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2020 Official Naples, Marco Island and Everglades Visitors Guide

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Other fabulous options include the double decker Double Sunshine at Tin City, and for something really different, little buccaneers and their families adore the interactive pirate adventure aboard Marco Island's Black Pearl, complete with cannon fire and treasures. These and other sightseeing boats offer a variety of options from morning to sunset, from sail-only to shelling and themed cruises. Some also offer dining. Boat Rentals and Charters If you prefer to pilot your own sightseeing vessel, rent a pontoon or a deck boat for a half or full day at Port O Call Marina, Naples Bay Resort & Marina, Pure Florida or Extreme Family Fun Spot in Naples and Rose Marina on Marco Island. At Naples City Dock, Sailboats Unlimited offers both bareboat and crewed charters aboard Danmark or Betelgeuse III. Or, go glam to the max with Naples Nantucket Yacht Group, whose charter fleet includes a 105' yacht that sleeps eight. Paddling For the closest and quietest view of the water and its inhabitants, from manatees and dolphins to magnificent sea birds, grab your paddle and your sense of wonder to peacefully navigate the Gulf of Mexico coastline, the beautiful Gordon or Marco Rivers, or through lush mangrove tunnels in the Ten Thousand Islands. Follow Paradise Coast Kayak Tours guide Mike Devlin into the twisted lagoons of the Cocohatchee River, or ease along the shallows on a stand-up paddleboard at Marco Island's Tigertail Beach. For a true centuries- old native experience, join 5th generation Gladesman Jack Shealy at Everglades Adventure Tours on a handcrafted pole boat. Kayak, canoe and paddleboard launches abound throughout the region, and rentals are available on several beaches. Check out Naples Beach Watersports, Marco Island Watersports or Cabana Dan's. Some, like Naples Kayak Company, deliver to a choice of locations. Diving and Snorkeling The largest complex of artificial reefs in the Western Hemisphere -- more than 18,000 tons of them -- lies just off Florida's Paradise Coast! One reef is even shaped like a loggerhead sea turtle. Check out SCUBAdventures, Scuba Outfitters (both of Naples) or Scuba Marco for classes, equipment and dives. More details and GPS coordinates at ParadiseCoast.com/ Articles/Paradise_Reef. Jet Skiing Whether your style is wet and wild or gentle and serene, your Jet Ski or WaveRunner is waiting. Explore on your own with a rental from Pure Florida, Naples Jet Ski Rental or one of the many other beachfront or marina-based rental companies. For a combination of speed and eco- sensitive wildlife encounter, check out the guided tours at Captain Ron's Awesome Everglades Adventures, Avi's Watersports or Marco Island Watersports. Eco-Touring If comfort is your eco-tour priority, tour Rookery Bay aboard the pontoon boat, Good Fortune ll, at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida which launches on several Marco Island beaches. You can track and help catalog Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in comfort aboard the Dolphin Explorer, or if manatee sighting is your goal, go straight to Manatee Eco-Tours at Port of the Islands Marina. Shelling Who doesn't love to find a sun- bleached sand dollar or the fossil of an ancient whelk shell? Who wouldn't thrill to the discovery of a colorful scallop shell, a tiny kitten's paw, or even the former home of a baby horse conch? Many sightseeing and eco-tour operators stop at island beaches for shelling time -- and some, like Treasure Seekers Shell Tours and Marco Island Boat Tours, specialize in the more adventurous sport of shelling in the mangrove shallows. Swamp Trekking The best modes of transport through wet grasslands, swamps and inland lakes are the airboat, the knobby- wheeled swamp buggy, and of course your oldest pair of sneakers or hiking shoes. Contact Corey Billie's Airboat Rides, C&G Big Cypress Swamp Buggy Tours, or get a combo deal from Captain Jack's or Wooten's that includes both options…plus, if you like, a free baby alligator hug! Among the region's favorite swamp treks is wading through the cypress and pond apple sloughs with park biologist Mike Owen at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.

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