First off, YES, there are alligators. But NO, they don't bother you. Many, many small children have taken this trip, and everyone comes back safely. If little children can take this trip, so can you!
There is probably no better way to see the beautiful flowers, birds and reptiles of this area of Florida than in a quiet kayak on the Hillsborough River. The birds and flowers are gorgeous, plus paddling by a sleeping alligator who opens his eye as you paddle by is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is something you can comfortably do alone if you're in the area on business for a few days and want to try something new. There are plenty of families on the river - not so many as to be noisy, but enough that if you were to get into any trouble, someone would be along in 5 minutes. Google "Hillsborough River outfitters" for a list of kayak rental places - they drive you and the kayak to a drop-off, and then you paddle back to the outfitter.
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