Everglades Airboat & Wildlife Tour

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See alligators up-close & personal!

Price: ($2 coupon available on the website) Airboat & Exhibit: Adults: $20, Children (4-12): $10.  Earplugs included; Exhibit Only Admission: Adult: $10, Children (4-12): $5

**This has, by far, been our favorite outing.  I probably can’t say enough good things about it.

Sawgrass Recreation Park: This place is in the middle of nowhere, and we were sure we took a wrong turn.  There are numerous large (seating 25?) airboats, leaving for tours every 30 minutes.  The normal $20 admission gets you a boat tour and entrance to their animal exhibits.  The guided boat tour lasts 30min, and you’re taken through some beautiful grassy marshes.  There’s no guarantee you’ll see wild alligators, but the warmer it is, the better your chances.  We saw two which swam within inches of the boat, directly beside me (see videos below, just please ignore my trembling hands and wimpers of fear…).  Our guide, Captain Tim, was extremely knowledgeable & told us all about the alligators.  On our way back to the dock, we took tons of stunning photos of gorgeous Florida skies mirrored on the glassy water.

The animal exhibits consist of snakes (ginormous!), alligators, crocodiles, birds, Florida panthers, bobcats, wolves, turtles, lizards, leopards, foxes, and probably more I can’t remember.  There are ‘shows’ with the animals, included in the price of admission.  It’s all in a self-guided outdoor area, surrounded by swamplands.  Wild alligators can wander up into the exhibit area, so be mindful of your surroundings.  There are park guides available if you have any questions.

**There is an awful methane odor around several areas of the park, worst in the restrooms & the exhibits.  It’s apparently something that comes with being near the swamps.  They use the swamp water in the exhibits, so it has a yellow-brown tinge.  Nothing’s wrong with their water supply or drainage.

Tidbits: Private parking.  If you’re taking the boat tour, make sure all your valuables are secure, as hats/sunglasses can fly off your head.  Don’t forget your camera—you’re going to want it!   We actually bought tickets at 1/2 price on, but it’s worth full admission.

Sawgrass Recreation Park
1006 N US Highway 27
Weston, FL 33327-7700
(954) 389-0202

Jungle Queen tour

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Water tour- See the homes & boats of the rich & famous.

Price: Day trips $17.50 adult, $12.75 12yr & under, leaves at 9:30 and 1:30.  We got the evening tour + dinner package, $40 each, leaves at 6pm.

Big, river-boat style 2-story boat that’s been here doing tours for over 70 years.  GREAT tour of the houses & boats along the water.  Captain Bob was so entertaining.  He knew ‘dirt’ on lots of the people also.

The boat goes to a little ‘island’ where they have some birds, monkeys, and alligators.  We got the evening tour + dinner package, which leaves when it’s light out so can see the houses, come back after dark & see the city lit up at night.  Highly recommended.  Following the dinner on the island, there’s a cheesy yet moderately entertaining comedy/magic/juggling act.  No food/comedy/magic shows during the day tours.

The dinner is all-you-can-eat food brought to your family-style table, BBQ ribs & chicken, peel & eat shrimp, home fries, cole slaw, beans, chocolate cake.  The food was pretty good, but very rushed.  I got plenty to eat.  Beers cost extra.

Tidbits: Park at the Bahia Mar hotel & pay only $5 when you tell them you’re going on the Jungle Queen.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316