Today tourists are looking for more than just a beautiful beach and sparkling waves. They want to know what creatures live on the sand, in the sea, and in the tidelands beyond — in short, they want to know about the complex environment.
The new field of eco-tourism is thriving in the Naples area. Here’s short list of some of local eco-tourism activities for your Naples vacation, from commercial tours to state and local park programs.
Parks and Beaches
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. This 14,000-acre wildlife sanctuary northeast of Naples in Collier County includes the largest untouched Bald Cypress Forest in North America. It’s open to the public 365 days a year, weather permitting. Two boardwalk paths, one a mile long and the other 2.25 miles long, allow you to walk above the swamp and observe alligators, frogs, lizards, butterflies, and a wide variety of birds — egrets, herons, ibis, storks, cranes, vultures, hawks, doves, owls, woodpeckers, flycatchers, wrens, and thrushes are all common. You might even see an eagle, a bobcat or a Florida black bear!
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is part of the Florida parks system. The beach is reserved for snorkeling, hiking, bird-watching, and shelling, with special areas designated for fishing. Ranger-led tours include guided tours of the beach. We suggest bringing binoculars for viewing eagles, ospreys, owls, and more.
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is on Tower Road in South Naples. While their primary focus is research, they also provide a wide range of educational opportunities for adults, families, and children. You can attend lectures, take photography classes, or tour the reserve by kayak or boat. During the winter season, the Environmental Learning Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9-4.
The Dolphin Explorer tour offers three-hour expeditions (morning or afternoon options) from the Marco River Marina to observe and photograph dolphins near remote barrier islands off the Florida coast. The group’s researchers know most dolphins by name, and can tell you their histories. Tours need to be booked in advance, and often sell out.
Traveling with a large group? Pure Florida, promises to take visitors off the beaten path to see the wonders of the region. The family-run company specializes in group bookings for adventures including shelling/dolphin tours, air boat rides, swamp buggy rides, sunset cruises, yacht cruises, kayaking, camping in the Everglades, and charter fishing.
If manatees are your focus, the Manatee Sightseeing Eco-Tourism Adventure offers 1-1/2 hour private sightseeing trips, by appointment only. The boat tours leave from Port of the Islands Resort, 14 miles east of Naples, and take up to six passengers to a remote area of the Everglades where manatees gather.
Come Inside to the Comfort of Your Naples Florida Vacation Home
When you’ve finished your relaxing self-care day at one of these spas in Naples, FL, come enjoy the serene beauty of a gorgeous Naples Florida Vacation Home. When you stay in one of our stunning rentals, you can relax knowing that you’ll have everything you need for the perfect vacation. You and your family will love the beauty of the Paradise Coast, and our homes are complete with the amenities you deserve for a luxurious getaway. All you have to do is arrive and enjoy! Contact us today! We are looking forward to helping you find your dream vacation home!