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Thread: Airboat rides at the Everglades

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    Default Airboat rides at the Everglades

    We are thinking of going to airboat ride and to see Everglades in one of following days. I thought that we'll drive down to Flamingo just to see the park from inside, but where is the best place to go for an airboat ride? Is there any tours starting from Flamingo?

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    Gus
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    Hi Jore,

    Great question.

    Sounds like you have a car, and if that is the case, you should definitely dive into Everglades National Park and go exploring. I've never been to the Flamingo entrance. I've only been to the Royal Palm entracne, which is closer to Miami, near Homestead, and I don't believe there are any airboat operators there.

    To the best of my knowledge, the closet place to ride an airboat is about 35 miles west of Miami, on the Tamiami Trail (Highway 41). Here is a link to some pictures I took of all the airboat operators in the area -

    http://www.miamibeach411.com/tours/e...ttractions.htm

    If you have a car, you may also want to visit Shark Valley and take the tram ride.

    In half a day, you could easily drive to Flamingo, and then back up here for an airboat ride. If you'd like, I can send directions to the back road on Krome Avenue which is a more scenic drive.

    As Carlos mentioned, Miami Tour Company offers guided tours, which are a lot of fun that also include transportation from Miami, .

    Disclaimer: Miami Tour Company is owned and operated by Miami Beach 411. You can purchase the Everglades Eco Adventure, or discount tickets to Gator Park in our Travel Store.

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    Thanks for replies! We have a car, so basically it doesn't matter where we need to drive to for the airboat tour. Do you know which would be the best one to take? And Gus, please let me know if there is any nice scenic road to drive through.

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    I've been to all the places with airbaots along Tamiami Trail, and my in opinion, Gator Park is the most entertaining. Here are a few pictures from the airboat ride and the wildlife show:

    http://www.miamibeach411.com/tours/g...ttractions.htm

    Driving Directions to Everglades National Park Main Entrance (Flamingo)

    From Miami, the fastest route to the Park is to take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends, merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the Park.

    Driving Directions from Everglades National Park to Miami

    As I mentioned above, the fastest route to Miami is the Florida Turnpike. However, if you're looking for a more leisurely trip, there are two scenic routes that will get you back to Miami:

    1. From Florida City, take Krome Avenue north to Tamiami Trail (Highway 41), this route will take you through Miami's farming areas, but this should only be done if you you're going to take an airboat ride. Otherwise, you'd be going about 20 miles out of your way.
    2. From Florida City, the other scenic route is to take Old Cutler Road north, passing the Coal Castle, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and Coconut Grove, and back to Miami.

    Both roads are beautiful, and will show you a side of Miami most people miss seeing.
    rk likes this.

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    Senior Member wpns4l's Avatar
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    Im a big fan of Gator Park myself too. I've never been with the MB tour company but whenever friends and family come to town i take them there.... for some reason i've always managed to get the same airboat driver every time too. I know his whole tour so well they could call me if he is ever sick to fill in lol.

    Right up the road is Shark Park, or something similar to that name, and its pretty good to take a walk in. They have some trails and you can see gators really up close. They also have this huge golf cart type thing for tours if you dont want to walk.

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    rk
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    Gus, I think the "Flamingo entrance" is the same as the "Royal Palm entrance", i.e. the one by Florida City. The only airboat tour near that entrance (and I have not been on it so can't say how fun it is) is the Everglades Alligator Farm (http://www.everglades.com/). All the other airboat rides are off the Tamiami Trail.

    Jore, the route that Gus described (Krome Ave) is quite nice, but if you're not keen on the airboat ride you can consider dropping that part and just walk some of the many trails on the road between the main (Royal Palm) entrance and Flamingo. You will see a lot more wildlife than from an airboat (which is very noisy). Not sure when you're going but it is very hot in the summer with frequent afternoon thunderstorms so plan accordingly and start early in the day. Bring bug repellant.

    Be sure to stop at the "Robert is Here" fruit stand just past Florida City on way to the Natl Park. I also highly recommend the route via Old Cutler Road that Gus mentioned, if you have time.

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    rk, thanks for clearing that up and for pointing out the alligator farm in Florida City. I got confused about the two entrances, after seeing this map, with markers to Flamingo and Royal Palm.

    Name:  everglades-map.jpg
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    The point where Flamingo is located, is where the Everglades meet the Ocean. Last time I went, I didn't see any air boats nor did that particular section have extensive marshes.

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    Hi all, and thanks again for replies. We drove this morning from SoBe through US1 down to Florida City and entered the Everglades national park from there and drove all the way to Flamingo. It was a nice road through the 'glades, but nothing phenominal. Flamingo Visitor Center seems to be on the later half of it's "glory" so there wasn't much to see. At the way back we stopped at Nine Mile Pond to see an alligator at the pond but there were such a ridiculous amount of mosquitos that we were only 2-3 minutes outside of the car (and even in that time my girlfriend got something like 30-40 stungs..).

    From there we drove up by this Krome Avenue (through the plantations) to start of Tamiana Trail where we stopped for a bite at that Indian Casino resort hotel. I had open face steak sandwich with mashed potato and gravy and my girlfriend had chicken ceasar salad. Both portions were HUGE and costed just under $20 with my beer, taxes and tip. Nice!

    After that we drove to gator farm for an airboat ride and wild animal show. We both got to keep a small alligator in our hands which was super nice.

    So we had a wonderfull day which was ending just at the right time when it started to rain at 3.45pm. I'll put some pictures up a bit later.

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    Default Re: Airboat rides at the Everglades

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    Gus, I think the "Flamingo entrance" is the same as the "Royal Palm entrance", i.e. the one by Florida City. The only airboat tour near that entrance (and I have not been on it so can't say how fun it is) is the Everglades Alligator Farm (http://www.everglades.com/). All the other airboat rides are off the Tamiami Trail.

    Jore, the route that Gus described (Krome Ave) is quite nice, but if you're not keen on the airboat ride you can consider dropping that part and just walk some of the many trails on the road between the main (Royal Palm) entrance and Flamingo. You will see a lot more wildlife than from an airboat (which is very noisy).
    Interesting...what other wildlife? White snowy egret I'm sure..Is it dangerous to just walk on your own? I did the airboat ride with Katalina (MTC) and it was fun. It's noisy but you get earplugs..and once the guide stops the boat to talk about everything it's quiet-we saw tons of alligators, even some babies. The guide did tell us that the alligators can jump out of the water and then 2 guys sitting in our row moved over, pushing us to the edge. Scary! Other than that it's really peaceful to be out on the water in the middle of nowhere and just see blades of grass for miles and miles.

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    I was amazed by how uninterested alligators are with the tourists. They just lie there, mere feet away from humans. I thought one was fake for a few moments until I saw his belly move!

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    Those alligators have just gotten used to the tourists and i bet the parks feed the gators to keep them in the area, and keep them calm.

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    Gus
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    Jore, thanks for reporting back. Sounds like you had a good time.

    Just the other day, my wife and I were talking about having dinner at the casino. You convinced us to give it a try.

    Have a great rest of your vacation.

    BTW, where are you visiting from?

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