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Florida Boat Day Ecotour – 5 Things You Must Look For

Are you and your family in search of a water adventure day on the Gulf of Mexico? Why not book an eco boat tour with A Boat Day to really experience what the Florida West Coast’s Ocean has to offer? A boat tour is a fun and exciting way to explore the ecosystems around Clearwater, FL, while searching for marine wildlife in their natural habitats. Our experienced boat captains will take you on an interactive tour to view some of our amazing wildlife and educate you with some fun facts along the way. Here are a few things you should be on the hunt for during your boat trip.

a group of people in a boat on a body of water

What To Look For During A Boat Ecotour

1. Dolphins

One of the most guaranteed ways to see dolphins is while boating. During a dolphin tour, riders can witness one or more dolphins racing, playing and even jumping out of the water. The best way to experience these aquatic mammals is by watching them have fun in a boat’s wake. It is one of the most thrilling and exciting moments while dolphin watching and an experience you don’t want to miss!

The best part about this dolphin eco-tour is that dolphins are year-round in Florida, so you can catch them any time of the year. The most popular dolphins in the Southwest Florida Coast are the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. These smart and social mammals are always up for some fun in the water which helps contribute to the increased amount of dolphin sightings during a boat tour.

a dolphin swimming in the water

2. Manatees

The top rated place to see manatees is actually right here in Florida, making it the perfect playground for these loveable sea cows. Fun fact, the manatee’s closest living relative isn’t a walrus, seal or cow, but actually an elephant! Although they live in water, they still need air to survive. This is why they frequently come to the surface in order to breathe.

These large, aquatic marine mammals are very popular visitors in most of our Florida waterways, making it a great spot to book manatee boat tours. Peak season for manatee sightings in the Gulf is typically in the Spring-Fall months when the water temperature is warmer. These loveable creatures are definitely worth booking a private tour for the chance to see them in the wild. They are actually Florida’s state marine mammal which makes them a popular tourist attraction when visiting the area.

a fish swimming under water

3. Birds

The Clearwater, Florida area is one of the few places where birds nest on the beaches and shorelines. Seabirds are often spotted in mangrove trees, pier pilings and in air hunting. During the summer months, the area hosts sandpipers, heron, egret and other various shorebirds. You can also see our year round bird of prey, the osprey while traveling by boat.

In Florida, a bird watching experience is perfect if you are looking to see a variety of species throughout the day. It is often called a birder’s paradise due to the mild climate and attractive habitats throughout the area. Plus, unlike your typical bird watching tours on land, you are more likely to see the other beautiful marine life in our crystal clear waters.


4. Mangrove Estuaries 

One of the most intriguing true natives of Florida are the Mangrove trees growing throughout the State Park islands around Clearwater, creating essentially a nursery for baby marine life. In fact, the Tampa Bay area Estuary is the largest in all of Florida and an essential part of our local ecosystem’s health.  

Mangroves are characterized as salt loving trees. Their thick root system starts above the ground/water and extends into the water providing a labyrinth for small fish, crabs, snails and other wildlife to survive.  Mangroves help stabilize our coastline and provide natural resources for nearby areas. We are so lucky to have so many protected land and island areas around Clearwater, Tampa and St. Pete.

a view of a river

5. Seashells, Sand Dollars and Starfish

The Clearwater area is known for amazing shelling! Searching for beautiful seashells and other fun trinkets are always a popular stop along the way during A Boat Day ecotour. This beach activity gives everyone the chance to get off the boat, explore and compare their findings once they return. Not only is it something the whole group can enjoy during their boat tour, but it gives them something they can take back with them afterwards to remember their trip.

Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island are some of the most popular spots to find seashells and sand dollars due to the pristine white beach, accessible sand bars and crystal clear water. Plus, chances are you will see other marine creatures in the water during your exploration. The perfect day at sea always includes collecting a few of these Florida souvenirs to take home.

a piece of fruit

A Boat Day – Clearwater Ecotours

During your immersive ecotourism trip with A Boat Day, you will learn about the history of our surrounding areas, explore various wildlife habitats and experience all of the “must-see” spots. You will have the chance to stop to swim, snorkel and shell on some of the most protected natural islands in Florida. It is highly likely you will see a pod of dolphins, and if you are patient and lucky a manatee. This hands-on excursion is great for all ages and will definitely be an unforgettable adventure for you and your family!

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A Manatee looking up at us!

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Dolphin jumping behind our boat during a Clearwater Boat Ecotour

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