In the midst of 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Marine Estuary, the center dramatically interprets the Everglades environment and local history with interactive models, aquariums, an art gallery, a film, tours, and "coastal connections" programs (45 minutes, at 11 and 2 daily). It's on the edge of the estuary, about five minutes east of Marco's north bridge on Collier Boulevard. Take a walk along Observation Bridge, a 440-foot pedestrian bridge that spans the reserve's creek from the center's second floor, and connects with 1.5 miles of nature trails and leads to a creekside viewing platform. Guided and self-guided walks available. Kayak and boat tours are also available through advance registration. Exhibits include an interactive research boat, a display on the importance of the Gulf of Mexico to coastal communities, and another on global climate change. Geocaches can be found on the trail and parking area. Kids go free on Friday in June and July. Also, visit the website for a printable coupon for admission.