Hi there!

 

One of THE top things that Everglades National Park is famous for is alligators!

So then of course, one of the things you MUST do when you are in the Everglades is see some alligators!

 

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So yes, there are alligators in Everglades National Park!

You have a few places to choose from for a better chance to see alligators in the Everglades. This list is below!

Now, alligators in the Everglades are wild.

This means that they do what they want when they want.

This means that there is no guarantees that you will see alligators when you go to Everglades National Park.

That said, there are places within Everglades National Park that alligator sightings are common.

So by going to these places, you can drastically increase you chances of seeing alligators in the Everglades!

You can even make it a perfect one day in Everglades National Park all about alligators!

 

where to see alligators in everglades national park. where to go. florida travel blog

 

 

Don’t feed the alligators!

While alligator attacks do happen, alligators are generally not interested in people.

It requires everyone’s help to keep it that way.

Feeding alligators is a way for alligators to become more comfortable with humans… and to learn to approach you (and other humans) for food!

And then alligators can become even more dangerous to humans!

When you see alligators, just observe!

Try not to do anything that would cause them to change their behavior.

 

 

🐊

 
More photos/info below, but first...
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More for your time in South Florida and beyond:


 

 

Now…

Alligators in the Everglades: Best places to see alligators in Everglades National Park in Florida

 

 

1. Shark Valley

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

One of the absolute best places to see alligators in Everglades National Park is in the area of the park called Shark Valley.

THE thing to do to see alligators is to do the Shark Valley Trail.

It’s called the Shark Valley Tram Trail, and it’s a 15 mile paved trail

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades trail in shark valley. florida travel blog

 

This trail starts from the Shark Valley Visitor Center of Everglades National Park.

 

where to see alligators in everglades national park near shark valley visitor center. florida travel blog

 

Yes, there is a tram that you can take to go along the Shark Valley Tram Trail. ($)

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: shark valley tram tour. florida travel blog

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.
👆 Spot the baby alligators!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: baby alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

Everglades National Park alligators: baby alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.
👆 I know, you can’t really see these baby alligators very well. But if you do see baby alligators in Everglades National Park, you’ll be able to see them more clearly in person!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades in shark valley. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

how to see alligators in everglades national park: shark valley tram tour. florida travel blog

 

But the tram isn’t the only way to do the trail!

You can bike Shark Valley. ($ for Shark Valley bike rental or FREE if you bring your own bike)

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: biking the everglades in shark valley. florida travel blog

 

You can even walk part of Shark Valley.

And yes, no matter which option you choose, even walking, you can have a chance to see alligators in Shark Valley… and more wildlife!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley. florida travel blog

 

The tram will be the most convenient and efficient way to do Shark Valley.

It’s a 2 hour tram ride through Shark Valley, and it will be the least amount of effort!

But the stops you make will be up to your tram driver.

While the tram will make some stops for alligators (and other wildlife), if you see an alligator that you want to get a closer look at, the tram may not always stop.

On the tram we went right by a group of smaller alligators without stopping, since we had to make it back by a certain time for the end of the tram tour. That was a bit disappointing.

If you are biking, you will be able to go at your own pace, stop when you want to stop, and take a closer look when you want to spend longer looking at those little alligators. Of course, it also requires more effort since you are biking on your own! 

And similarly with walking, you can go at your own pace and stop when you want to stop… but you won’t be able to cover as much ground!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley. florida travel blog

 

But, I did also start walking along the trail and saw a few alligators too.

So if you absolutely don’t want to pay for the tram ride or a bike rental, or you don’t want to put it all the physical effort, or you just don’t have that much time, then it is still worth walking a little bit for a chance to see some alligators.

The more you walk, the more you’ll increase your chances!

I didn’t walk that much, but walking maybe 5-10 minutes one way, I saw several alligators and countless turtles swimming.

Start off walking on the West Tram Trail!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades trail in shark valley. florida travel blog

 

There is also the East Tram Trail.

Both trails lead to the Shark Valley Observation Tower.

You can make it a loop if you’re doing a bike ride.

The “destination” can be the Shark Valley Observation Tower.

A Shark Valley tour guide compared the Shark Valley Observation Tower to the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So if you have been there, you may feel the similarity!

 

where to see alligators in everglades national park near shark valley observation tower. florida travel blog

where to see alligators in everglades national park near shark valley observation tower. florida travel blog

where to see alligators in everglades national park near shark valley observation tower. florida travel blog

where to see alligators in everglades national park near shark valley observation tower. florida travel blog

 

If you’ll be going to the Shark Valley Observation Tower, then there’s also a nearby short trail that you can do for another chance to see alligators. That’s coming up on the list.

Tickets for Shark Valley tram rides to sell out, especially on weekends, so it’s best to book in advance, which you can do through Shark Valley Tram Tours. That is how you can book a bike rental too.

 

 

2. Everglades airboat tour

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

The Everglades airboat tour starts outside Everglades National Park along the Tamiami Trail.

The Tamiami Trail is US-41 and a road that you can drive if you will be driving between Miami and Naples.

Doing an Everglades airboat tour is riding through the Everglades through tall grasses as seen on TV!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades airboat tour. florida travel blog

 

If you ever watched CSI Miami and remember those scenes of an aerial view of a boat ride through the Everglades, that’s an airboat ride!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades airboat tour. florida travel blog

 

There are 3 airboat tour companies that are conveniently located along US-41 Tamiami Trail that are also partners of Everglades National Park.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades airboat tour. florida travel blog

 

Here is where to go for Everglades airboat tours along Tamiami Trail:

These are the “authorized airboat businesses,” as authorized by the National Park Service to do business in Everglades National Park.

Out of the 3 Everglades airboat companies, I ended up doing a Coopertown airboat tour, more or less because the name sounded less commercialized and more “natural” and “wild” compared to “safari park” or “gator park.” 😜

But well, it turns out Coopertown one also had a “gator show.” (And you might as well go see it because it’s included in your ticket cost!)

The gator show lasts about 10 minutes and they will tell you about the alligators they have in captivity. It’s even said that one of the alligators has a claim to fame with an appearance on CSI Miami! (And other movies and TV shows.)

Aside from that, I asked one group on the tour why they chose Coopertown and one of the reasons they said was because it had the best reviews.

You also do have a chance to see alligators if you do an Everglades airboat tour.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: everglades airboat tour. florida travel blog

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

According to a park ranger at an Everglades National Park visitor center, the airboat tour seems to be more about the ride than it is about seeing alligators.

Still, I did see a few alligators during the Everglades airboat tour!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.
👆 Spot the swimming alligator!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.
👆 Spot the swimming alligator!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on everglades airboat ride. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

 

 

3. Anhinga Trail

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on anhinga trail. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

The Anhinga Trail is considered to be one of the best spots to see alligators in Everglades National Park by foot.

Although, I only got a good look at one. (Better than none!)

When I got started on the trail I asked people who were returning if they saw alligators. I was told to just keep going straight back, so that’s what I did!

I followed the paved trail to the end where there a lookout spot.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in royal palm on anhinga trail. florida travel blog

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in royal palm on anhinga trail. florida travel blog

 

And sure enough, there were alligators!

One was just popping its head out.

Another you could see more clearly!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on anhinga trail. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.
👆 Spot the alligator!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades on anhinga trail. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

Part of the Anhinga Trail is also a boardwalk.

So on the way back I walked the boardwalk.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in royal palm on anhinga trail. florida travel blog

 

There was someone who seemed to be looking at something off in the water, and it turns out you could see a alligator’s head (eyes, really!) popping out of the water! You had to look carefully!

Aside from alligators, you also have a chance to see the bird called the anhinga on the Anhinga Trail!

And I did see an anhinga on the way back! It was just standing on the railing with its classic look of wings spread out.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in royal palm on anhinga trail. florida travel blog

 

 

4. Borrow Pit Trail

This is the short trail that you might as well do if you will be going to the Shark Valley Observation Tower!

Once you get past the bike parking area and you are walking towards the Shark Valley Observation Tower, you will see a trail sign off on the left side.

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley on bottom pit trail. florida travel blog

 

It can take like 5 minutes and you can see if there’s an alligator hanging out when you get to the bridge!

 

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley on bottom pit trail. florida travel blog

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley on bottom pit trail. florida travel blog

how to see alligators in everglades national park: walking the everglades in shark valley on bottom pit trail. florida travel blog
👆 Spot the alligator! Just kidding. I took this picture and I could barely figure out where the alligator is! 😆 When you are out looking for alligators, you do sometimes need to look carefully though! It may not always be obvious!

 

Everglades National Park alligators: alligators in the everglades in shark valley on borrow pit trail. where to see alligators in florida. florida travel blog.

 

If you do the Shark Valley tram, you can make time to do this trail as well.

 

 

More places to see alligators near Everglades National Park: Tamiami Trail

where to see alligators in the everglades: tamiami trail alligators, big cypress national preserve alligators near everglades national park florida travel blog
👆 Alligators laying along the Tamiami Trail. If you will be driving the Tamiami Trail to get to or from Everglades National Park (like driving between Naples and Miami), stop by the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve to get a closer look at the alligators!

 

If a chance to see alligators is VERY important to you, then I also HIGHLY recommend making it out to Big Cypress National Preserve.

You will find this as you are driving along Tamiami Trail.

 

where to see alligators in the everglades: tamiami trail alligators, big cypress national preserve alligators near everglades national park florida travel blog

 

While there are many places within Big Cypress National Preserve to see alligators, for the best chance, be sure to stop at the Oasis Visitor Center.

 

where to see alligators in the everglades: big cypress national preserve alligators near everglades national park florida travel blog

 

If you are driving to Everglades National Park from Naples FL or Marco Island FL, then you definitely need to stop!

When coming from Naples or Marco Island, you can drive Tamiami Trail (aka US-41) to get to Everglades National Park, and you will drive right past Oasis Visitor Center.

You must stop!

There seems to be a very good chance you will see tons of alligators!

There were truly so many alligators.

Lots of alligators were just laying around, and some alligators were swimming!

 

where to see alligators in the everglades: tamiami trail alligators, big cypress national preserve alligators near everglades national park florida travel blog

 

 

If you have more time, then also try the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Trail in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, also along the Tamiami Trail.

First I did see alligators here in the parking area before even starting the trail.

 

 

And then I did see alligators more at the very end of the boardwalk. This is a walk of about 1 mile round trip.

 

 

And then a quick stop along the Tamiami Trail for a chance to see alligators is HP Willliams Roadside Park also in Big Cypress National Preserve.

I did also see alligators here.

 

 

So you will drive right past all of these stops with a chance to see alligators if you are driving the Tamiami Trail between Naples and Miami:

Listed in order as you will come across them when driving the Tamiami Trail from Naples to Everglades National Park.

If you are driving to Everglades National Park from Miami, then it will be a drive of about 20-30 minute drive to get from Shark Valley in Everglades National Park to Oasis Visitor Center. (map) And then the other mentioned stops are further west.

 

See more about alligators in the Everglades:

 

And those are some places to try to see alligators in the Everglades!

 

More for your Florida road trip:

 

More of where to see alligators in Florida:

 

HAPPY SEEING ALLIGATORS IN THE EVERGLADES… HOPEFULLY!

 

 

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Things to pack for your Florida vacation

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming.

More for your Florida packing list



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