A June 2003 trip
to Everglades National Park by hersplash
Quote: For a change of pace, drive down to Everglade City and take an airboat ride. Both educational and thrilling, you can see live alligators and beautiful mangroves.
Attraction | "Captain Doug's Everglade Tours"
We first saw alligators in all different sizes in their own Alligator Park. The alligators are kept in pools of water and separated by size. The area is fenced off, although you can get pretty close to them. They aren't very active, except when they are fed marshmallows. You can see baby alligators or full-grown ones.
We then went on an airboat ride through the Everglades. I didn’t know what to expect and actually had no interest in one of these tours. What was I thinking? This trip was awesome. There were four of us on the boat, and the driver would absolutely fly through these very narrow waters amongst mangroves, grasslands, and hardwood hammocks. Those were absolutely beautiful. For the entire trip we were rocking and rolling all over the place. It was scary, but the fear made you laugh.
When the guide would spot an alligator, he’d stop the boat. The alligators came right up to the boat, and the driver would give them fish or marshmallows. At one point he grabbed one gator and opened his mouth so we could see it. It was frightening being so close but also really cool. We saw lots of other animals along the way, like wild boar and some pelicans that sat right next to me!
Discount coupons are on their web site at Captain Doug's and also in local tourist booklets. The price is around $60 per couple. Boats hold up to six people and leave about every 30 minutes. I think the ride was about 1 hour. Reservations are not required, but you can make them if you want a specific time. They are open from 9am to 5pm. The ride is quite windy, so you might need a jacket in cooler weather.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2005
Captain Doug's Everglades Tours
200 Collier Avenue
Everglades City, Florida 34139