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11 Places in Southern Florida to See Alligators

Are you headed to Florida? If you are, chances are that you want to see one of the state’s most famous animals – the alligator. The good news is that there are plenty of places that you can go and see them safely, as well as learn about these fascinating creatures. Want to know where to go? Below are 11 places in the southwest of Florida that you can see alligators.

1. Naples Zoo

This zoo, which is found at beautiful Caribbean Gardens, is found off of Goodlette-Frank Road. You can view the alligators in what’s called Alligator Bay. Around Alligator Bay you’ll find many tropical plants that are around the bathing and swimming alligators.

Naples Zoo
1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples, FL 34102
(239) 262-5409
www.napleszoo.org

2. Everglades Alligator Farm

This place is known as South Florida’s oldest alligator farms. Here, you can see live alligator shows as well as alligator feeding demonstrations. Live alligators are handled by experts while the experts educate their guests about the fascinating creatures. If you’re fortunate enough to be there during feeding time, you’ll learn and witness the way that alligators eat prey.

Everglades Alligator Farm
40351 SW 192nd Ave, Florida City, FL 33034
(305) 247-2628
http://everglades.com/

3. Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Here you can walk around a loop of around two miles and spot gators and other types of wildlife from Florida. Even though it’s not guaranteed that you’re going to see a gator, it’s very common to see at least one or even a bunch of them. If you choose the shorter walk, you can walk a mile to see the gators. There are also guided tours where you can find out facts about gators and other native animals and plants, such as gopher tortoises and bald cypress trees.

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd W, Naples, FL 34120
(239) 348-9151
corkscrew.audubon.org

4. Shark Valley

This is found in the Everglades National park and gators are the ones that are found in the Everglades. It’s simple to see alligators laying in the grass along rivers. Remember to bring a camera because you’ll have no trouble getting some great shots of the gators in a natural habitat. It’s possible to take a bike or tram tour to find out alligator historical facts and facts about other wildlife in Florida.

Shark Valley Visitor Center
36000 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33194
(305) 221-8776
https://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/

5. Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

Found in gorgeous Fort Myers Beach, this place is a great place that you can take your kids for a game of golf and also have a chance to see alligators. Right smack dab in the middle of the course is the spot which contains around 20-30 young alligators. It’s a great place for adults and kids alike to learn about alligators along with their habits. It’s also possible to feed gators using fishing poles made of bamboo.

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
17450 San Carlos Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
(239) 466-5855
http://www.smugglersgolf.com/

6. Big Cypress National Preserve

Depending on when you are visiting, it’s not unusual that visitors will see gators here from any of the boardwalks, however this isn’t guaranteed. All of the boardwalks will take around five minutes, so you can easily walk across these boardwalks. There’s also two visitors’ areas that you can stop by on each of the preserve’s sides so that you can get some general wildlife information.

Big Cypress National Preserve
33100 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141
(239) 695-2000
https://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm

7. Shell Factory and Nature Park

This park is 4.5 acres big and it’s found off of U.S. 41. Visitors are able to see alligators through their exhibit called ‘Gator Slough’. You’re able to watch the gators swimming in the water or sunbathing on land. You don’t have to worry about getting really close to them since the area’s enclosed to help you stay safe. There are also other types of wildlife exhibits in the center such as a zebra, raccoons and lemurs.

Shell Factory and Nature Park
2787 N Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL 33903
(239) 995-2141
https://www.shellfactory.com/

8. Conservancy of Southwest Florida

When you visit here, you’ll be able to see gators up close. The amazing Dalton Discovery Center gives visitors the opportunity to walk through the dry uplands as well as watch baby American gators swimming in the tank. It’s possible to get close to the gators since there’s only a tank made of glass in between them and the gators.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida
1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, FL 34102
(239) 262-0304
https://www.conservancy.org

9. Everglades Wonder Gardens

Here you can find 38 gators in two areas that are enclosed so that you can view them. If you’re visiting on Saturday, it’s also possible that you are going to experience the event known as alligator, where you may have the chance to feed a gator. These are connected areas and a boardwalk’s provided so that visitors are able to step on it and get a much closer look to at their gators. Along with the alligators you can also see other types of wildlife such as iguanas and flamingos.

Everglades Wonder Gardens
27180 Old 41 Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34135
(239) 992-2591
evergladeswondergardens.com

10. Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours

With these airboat tours you can watch the professional handler as they show off a gator’s beauty, talk about their knowledge of the gators and use skills to entertain and amaze you, such as holding open the mouth of a gator during their live show. Following the show, it’s possible to hug juvenile alligators. Be sure that you have a camera since having a picture with a gator’s something you’ll want to keep.

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours
32330 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141
(239) 695-2781
https://www.wootenseverglades.com

11. Everglades National Park

The Everglades is home to over 200,000 gators, so there’s a really good chance that you’re going to see a few gators while you visit. Here you are going to have the ability to see baby and adult gators. There are more than 1.5 million acres that goes from Miami to Homestead or Everglades City. The park has a total of four centers for visitors, which includes Ernest Coe and Shark Valley.

Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
(305) 242-7700
https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/coedirections.htm

Conclusion

When you are looking for places to see alligators, you can see there are plenty of places to go. Go and explore these fun places and you are going to find that there’s a lot to learn about alligators. Whether you are headed to the golf course to play some miniature golf and learn about the gators or you want go head to the Everglades, you will discover that there are places for all ages to see them. Take your kids with you or go with friends. You won’t want to leave Florida without seeing an alligator up close and personal and these 11 places are a great place to start.

Planning a Trip to Florida?

After seeing Florida’s alligators, return to the beauty and comfort of a home from Naples Florida Vacation Homes. We have a wide selection of homes located all over the Naples area. Whether you’re hoping to squeeze in a few rounds of golf during your visit or you’d like to relax by a private pool, you’ll find the perfect home to fit your needs.

Check out our rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.

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