The Flamingo Visitor Center had pontoon boat rides, so you will want to head down there in the early afternoon (like 1 - 3 pm) to see the times and get a ticket. We had no trouble getting a ticket on a Sunday for a ride that would leave in half an hour. They offered two types of boat rides at different times. They do not leave on the hour, it was more like half past the hour when our boat ride left. The captain checks back to make sure there isn't any other people on their way to the boat before he leaves. You can bring snacks and drinks on the boat. I don't think there was a bathroom on-board. The pontoon boat had a shaded canopy or the front area out in the sun. The biting flies were a constant even when we were moving in the water and wind. It was a little less annoying in the sun. The flies stayed attached to the underside of the canopy. Bug spray would help (and a fly swatter).
The bathroom at the visitor center had a lot of flies, since it did not have a screen door like a the Ernest Coe center.
Note to those who mosquitoes love: I did the whole day without mosquito spray. I ended up with 14 bites. I think it was mostly from the boat ride and the biting flies and the Pineland trail that had deep holes in the limestone that had pools of stagnant water and that had a lot of mosquitoes that even followed me into the car.
In addition to the cold drinks, there were ice cream bars which really tasted good on a hot day. They had a few T-shirts but not much in the way of things that you would want to buy as souvenirs. No exhibits. They offered tarps to protect your car from the crows that will try to eat your windshield wiper rubber or sunroof rubber. We chased a crow off our car and didn't have a problem overall. Probably too hot for the crows that day.
We saw a crocodile in the lagoon and two manatees in the water that the captain got to come back for us. We saw them at the back of the docked boat with their noses that came out of the water to breathe. It was wonderful to see the wild manatees.
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