Marco Island, Everglades and Naples, Florida

By | December 9, 2022

If you combine the Mediterranean flair of the sophisticated seaside resort of Naples with the beach and island paradise of Marco Island and round off both with the wildly romantic Everglades, you have arrived at the last paradise on the west coast of Florida. A colorful potpourri of nature and wildlife awaits visitors. Anyone who wants to discover the heart of original Florida will feel at home here. The rhythm of life is calmer and more leisurely, the tropical setting is just as relaxed as the warm-hearted people here.

Naples – authentic Florida
According to searchforpublicschools, Naples is one of the few American cities that can also be experienced on foot. Olde Naples with its historic buildings, sweeping boulevards, charming street cafes, cozy patios with cool fountains and sophisticated restaurants are real highlights. The Caribbean-style architecture and the magnificent villas of many millionaires nestle in a velvety green tropical nature. Culinary highlights are guaranteed by the restaurants specializing in freshly caught fish and seafood against a breathtaking backdrop.

Island feeling on Marco Island
Marco Island is a real family paradise. The largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, off the Florida coast, is a tropical beach paradise with miles of powdery white, gently sloping sandy beaches. For active guests, the island offers numerous water sports, from jet skiing, stand up paddle boarding to dolphin watching. Another highlight is a kayak tour through the Ten Thousand Islands. Here you can really immerse yourself in nature and see the archipelago from every angle.

Pure nature in the Everglades
With just a 45-minute drive to Everglades City, the Paradise Coast is the gateway to the Gulf Coast Everglades and offers nature lovers a variety of opportunities to explore the untouched nature and underwater world of the national parks. The wildly romantic Everglades cast a spell over visitors. They are the only subtropical nature reserve in North America and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The opportunities to discover the highlights are just as varied as nature itself. Fast-paced airboat tours, exciting kayak or canoe trips, fascinating excursions on the stand up paddle board or short hikes on one of the boardwalks await visitors.

In addition to the Everglades National Park, there are other nature reserves in the region. A distinction is made between nature parks and nature reserves. Land use is restricted and paid visit is subject to certain rules. The protected areas are looked after by park rangers . You can gather impressions by bike, on trekking tours, on horseback or on the water.

The Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
The untouched and partly still not fully explored Ten Thousand Islands offer a very special nature experience. Rich in mangroves, an important biotope opens up here, the south of which belongs to the Everglades National Park . Various species of fish are at home here. The islands serve as important breeding and wintering grounds for various bird species. Sea turtles and the endangered Caribbean manatee alsolive here.

Big Cypress National Preserve
Just north of Everglades National Park is Big Cypress National Preserve , one of South Florida’s most diverse ecosystems. Swamps and grasslands alternate with mangroves, islands of hardwood trees and century-old cypresses. The endangered Florida panther and the impressive alligators make their home here, as do a few Seminole Indians who have settled here.

In Ochopee , on the southwestern edge of the nature reserve, you will also find a charming feature: the smallest post office in the USA. A small tool shed in the middle of nowhere, painted white with a mailbox and flagpole including stars and stripes, guarantees contact with the outside world for Indians, hunters and fishermen.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
A must for lovers of tropical plants: In addition to over 40 species of orchids, you will also find the extremely rare “ghost orchid” , fantastic fern formations and royal palms . Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is also known as “the Amazon of North America”. Panthers, black bears, snakes, pond turtles and mink share the territory. Manatees swim leisurely through the waters and crocodiles rest in the sun.

Paradise Coast tags

Naples is about a 40 minute drive south of Ft. Meyers in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. From there you can reach Marco Island in just 30 minutes and you can drive to the Everglades in 45 minutes.

Approximately 40,000 people live in Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City.

Approximately 40,000 people live in Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City.

Getting there
is just a 40 minute drive from the International Airport at Ft. Myers (RSW) from Reach. In addition to Air Berlin, all well-known major American airlines serve Fort Myers from Europe, albeit with different connecting flights. Other airports are in Miami, Fort Lauderdale (approx. 2 hours) or in Orlando (approx. 4 hours).

Marco Island can be easily reached by car in about 30 minutes from Naples via a bridge.

Everglades City is about 45 minutes from Naples. There is also the option of flying to the individual regions with private jets in feeder traffic.

The climate is subtropical and therefore warm and humid all year round. Daytime temperatures range from May to October between 28 and 32 degrees Celsius. In the cooler months from December to February, average temperatures reach a comfortable 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Hurricanes can occasionally occur between June and November.

Average temperatures on the Paradise Coast in °C
Month Jan Feb March apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov dec
Max 24 25 26 28 31 32 33 33 32 31 28 25
Min 12 12 14 17 19 22 23 23 22 20 17 13

Beaches and Environment

The beaches of the Paradise Coast can without exaggeration be described as unique: the white of the fine-grained sand extends over 48 kilometers to the horizon and falls gently into the azure waters of the warm Gulf of Mexico . The lush green of the surroundings stands in a wonderful color contrast.

The Travel Channel and the well-known travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler describe the beaches of the Paradise Coast as the best in the USA. Along the coast there are also several accesses over the dunes to the beach. Public parking offers opportunities to visit the beaches,

If you come here, breathe in the sea breeze and let your eyes wander, you will know why the region is called Florida’s Last Paradise . Magical moments are also guaranteed when the sun slowly sinks into the Gulf of Mexico in the glowing red evening sky.

Environment & Conservation
Collier County has a strong commitment to thenatural preservation of the Paradise Coast. Every year, more than 50% of the tourist tax revenue goes directly into local environmental protection. This means that guests can also make their contribution to a wide range of offers and take unforgettable experiences home with them.

A flagship project:

Dolphin Explorer
The dolphin excursion differs from conventional events of this type in several respects: The aim is to teach guests as much as possible about the life and behavior of the friendly marine mammals. The trip first takes you to the Ten Thousand Islands. The first dolphins soon appear and play with the waves of the boats. The guides explain that the individual animals can be distinguished from one another by their dorsal fins. This is how the guide knows whether you can Dr. Jack, Pebbles or Princess sighted. The proceeds from the tours also flow into science – into the work of marine scientists who take care of the conservation and health of the dolphins.

The Dolphin Explorer field trip so impressed National Geographic Editor-in-Chief Keith Bellows that he included it in his book, 100 Places That Could Change Your Child’s Life Forever. Bellows said, “I want the kids to discover reality, not just the artificial, fake.” 2 x daily from Marco Island.

El Dorado for golfers
With over 90 golf courses, year-round sunshine and the diversity of a rich natural environment, Naples is particularly popularas the golf metropolis of North America. Some of America’s finest courses, designed by top designers and impeccably maintained, lure golf lovers from beginner to pro. Some of the famous private courses are attached to the resorts in the region and are therefore playable for guests. There are also numerous semi-private places that can also be booked by non-members between May and December. The concierge at the hotel is a helpful assistant in finding the best spot or reserving tee times. In addition, many hotels offer tailor-made packages on one or more courses. Prices and etiquette are comparable to Europe, but the big plus is that there is no handicap requirement on any course, the handicap is sufficient.

Don’t miss it

MUST DO’s in Naples:

  • Naples Pier
  • 5th Avenue & 3rd Street South
  • Tin City, Sunset Dinner Cruise
  • Shopping at the Waterside Shops, Village on Venetian Bay or Mercato

MUST DO’s on Marco Island

  • Dolphin Explorer Tour with Sea Excursions including Shelling
  • District around Olde Marco
  • water sports
  • By boat or kayak through the “Ten Thousand Islands”

MUST DO’s in the Everglades

  • board walks
  • Manatee Tour
  • Airboat tour
  • Kayak, Poleboat or Stand Up Paddle Board Tour
  • Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery
  • Ochopee Post Office

Marco Island, Everglades and Naples, Florida