Where to Watch an Amazing Sunset on Marco Island

The sunsets on Marco Island are famous. With soft purple glows, subtle transitions, and a bright barrage of colors from the darkest blacks to the burning reds, the sunset is captivating and unforgettable.

florida at sunset

Where can you see it? Below is our guide to seeing a Marco Island sunset, and truly topping your vacation off with some romance and contemplation.

The Beach

Marco Island is home to two premier public beaches. These are Tigertail Beach and South Beach.

South Beach

South Beach is perhaps the more commonly-trafficked of the two. It is about an acre of tranquil sandy beaches. There is a nice parking lot, some maintained facilities, and a play area. It is a great little escape for families and arguably the best way to take in the Marco Island beach experience.

Tigertail Beach

Tigertail Beach is a little more challenging due to its dense natural foliage and its stunning tidal bay. But it is worth the extra effort. You can walk up Sand Dollar Island and enjoy multiple miles of isolated and hidden soft shell-covered sands.

Marco Island is unique from other areas in Florida. The Marco Island beaches are west facing. This means the sun sinks below the ocean while it sets on the horizon. There is hardly an argument to be made- there’s no better place to enjoy a sunset than the beach.

Nature Preserves

Soak in the great and bold outdoors with a visit by the two most enjoyable nature preserves in the area.

Otter Mound Preserve

We start with the Otter Mound Preserve. Otter Mound has a very small parking area, which includes just four parking spaces and a bike rack. The preserve is also absent of any water fountains or facilities.

This may not be suitable for families with young children, but excited adventurers can find a quiet haven of tropical hardwood hammocks and acclaimed wildlife. A total of 57 different species of birds have been reported in the preserve, including the rare cooper’s hawk, making this a great spot for birdwatching.

The preserve is a total of 2.45 acres. Picnic benches are present along the trail. We recommend you find an opening by the water and a nice bench, and relax for the best sunset along the gulf.

birds in flight at sunset

Rookery Bay Preserve

The Rookery Bay Preserve is another idyllic escape. The Rookery Bay Preserve encompasses a varied and intricate trail system highlighting many of Marco Island’s top natural sights. The best is likely the Shell Mound Trail, which covers the earliest pioneer’s garbage piles- large collections of oyster shells and other natural wonders, packed into impressive mounds of time.

You can also check out the Monument Point Trail. It winds by Henderson Creek and highlights areas specifically bought and preserved through the efforts of local children. Finally, we recommend a jaunt down the Cat Claw Trail. The trail highlights the thick black mangrove forests. Out of all three trails, the Cat Claw may be the densest and most rugged, carrying you along a natural storm berm.

These three trails have been dubbed the “Trails Through Time.” They all cover a substantial element of Marco Island’s captivating history.

Overall, Otter Mound and Rookery Bay are easily the two best nature preserves on or near Marco Island. You can head just about anywhere to find some untapped and protected land, preserved and maintained for your pleasure. They both offer spectacular areas to enjoy the rolling color transitions of the island’s famous sunset. We recommend you find an opening in the preserve and watch the colors wash over the open sky.

Your Vacation Rental

We offer many beachfront vacation rentals with incredible views. After the sunset, you can always take advantage of the nearby top-ranked restaurants. What is seafood like on Marco Island? When you keep in mind the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the long-standing Old Florida aesthetic, and the high number of top-tier seafood restaurants contained in only about 23 square miles, you have a case for the best seafood in the state.

Plan Your Trip

The reality is that you don’t have to leave your Marco Island beachfront vacation rental to see a mesmerizing sunset. See the sunset from your balcony or living room!