The best ways to see alligators in the Everglades, Florida

Everglades is a unique region in the southern part of Florida. The tropical wetland is not like any other in the world. Here hundreds of bird species, lizards and the main attraction the alligators can be found. But which is the best way to see alligators in the Everglades?

Road sign in the Everglades.

Airboat the Everglades

A popular way to see alligators in the Everglades is by taking an airboat tour. That’s a great option, which with little effort can take you deep into the wetlands. By taking a tour by airboat you get to places you otherwise can’t reach.

A problem with an airboat tour is that most alligators you spot will be in the water. And when they are in the dark liquid the look you get isn’t as comprehensive as if they were on land. On the other hand, the water is really the true home for the alligator and it’s a special thing to see alligators in their natural element.

Alligator in the Everglades
An alligator in the water.

See alligators in the Everglades from your car

At a first thought it might seem a bit illogic to see Everglades by car. Afterall, a car can’t take you to the untouched areas of the wetlands that an airboat can. However, you don’t need to be deep into the wild to spot an alligator.

See alligators in the Everglades
An alligator in the Everglades.

Loop Road in Ochopee connects to US 41 that goes straight through south Florida from coast to coast. It’s a very interesting detour if you drive from Miami to Naples. Just be prepared that the road is very limited. It’s a dirt road, so you shouldn’t go there if you’re in a hurry anyway.

A narrow road in the Everglades
The narrow dirt road through Everglades.

It’s very likely that alligators will show themselves close to the road or even on the road. But, it of course depends on a lot of factors, including weather and time of the visit, if the alligators choose to stay on the surface or not.

Alligator in the Florida Everglades
A Florida gator in the Everglades.

It takes a little more than 1 hour to drive the entire stretch depending on how carefully you drive. With all possible gator stops along the way it’s wise to budget for at least 2 hours. If you’re lucky and a lot of alligators are out it’s like a Florida safari.

Another gator just on the side of the road.
Another gator just on the side of the road.

Read more: 7 reasons to visit the Everglades >>

See alligators in Everglades when you hike

A third option if you are brave enough to exit your vehicle and step out, is to go for a hike in the Everglades. One of the most popular trails in the Everglades is the Anhinga Trail.

It’s located close to Homestead between Miami and Florida Keys. From the 0.4 mile (600 m) long boardwalk you have great chances to spot alligators and get a feeling for the Everglades. Other animals you might spot apart from gators are turtles, anhingas, herons and egrets.

Water with gators
Can you spot the alligator?

Alligators in the Everglades FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the the best ways to see alligators in the Everglades.

Where can I see alligators?

Everglades in Florida is one of the best places in America to spot alligators. But American alligators can be found throughout Southestern United States. That apart from Florida includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Where is the best place to see alligators in Florida?

Although alligators can be found all over the state of Florida, the Everglades is the perfect place to encounter alligators. Here you can take an airboat tour, go for a hike or even see gators from the window of your own car.

Continue reading: The great Florida road trip from Orlando to Key West >>

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