“This better be worth it.” I remember saying to my friends Logan and Lisa, who have been to this hard to get to beach before. They reassured me that it was as sweat poured from my bald head and the heavy cooler made my feet sink into the mud of the tidal lagoon.
Our destination, Tigertail Beach on the beautiful Marco Island. Located on Hernando Drive, Tigertail beach rewards beach goers with thirty-one acres of natural undisturbed sand.
I live about 5 minutes from the perfectly good white sands of Bonita Beach, but today I was talked into taking the 40 minute drive south to Marco Island and setting up camp on Tigertail Beach. This is one beach I haven’t yet buried my toes into, so I was pretty excited about the quest.
If you haven’t been to Tigertail before, the beach makes you work a little to enjoy its splendor. Once you unpack your car and load everything on you back like a mule, walk past the park’s restaurant, volleyball court, playground and other distractions. Waiting for you is a 50-60 yard walk through a tidal lagoon that is waist deep (I’m 6’2″) depending on tide. The lagoon bottom is a mix of mud and sand that makes walking somewhat difficult. You then have another 100 yard walk on a trail that takes you past sand dunes, Sea Grapes, and Sea Oats. It really is quite beautiful, but hot. The only thought bouncing through my sweaty head was, JUMP IN THE WATER!
The trail comes to an end to revile a beautiful stretch of beach, free of human development and just waiting to be enjoyed. This is my kind of place. The fact that it’s a little difficult to get to keeps the crowds away, so you’ll have a nice plot to yourself without anyone encroaching on your space.
What only ten years ago was Tigertail’s sandbar is now Sand Dollar Island, a barrier island in the making. Changes in the formation of the island are noticeable on a yearly basis and its development is a welcome occurrence for the many shorebirds that now use it as a nesting site.
Was all the work to get to this beach worth it? You can’t see it, but the smile I have on my face as I recall the day says most definitely…yes.
Tigertail Beach: Facilities
- 210 Parking Spaces
- 5 Boardwalks
- Concessions with beach equipment rentals, food & drinks
- Picnic area with grills
- Sand Volleyball Court
- Butterfly Garden
- Handicapped beach wheelchair
- Rest Rooms