How to Find an Everglades Airboat with Alligators
The Florida Everglades provides an important habitat for a number of rare and endangered species. You are likely to find alligators on just about any airboat tour in Florida. Family vacations wouldn’t be complete without fun, educational, and exciting activities you can enjoy together. Florida is perfect for a “playcation”. There are a ton of activities for families in Florida from DOLPHINS to ALLIGATORS, children’s museums, beaches (seashells) and even Legoland.
Are you looking for the perfect place to take your family on an Airboat Tour? How about alligators, snakes, tigers, boats, and swamp buggies? Everything that makes a kid’s day spectacular. We were looking for a fun way to commemorate my son’s birthday while we were on vacation in Florida and we found it at Wooten’s Airboat.
What to Expect on an Airboat Ride
An airboat ride through the Florida Everglades is an adventure you will always remember. The Everglades are completely wild and unpopulated. The area is dominated by grassland, swamps, and mangrove islands. It’s easy to imagine life hundreds of years ago.
On hot days, alligators are more likely be seen in the morning and at the end of the day. If alligators are what you’re looking for, find a center like Wooten’s that has an attached animal sanctuary so that you can see alligators and other wild animals.
Airboats skim over the water, with ear protectors to block out the noise from the airboat, you’re left to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of nature at its finest. My children described it like a smooth boat ride, just louder and no waves.
We felt that a 30 minute tour was perfect. It left us wanting a little more, but not much. Airboats and their operations are more adventure and less glamorous. Dress for adventure (comfortable clothes, shoes, hats, etc).
Should You Get the Whole Package (boat, swamp buggy, sanctuary)?
If you have a coupon (see below), it might be most cost effective to get the entire package. It saves us $12 per adult combo ticket. One thing we liked about Wooten’s was the straight forward pricing.
Money Saving Tip: Pick up any tourist brochure (Tin City, Naples) and find coupons. Many of the airboat tours do not have up to date websites.
What to Bring on an Airboat Ride:
- Water – bring these Propel packets with you to make sure everyone drinks their water!
- Sunscreen – This sunscreen was awesome, my kids liked it and it doesn’t stick to sand!
- Hat – The company will provide you with earplugs/headphones, you can put them over your hat to keep it on. This is my favorite type of hat to wear in the heat (click here) and my kids do best with this type of hat with a chin strap.
- Kid’s Camera – I highly recommend this waterproof camera for kids. GREAT pictures and kids love it.
- Smart Phone case – I highly recommend this case (click here). It goes around the neck and is a waterproof case for your phone.
Reasons We Chose Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours
There are many different airboat companies to choose in Okeechobee, Florida, near Everglade City. At first, we were told to go to Totch’s Airboats, but it has closed down completely. If you’re searching for an airboat company to try and you have children, these are the reasons we chose Wooten’s:
- Owns over 250 private acres in the Big Cypress National Preserve
- Swamp Buggy Tour
- Alligator Show
- Animal Sanctuary
- Hold a baby alligator
We spent over 3 hours at Wooten’s. We arrived, purchased our tickets, put on sunscreen, rode on the airboat for 30 minutes, went to the bathroom, got on the swamp buggy tour for 30 minutes, went to the gift shop, watched the alligator show, held the baby alligator, and saw the other animals. Whew!
Note about Wooten’s animals in captivity. The cages are approved by the USDA, but the new wonders are making larger cages for their animals.
An airboat ride through the awe-inspiring Florida Everglades is an adventure you will always remember.
We were not compensated for this post, all opinions are our own.