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“Outstanding! Great way to learn to know our new home”

Crystal Coast Ecotours - Private Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
2 reviews
“Outstanding! Great way to learn to know our new home”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

We went out on the water with Capt. Jess on a perfect day to be on the water. We had recently moved to Morehead City and wanted to learn more about our surroundings. As a marine biologist and resident of the area, he knew every barrier island and quirk of the waterway. We had a seven hour tour and had the opportunity to see the wild ponies, dolphins and fantastic shelling. We also saw the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and a deserted island. We would recommend this tour to anyone who loves wildlife and wants to see the area through the eyes of one who loves the Crystal Coast and its inhabitants.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Betty Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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189 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A perfect day on the water”
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We had an outstanding 7-hour tour with Capt. Jess Hawkins, a marine biologist and lifelong resident of the Carolina coast. He knows his stuff and is a pleasant and engaging guide. We saw an amazing amount of wildlife--many many dolphins, including mother and baby pairs swimming together; huge loggerhead turtles, along with some smaller sea turtles; sting rays; pelicans, ibises, terns, and skimmers, and an osprey; and the famous Shackleford wild horses. We visited the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, did a little fishing, crossed a dune and found amazing shells on the ocean. To our amazement, 7 hours wasn't enough to do everything we wanted to do, especially learn about the natural wonders of the Core Banks from Capt. Jess. He knows the area so well, he can find treasures no matter the weather. His boat is small but was big enough for the six of us, and we felt safe and well cared for every minute.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Exciting and Educational Adventure”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Went out with Captain Jess with my fiancé and family while on vacation in Emerald Isle. We all had a different thing we wanted to see: I wanted to find the wild ponies and go shelling for sand dollars and conch shells; my sister wanted to see sea turtles; my mom wanted to visit the Cape Lookout Lighthouse (which is accessible only by boat); my dad wanted to fish and my fiancé, a boating enthusiast was excited be out on the water. Our ecotour with Captain Jess delivered everything we had been wanting and more. His knowledge taught us about things we didn't even know to ask about, wether it be the wildlife, the islands, even the communities in SOBX.
He was able to also recommend other activities on the island communities: Beaufort, Morehead City, and Swansboro that helped my fiancé and I discover activities and restaurants we would have otherwise overlooked.
Thanks so much, Captain Jess!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank young1589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
“Every moment was a treasure.”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

My 3 children, my parents, and I had the most gorgeous day with Cpt Jess. My kids have a new hero! He taught us so much and went above and beyond to make sure every second of our 4 hr adventure was more exciting and special than we even imagined. I can't thank him enough! We saw several herds of Shackleford's wild horses up close, gathered a HUGE haul of absolutely amazing seashells, sponges, coral, and even a mermaid's purse, and then we visited the Cape Lookout lighthouse (my mom's lifelong dream). Along the way we also caught and released a cannonball jellyfish (thrilling!) and picnicked in calm waters birdwatched. He was a fantastic host- he was considerate and great with the little ones, and his enthusiasm was infectious. Would absolutely recommend to nature lovers of any age. :)

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank MACED5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Milton, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
“_BEST_DAY_EVER!_”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

After suffering through a record 6 mo. snowy Ohio winter, our family held high expectations for our Memorial Day trip to the Southern OBX. We've stayed at Nags Head and Myrtle Beach before, but neither come close to the beautiful blue, almost Carribean clear water we are experiencing this week all along the Emerald Isle and Crystal Coast, NC. Undoubtedly, the highlight of our trip was our day with Capt. Jess Hawkins, Crystal Coast Ecotours out of Morehead City, NC. A professional marine biologist and native Carolinian, he exceeded everyone's expectations. If we had experienced any one of the large list of activities he offers, we would have been happy; he delivered _every_ thing we hoped for... Wild ponies on the beach, sea turtles, dolphins, seining, beaching the boat on unnamed islands and shoals and gathering sand dollars, shells, while he showed and taught us about coastal wildlife and the history of the area. We fished and caught a wide variety of fish, even netting cannonball jellies from the boat! He put us ashore at Cape Lookout National Sea Shore and gave a personalized tour. He took the five of us out for over 7 hours on Memorial Day and covered coastline from Morehead to Cape Lookout and back. If we had taken the well advertised public tour boats, following a set, not personalized tour as we did, would have cost us $100 per person, or in our case, $500. We had the Capt. and The Lucky Dog to ourselves, and for far, far less! To say he has our highest recommendations is an understatement! When we return to the Southern OBX, Crystal Coast Ecotours and Capt. Jess will be #1 on our list of things to do!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank MrsMoo82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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