From our friends at “The Islander”:
Does this road look familiar? Have you ever wondered where “that one road” leads to? Have you always meant to go down “that road,” but the beach allure was too strong to resist?
Before you knew it, vacation time was up, and the mystery still remains.
“We get people all the time who tell us ‘we’ve been coming to the island for years and we never knew what was down here,'” Wendy Schnapp, general manager and part-owner of Tarpon Bay Explorers, said.
Though the island is smaller compared to other beach destinations, it has many nooks and crannies. Tarpon Bay is one of those nooks and crannies. But unlike a dusty, dark, cob-webbed filled nook and cranny one may envision, the bay offers a bright and sunny display of back bay water and wildlife.
Tarpon Bay Explorers is the company and concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge that sits at the very end of “that one road.”
“We always want to remind locals and visitors alike that we are here,” she said. “It is a great place to bring the grandkids for an eco-excursion or just to shop.”
An inconspicuous fact is that 15 percent of everything – tours, rentals, merchandise – goes back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the care and protection of wildlife refuges around the country.
It is also one of the few gift shops on the island where visitors can occasionally observe manatees frolicking in the water or pelicans diving for savory sardines.
Tarpon Bay Explorers is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Christmas; note that rentals stop at 3 p.m.
For more information, call 239-472-8900 or click here. Tarpon Bay Explorers is located at 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel.