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“Great air boat ride :)”

Coopertown Airboats
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Our professional airboat guides will take you on a personalized, educational airboat tour covering approximately 9 miles of this unique environment. We first go into the vast open saw grass where you will see why the Everglades are called the "River of Grass"! You will travel by Airboat through a Hardwood Hammock (a small island of solid ground in the "river of grass"), into the Everglades National Park stopping at alligator holes and seeing the abundance of 'glades wildlife. See the Purple Gallanule voted the most colorful bird in Florida and the endangered Everglade Snail Kite as well as herons, grackles, turtles, raccoons and other Everglades residents! The Everglades are a truly unique and vibrant environment which you can only experience first hand! Unless you brought your hip waders, a private airboat tour is the best way to see it! (And much drier, too!) After this fascinating and educational airboat tour, relax and enjoy a taste of 'Down Home' cooking, Everglades-style. The Coopertown Restaurant offers such delicacies as frog legs, 'gator tail, catfish and more! All served in a friendly country manner that is distinctly "Floridian". "Belly up" to the bar and meet the folks of Coopertown! Learn some of the fascinating history of the area, and check out the guest book to see who else has passed through and enjoyed a ride on a Coopertown Airboat! Take a closer look at these fascinating creatures in our Alligator Exhibit! What a cute little guy! Popular enough to have a college mascot named for it! A ride on an airboat is the best way to Check out the rest of the gator population in Coopertown
Reviewed March 29, 2013

This place was great. They not only take you on an excellent air boat ride, they also let you hold a baby alligator, have several alligators to look at and have a great little restaurant where you can eat alligator tail and frog legs. Everyone is super friendly and our waitress was awesome and so nice. She talked a lot about the area and made us feel very at home. We had a great time and recommend this place to everyone!

1  Thank jill l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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482 - 486 of 858 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

Really excellent value. We took a private tour on our 1st day in Florida and loved the whole safari thing. Great knowledgeable guide and so much to see and experience.

Thank dennisd47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Went here after seeing reviews in Trip Advisor + checking the company website. We called ahead and they explained to us that they have airboats go out every 20 minutes. When we got there, we purchased the tickets and were first escorted to take a family picture. From there, we were asked to see the wild animals while we waited. The tour guide showed us a 3 month old alligator, several snakes and an iguana. From there, to the airboat for our tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and funny. We saw quite a few wild birds, baby alligators and young alligators (4 - 5 years old). Our entire family (2 adults, a teenager and a 9 year old) really enjoyed it.

1  Thank sheimar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We did this trip on the 18th of March 2013 and saw 10 adult alligators and a nest of babies. If you want to see alligators I highly recommend Coopertown.

One word of warning-this is an airboat and the motor was really loud. I asked to sit up front away from the motor but was put in the back. They give you cotton balls to put in your ears but I couldn't say they blocked out the noise. If you are noise sensitive like me, bring your own earplugs. If they had allowed me to sit closer to the front (they did put the late comers up there) I would have given it 5 star. They totally dismissed my request.

To be honest, by the end of the trip I hoped never to see another gator. They sure are ugly.

Thank travelwoman4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

So when someone suggests going on an airboat tour, people usually have one of two reactions:

1) Sure! That sounds fun!

2) I dunno... that sounds boring, buggy, and lame.

I was in group 2, but grudgingly agreed to go because some friends visiting from out of town wanted to. It was great!

Coopertown Airboats is the first airboat tour operator you'll find on Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) when you head west of Miami, so it has the benefit of being closest to me. (The other operators further west may be great, but I've never bothered to drive further and find out.)

The tour guides, while indulging in a little good-ole-boy humor, are knowledgeable and professional. The ride lasts for about 45-50 minutes. They hand out cotton balls for use as earplugs, and they have sound-dampening headphones for the children (a nice touch that Coopertown added since the last time I was there). The airboat is quite noisy when it's operating (they stop it every few minutes to point out alligators, birds, and other plants and wildlife), but tolerable. The sun can be quite brutal out there, so bring sunglasses and put on sunblock. Hats with bills must be worn with the bill facing backwards to prevent it from blowing off the wearer's head, so they won't provide any sun protection for your face. You have been warned -- if you come back looking red as a lobster, it's your own fault.

There are several alligators that live in the circuit that the tour boat makes around the nearby region of the Everglades (evidently the species is quite territorial), and a robust selection of birds of many colors and species. The tour guides seem to know where they hang out, and have names for the regulars.

In spite of my worries to the contrary, I have never gotten a bugbite on an airboat tour - unlike in my back yard!

After the ride, they let each guest hold a baby alligator for a little while. Sounds iffy, but when you come, you'll see it's safe. They even have hand sanitizer for afterwards (it;s located next to the tip jar, by a strange coincidence).

Before or after your ride, you can visit their menagerie of Everglades wildlife in the back of the facility. There are some quite sizable alligators, plus turtles and other critters to look at.

The attached restaurant is actually pretty good at making a burger and fries, and has friendly service. The whole place has a down-home shabby appeal that Bubba Gump restaurants spend millions to fake, except this is the real thing.

Why not 5 circles?

A couple of gripes:
1) When you go to get the tour tickets, before you pay, get them to be specific about when the next tour will be. They have a habit of saying "20 minutes" that stretches into 40 minutes so they can wait for more people to fill up the boat. I know it sucks to go do a tour with only 3 people on a slow day, but don't waste my time with B.S.

2) They've added a photographer who buttonholes you and gets you to pose for an (awkward) photograph in front of a green-screen. When you return from the tour, she's tarted up your bad photo with a bunch of CGI junk (alligators, herons, etc.) and tries to get you to buy it. This is silly (I would much rather have a photo ten feet away with the real airboat and Everglades than this rookie-Photoshop mess), and wastes both her and your time while you repeat that you're not interested.

An operational note for 2013:

U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) is undergoing extensive construction to move the roadway up onto a long bridge, which will help restore the natural flow of water (as opposed to the earthen berm that the current roadway sits on, which dams it up). The construction involves closing 1 lane of the 2-lane road, and letting traffic flow through it on an alternating basis, so the drive is not as carefree (or speedy) as usual. Factor that into your planning.

1  Thank Gordon13798465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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