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Airboat rides on Rt 41

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Airboat rides on Rt 41

Ok a couple of years ago I went on an airboat ride near everglades City. Actually is was right on 41 and had a big sign out front and a little building where you could pick up a tiny allegator. I can't for the life of me find it on trip adversor. It was not far sound of the intersection of Collier Blvd and 41. I think it was the first one you came to. Had a big sign? What's the name? Not in Everglades City,.

Captiva Island...
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11. Re: Airboat rides on Rt 41

I have reported all four of their posts.

Washington DC...
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12. Re: Airboat rides on Rt 41

Here's a general overview on airboat rides, based on my experience in March and a lot of online research. Most of the companies provide a similar experience for roughly the same cost, so the key question to ask is what you want to get out of a ride.

First thing to note is that you take an airboat ride for the experience more than to see and hear animals. The boats are very noisy and tend to scare the birds away. You will still see them on the banks, in trees and flying, but don't consider seeing animals to be the main purpose for an airboat ride. To truly see wildlife, try one of the boat rides, including the two-hour boat trip from the Everglades City National Park station. The main reason to take an airboat ride is for the thrill of the experience. You glide over the water and occasionally grasslands and the boat drivers ("captains") make sure to go fast, cut corners, and give you a great ride. It's a great introduction to the Everglades, though none of the airboat companies are allowed to actually operate inside the National Park. Some companies will provide ear phones so the captain can communicate with you during the ride; others provide ear plugs; some sell them to you. Unless your ears are sensitive, you probably don't need the ear plugs--I bought some, but never put them in.

Second, decide where you want to take the ride. Although there are operators are all around the National Park, it seems like there are more on US 41. Most airboat trips take you into the mangrove swamps so you're poking around lots of passageways, looking for alligators. Note that if it's cold, you're not going to see alligators unless they've pulled themselves up on a sunny bank to get warm. They tend to hide and stay dormant if it's below 70 or so. We saw none on our March trip until we got back to the dock and lo, there was an alligator sunning itself across the water from the office on a beach. Some airboat companies, especially Captain Mitch on US 41, start in the grasslands and marshy areas, so you get the experience of the more open areas where they can really go fast, as well as the more closed-in mangrove swamps.

Third, decide if you want more of a touristy experience by going to some of the companies that have an alligator show and captive birds. These may draw more of a crowd and be crowded.

Most companies will give a $3 discount if you book online, but often they'll just give it to you. When they get busy, they'll put on more boats, so, except in the busiest season, you can probably just walk in and sign up for a ride. Remember there will be a lot of wind and splash from the water at the front of the boat, so come prepared with a wind breaker and/or raincoat, especially if it's chilly. Hats will fly off, so scarves and pony tails help.

13. Re: Airboat rides on Rt 41

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