It is impossible to visit this museum without pretty much getting everything out of it that you can. There are volunteers at every station brimming with interesting knowledge about the topic at hand. There are hands on exhibits at every turn. You cannot just go through the motions at this museum. It is a small museum, but you WILL learn about sea turtle conservation, water table conservation, the everglades, the panthers, and how the Conservancy works in each of these areas. The displays are really well done and draw you in, and the buildings are beautifully designed to server their purpose. In addition to the museum, we took advantage of the included guided boat ride. The silent boats run off electricity--they are charged each night--so there is no noise and no gas smell. The boat ride is lovely. You will learn a little about the flora and fauna in the area and the invasive species which threaten both. The boat ride is about 45 minutes. You can also visit the animal hospital where you may be lucky enough to see the staff feeding babies of some sort through a glass window, but which does include a short volunteer talk about the wild animal rescue work they perform. We just missed a feeding on our visit. The only disappointing thing is that a few years back, you were able to visit the injured creatures who could not be reintroduced into the wild. The current thinking, of course, is that exposing these animals to the public is too disruptive. Years ago, I used to visit often, and visitors were always silent and respectful, but I understand that things have changed. In about 2 hours, I felt truly satisfied that I had thoroughly experienced what the Conservancy had to offer. I also felt that if you do the boat ride, it is a very good value for $12.95 (less for kids). So to sum up: 1) sign up for the boat ride as soon as you get there (it's included in the price of admission); 2) take advantage of whatever special presentations that are offered during your visit; and be sure to visit the animal hospital. I visited in mid March, and there was plenty of parking and no crowds. I was in Naples for a convention with my husband, so my kids weren't with me, but they would have enjoyed the experience at least as much as I would have.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 10, 2013
Thanks for the very detailed write-up about your experience at Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center and von Arx Wildife Hospital. We are very glad you enjoyed your visit and we will be sure to pass along your comments to the many volunteers who help deliver a quality guest expereince. Hope to see you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.