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Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

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300 Tower Rd, Naples, FL 34113-8031
+1 239-530-5940
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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.
  • Excellent64%
  • Very good25%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“touch tank” (32 reviews)
“learning center” (19 reviews)
“marine life” (14 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
300 Tower Rd, Naples, FL 34113-8031
+1 239-530-5940
Write a ReviewReviews (280)
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1 - 10 of 276 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped here on an impulse on our way back from Naples to Marco during Thanksgiving week. On duty was "Dave" an educator at the touch tank. We spent the next 45 minutes quizzing Dave about the creatures in the touch tank and regaling him...More

Thank 743leslieg
Reviewed 29 October 2017 via mobile

Went on our way home from Marco Island. Very helpful and knowledgeable volunteers. Nice touch tanks. Trails are currently closed due to Irma, but they have a dock and skybridge for wildlife viewing. They had crafts for kids and a video in the theater. Plan...More

Thank fricassee2000
Reviewed 21 October 2017 via mobile

This Marine Estuary is the perfect place to get young children to start learning about Southwest Floridas environment and let them feel connected to nature. There is a touch tank, a large exhibit of the fish found in the area, and even a nature trail...More

Thank Cr0wserv0
Reviewed 3 October 2017 via mobile

If you have any interest in the environment and marine life of Southwest Florida. This is the place to touch, smell, watch, and experience all those things. Their new beautiful touch tank is a sight to behold. Learn about anything that has to do with...More

Thank Susan K
Reviewed 29 August 2017

The Learning Center has marine life (scientific) exhibits, a film on the estuarine environment (narrated by Guy Harvey), historical and cultural exhibits, art exhibit, walking trails, touch tank and so much more. It is a wonderful family experience that delights and educates. The staff are...More

Thank patbarber41
Reviewed 28 August 2017

We visited as a rainy day activity. Our kids loved the touch exhibit and learned so much from the gentleman working. We also had a chance to talk to a sea turtle volunteer to learn more about nesting season. The history exhibits were of more...More

Thank beachbum513
Reviewed 18 August 2017

Visited with a 4 year old and 7 year old (boys). The 7 year old was interested in most everything...but the 4 year old was intrigued with the "boat"...(the plastic marine life, the authentic "boat sounds" ). It was a wonderful experience. Difficult to spend...More

Thank Lana W
Reviewed 31 July 2017 via mobile

Went on a Monday...dead which was good, but no one helped us with the touch tank to actually touch items and told us we couldn't just touch on our own. Not enough staff to handle less than 10 people in the entire building. Barbara...volunteer was...More

Thank Dakkin
Reviewed 17 July 2017 via mobile

Saw this in one of the guide books so thought we'd visit for 1/2 day. Cost of entry $5 each. Went on a Friday and was that a big mistake! It's kids free Friday, so from 10am the place was full of little ones, with...More

1  Thank Lindy1967
Reviewed 13 July 2017 via mobile

Nice film & displays. Doable nature bridge & trails (.5 miles each). If you're with children, Friday is your best bet. If you want to avoid bugs on the trail, bring insect repellent or come during the winter months!

Thank Torsnary
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Questions & Answers
Sue D
22 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Katherine D | Reviewed this property |
Call the center. Reviewers don't have all the answers.
Tina P
14 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from RookeryBayReserve | Property representative |
Thanks for your question. In February, our touch tank is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This might change slightly in March, but you can find the "daily programs calendar" at our website. We are currently building... More
Christopher K
19 January 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from RookeryBayReserve | Property representative |
Sorry we did not respond to this inquiry sooner - Steve G.s response is accurate. Be aware that there is no launch site at the Environmental Learning Center however, purchase of our guided tours includes admission to the... More