration with the natural beauty of Marco Island with dolphin jet ski tours! For over 20 years, Avi Watersports has been delivering the most memorable experiences for people of all ages, and we’re ready to make your vacation one to remember. 

Experience close encounters with dolphins and other wildlife native to the Gulf of Mexico during a 30-mile round trip. Our excursions are a two-hour journey on your own jet ski and they are led by experienced, friendly guides. Come explore deep into the 10,000 islands and see the world like never before! 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be at least 16 years old to drive; otherwise, children as young as 5 can hop on board jet skis driven by an adult. Operators will need to bring an ID and undertake a boater’s safety course

With your excursion, you can expect: 

You’ll need to bring: 

Interested in seeing what our tours look like? Take a gander at our photo gallery to get an idea of the beauty you can expect. 

Land Activities

Outdoor enthusiasts will find numerous family-friendly trails in Marco Island. Take a leisure walk along the boardwalk at Otter Mound Preserve, winding through tropical hammock habitat. Or, explore the historic Marco Island and its ancient life forms at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Throughout the museum, children can partake in various interactive exhibits and learn about the Calusa Indians who once lived on the island.

For families seeking a blend of relaxation and active adventure, Marco Island houses several mini-golf courses. Each course presents unique challenges that are fun and engaging for all age groups. Marco Golf and Garden or Coral Cay Adventure Golf provides a fun day out with perfectly manicured landscapes, exciting obstacles, and lots of laughs. 

A trip to Marco Island just wouldn’t be the same without visiting the pristine white-sand beaches that stretch across the island. The most famous is Marco Beach, which offers a haven for swimming, shelling, water sports, and relaxation. Families can enjoy building sandcastles, lounging under the umbrellas, or swimming in the warm, shallow Gulf waters. The Tigertail Beach Park, with its large playground and picnic areas, is a perfect spot for a family gathering. The park's sand dollar spit, a unique carousel of pristine sands and shallow tidal lagoons, is an excellent spot for children to explore marine life safely. 

Plan a Trip to Remember

Vacation isn’t vacation without a fair amount of R&R. The last thing you want is to return home without having relaxed at all! That’s why it’s important to not overbook yourself. Give yourself and your family ample time to simply do nothing, enjoy the peaceful beaches, and sink into an extra nap or two. On the days you do plan on keeping busy, choose activities that are sure to be remembered forever. 

Ready for your next getaway? Grab the whole family and journey to sunny Marco Island. Between the natural beauty of our beaches and wildlife, a dolphin excursion is the perfect complement to the best family vacation. Contact Avi's Watersports to reserve your spot today!

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