Captiva Cruises. Shelling, dolphin, luncheon, beach, sunset, and history cruises run to and around the out islands of Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Cayo Costa, and Gasparilla Island. Night sky cruises and excursions also go to historic Tarpon Lodge and Calusa Indian Mound Trail on Pine Island. Excursions are from $27.50, and there may be a charge for parking. McCarthy's Marina, 11401 Andy Rosse La., Captiva, Florida, 33924. 239/472–5300; www.captivacruises.com. Tours from $27.50.
Manatee and Eco River Tours. To spot some sea cows in the Fort Myers area, hook up with Manatee and Eco River Tours. Open November 1–April 30, during the height of manatee viewing season. You can even bring your pet. Reservations required. 16991 Rte. 31, Fort Myers, Florida, 33905. 239/693–1434; www.manateeandecorivertours.com. Tours from $15.
Manatee Sightseeing Adventure. You are guaranteed to see manatees or you don't pay. Tours depart at Port of the Islands. Discount tickets are available online. 525 Newport Dr., Naples, Florida, 34114. 239/642–8818; www.see-manatees.com. Admission $58.
Tarpon Bay Explorers. One of the best ways to see the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is by taking one of these guided or self-guided nature tours. There are many options to choose depending on your activity level and desire—including a sea life cruise, open-air tram tours, and nature cruises, to name a few. Rentals of kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, bikes, and pontoon boats are right on-site. Charter boats are also available. 900 Tarpon Bay Rd., Sanibel, Florida, 33957. 239/472–8900; www.tarponbayexplorers.com. Tours from $13.