BEST PLACES TO SEE ALLIGATORS IN FLORIDA

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Video lake george alligators

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida is home to about 1.3 million alligators.

They show up in all 67 Florida counties and an old saying in Florida is that if you have a pond, lake, stream, or swamp, you will have alligators.

This is amazing because in 1967 they were listed as an endangered species. In 1973 the Endangered Species Act outlawed alligator hunting.

They are so common now in Florida that you will see them not only in their natural habitat, but on golf courses and even now and then in a residential swimming pool.

Take a look at this monster in Daytona Beach ambling across a golf course in high walk mode.

It is not surprising the University of Florida calls its sports teams “The Gators” and nicknamed its football stadium “The Swamp.” Its mascots are Albert and Alberta.

They are presumably a happily married alligator couple.

An obscure fact is that there are two types of alligators living in the world today.

There is a Chinese alligator, and the ones we have here in Florida, American alligators.

Only an expert can tell the difference.

There are dozens of places to see live alligators in Florida. Here are some ideas for places to see gators.

Everglades City also has many places where you can get private airboat rides that will take you through alligator habitat.

This brackish water environment is one of the best ways to see wild alligators in their natural home.

Big Cypress National Preserve is on the west side of the Everglades. Big Cypress Loop Road is a quiet scenic drive you can take where you will usually see wild alligators.

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The loop road is connected at its east and west ends to the Tamiami Trail (US-41). The Trail connects Miami to Tampa and goes through Naples and other Southwest Florida cities.

Another route through the Everglades is I-75, known locally as “Alligator Alley.” This highway connects Fort Lauderdale to Naples.

There are several rest areas along the route where you can pull off and maybe see some alligators and other Florida wildlife.

Sometimes nature and weather do not want to cooperate in letting you see alligators out where they live in the wild.

That is why the best chance of safely seeing a gator is in one of the many Florida attractions that promise you a good time while teaching you about alligators.

Here are some that I think you will enjoy.

Gatorland has an abundance of alligators that you can wander among (safely) and enjoy watching them being fed along with other shows.

The also have two ziplines where you can soar above the hungry reptiles.

For the adventurous, there is a zipline where you can soar safely above the exhibits for an overhead view of an amazing variety of animals.

LINKS TO WEBSITES OF PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

Everglades National ParkHillsborough River State ParkMerritt Island National Wildlife RefugeMyakka River State ParkBlack Hammock Fish CampEverglades Alligator FarmEverglades Wonder GardensGatoramaGatorlandJungle AdventuresSt Augustine Alligator FarmFlorida Key Lime Pie Company

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>