The creature that most visitors want to see when they come to the Everglades is the American alligator and the best way to do it is with a Florida Everglades airboat tour. Alligators are plentiful in this area and you will see wild gators basking in the sun near freshwater rivers, canals and sloughs – either in the water or near the water’s edge. Visitors need to be very careful when they are walking on trails or getting near the water’s edge and an airboat tour is a safe way to see these wild alligators.
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How to Book a Florida Everglades Airboat Tour
There are several tour operators that provide visitors with the opportunity to experience an authentic airboat tour of the Florida Everglades area. Such tours allow you to see the Everglades marsh ecosystem and its inhabitants up close and safely. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, but that isn’t what we did. As we were driving along the main road just outside Everglades City, we spotted an airboat operation and popped in to see if they had availability.
Side Trip Suggestion: Head to Cabbage Key to for a Cheeseburger in Paradise.
Wooten’s Florida Everglades Airboat Tours
As luck would have it, we had stumbled across one of the most reputable airboat tour operators in the region. Wooten’s is one of the oldest airboat operators in the area and has been providing airboat tours since 1953 on 259 acres of private grasslands near Florida Everglades National Park.
We were also fortunate that they had availability for us as walk-ups to enjoy an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades without having to wait very long. We booked right there and while we waited, we explored their onsite animal sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary, we saw some enormous alligators. There were also crocodiles, snakes, panthers and deer inside the sanctuary. We were too late to see the daily alligator show, but we met the alligator trainer and the kids had the chance to hold a baby alligator.
Related: Check out our article about a Florida Everglades Kayak Tour.
Useful Equipment: An inexpensive pair of polarizing sunglasses will help you spot alligators in the water more easily. Polarizing glasses are also great for fishing.
What to Expect on a Florida Everglades Airboat Tour
We were all pretty excited when it was finally time for our airboat tour of the Florida Everglades. The ride itself was thrilling – and loud. Drivers have to wear protective earmuffs, so they don’t end up with hearing loss. We skimmed along the surface of the marsh at high speed and got close up views of massive alligators in the wild. From start to finish, the entire airboat tour took about 30-minutes, but it gave us the chance to see wild alligators in the Florida Everglades and that was an experience we won’t ever forget.
- When you book online, you get access to the animal sanctuary and the alligator feeding shows for free. If you walk-up, you have to pay extra for those. For more information and a discount booking code, visit the website.
- Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. For more information on Everglades National Park, visit the park’s official website.
More Adventures in Florida: Take a side trip to the Edison Ford Summer Estates near Fort Myers to see the summer homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.