Gateway to the Thousand Islands
Marco Island is the biggest of the chain of barrier islands on the West Coast of Florida know as the Thousand Islands. It got its name from the Spanish Explorers in the 1500s who named it after their favorite saint, St. Mark. It was a sleepy Florida backwater until the 1960s when the Deltona Corporation’s Mackle brothers made a $7 million investment in a large amount of the land on the island which spurred rapid development, making it a top tourist and vacation destination.
The vacation home market has grown with the good deals that came with the depression in home values over the last five years and Marco Island vacation homes are no exception. Vacation homes now represent over 20 percent of all home sales and over 1 million vacation homes were purchased last year. As more baby boomers are retiring or nearing retirement age, part of their plan in buying a vacation home is the desire to downsize. One in five of vacation home buyers say they plan to live in the home full-time in the future. The rise in the stock market also contributed to a spike in vacation home sales, with thirty percent of all vacation home sales being all-cash purchases, and 48 percent of financed sales having a down payment of 30 percent or more. You can see some examples of Marco Island vacation homes for sale on search engine sites like Trulia and Zillow.
With Marco Island being such a terrific vacation destination is easy to see how so many people go from tourists to buyers of Marco Island vacation homes. With under 20,000 residents and only a single bridge to the mainland, Marco has little crime and traffic, you rarely have to wait for a second light change at any intersection except perhaps on Labor Day weekend. Miami is an hour and a half away by car, an easy drive that encourages many to buy Marco Island vacation homes for half the cost of a comparable home on Key Biscayne or in the upper Florida Keys.
No trip to Marco is truly complete without a morning combing the sand for seashells, a sunset walk on the beach and a little fishing in between. Avid fishermen catch snook, redfish and sea trout anywhere along the shore with live bait and lures. Great fishing is found along the Thousand Islands and if you don’t have a boat there are plenty of guides for hire, especially in Goodland near the bridge. And if the thought of catching a monster tarpon is what gets you excited, the tarpon fishing is excellent especially during the migratory season. Tarpon are territorial fish when smaller, and become migratory when they get big. The biggest tarpon are found in Boca Grade Pass during May and June, near Fort Myers and a short drive from Marco.
Once you have experienced a week on Marco Island you will want to make it your home.