Expert Advice

Why Marco Island, Florida, Is Our Favorite Relaxing Beachside Destination — Plus What To Do And Where To Stay

Picture white sand beaches, clear waters and Florida sunshine without all the crowds

Laura W and Lee W
Beach at Marco Island, Florida

Some vacations are action-packed. We choose a destination and research interesting excursions, fun activities and great eateries. Armed with this information, we plan every minute to make the most of our getaway.

But sometimes we just need a place to relax, catch up on our reading, enjoy nature and chill with family and friends. When relaxation is the goal of our getaway, we head for Marco Island, Florida.

Palm trees and pool at Eagle's Nest Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida 

What To Do In Marco Island

Marco Island in southwest Florida is a laid-back beach community that is surprisingly not touristy. It offers six miles of wide, white sandy beach — a haven for shell-seekers. At the north end, Tigertail Beach boasts a plethora of flora and fauna. We can easily spend an entire vacation exploring the beach without fear of boredom.

When exploration calls, the resort team can recommend some exciting excursions. On a recent trip, we toured the Ten Thousand Islands with naturalists and environmental educators. The informative guides pointed out plants and animals we might have missed and educated us on the unique environment of the Everglades. This was a wonderful excursion that we can experience again and again, since no two trips are exactly alike.

Where To Stay In Marco Island

Hilton Grand Vacations Members have access to four beachfront properties on the island:

We’ve visited three of the four beachfront Marco Island properties and love each for different reasons. Although the buildings are older, Hilton Grand Vacations maintains them impeccably. Rooms are clean, comfortable and well-appointed.

Four chairs and a table on a balcony of Club Regency of Marco Island in Florida 

Those preferring to stay “at home” for meals will find the kitchens more than adequate for preparing a delicious meal that can be enjoyed on the balcony while listening to the waves and admiring the sunset.

If relaxing on the beach is the goal, chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. Rates are reasonable, and the properties can provide the reservation information. For the more adventuresome, The Charter Club of Marco Beach® offers sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing and biking at no cost to Owners and Guests.

Of course, the resorts have fitness centers, but we prefer a brisk stroll on the wide, white sandy beach of Marco Island.

Each of the properties is relatively small, which is one of the reasons Members may find limited availability. Another reason is that the Marco properties are traditional timeshare units. Many Owners purchased fixed weeks when the resorts opened decades ago, so they visit every year. When they don’t travel to Marco for their week, Owners will typically rent their units to other Owners seeking accommodations for visiting family and friends.

With persistent searching, Hilton Grand Vacations Members can find availability at one of these resorts. But if traveling to Marco Island regularly is a goal, ownership is an option.

Wooden boardwalk over a beach at Marco Island, Florida 

Since southwest Florida properties aren’t typically sold in main sales centers, many Hilton Grand Vacations Members don’t know that deeds are available.

Each southwest Florida resort has an on-site Hilton Grand Vacations sales representative who may offer fixed or flex weeks that can be purchased for either the winter or summer season. A flex week deed is not associated with a particular week or unit and is an affordable way to own a piece of paradise.

My sister and I own fixed weeks at Eagle’s Nest and Charter Club, but we originally owned flex weeks. When we first purchased, flex week’s flexibility fit best with our schedules, since we had to plan around work.

With a flex week deed, the Owner will rank order their preferred dates and submit the request to the resort by the deadline. The properties have different deadlines, but they tend to be at least a year in advance. The property will then attempt to match a reservation to the preferred week. If that’s not available, it will work down the ranked list until a match is found. Most Owners report that they don’t have difficulty reserving their first preference — unless it’s an in-demand week with more requests than available units. In-demand weeks are typically filled via a lottery.

Flex weeks are great for Owners who want to visit Marco Island annually but don’t want to travel the same time every year, or for families planning around school schedules that may change from year to year — think spring break.

When relaxation calls, we cannot recommend Marco Island more highly. The Gulf’s waters are clear and colorful. The beach is pristine. The sunsets can’t be beat. And Hilton Grand Vacations’ accommodations provide all the comforts of home. What more can one ask for?

If you find availability in Marco Island, book it. We're confident you'll fall in love with Marco and want to return year after year.

Read “7 Beach Destinations To Explore With Hilton Grand Vacations” for more sand- and sea-filled vacation ideas.  

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Laura W and Lee W

Laura and Lee are sisters who travel together thanks to their Hilton Grand Vacations membership. Together, they’ve visited several Hilton Grand Vacations properties, including Ocean Oak Resort, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club; The Grand Islander, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club; and La Pacifica Los Cabos, a Hilton Club. They enjoy bringing other family members on their adventures.

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