Marco Island

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

With the Gulf of Mexico right in our backyard and the warm waters of the keys located just a short distance to the south, fresh seafood abounds in many Southern Florida restaurants. But our talented local chefs prepare more delicious delights than just seafood. And during the Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, you can taste their creations at a discounted price.

Local chefs in Naples, Marco Island and nearby cities put together prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus for Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019.

What: Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019
Where: Various restaurants around Southwest Florida
When: May 30th to June 12th, 2019
Contact: Summer Sizzle website

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

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Local Naples and Marco Island chefs join Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019 from May 30th to June 12th. So, it really should be called restaurant weeks. Several restaurants in nearby Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Estero/Bonita also join the ticket for these 15 days of mouthwatering culinary masterpieces. In fact, several of the restaurants that Naples Daily News’ own food critic, Jean Le Beouf named as THE top Naples restaurants for 2019 partner up for Summer Sizzle.

Each participating restaurant puts together their own prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus created specifically for Summer Sizzle. All you need to do to participate is to visit the list of restaurants, pick which one you want to go to, and give them a call. While reservations aren’t always required, they are highly recommended. This tends to be a pretty busy time. Click on the menu link next to the restaurant’s name to see what’s available on the prix-fixe menu before you go. And make sure you specifically request the prix-fixe menu when ordering from your server.

Sizzle SWFL Scholarship Program

When you order one of the prix-fixe menus during Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, $1 will be donated to the Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship. This scholarship award goes to students attending the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort & Hospitality Program. Between the two restaurant week events hosted throughout the year, over 60,000 meals are served. That helps several local students with their education. The Catch of the Pelican in Naples and Artisan Eatery in Fort Myers both pledged to donate more than $1 per meal served. So, show them some extra love when deciding where to eat. Bon appétit!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Botanical Garden Offers Free Admission for Veterans & Active Military

Memorial Day takes place in exactly one week from today. If you’re unsure where to go for Memorial Day weekend, might I make a suggestion? Naples Botanical Garden is full of blooming flowers right now. And, this weekend only, they offer free admission for all veterans and active military (with valid ID).

All retired military as well as active military and up to 5 of their family members receive free admission to the Naples Botanical Garden over Memorial Day weekend.

What: Naples Botanical Garden Memorial Day Appreciation Weekend
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore)
When: May 25th to 27th, 9 am to 5 pm
Admission: FREE for active & retired military members (with valid ID)
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275 or via email

Naples Botanical Garden Honors Our Military

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The garden offers several fun programs for all visitors this weekend. Dig Deeper offers sage advice for spending thyme in your own garden. Get out of the humid weather and take a walk through the Art of Mally Khorasantchi in Kapnick Hall. Or W.O.N.D.E.R. around the garden to find out what you can do to help Mother Earth thrive. Create wonderful works of art with recycled items. Learn more about recycling and reusing materials in your everyday life to keep them out of our landfills. There’s more life left in many objects than you might think.

Tickets cost $19.95 per adult (ages 15 & up). Kids cost $9.95 each (ages 4-14). Children ages three and under get in absolutely free. And, for Memorial Day weekend (May 25th to 27th), all active and retired military members get in absolutely free as well. Military members must show their ID to receive the discount. Tickets can be purchased online or at the garden’s box office.

Thanks to Blue Star Museums, active military and up to five of their families receive free admission any day through September 2nd. For more information about the Blue Star Museums program as well as what ID you’ll need in order to qualify, please visit the Blue Star Museums website here.

Marco Island Memorial Day Ceremony

The nearest Memorial Day parade occurs in Cape Coral on May 27th. However, that doesn’t mean that our vets are forgotten here in the Naples/Marco Island area. A special ceremony honoring our dearly departed heroes takes place from 11 am to noon on Monday, May 27th, at Veterans’ Community Park (901 Park Ave) in Marco Island. Organizers invite the public to pay homage to those we lost in battle over the years.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019

The Gulf of Mexico sits right in our backyard. The Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean are located a short distance away. So, fresh seafood acts as a mainstay in many dishes around our town. Sounds like a great location for the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019 to me!

Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019 offers three days of delicious food, beautiful arts and crafts, and tons of great music at Veterans Park to raise money for local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs.

What: Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019
Where: Veterans Community Park (901 Park Ave)
When: March 22 & 23rd, 11 am to 9 pm, March 24th, 11 am to 5 pm
Admission: $10 per day or $16 for any two days, kids under 12 FREE
Contact: Marco Island Chamber of Commerce (239) 394-7549

Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019

Over the course of the three-day Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019 event, guests dine on the best seafood around. Not a huge fan of fish dishes? Don’t worry. Chefs serve up some meat and vegetarian meals as well. No one goes hungry here! Dozens of arts and crafts vendors show off their wares for sale. Let your children play in the Kids Zone while you shop around.

In addition to the amazing food and artists’ offerings, top-notch musicians perform for the crowds as well. Each night offers a different headline act to finish off that day’s jamboree of fun. On opening night, Disco Inferno closes out the evening with their covers of the hits you would have danced to at Studio 54. Saturday’s festivities end with The Landsharks Band headlining. They perform their tributes to the music of Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys. Finally, the entire Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019 finishes up with country duo One Night Rodeo’s headlining performance. Several other fantastic bands also play throughout each day of the festival, too.

Tickets for the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival 2019

The festival offers two separate ticket options: a one-day pass or a two-day pass. For $10, you gain access to the festival for one as well as free parking for that day. Pay just $6 more and add a second day. You choose which two of the three days you want to attend. Kids under 12 years old get in for free. For tickets, please visit the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival website here.

For 11 years now, the Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival has acted as a fundraiser for our local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. Money raised benefits the charities they work tirelessly to help throughout the year. Your patronage is greatly appreciated.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades 2018

The holidays are in full swing here in Southwest Florida. Just before Thanksgiving, we saw the Naples Christmas tree light up for the first time this year. After that, we experienced the 3rd St Celebration of Lights. Now that we’ve entered the final month of 2018, we have the Naples and Marco Island boat parades to look forward to. And they start up tomorrow.

You can't have Christmas in Southwest Florida without the Naples and Marco Island boat parades. Create timeless holiday memories for free.

Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades 2018

Naples Boat Parade 2018

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Visit the Village Shops on Venetian Bay tomorrow night (December 4th). Beginning at 5 pm, guests enjoy live entertainment, a snow show, balloon art, and carolers performing. Get your face painted while you wait for the boats to pass by in the bay. Listen up as Mrs. Claus tells stories of Christmases past. Then, grab your camera for a photo-op with Santa Claus. Admission to the Naples Boat Parade 2018 is absolutely free.

Marco Island Boat Parade 2018

If you’re in Marco Island this weekend, stick around for nightfall. At 6 pm, the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Marco Island Boat Parade. Your best view takes place from The Esplanade (760 N Collier Blvd). Dozens of decorated boats float by boasting thousands of twinkling lights right out on the water. This is truly a sight you will want to behold!

The Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades aren’t the only fun events taking place in the next couple of weeks. Fifth Ave South hosts a grand outdoor tuba concert to celebrate the season as well. Listen to 70 musicians of all ages as they play Christmas classics on the tuba. With no seating available, feel free to bring your own chair to Sugden Plaza at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 14th. The concert only lasts for one hour. Then, continue with your holiday shopping at Fifth Ave South’s fine shops. Take some time to enjoy the season everyone!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Marco Island Boat Show 2018

Summer may be over, but boat deals are not. In fact, one of the biggest boat shows around hits the area in just a couple of weeks: the Marco Island Boat Show 2018. Thousands of people come to see what dozens of vendors offer at show-only discounted prices. If you’re in the market for a new boat, then you won’t want to pass up this opportunity.

Whether you want a sailboat, pontoon, party barge or yacht, you'll find exactly what you're looking for at the Marco Island Boat Show 2018.

What: Marco Island Boat Show 2018
Where: Rose Marina (951 Bald Eagle Dr, Marco Island)
When: October 12th to 14th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: $5 per person per day, kids ages 12 & under free w/paying adult
Contact: Rose Marina (239) 394-2502 or via email

Marco Island Boat Show 2018

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From 10 am to 5 pm every day between October 12th and the 14th, the Marco Island Boat Show 2018 features the most popular boat manufacturers around. They include Chris-Craft, Correct Craft, Bombardier, Master Craft, Sea Rays, Ski Nautique, Sunseeker, and more. Many manufacturers also allow you to try before you buy. What does that mean? Schedule an in-water test drive with the vendor. Of course, appointments are subject to availability. And not all vendors allow personal test drives.

In addition to watercraft, several vendors offer the latest and greatest in safety gear, accessories, dock set-ups, and even insurance information. Whatever you could possibly want that relates to spending time on the water, you’ll surely find at the Marco Island Boat Show 2018. Then, when you get hungry, visit one of the food vendors. For the 21 and older crowd, beer and wine will be available for purchase as well.

Let the kids roam free at the show’s free Kids Club sponsored by Home Depot. They blow off steam. You peruse the show’s merchandise. Everybody’s happy.

Tickets for the Marco Island Boat Show 2018

Admission runs just $5 per person for each day of the event. Kids ages 12 and under gain entrance for free with a paid adult. Park for free on-site as well.

We live on an island. The Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Keys are our playgrounds. You need the right equipment to enjoy it. You’ll find that equipment when you attend the Marco Island Boat Show 2018.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos 

Marco Island Photo Contest for New City Website

When people come to visit you on Marco Island, where do you take them first? What are your favorite local haunts? Where do you hang out the most? Share your love for the city by entering the Marco Island photo contest. The City needs photographs to add to its soon-to-be-released new website. And they’re asking for the public’s assistance.

Enter your own photos of your favorite locations/events/places around the city in the Marco Island Photo Contest for use on their new site.

What: Marco Island Photo Contest
Deadline: 5 pm on October 15th, 2018
Entrance Fee: FREE
Contact: City of Marco Island Submission Form

Marco Island Photo Contest

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Do the winning photographs take home a cash prize of some sort in the Marco Island Photo Contest? No. But photographers achieve local celebrity status of a sort when their name accompanies their photo on the new website (where possible). The City wants photographs of local landmarks, celebrations, people, and vistas. If you do take photos of people, please make sure you get their written permission to allow the release of their likeness in case the photo is used on the website. Otherwise, it might not even be considered for inclusion on the website. Also, please leave out any alcohol, tobacco, profanity or nudity. Make sure your photographs remain family-friendly and showcase Marco Island’s unique lifestyle.

Marco Island Photo Contest Rules

Contestants in the Marco Island Photo Contest may enter up to five photographs total. Digital photos only, please. Hard copies will not be accepted. Both color and black and white photos are allowed. Only submit your own work. Any photograph taken by you during the last three years (2016, 2017 or 2018) can be submitted. Made it to a Marco Island 2nd Tuesday or two over the past few years? Did you take foodie photos during the Marco Island-Naples SWFL Restaurant Week earlier this year? Been out on your boat or at the beach lately? Have you taken photos of shops around town decorated in their holiday finest in the past couple of years? Submit them into the Marco Island Photo Contest. Organizers want to see photos from any season throughout the year, not just right now.

How to Enter the Marco Island Photo Contest

All you need to do to enter the Marco Island Photo Contest is to visit the City’s website and fill out the online submission form. If you want to submit your photos in person, bring the digital photos via USB stick or CD to the City Hall’s front desk. They’ll also need you to fill out a paper form to accompany the photos. All photos submitted automatically become the City’s property. They will not return any photographs to the original owner. So, if these are photographs you want to keep at home, make copies or print them out before you submit the original. All entries need to be received by 5 pm on October 15th, 2018.

Get out there. Go find your favorite locales, landscapes, and events. Take lots of photos. Then, select the best four or five and enter them into the Marco Island Photo Contest. Good luck!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos 

Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays Showcase New Exhibits Each Month

Support our local artists. Come to the Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays event every month through October 2018. The public is welcome to attend.

Between now and October 9th, come to the Center for the Arts' Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays 2018 event to meet the artists themselves.

What: Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays
Where: Marco Island Center for the Arts (1010 Winterberry Dr)
When: 2nd Tuesday of the Month through October 9th, 2018, 5:30 pm to 7 pm
Admission: Suggested donation of $10 per person
Contact: Marco Island Center for the Arts (239) 394-4221

Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays Art Receptions

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The Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays events allow the center to introduce a different exhibit each month. Talk to the artists themselves in the galleries on-site. Find out their inspiration for each piece. Learn about the techniques used to create these masterpieces. And discover what they’re working on next. In addition to mingling with artists and art-lovers alike, guests enjoy delicious food prepared by talented chefs of various local restaurants. Each month highlights a different restaurant. For the 21+ crowd, a visit to the wine bar may be in order.

Admission & Parking for Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays

Admission to every Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays event is free to the public. However, a donation of $10 per person is suggested. This helps maintain the costs of operating the center for the arts. Entrance to all events such as this is included with each Center for the Arts membership. In fact, all members are also allowed to bring one guest with them to the event. Learn how to become a member by visiting the Marco Island Center for the Arts’ website here. Guests may park in either the front parking lot or on the grass adjoining the parking lot. If both areas are full, feel free to park at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island parking lot across the street. Show your support for our local artists as they practice their craft. Come to one or more of the Marco Island 2nd Tuesdays events this year.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018

Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? Ever wanted to dine at one of our area’s upscale restaurants? Perhaps the pricier places make your wallet quake. During Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018, guests sample from a pre-fixed menu at various Collier and Lee County restaurants for a reduced price. And a portion of the price paid for each meal gets donated to charity.

Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018 takes place May 31st to June 13th at more than 70 local area restaurants. Who's going?

What: Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018
When: May 31st to June 13th
Where: Participating Marco Island and Naples restaurants
Cost: Varies per restaurant ($16+ for lunch, $26+ for dinner)
Contact: Naples, Marco Island & Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau (239) 252-6292 or via email

Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018

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For two weeks of the year, the Naples, Marco Island and Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau partners up with local area restaurants to bring Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week to life. Thanks to sponsors like Mercedes-Benz of Bonita Springs, the Greg Norman Collection at Miromar Outlets, and the Kagan Law Firm, you receive the opportunity to dine at more than 70 different restaurants throughout Lee and Collier Counties. Some restaurants offer vegetarian selections as well. Choose from a two-course lunch or three-course dinner. Chefs create their own special pre-fixe menu for this event.

How You Can Participate in Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018

While reservations aren’t always necessary, organizers advise that you contact the restaurant you wish to visit to make one ahead of time. As you can imagine, our restaurants fill up pretty quickly during this time. Simply go to the SWFL Restaurant Week website here, choose the city you want to visit, then click the menu link next to the name of the restaurant you’re interested in. You can even preview the menu at the website. It’s that simple. One dollar from every meal purchased goes to the Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship.

Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship

In a tourism-driven economy like Southwest Florida, utilizing educated people in the hospitality business is crucial. The Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship awards money to Southwest Florida high school students interested in pursuing a degree in hospitality services at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Sizzle SWFL promises a minimum of $10,000 to be donated to the scholarship. If you want, you may also donate $1 more per meal to increase the money paid into the scholarship. Just let your wait staff know that you’d like to do that when you order.

Make plans to eat out at participating restaurants during Marco Island-Naples Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2018. Sample amazing food from some of the area’s most talented chefs. Visit several different establishments to experience the most you can out of this two-week event. Is your favorite restaurant on the list? Share your faves in the comments below. Bon appetit!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival

Living on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, we enjoy fresh seafood year round. And our local chefs are second to none. So, when the Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club wanted to raise money for their philanthropic endeavors back in 2007, it made sense that seafood should be a part of it. With the help of another local rotary club and the Kiwanis, this annual event quickly became a local favorite. A few years later, music was added into the mix. Now, more than 10,000 people come to the festival every year. The latest incarnation, the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, just may be the biggest event of its kind on Marco Island ever.

Help the Rotary & Kiwanis clubs continue their community programs by attending the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival. You enjoy three days of fun. Our community and our children reaps the rewards.

What: 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival
Where: Veterans Community Park (901 Park Ave)
When: March 23rd & 24th 11 am to 9 pm, March 25th 11 am to 5 pm
Admission: $10 1-day pass, $16 2-day pass, $75 VIP 3-day pass
Contact: Marco Island Chamber (239) 394-7549

2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival

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Naples’ own Bill’s Steak & Seafood restaurant signed up to bring lobster rolls and meals to the masses for the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival for the first time. Marco Island’s own Pincher’s Crab House joins in with tasty chowders, crawdads, grouper, fresh fish, shrimp, stone crab, and crab cakes. Not much of a seafood fan? That’s OK. You’ll have plenty of other “landlubber” fare to choose from. A special Kids Zone opens at 11 am each day of the festival. After all, this is a family-friendly event. In the Kids Zone, children are free to do some rock climbing, play in the bounce house, slide down the giant inflatables, and work off their frenetic energy on the trampolines. Meanwhile, you get to shop to your heart’s content on vendor row. While musical acts keep guests entertained throughout the entire day, the headliners are the Ben Allen Band (Fri, 6 pm to 9 pm), Almost ABBA (Sat, 6 pm to 9 pm), and Deb & the Dynamics Band (Sun, 2 pm to 5 pm).

Tickets for the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival

Whether you choose to come to just one day of the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival or want to be present for all three days, there’s a ticket package for you! Single-day passes cost just $10 per adult (ages 12 & up). Receive a discount when you purchase a two-day pass for $16 per adult. But for the ultimate experience, spend $75 for a VIP ticket. VIPs receive special seating in a reserved tented area, $15 in food vouchers, four drink tickets, private restroom access, and a ticket for a cruise raffle. The VIP ticket is good for all three days of the festival. Kids under 12 years of age and parking are both free all three days of the festival. VIP tickets are in limited supply. Contact the Marco Island Chamber to find out how to purchase your ticket today.

Money raised from the 2018 Marco Island Seafood and Musical Festival helps fund local community and children’s programs sponsored by the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. So, not only do you get to have a great time, but you’ll be helping the community at the same time. Not a bad way to spend a lovely spring weekend here in Southwest Florida!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers

Paradise Coast Food and Wine Tasting Event

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers - Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience

Calling all food and wine lovers!  Mark your calendars for the Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience. This is a must-attend event!

What: Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience

When: November 11, 2017, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where: 5th Avenue South, Naples, FL

Cost: $85 for Grand Tasting and $120 for the VIP Grand Tasting, $25 add-on to Meet Martha’s Experts; Thomas Joseph

Tickets:  Go to http://protixonline.com/events/details/?event_id=668 to purchase tickets.

This is a great opportunity to sample the culinary delights offered by some of the most renowned chefs and mixologists in the country.

Choose Your Ticket:

$85 Grand Tasting includes unlimited culinary delights including spirits from local restaurants.  You’ll also be able to see chef demonstrations and seminars.  National and local culinary experts will participate in panel discussions.

$120 VIP Tasting allows you avoid the long lines with a one-hour early-access.  Enjoy private wine and other drink tastings in the VIP Lounge.  This is in addition to what’s available in the Grand Tasting.

Need a little more of the Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience?  For a $25 add-on Thomas Joseph, Martha Stewart’s Culinary Director will demonstrate his best tips and techniques.  A one-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living Magazine and Naples Daily News or The News-Press digital subscription.

This event promises to be a fun-packed thrill event for foodies of all experience and talent.  It’s more than the usual food tasting event.  It’s the full experience.  An exciting few steps beyond.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District and the USA TODAY Network publications.

Bring your appetite!  This event is going to be a lot of fun.