Everything You Need to Know About Rookery Bay Reserve in Marco Island

Suppose you’re searching for family-friendly activities in Marco Island; one of the best destinations in town is the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This attraction is an incredible place to get out into nature and learn what we can do to protect our planet’s most beautiful habitats.

Try to plan a visit to Rookery Bay while you’re staying in one of our Marco Island rentals!

sea turtle swimming through water

Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay is one of the United States’s 29 protected reserves. It spans from Gordon Pass in the city of Naples to the Western Everglades. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and Florida International University have combined their efforts. Together, they made this incredible nature preserve the important destination that it is today.

pelicans on beach

What Is Rookery Bay

 Rookery Bay serves to protect the natural beauty of Florida. They also educate the area’s residents and visitors about how they can participate in the effort. During your visit, you can see their efforts at work as you stroll through the reserve. You can admire the plants, and animal life, bring your kids to take part in a hands-on educational class, or participate in one of their fun annual events. Either way, you’ll be supporting a great cause and bringing attention to the vital work going on at Rookery Bay.

Plan Your Rookery Bay Visit

dolphin swimming through ocean

During your visit to one of the top nature preserves in Marco Island, start by simply exploring. You likely won’t get to see every last corner of the reserve; it stretches over 110,000 acres, after all! However, you will have plenty of chances for fishing, geocaching, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, shelling, boating, and so much more! Just be sure to abide by the reserve’s rules and leave the environment exactly as you find it.

While you’re here, don’t miss a visit to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. This 16,500-square-foot facility is eco-friendly and is fully equipped with classrooms, research laboratories, an auditorium, a two-story visitors center with tons of hands-on exhibits, and even aquariums! You could practically spend your entire visit to Rookery Bay in this location alone!

Rookery Bay also offers eco-tours. Guests tour through some of the area’s most breathtaking nature with the help of an experienced guide teaching you about everything you’re seeing along the way. You can book a 2- or 3-hour private boat tour or embark on a public tour like the Life’s A Beach Barrier Island Shelling tour, the Essence of the Estuary Eco-Cruise, and others. Kayak tours are also available, with options like the Heart of Rookery Bay Kayak Tour or the Sunset Bird Rookery Tour. The possibilities are truly endless!

Where to Stay

A visit to Rookery Bay is one of those Marco Island things to do that you simply shouldn’t miss. It’s a great place to explore the outdoors, learn about the environment, and do your part to protect our planet. But before you can come down to Marco Island to see Rookery Bay in all its glory, you’re going to need a place to stay! Luckily, our Marco Island rentals are just minutes away from this favorite attraction. Ready to plan your vacation? Contact us today to learn more about our vacation rentals on Marco Island!

Plan Your Next Stay

Book a vacation to Marco Island, and visit Rookery Bay Reserve. There is so much nature to take in and explore on Marco Island Florida, it sure to be a memorable trip!