The Surf Club of Marco is located on Marco Island, Florida. This island has a great reputation. I have had the pleasure of staying with Marco before and was happy to be going back.
Video by Tripoyer
Day One Travel & Arrival at The Surf Club of Marco
I used to drive anytime that I went to Florida. I enjoyed the trip down 95, but recently I started flying and it makes everything so seamless. It also cuts the travel time down by at least 10 hours, even considering getting to the airport early, security, and so on.
Flying into the area for me meant coming back to the airport in Fort Myers which is a nice smaller airport. Then just grab your rental car and you are on the road. If you are traveling with the family, it may still be worth the drive down for the money savings. It is that old decision of “is it worth the time?”
Just remember if you booked through TZort you have already saved on the room, maybe where you treat yourself is the flight. Although I do think there is something to be said for the family just pilling into the car and going on the trip. It is something distinctly American and wonderful.
If I drive down to this area, it is about a 15-hour drive. That is a long haul to do in one long drive. It also is going to be at least 2 tanks of gas, if not more for the journey. The resort is at 540 South Collier Boulevard. Marco Island, FL 34145 so just put that into Google Maps and put your home address in as the point of origin. The tool does a great job of estimating your time of travel, kind of like the trip ticks used to do from AAA. Just from any phone or computer. You can even see the markups for construction and so on. Another app or tool is Waze, which seems to even be a bit better because they get so much feedback from users on road conditions and issues. On a long trip on a single interstate like 95, an accident or bad breakdown can take a while to clear. That might cause a dead stop in traffic. In 30 years of driving down on trips myself and 20 more riding with family, I can count on my hands the amount of full stops of traffic for 1 hour or more. So, they are rare, but just something that happens.
If you fly into Miami instead and love odd tourist things, spend a few hours and go to Coral Castle. This site is perhaps the most odd tribute to love you will find in the State of Florida and it also point to a major unsolved mystery of how it was built. The entire stone castle and grounds were built by one tiny 100lb man by himself and to this day, no one can fully explain how he did it.
In over 30 years of effort, he moved over 1,100 tons of stone by hand and over 10 miles in distance from where he quarried the coral stone. Years ago, I tried to read his book where he talks about his view of energy systems. It is a hard read and nearly impossible to follow, but I did so out of interest in his strange accomplishment of Coral Castle.
There are many interesting things to see near Interstate 95 on your trip down from where ever you live as well if you drive. You might be able to make the trip with the family more enjoyable by planning to stop at a few on your way down to the resort at The Surf Club of Marco.
When driving down, most people tend to cross the state from the East where they are driving on I95 over to the west where the resort is around Orlando. If you do so, you can always stop for part of the day and enjoy something in Orlando on your way down. Orlando has many smaller amusement parks and spots to enjoy that do not take the energy, cost, or effort of a day at Disney, Universal, or Sea World, although those are certainly options as well.
If you want to avoid 50 billboards, you can keep going down I95 and cross over later. One spot that is neat to see is south of Orlando, still just off I95 and that is Mel Fisher’s Treasures. The legendary sunken treasure hunter shares some of his most impressive finds at this museum.
For myself, this trip I was already in the area thanks to my flight in, so I headed for something to eat, being too early for check in. I chose to stop and eat in Fort Myers since I knew the area fairly well now. Otherwise, I would have gone and found the resort, then gone somewhere nearby to eat. But I was certain I could find the resort without issue, so I stopped in Fort Myers at Farmer’s Market Restaurant. The food is great and the prices are very reasonable for a vacation in town. You can get quality meals here for less than $13, which these days is wonderful. They also have sandwiches and other lower cost items as well. They have 1/2 lb burgers for as low as $10. So, this would be a great spot to stop and feed the family.
This little gem also has won many awards over the years for their food. I chose the country-fried steak, and it was great. The gravy had the taste that said I was prepped by someone with years of cooking experience. For those who still eat it, they offer liver and onions and I know that is getting hard to find these days. I was never a fan, but several in my family love it.
Arrival and Check In at The Surf Club of Marco
Check in was a breeze, a benefit of using TZort for my booking. Next, it was time to check out the accommodations.
Here you will find that you have a 2 bedroom suite or villa that is 1,100 sq ft in size and very well laid out. It seems to be a thing with resorts in the area to have the main bedroom with a king or queen, then 2 twin beds in the 2nd bedroom, and a sofa bed in the living room area. This means the villa can sleep 6 comfortably. It also makes that second bedroom perfect for the kids on a family trip. It is like a south Florida villa formula, but it certainly works well.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
Recent Resort Reviews
Love this place! Neat, clean, relaxing, and serene. Right on the beach and the actual rooms are very comfortable. Updated rooms with full kitchens, built like apartments. Pool has handicapped access and private boardwalk to the beach. Can’t wait to go back.
Always have a great time visiting here. It’s right on the beach. Great view, nice clean, uncrowded beach area. Pool clean. Room is in great repair. Phenomenal staff who always have a smile and try to be very helpful. Have not met a staff member who is not great. The only issue I had was the pillows were of a down variety and were not great to sleep on, since they collapse and you need several.
Love it. Beautiful resort with nice apartments. Kitchen is well equipped and renovated. I have two spacious bedrooms with a comfortable living room area.
Every floor has a common laundry. The pool area is clean and beautiful. Every door has a security sensor to provide protection for all guests. I love the huge balcony with an ocean view. Stores, restaurants, and movies are three minutes away (within walking distance). Happy Hour is from 3 pm – 6 pm and from 10 pm – closed. Publix is only seven minutes away (driving).
Day Two at The Surf Club of Marco
Marco Island is an amazing location. There is a great deal to do and see each and every day you are here. It is like Sanibel, and Captiva Islands except it is farther south and just to the Gulf side of the Everglades. It is the only developed island in what is called the 10,000 islands in this part of Florida.
From the Marco Island website:
Before the splendor of the modern era, Marco Island was the domain of the fierce Calusa Indians and hardy pioneers. It is believed that the Calusa moved to Florida at least 4000 years ago. When Christopher Columbus set sail to explore the new world, the Calusa were flourishing along the lower Gulf coast; rich land and sea resources provided the Calusa with a plentiful food supply and raw materials for tools, shelter, and clothing.
The Calusa were expert woodworkers who carved hollowed-out canoes, beams, and planks for their houses, docks, and piers. Archeological finds on Marco Island revealed fine hand-carved works — masks, animals, and even gods. The most famous discovery, a six-inch wooden panther-like figure, named Key Marco Cat, is now housed in the Smithsonian Institution.
Some of Spain’s most celebrated navigators and conquistadors were eager to tackle the virgin shores of La Florida in the 1500s. A companion of Columbus, Juan Ponce de Leon, led the first European exploration of Florida from Puerto Rico in 1513. After rounding the Florida Keys and in search of fresh water, he is said to have made landfall on or near Caxambas at the southern end of Marco Island where the present-day Estates area is located. Two artesian springs were located near what is now known as Caxambas Pass. The Calusa lived in the hills at Caxambas, high atop mounds made of discarded shells and in huts over the water at the present-day Old Marco Village, about five miles to the north. Shell mounds would later be discovered toward the southern end of the island.
The Spaniards are credited with naming the island and its inhabitants. “Caxymbas” was noted on maps. The name Caxambas — Indian for fresh water — is one of the oldest place names in North America. The island became known as La Isla de San Marco and over the years became known as San Marco Island and eventually Marco Island.
The early inhabitants were likely descendants of the Mayans. The Calusa were tall, handsome people and were known for their fierce and warlike nature. Relations between the Spaniards and the Calusa were seldom friendly. Explorers have often ambushed the instant they waded ashore. In 1521, Ponce de Leon was fatally wounded by a Calusa spear. He died a few days later in Cuba.
The Calusa were skilled hunters, with both the spear and the bow and arrow. While they depended mainly on hunting, fishing, and food gathering, they are believed to have grown some crops. Spanish diaries indicated that the Calusa feasts usually consisted of “very good fish and oysters without anything else.” Due to the diseases spread by the Spanish explorers and the slave hunters from Europe, the Calusa were annihilated by the mid-1700s. Seminole Indians later took the place of the Calusa Indians and lived in the region.
The island and Southwest Florida were nearly uninhabited until after the Civil War. Hardy pioneers, willing to live on the raw mosquito-infested mangrove swamp, settled the island and fished, hunted, and shipped surplus crops to Key West. While well-cultivated plantations were observed in 1824.
William Thomas (W.T.) Collier is credited with the founding of Marco Island when he arrived at the north end of the island in 1870, presently Old Marco Village. However, his second son, Captain Bill, would prove to be the hardiest of all pioneers and one of the island’s most famous entrepreneurs. The Barfield family, James and his wife Tommie, would become equally spotlighted in the island history while building their lives in Caxambas, just five miles to the south.
The Colliers shaped years of development, growth, and prosperity at the north end of the island. J. H. Doxsee opened a clam cannery in 1911 and employed as many as 150 people.
Captain Bill’s greatest legacy is the lasting transformation of a sprawling homesite into today’s Olde Marco Inn. It was officially opened in 1896 and remains an attractive hotel and restaurant to this day.
By the early 1920s, Barron Gift Collier (no relation to W.T.) would arrive on the scene and purchase over one million acres of Southwest Florida real estate, including ninety percent of the island, which he and his heirs planned to develop.
My trip today would include a visit to learn more about the local history you have read above firsthand. The Marco Island Historic Society maintains a museum and has done some amazing work preserving the culture and history of the area. I am a fool for local history or a fan depending on how you see it yourself. I love most historic information and museums as much as I love all things goofy and touristy too. I am what happens if Clark Griswold stays single, I guess. I will stop at any museum, and also stop to see the world’s largest frying pan.
Day Three on the Beach
You just have to spend some time on these amazing beaches. Not that there are not many other options, but when the weather is right, the beach is where you want to be.
This resort is on the sand, so you have to walk out to the water and hang out even if you have been traveling around having fun on the water or doing other things. Always try to capture the sunsets here on the beach, and if you are an early bird, catch the sunrise as well.
For me, I just wanted to feel the sand and at times the ocean on my feet today. I cleverly hid my adult beverage in a neat new giant insulated cup I purchased for the beach. It keeps your ice-cold drinks cool for hours even in the sun and has a giant straw attachment so you can take pulls off of your beverage casually as you like.
All day I only left the beach for the water, bathroom breaks, or to refill my giant tub of beverages. I think the thing holds 50 ounces and I know I went through at least 3 today. So much so that I was not going to drive anywhere, so I just ate my leftovers in the fridge for dinner and had another breakfast as dinner too.
This was an amazing break and mini vacation. I can’t tell you now, energizing it is to just do nothing and stay on the beach an entire day. I felt like I went into a giant battery recharge center for my soul.
If you are ready to recharge your batteries with a great beach vacation, consider The Surf Club of Marco just book with TZort.