When is the last time you had to stop to let a Gopher Tortoise cross the road or wait in your driveway until the beautiful, white Heron blocking your garage door could make its escape? Have you ever seen a Sandhill Crane hanging out in the parking lot of a local convenience store? These are everyday occurrences in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands – an area that teems with wildlife. We recommend you bring binoculars to better view a bald eagle in one of our parks or watch dolphins frolic from the beach.
If you, like we, love to know more about the areas you visit, consider a free wading trip to learn about the amazing and diverse sea creatures that live just below the water’s surface. If you love to hike, join one of the many nature walks that help you better understand the native flora and fauna of the Southwest Gulf Coast.
A staff favorite is Babcock Wilderness Adventure. Their tours take you through four different Florida eco-systems. When the tour bus stops on the bridge over a cypress swamp, it feels almost prehistoric – as if a pterodactyl might swoop down at any moment. Toward the end of the tour, the bus takes on a new passenger – a baby alligator. Worry not. The host of the tour will hold the tiny reptile while you have an opportunity to give him a “hello” pat on the head.