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“Excellent morning trip”

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Ranked #17 of 132 things to do in Naples
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Environmental Learning Center is a 16,500 square-foot facility with four research laboratories, classrooms and 140-seat auditorium, and two story visitor center. The visitor center offers a variety of hands-on experiences, including 2,300-gallon aquarium and NEW Estuary Encounter interactive marine life exhibit and other displays addressing research and stewardship efforts ongoing within the Reserve, as well as a nature store, gallery and picnic area. Guided boat and kayak tours offered seasonally provide educational experiences while enjoying this special place. Check our website to see information about our tours.
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Tom the guide on our half mile walk was brilliant with a vast knowledge of Florida flora and fauna.
This place should be advertised better as it is important to ensure that all the good work done here is maintained.

Thank RayNailsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (299)
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All reviews
"touch tank"
in 35 reviews
"learning center"
in 19 reviews
"nature trail"
in 13 reviews
"marine life"
in 14 reviews
"educational exhibits"
in 6 reviews
"marco island"
in 23 reviews
"short film"
in 4 reviews
"estuary tour"
in 3 reviews
"protected area"
in 3 reviews
"walking trails"
in 10 reviews
"sea creatures"
in 8 reviews
"across the bridge"
in 3 reviews
"five dollars"
in 3 reviews
"bug spray"
in 12 reviews
"great learning"
in 4 reviews
"local art"
in 4 reviews
"hands on activities"
in 3 reviews

242 - 246 of 299 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2013

This place has something for everyone. The touch tank is a favorite for the children. Great place to get in touch with our marine life in South West Florida.

Thank naflkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Great place to learn about the surrounding waters and Ten thousand islands. you can rent canoes for a day, and see Southwest Florida wildlife, birds, fish, dolphin, and maybe even a Manatee1

Thank MarOrchid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

After reviewing the estuary website, we took the kids here while on vacation at Marco Island in late June. It looked like a great place to get some hands-on fun and visit some nature trails among others. We arrived and paid the entrance fee and were told to start at the movie. We watched the movie anxiously awaiting what laid ahead. Downhill from there. The place was quiet with no workers around except the front desk. The touch tank had a sign that said its inhabitants were sleeping. No problem, we'll look at the other exhibits and come back. We asked about the nature hike. Can't do that... too many mosquitos. When was a good time......? We were then told "November". We asked about the touch tank.... only on Thursdays. Long story short, we must have been out of season. No problem, the issue is that this should clearly be stated on their website or told to us when I paid our entrance fee. When we asked for a refund since we couldn't actually do anything, we were told that we watched the (~10 minute) movie so no refund. So just be aware, I am sure it is a lovely place at the correct time of the year. Otherwise, you're just providing a donation to the estuary.

7  Thank Joel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RBNERR, Guest Relations Manager at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

We deeply apologize that your experience at Rookery Bay Reserve wasn't everything you had hoped for. We try to do everything possible to ensure a quality experience is provided to every visitor, but sometimes we fall short. The Rookery Bay ELC is open five days a week, with 6,500 square feet of exhibits, an art gallery, nature store, films, and more. Despite declining budgets and the seasonal shortfall of volunteers we still provide naturalist-led educational programs daily at 11 am and 2 pm, and jam-packed Friday programming all summer (FREE for kids under 12 in June and July). There are not a lot things to do (anywhere) for only $5: our cost of admission has remained the same since opening in 2004. We also apologize for the misinformation that was provided to you regarding the trail. The observation bridge and nature trail are always open during business hours to enjoy, although sometimes guests don't appreciate the insects present due to the weather and climate. We again apologize that your visit here wasn't what you has hoped for and we are making changes based on your review. We appreciate the feedback and encourage you to visit us again to see how we have improved.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2013

This is a great place to visit with the kids. The building is small but the exhibits are all very engaging and adults will learn alongside children about the estuaries and all of the species of animals and plants that make this ecosystem their home. We loved the observation bridge and saw lots of wild life including two baby bull sharks and a moon jellyfish swimming in the river's brackish water. We walked on the trails and enjoyed the butterfly garden. This was a lot of fun and a great value for just $5 per person and during summer kids are free on Fridays! My kid's favorite part was the touch tank, but make sure to check their schedule as they don't have this every day. If you are going in summer do not hit the trails without putting bug spray on.
The staff where super friendly and knowledgeable and the gift store had so many great gifts and some super affordable books and educational toys for the kids.

2  Thank Paula B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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