By Kara Franker

There are only a select few locations in the entire country where you can watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is one of those special places.

Children get the last opportunity of the day to run and jump and play in the surf.

Couples hold each others' hands and stroll along the sand.

Friends clink glasses of wine and toast to another day well spent on the beach.

It's a magical but simple equation: sunset = happiness. Enjoying this natural spectacle should certainly be on your list of things to do in Marco Island.

I discovered a resort on Marco Island that celebrates the sunset each and every night -- and rightly so. 

The Marriott Beach Resort on Marco Island is a sprawling hotel with more than 700 rooms (many with water-view balconies) on a gorgeous three-mile stretch of white sand beach. There are thatched-roof tiki huts scattered across the beach, giving the property a tropical allure.

Tour the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort & Spa

Spend the day shelling on a sailing excursion, get pampered at the spa, play a round of golf with friends, or cool off in the sparkling pool. Do whatever it is that you love to do on vacation, but make sure you head to Quinn's beachside bistro for sunset.

The kids will love the fire dancer show. Oh, who am I kidding, the adults love it, too. But the real show-stopper is the sun itself and the magical display of colors as it bids adieu and sinks into the sea.

Insider Tip: Order the Blackberry Lemonade cocktail and kick back in one of the hammocks for sunset. Then head over to Koral's Sushi & Cocktail Bar for dinner and drinks.

Have you heard about the legend of the green flash?

According to those who have witnessed it, the green flash is a dazzling phenomenon that lasts just seconds. It occurs at the top of the setting sun right before it's about to dip below the horizon. Suddenly a magical pulse of green appears on the crest of the sun.


Although I didn't see the green flash, I did see a really awesome double rainbow. 

If You Go: The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is located at 400 S. Collier Blvd on Marco Island. For reservations call (239) 394-2511 or visit the resort's website



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