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Hours of Operation

Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday: Learning Center Closed
Sunday:  9 am – 1 pm Outdoor Farmers Market
Address: 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113

Dogs are not allowed in the building or on the nature trails.


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General Admission

Adults: $10
Children Ages 6-12: $5
Children Under 6: FREE
Friends of Rookery Bay members: FREE
Association of Nature Center Administrators Reciprocal Program Members: FREE
Active and Retired Military personnel and family(up to 6 in total): FREE Year-Round


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2023 Holiday Closures

New Years Day (Observed): Monday, January 2
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Monday, January 16
Memorial Day: Monday, May 29
Independence Day: Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day: Monday, September 4
Veterans’ Day: Saturday, November 11
Day Before Thanksgiving: Wednesday, November 22
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 23
Friday after Thanksgiving: Friday, November 24
Christmas Day: Monday, December 25


EVERY SUNDAY (starts January 8th)
Rookery Bay Farmers Market | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Outdoor Farmers Market
Every Sunday starting January 8th – May 28th
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Address: 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113

*Environmental Learning Center Closed*

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The new Rookery Bay Farmers Market will be held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 8 through May 28 in the parking lot of the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples. More than three dozen vendors will offer fruit, vegetables, local seafood, cottage foods, international cuisine, local honey, guacamole, baked goods, specialty coffee, organic skincare, clothing, handmade jewelry, accessories, art and more. Live music will be featured each week. The nature center will not be open, but the Friends of Rookery Bay will offer special promotions to market attendees. Shop Local Productions, which operates several farmers markets in Collier and Lee counties, is coordinating the new market. Learn more at




Large windows in the Reserve’s laboratories allow visitors to observe ongoing research. A monitor displays film footage of local and visiting scientists conducting research and monitoring programs in the reseve. In the theater, a 10-minute documentary film produced by award-winning filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus, highlights the beauty of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve.

In the 2,300-gallon mangrove aquarium centerpiece, a 14-foot sculpted tree soars up through an open atrium into the Center’s second story. A climb-in “bubble” provides visitors with close-up views of mangrove prop roots that provide shelter for fish inhabitants. Interactive and hands-on exhibits provide opportunities for visitors of all ages to explore and expand upon their knowledge of Florida’s estuaries.




Our 180-gallon Marine Life Exhibit is designed to look and feel like Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s natural environment with detailed rock formations and a variety of local marine life. In addition to self-guided engagement with these animals, docent-led programs will also be scheduled throughout the day.

The “Estuary Encounter” exhibit houses more than a dozen species of marine animals for guests of all ages to discover during regular visiting hours. Observe and interact with a sea star, spider crab or lightning whelk.



Cultural exhibits on the second floor of the Environmental Learning Center showcase 3,000 years of human use in the estuary. A large topographic map on the wall depicts prehistoric and historic sites, a storytelling booth recounts memories of pioneer settlers, and a tribute to the Children’s Column on Henderson Creek tells the story of how Rookery Bay was saved from development in the 1960s.

There’s even a “Today and the Future” area that provides an overview of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and sea level rise, and how they might affect various forms of life in southwest Florida. The exhibits include an interactive guessing game dispelling myths about climate change, a touchscreen carbon calculator which gives people an opportunity to see how their personal choices measure up on an international standard, and a demonstration of ways people can make a difference in their homes and daily lives.


Visit our Art Galleries for inspiring shows that showcase local artists.



The Observation Bridge transports pedestrians across Henderson Creek with educational signs luring visitors to explore their surroundings, such as looking down at the water passing under the bridge to see which way it is flowing. Salinity is the name of the game here, and summer rains across the watershed fill the creek with rushing waters, diluting the salinity and triggering creatures of the estuary to reproduce. From the bridge it’s possible to see manatees, tarpon, and even sharks when conditions are right.

As the bridge begins to slope down to meet the ground, visitors experience a brief trek through tangled mangroves, palms and oaks. Resurrection ferns, bromeliads, and even orchids can be seen growing along the furrowed cracks of oak tree bark. Looking up, it is easy to see the pockmarks of pileated woodpeckers and other insectivores in the upper reaches of expired pine snags.


Three 1/2-mile walking trails.


Along the Snail Trail, it is easy to forget you’re less than ten miles away from the city limits of both Naples and Marco Island. The Snail Trail encourages explorers to use all their senses to connect intimately with the natural world, meandering slowly like a snail, and includes a boardwalk/viewing platform at the water’s edge. Visitors can take the ½-mile walking trail with a surface suitable for strollers and wheelchairs, or two more ½-mile, unsurfaced trails for the more “adventurous” explorers.  What you’ll see:

  • An old homestead dating back to post-Civil War times when squatters began to farm this rugged terrain.
  • A primitive swale system designed to drain the land during driving summer rains.
  • Sanseveria (an ornamental plant commonly associated with early homesteads).
  • A cement rainwater storage cistern that collected rainwater running off the old home’s roof and stored it through the dry winter months, when it could be used for cooking and watering livestock.



Take in nature and views of Henderson Creek while enjoying lunch or a snack in the shade on our back patio or under the Chickee Hut. Snacks are available for purchase in the Nature Store.


Every item purchased helps to support the efforts of the Friends of Rookery Bay.


Welcome to the Rookery Bay Nature Store, where every purchase supports Friends of Rookery Bay and its mission to provide resources for Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s education, research and conservation programs. Here you’ll find an assortment of wonderful gifts to purchase for your family or maybe bring back a souvenir for yourself.

You can now purchase select items in the comfort of your own home. Free Shipping with every purchase! Saw something you liked in our store during your visit? Email with your request.

Nature Store Hours

Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday: Closed


We accommodate indoor/outdoor and day/evening functions.


We accommodate indoor/outdoor and day/evening functions.
• Meetings
• Special Celebrations
• Evening Socials
• Birthday Parties
• Unique Wedding Venue
• Workshops or Seminars

*Additional $400 security & cleaning fee (subject to change)

Capacity: 130 seats | Rate: $200/hr, $1,500/daily
Theater with padded seats and side tables.
Equipped with projector and sound system.
Environmental Learning Center admission included.
Capacity: 18-U-shape; 21-classroom style; 25-theater style | Rate: $75/hr (per room), $500/daily
For smaller meetings, lectures or workshops.
Equipped with projector and screen.
Environmental Learning Center admission included.
Capacity: 200 | Rate: $500/hr, $1,500/daily
Includes the Patio, Chickee, and Open Courtyard.
Evening functions ONLY; starting after 4:30pm.
Outside catering vendor required.*
Capacity: 200 | Rate: $800/hr, $5,000/daily
Includes the Exhibit Hall, Mezzanine, Classrooms and Auditorium.
Evening functions ONLY; starting after 4:30pm.
Outside catering vendor required.*

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