Nature’s Wonders, Ritz-Carlton, Vanderbilt Beach, Naples
A real natural treasure has sprouted in North Naples at the Ritz-Carlton off Vanderbilt Beach in North Naples. Tucked away in a relatively compact space on the ground floor, the Ritz-Carlton team has created a truly exquisite center for exploration and discovery. Thanks to unity of vision, design and execution, Nature’s Wonders offers a coherent and comprehensive venue for hands-on learning, sereptiously disguised as family fun. The Turtle Journal team awards its highest honor, Five Turtles, to Nature’s Wonders as an exemplar for communities and environmental outfits from coast to coast to demonstate how intelligence, enthusiasm and coherent design can transform a small space into a first class center for natural discovery. (The Turtle Journal team whispers one phrase of caution. A camel is a horse designed by committee [a.k.a. consensus]. Unity of vision, design and execution makes all the difference between mediocrity and excellence.)
Ranger Randy (Sarton)
During our recent visit to Nature’s Wonders, Ranger Randy Sarton proved a gracious and very informative host. Randy knows his stuff. He’s knowledgeable about Florida’s coastal environment and habitats. He has collected a wealth of natural treasures for the center’s tanks and displays, and Randy has created a wide range of curricula (a fancy, educator’s word for hands-on discovery and fun) for family adventures.
Ranger Randy Guides Us Through Nature’s Wonders
Touch tank to illustrate local marine treasures, coral tank to showcase the splashy colors of Nemo’s world, laboratory for hands-on discovery, display cases, posters, computers and a marine theatre. A bit like Dr. Who’s Tardis, Nature’s Wonders expands into a full-sized marine science center once you enter its magical world.
Sea Turtles – Signature Species in SW Florida
Sea turtles and especially loggerheads mark a key species in the natural habitat of Florida’s southwest coast with females digging nests on the beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton.
Nature’s Wonders Laboratory
Nature’s Wonders sports a fully equipped laboratory for more detailed hands-on exploration of the natural world.
There are no rainy days in Florida, or so you may have heard. Well, at Nature’s Wonders, there really are no rainy days with a built-in Nature Vision theatre to offer a second look at discoveries witnessed in the field or a first look on those few moments when Nature turns on its sprinkler system to keep Florida plush and green.
Full Schedule of Indoor and Outdoor Adventures
Taking full advantage of Florida’s “perfect” weather and rich natural habitat, Ranger Randy and the Ritz-Carlton team lead adventure walks, field trips and boat cruises, expanding from the Nature’s Wonders center into the natural world at large.