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“Seeing the Everglades by Boat”

Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Naples, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Seeing the Everglades by Boat”
Reviewed July 26, 2014

I wanted to see the Everglades from the water. I started with the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City. In addition to displays and trails you can also take an hour and half boat tour of the 10,000 Islands. The tour costs $32 and the crew was very knowledgeable and very entertaining. The boat includes open areas and places to stay out of the sun. There were several other photographers on board and there was plenty of room for all of us. We saw dolphins, manatees and sea turtles as well as lots of birds. The boat is big and we stayed in the main channel so all photo ops were from a distance.

I didn't get as many pictures from this cruise as I did the other two but it was still well worth the money and time. I really enjoyed the crew and learned some interesting things. President Harry Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park from the runway of the Everglades Airport on December 6, 1947. I did travel during the middle of the day and I'm sure I would have seen more if I had been there for the early morning cruise.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Sabrina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
“It was a good experience, but could have used more preparation!”
Reviewed July 25, 2014

We decided to kayak and canoe the Sandfly Island loop. When we got there, we realized that there were ranger guided tours, but we missed it. In any case, we decided to venture out on our own. We thought we were paddling in the right direction until I realize that we were off course significantly. I guess it wasn't as easy going straight as we thought. It was a good experience nonetheless. We ended up not doing the whole loop, since we were tired from paddling the wrong way! We did find the dock for Sandfly Island. We ended up seeing the tour group and by then, they had already completed the loop. We walked the trail on Sandfly Island, took about 25 minutes with taking a few pictures on the way. The mangroves and the different vegetation was interesting. Bring insect repellent and definitely try to get a ranger-guided tour.

I agree with other reviewers that the concession on the lower level were quite pushy; however, if you knew what you wanted when you got there, they got you what you needed.

The rangers are located upstairs in the actual visitor's centre. They were very nice and actually, when we went back at the end of the paddling to get a new map (because ours got all wet), the ranger said that she asked her colleague whether he saw us and if we were alright. It was nice to see that they were concerned about us since we ventured out on our own. Overall good experience.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank savvy_traveller175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Titusville, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Go upstairs”
Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

I went to the store downstairs first. Unless you want to hear lies about the area don't go....they are just pushing boat rides. I asked about a hiking trail and the girl told me they had no trails around just water things. I went upstairs and talked to the guys there and they gave me a map with hiking trails, great photo places etc. Unless you want to scammed into a boat ride go upstairs.

Helpful?
4 Thank EatLocalBuyLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen, Norway
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Magic mangrove tour & dolphin encounters”
Reviewed April 26, 2014 via mobile

We went on both the "Mangrove Wilderness" tour and the "10,000 islands tour". The Mangrove tour took us deep into the swamp and mangrove canals in a small boat (6 passengers). The skilled and knowledgable driver/guide made it an experience of a lifetime pointing out wildlife and sights large and small.
The "10,000 islands" tour took us out towards the coast in a larger boat which was a less intimate experience than the mangrove tour. Got really close to a school of dolphins though, even had them jumping around the boat for 5 minutes. A spectacular experience in a spectacular scenery

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank ErikJSO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Informative Boat Ride and Visitor Center”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

We were very happy we took 105 minute boat ride here (vs one hour airboat rides that cannot go into the national park). The concessionaire has 6-seat boats with swivel seats so it's great for viewing wildlife. They are small and relatively quiet so you can get into the mangrove tunnels, and you don't have the noise of the airboats. Much to see--several dolphins swam near the boat, many osprey and chicks, terns, several types of mangroves, ibis, cormorants. Manatees and gators had left for less salty water but apparently are often seen at other times of year. We came to go to the visitor center and were surprised to see the boat concessions. Can also rent kayaks/canoes or take a larger boat through the 10000 Islands area.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank MPWAnnapolisW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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