Photo: Charles Patrick Ewing
As much of Southwest Florida continues to attract the attention of developers, one tiny fishing village remains just as laid back and unassuming as it has for generations. Home to only about 200 residents, Goodland sits on the southeast corner of popular Marco Island.
Virtually isolated until the late 1930s, developers starting eyeing Goodland about a decade later. Despite their grand plans for building in the area, major development never materialized in Goodland.
For some local residents and visitors, that’s a big part of the attraction. Only one road leads into the village, and the entire square mile or so of Goodland is nearly surrounded by water.
This makes it a popular spot for fishing and boating. Daily excursions take guests out on the water for a day of fun spotting area wildlife and birdlife, fishing, or simply providing a way to better explore the Ten Thousand Islands.
While the homes of Goodland are usually described more in terms of waterfront cottages and condos, they do hold the advantage of sitting on the waterfront. Despite this, the direct Gulf access afforded in Goodland is oftentimes more affordable than in other parts of the region.
Many of the homes of Goodland also sit within walking distance of some of the local establishments. There are a handful of places to grab a bite to eat or a drink in Goodland, including Stan’s Idle Hour, a popular spot for live music and big crowds on Sundays, and the Little Bar Restaurant.
The sleepy village also makes it easy to explore the rest of Marco Island, for outdoor fun and recreation ranging from shelling and fishing to kayaking. The island is a great place to stroll through specialty shops and boutiques, while at the same time making time to experience some of the region’s best beaches.