Hurricane Ian Damage in Marco Island, Florida (Photos One Week Later)

Hurricane Ian Damage in Marco Island, Florida (Photos One Week Later)

Marco Island was greatly impacted by Hurricane Ian that swept through the night of September 27 through the day September 28,  2022. Surprisingly though, beautiful Marco faired pretty well during the hurricane. There was much less flooding and damage than farther north up the coast in Naples and Ft. Myers where there was complete devastation.

But yes, Marco Island was definitely impacted by the destructive storm surge that flooded and damaged the lower-lying areas of Marco. The worst hit seemed to be the Olde Marco area and the south end.We had friends planning a vacation to Marco who were wondering if they should still go or not, so we drove through Marco exactly one week post-hurricane to check out the damage. Here is what we found.

hurricane Ian Marco damage photos

Driving onto Marco across the bridge was as beautiful as ever. One week after one of the most destructive hurricanes ever to hit southwest Florida came roaring by, the skies were blue, the mangrove islands were green, and the water gorgeous.

Marco bridge to marco

Bridge going into Marco Island one week after Hurricane Ian

Marco Island Plant & Tree Damage from Ian

The landscaping, flora and fauna of Marco is still beautiful, though you can see many brown dead trees and shrubs. Palm trees are surprisingly resilient.

Collier Blvd Marco island hurricane Ian

Collier Blvd, Marco Island one week after Hurricane Ian

Marco island tree damage hurricane Ian

Dead trees from Hurricane Ian on Collier Blvd in Marco

marco dead shrubs ian

Brown, dead shrubbery in Marco after Ian

South Marco Beach Damage 

South Marco Beach is still absolutely gorgeous one week after Hurricane Ian. There are dead branches and shrubs washed up on the beach, and there is still a faint smell of dead fish, but it is still a lovely place to visit. 

Public beach access path to South Marco Beach after Ian 

south Marco beach after Ian

South Marco Beach one week post Hurricane Ian

South Marco Beach Benches overturned from Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian Home Damage on Marco Island

Sadly, you can see a lot of waterlogged furniture and contents of resident’s homes out for the trash on the sides of the roads. It seems like anything on the first floor was flooded by the storm surge.

Marco island home damage hurricane Ian

Angler’s Cove Condominium Damage

Angler’s Cove Condos were completely flooded on the first floor. Higher floors fared well, but all the belongings on the first floor were a complete loss.

angler's cove condominium Marco Hurricane Ian damage

Marco Island Hurricane Damage to Restaurants

Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill Hurricane Ian Damage

Next to Angler’s Cove is the Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill. From what we could see one week after Ian, it looked in pretty good shape, even though it must have been flooded from the storm surge. 

dolphin tiki bar Marco Iandolphin tiki bar after hurrican ian

Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill after Hurricane Ian

marco dolphin tiki bananas hurricane damage

Damaged banana trees by the Dolphin Tiki Bar in Marco

December Update on the Dolphin Tiki Bar 

The Dolphin Tiki Bar on Marco Island is open after Hurricane Ian! It was a wonderful place to enjoy the Marco Island Christmas Boat Parade. The Jumbo Lump Crab Stack was amazing!

Dolphin Tiki bar Marco island open after Ian

Snook Inn Hurricane Ian Damage

Sadly, the recently renovated Snook Inn suffered quite a bit of damage. The entire tiki bar was taken out, and I believe they had just renovated it in September.  They are currently closed for repairs, but hope to open their gift shop next week.

To stay updated on the progress of the Snook Inn reopening, follow their Facebook page HERE.Once it has reopened, I highly recommend taking a boat there for lunch.  Check out our post, Naples to Marco Island by Boat.  I can’t wait to be able to do this again!

snook inn after ian

Snook Inn Marco Hurricane Ian damage

snook inn tiki bar gone marco

Snook Inn Marco Tiki Bar wiped out from Hurricane Ian

snook inn tiki bar hurrican

Tiki Bar at Snook Inn totally wiped out by the storm surge from Hurricane Ian

pelican snook inn

Pelican gives hope that the Snook Inn will return better than ever!

Sunset Grille Hurricane Ian Damage

The Sunset Grille on the Marco Island South Beach is open! The storm surge came up to the bottom of the railing of the outdoor patio of this beachside restaurant, but did not enter or damage it.  You can follow them on Facebook for updates.Go visit…the food is delicious, and the view spectacular!

Sunset Grille Marco island after Ian

Sunset Grille Marco after Hurricane Ian

sunset grille Marco Philly cheesesteak

Sunset Grille Marco South Beach

american flags sunset grill marco island ian

Marco Island Sunset Grille beach view

Hurricane Ian Damage to Resorts in Marco

If you have reservations at a Marco Island hotel or resort, check with them to know their current reopening status. Many places have Facebook pages where you can stay updated on their progress.

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort Hurricane Ian Damage

According to our friends who have October reservations here, the first floor and pool area were all flooded with the storm surge. They are currently closed for repairs but lat I heard, plan to reopen Oct. 12, 2022.

Marriott Marco Island Live Beach Web Cam

Click HERE to check out the Marco Island beach conditions in real time.

Cape Marco Hotel after Hurricane Ian

cape marco hotel after hurricane ian

Marco Island Stands Strong!

Despite the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought to Marco, it stands strong, and will come back better than ever!

american flag elephants marcoamerican flag marco island hurricane ian

Collier Blvd. leaving Marco Island after Hurricane Ian

Help Support SW Florida Relief Efforts

Marco Island is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought this friendly little island in SW Florida.Living in southwest Florida ourselves, we wanted a way to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to be able to create wonderful lifelong memories in this little slice of paradise.So my daughter designed this Marco Beautiful Strong Loved shirt.$5 of every shirt purchased will be donated to SW Florida relief efforts at: Destiny United Relief and Meals of Hope. These are both reputable organizations that we personally know, have worked with, and highly recommend. 💜 Thank you! 

Marco Strong shirt
Naples to Marco Island by Boat

Naples to Marco Island by Boat

Naples to Marco by boat

If you ever spend any time in the Naples area of Florida and love being on the water, immersed in nature, then this is for you.

Renting a Boat

Sometime in late June or early July I received an email from Groupon offering a full-day boat rental for $220. I had rented boats a handful of times in the past and this Groupon offer seemed like a decent deal, so I took it.

The offer was from Bayfront Rentals in downtown Naples and by the end of August, we cleared a day in the middle of the week to take a day off and head down to Marco Island.

The Groupon was for $220, but that just covered the boat rental. There was an additional charge of $85 for fuel plus about 20 bucks in taxes, so the total out-of-pocket was about $325, which is still decent, but there are other comparable alternatives that can be found without Groupon.

Bayfront Rentals is located at the intersection of Goodlette-Frank Rd and Tamiami Trail (route 41.)

Starting From Naples

The groupon deal we had gave us the option of a small Hurricane deck boat or a pontoon boat. Since it was just two of us we went with the deck boat.

Starting from downtown Naples, it is a leisurely 90 minute trip to Capri Pass and the northern end of Marco Island.

Naples Bayfront

Bayfront Marina

With pelicans, seagulls, and cormorants all around us, we headed out at low tide and passed under the Tamiami trail bridge and past Tin City.

If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of experience, just stay inside the green and red channel markers and you’ll be fine. All along the way you’ll see signs that mark areas that are designated as minimum wake zones for areas frequented by Manatees.

The Naples airport is just to the northeast of Tin City, so as we motored past dozens of very large and very expensive yachts, a number of private jets taking off and landing were just overhead.

As you move out and south from the marina, you’ll see the Coast Guard Auxillary building and the Boathouse restaurant off to your right, and then the next thing you encounter are the beautiful waterfront homes of Naples’ Aqualane Shores and Port Royal neighborhoods as you approach Gordan Pass, which is your first opportunity to access the Gulf of Mexico.

Naples pelicans

Pelicans are everywhere

Into the Mangroves

Once you get beyond Gordon Pass you enter another world; other-worldly if you will, as you descend into a secluded mangrove corridor surrounded by nature on every side.

(Did you know you can grow your own mangroves at home from the "seeds" you see floating in the water or washed up on the beach? Check out my wife's post How to Grow Mangroves at Home to learn how!)

Boating through mangroves

Entering the mangrove corridor

To your right is Keewaydin Island; a long narrow strip of sun-drenched beauty that separates you from the Gulf of Mexico. To your left is what is essentially the northwest corner of the Everglades.

Joining the pelicans and seagulls, were blue herons and osprey, and too many other kinds of birds to mention, as well as at least three pods of dolphin along the way.

We didn’t see any manatee this day, but be on the lookout for them as there are a few designated areas that are marked as minimum wake zones frequented by manatees. The channel is marked as 30 mph inside the channel except for those areas marked as manatee zones. It is also minimum wake everywhere outside the channel.

osprey feeding babies

Osprey family in nest atop a channel marker; feeding the little Oprey babies

Rookery Bay

A few miles south of Gordan Pass, you’ll find Rookery Bay off to your left, and once you pass that area, Keewaydin Island narrows to about only 600 feet or even less. There are some private beachfront homes in this area with docks that you’ll see on your right, and to your left is Little Marco Island.

Keewaydin Island

Once you are past Little Marco Island, you’ve got less than a mile to go to reach the southern tip of Keewaydin and the Gulf of Mexico will soon be opening up before you as you enter Capri Pass.

That southern-most part of Keewaydin is a popular place to stop and ease your boat straight onto the beach and anchor and relax on the beach for awhile. Just walk your bow anchor several yards into the beach to secure your boat and enjoy.

Blue Heron

Little blue heron at the south end of Keewaydin

Capri Pass

However, for us, it was nearly lunchtime, so we continued on to, and through, Capri Pass.

On this day, Capri Pass was absolutely gorgeous. Sandbars forming little islands teaming with birds. A multitude of color; all shades of blue and green. The expanse of the Gulf of Mexico opening out before you is simply breathtaking.

Capri Pass – photos just don’t do it justice

Skirting the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, we continued south, straight for the northern end of Tigertail Beach and then turned into the channel heading east into Marco Bay.

Snook Inn

Just up around the bend was our lunch destination, the Snook Inn, but I made the mistake of bending back to the north side of the peninsula that divides Marco Bay, so we had to backtrack to get to where we needed to be. Also, if you happen to end up at the Marco Island bridge, you’ve gone too far.

Once at the Snook Inn, we drifted into the dock, tied up, made our way to the bar, and sat down to a half pound of peel and eat shrimp and a fresh blackened grouper sandwich. Boy did that hit the spot!

Snook Inn Marco Island

The Snook Inn

Snook Inn Hurricane Ian Update:

Sadly, the Snook Inn on Marco suffered major damage from Hurricane Ian that swept through Sept. 27-28, 2022. The historic storm surge totally wiped out the beautiful Snook Inn tiki bar. To see photos of the damage to the Snook Inn, see my post Hurricane Ian Damage in Marco Island, Florida (Photos One Week Later)

Keewaydin Island Beach

For the second part of our trip we headed back toward Keewaydin with the tide rising.

The wind had picked up a little as well and current was moving fast at the southern tip of the island.

Now we eased our Hurricane up onto the beach and enjoyed some time relaxing on the beach and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Deck Boat

anchoring at Keewaydin is very easy

Keewaydin Island

looking north out at the Gulf from the southern tip of Keewaydin Island

I had brought some fishing gear so I enjoyed about 30 minutes of casting about. I didn’t catch anything, but there were plenty of big redfish and a few snook in the area chasing schools of mullet.

We took our time heading back north through the mangrove corridor and had enough time left to venture out through Gordon Pass and take one last peek at the magnificent Gulf.

We frequent the beach on the north side of that pass, so it is kind of special to be able to see it from a completely different vantage point.

A late afternoon storm was threatening, so we quickened our pace from Gordon Pass back to Bayfront. 

Nosh on Naples Bay

We got back about 15 minutes early, unloaded the boat, loaded the car, and took a two minute drive over to Naples Bay Resort and stopped in at Nosh for their happy hour.

yes.  that is, indeed, prosciutto!

We had heard about Nosh, but this was our first time eating there and it did not disappoint!

The happy hour appetizers are amazing, and the service was great! I highly recommend the steak au poivre tips. And the flatbread of the day was terrific as well.  

It was a great end to a perfect day on the water. 

Other Boat Rental Options

I think that next time we will give Boat Rentals at Naples Bay Resort a try and report back on how it compares to Bayfront Boat Rentals.   Naples Bay Resort doesn't do Groupons, but the price is comparable even without the Groupon.  I also like that they don't charge a flat fee for fuel.  You just pay for the fuel you use.

If you have any recommendations for boating in the Naples area, we'd love to hear from you!

Leave a comment below with any boating questions, tips, or secrets you're willing to share.

Naples strong shirt
Marco Strong shirt