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“You Can Skip This One”

Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Free admission; free restrooms; lots of parking. Lots of people here seeming to be waiting to go on boat rides. Honestly, if you are in the Everglades for more than a day, take an airboat ride from one of the highly rated firms on the EAST end of the Tamiami Trail (50 miles east). They get you into the real glades faster and better and funner than these prop motor boats. Not much else here.... souvenir shop, small ranger/interpretative office, big parking lot.

Thank thunefeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 152 of 205 reviews

Reviewed December 20, 2012

We got maps here and hints on hikes and kayak routes, in addition to some info on the ecology of the area, all very helpful.

Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

I drove down here from my vacation place in Fort Myers Beach on November 6th, 2012. This is the Everglades National Park Service location for the 10000 Islands area on the Gulf of Mexico. Somewhat more than an hour's drive on I-75, arriving here you get the feeling you are in the outback. I liked it because it was uncrowded and personal. The most popular tourist attractions must be somewhere else!

Everglades City is a fishing town. You can purchase a ride on a boat here, advertized 1 hour plus for about 26 bucks. There is also a souvenir shop on the first level (I got an excellent tee shirt with the 10000 islands depicted in Google maps form), or go upstairs and visit with the Park Ranger and see the few exhibits.

On this random day there was a family with kids from New Jersey, a friendly German couple, and later there arrived some folks from NC who wanted to go on a nature ride on a boat. I signed up for the same boat.

One leaves every half hour or on the hour. We got on the 'Shark'. The weather was perfect for a boat ride out there on the gulf; about 75 F and sunny. We got to see lots of birds, but since there was some talk about sea turtles, dolphins, and manatees (there were even manatee area warning signs in the dredged channel), we saw nothing but birds. Bad timing I guess for wildlife but great weather.

This boat was what I would call a catamaran, Yamaha twin 200's, awnings overhead, but it is not a fishing boat. Leave your gear behind! Cameras only.

In the town of Everglades City there are seafood restaurants with food worth dying, freshest in the world. Please see my other reviews of Everglades City and Fort Myers Beach.

There is a lot of free stuff to do around here. If you are a large family, costs per person can get out of hand. So do your homework and you will find a cost effective nature experience.

1  Thank fritomann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Took the 1 1/2 he boat trip...it's a pleasant way to spend some time...the captain gave us usefull info and it was really nice to see so many dolphins up close...my wife got some great pics so she is well happy...can't really see how you would be able to find issues with what is on offer...

Thank glassmen007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

This is a small visitor center compared to the ones in Homestead. However, you can obtain all the information you need about Everglades NP from the rangers at service here. They run a small gift shop too.

This entrance of Everglades NP does not charge you. But if you enter the park here, you cannot do anything unless you have a boat or a kayak. No trails, no boardwalks. Most of the visitors come here to take the boat trips launched from the adjacent marina. The boat tours are conducted by a private party contracted by National Park Service and they are the only party allowed to provide this service. These boat torus are not air boat rides. Air boat rides are not allowed within the park boundaries. The reservation office for boat tours is located on the first floor of the same building. They also run a gift shop ( they sell water and snacks too).

Thank DushanRS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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