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“Boat tours great, visitor center not so much....”

Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Reviewed April 9, 2013

After visiting 3 Everglades National Park visitor centers, hands down the nicest center and friendliest staff were at Flamingo. Gulf Coast Visitor Center is very small, but does have some decent exhibits and a nice introductory movie (with about 3 seats to sit on!). they have a very limited amount of souvenirs for sale, but a nice array of books. Two rangers were working and one was very friendly. The other ranger never welcomed me to the center, nor thanked me for my purchases.

The 1:45 Mangrove boat tour is excellent. We were very happy we chose this tour. A 6
person boat, so very personable service! Our captain/host was Ted, a young man from WI. Ted has worked a variety of interesting seasonal jobs all over, from WI, TX, FL, and Alaska, plus Africa! So, he was fun and informative, both personally and professionally. We several birds, some crabs, couple dolphins, fish. The mangroves were the highlight, and going through the tunnel of trees (mangroves) was very exciting! Just being out on the water on a warm, sunny day was wonderful! $42 adult fare.

We also attended a 20 minute ranger talk on the FL panther and the snake population/problems. Very nice program.

There is a handicapped lift to take people to the 2nd floor visitor center. But walking around with a wheelchair, even a walker would be difficult. Too small an area. Small store. Gravel parking lot. Bathrooms were not in working order, but they did have chemical toilets, which were not too pleasant! No charge to enter this visitor center area, but there is a $10 entry fee at Flamingo or Shark Valley, which is good for 7 days.

3  Thank tymetraveler222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 - 130 of 205 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2013

We took both tours, and while there was some overlap, we enjoyed both. The guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. We learned a great deal about the area. We chose these tours because they are both in the park and are quiet, unlike the more commercial tours

1  Thank AIS45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Steve was awesome - his love of the land really came through. He was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we saw along the excellent boat tour of the Mangrove swamp, and while we didn't get to see an alligator on the tour, he pointed out a nearby spot we drove to and sure enough, success! The boat ride was just under 2 hours, and we had a fantastic time.

2  Thank Anthrospeak_go_bears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We did not realize until we got there that the Everglades national park is only accessible by water in that area. So we took the smaller boat tour. It was 1:45 minutes of beautiful nature. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and were only disappointed that we did not have time for the larger boat tour. We'll definitely return and do that one next.

1  Thank April H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Definitely worth the time and price! Our guide, Captain Tom, was a delight and was informative and engaging. Our kids asked many questions and they were answered patiently and pleasantly. We saw a lot wildlife including dolphins. We heard stories of the people and history of the area. The evening was cold, windy but beautiful! I wish we would have really seen the sunset being that it was advertised as a sunset cruise. That was the only disappointment. Would recommend still. Nice end to a full day.

1  Thank 5PAGES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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