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“Relaxing in "Real Florida"”

Blue Heron River Tours
Ranked #1 of 11 Tours in DeLand
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We operate a 45 foot, 49 passenger Coast Guard licensed tour boat out of Hontoon Landing Resort and Marina in Deland, Florida.
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Relaxing in "Real Florida"”
Reviewed May 18, 2012

If you want to relax and enjoy a great two hour boat ride, we highly recommend the Blue Heron River Tour and Captain Gary. It was a relaxing and informative tour that was well worth the price of the ticket. The boat is new and spotless. The captain is a fountain of information and well versed in all the wildlife. We saw many species of birds, alligators, turtles, deer and even a rare manatee sighting for this time of year. Captain Gary made sure that we had every opportunity to take pictures and kept us well informed on the history of the area. We are locals and have been on other river tours in the area but they cannot compare to the Blue Heron and Captain Gary. We will be back in the fall to see the manatees, but more importantly to relax and enjoy a great boat ride through the "real" Florida.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank maureenp241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A little rain is not a problem”
Reviewed May 16, 2012

I was fortunate enough to have scheduled a short trip to the DeLand area on what turned out to be the right day. After a peaceful night's rest at Hontoon Landing, I took the 10 a.m. trip and was the only paying passenger! There were a few drops of rain falling and much more rain forecast for the afternoon so I was pleased Capt. Gary left it up to me as to whether or not to cast off. It turned out to be a remarkable day for wildlife activity.

We saw at least four Barred Owls, a large variety of birds including nesting Ospreys, Blue Herons and Sandhill Cranes. The Alligator population was very active, as this is the mating season, and we saw some of the largest male 'gators I've every seen alive. (We've got some big stuffed gators all over Florida).

As a Florida resident, I have taken many trips into the backwaters of the state both on tours and in private boats and I've seen a lot of critters, but this is the best nature tour I know of.

The boat is new, very clean and well maintained.
It has a covered top and open sides to allow you to hear the sounds of nature while staying dry in a light downpour. As with any other outdoor activity in Florida from May to January, it's better to go in the morning, as the afternoons are more likely to have a rain event.

If you are coming to the Orlando area for a vacation, skip the theme parks for just one day and see what first settlers found when they got here.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank pvinvestor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edgewater, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Relaxing Type Tour”
Reviewed May 5, 2012

What a deal for a day I won't soon forget. I plan on taking this boat tour often. When I got off I realized that all stress was gone. Our captain informed us of things we needed to know and was one on one with us. I highly recommend it to all ages none of you will be disappointed. Take a group or go by yourself. We spotted manatees and he added time to our tour so that we could watch the group. Thank you so much captain for a day that I will repeat. God Bless

Visited May 2012
3 Thank sgogol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tavares, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Central Florida's best tour”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Gary, we want to thank you so much for the RELAXING 2.5 hr tour of Florida's best!! You are very informative about all the wide life and nature. This as you know was our second trip and again it WILL NOT BE OUR LAST! (see the camera didn't break)

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Diana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We arrived a little early, as planned, and had a picnic lunch on the deck in front of the shop, then we took the 1 pm. tour. Our guide and captain, Gary, was /is VERY WELL informed about the river and the boat. If I may say, he has a good sense of humor also! We saw all kinds of alligators, big and small, and too many birds to mention them all. But my favorite was the Great and Little Blue Heron. We learned a lot of history about the river and we also saw an old still. We did not see any manatees, as according to Gary, the water was a little too warm for their liking. Last year, we went in Feb. and saw many then. But like Gary explained, it is a bit like fishing, you never know what you have until you bring it in! Thanks for the great trip, Gary. We wlll be back next year. We wish you luck and keep up the great job!
Enjoy, Pete and Judy

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Judy1545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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