""Lightning Capital of the World"" Top 5 Page for this destination Marco Island by cheesecake17

Marco Island Travel Guide: 88 reviews and 236 photos

For thousands of years people have been drawn to the tropical paradise of Marco Island.


its history is fascinating , from Native Americans and Spanish explorers to 19th century pioneers and modern-day residents.

Some 2000 years ago, the area's native Calusa Indians settled along the Southwest Florida Gulf coast and lived off the abundant fish, shellfish and other natural resources.

The tribe built huge mounds of discarded shells to raise their dwellings above the water level in the low-lying area, and many of these ancient mounds can be seen today on Marco Island.

During the1500s, Spanish explorers led by Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida and happened upon a remote island they christened
La Isla de San Marco (the island of St. Mark).

As occurred throughout the New World during this period of European exploration, war broke out between the Spanish and the indigenous tribe.

But Spain could not conquer the fierce Calusa with weapons alone. (It is believed that Ponce de Leon was killed by a Calusa arrow as he and his men attempted to engage a Calusa village.)

Ultimately, however, the Calusa were defeated by a combination of war and disease carried across the Atlantic.

For the next 100 years there was hardly a soul to be found on La Isla de San Marco, whose name was eventually shortened to Marco Island. It was not until 1870, when a hearty pioneer from Tennessee arrived, that Marco began to show new signs of life.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:small, easy to drive around, you can spot dolphin
  • In a nutshell:beat the crowd of miami and head here
  • Last visit to Marco Island: Sep 1997
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (3)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2006 at 5:53 PM

    Nice page about a lovely place. We had a great holiday here when our children were small. leyle

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2005 at 10:09 PM

    Wonderful - thanks Ursula :-)) Again, much more learned about shells :-)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2005 at 2:58 PM

    What beautiful pages about beautiful Marco Island. I really enjoyed your descriptions, stunning photographs, and keen insights.


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