Less than a half-hour’s drive from downtown Naples, Marco Island presents a different resort scene that’s more beachy, nautical and casual than the mainland. Stores, shops and boutiques congregate in strip malls, along with a wonderful variety of restaurants. In other words, you always have good reason to take a break for a bite to eat.
Collier Boulevard, the island’s main thoroughfare, holds many of the shopping centers and strips, including the largest: Marco Town Center. It’s the first main shopping arena you come to once you’ve crossed the Jolley Bridge onto the island’s north end.
Charming boutique shopping at Olde Marco — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
A Publix grocery store – Florida’s largest homegrown supermarket chain – anchors Marco Town Center. A number of small shops surround it, including Sandpiper Loft, which carries mostly cotton resort-casual women’s clothing from the franchise Fresh Produce, perfect for Florida.
Most of the mall’s shops are original and owner-operated. For women’s clothing of an entirely different sort, check out OMG That’s Chic, where you’ll find lace-trimmed jeans, animal prints, cowboy styles and even Mexican-style moo-moos.
Blue Mangrove Gallery sells original seascapes and other paintings and prints, plus beachy home accessories, kids' toys, painted furniture and artistic jewelry.
Besides specimen seashells, Marco Craft & Shell Company stocks crafts supplies and unusual gifts.
Fortify your shopping day with a pre-meal bite at Breakfast Plus. Or take a seafood break at Crazy Flamingo. For a healthy meal, stop at Summer Day Market & Cafe, and pick up some healthy groceries while you’re at it.
Across Collier Boulevard from the plaza, hit Sunshine Booksellers for children’s books and gifts, Florida books, bestsellers, puzzles, greeting cards, frames and other nice gifts.
Turn right on Bald Eagle Drive to reach historic Olde Marco. On the way, stop at Rose Marina Ship’s Store, which carries the usual boating and fishing gear, as well as one of the island’s best selections of sporty men’s and women’s attire.
Kay’s on the Beach is a stand-alone, longstanding women’s shop that specializes in formal wear. The small Olde Marco Shops contains a gallery and a few other small shops.
Before you drop, drop in at Petit Soleil for breakfast or lunch with a French kiss.
Back on Collier, you will end up beachfront, home to most of the island’s resorts. On the way, the Esplanade is a worthwhile stop for a meal at Mango’s Dockside Bistro. Peruse the local talent at The Artist’s Gallery while you're at it.
San Marco Road takes you off Collier to the Shops of Marco.
Newcomer boutique Obsession appeals to 30-something women, with casual clothing and jewelry that spells individual style. Marco Island Clothing Company has long been around, with a wide array of women’s fashions and shoes. Golden Gate Jewelers sells sea- and island-themed pieces, including the iconic Marco Cat, an ancient archaeological find.
For a shopping experience truly representative of the quirky fishing village of Goodland, continue along San Marco Road to Goodland Drive and Island Woman, which carries everything from wild wigs to hand-painted sarongs and tropical art. Have a bit to eat next door at Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant.
That may be a good way to end your day filled with shopping and eating on Marco Island.