Florida Guide > Other Activities
What an exhilarating experience these airboat rides prove to be. Nestled at the end of the Kissimmee chain of lakes at Southport Park is what I believe to be one of the best rides in Florida.
You can take a tour in a US Coast Guard inspected 17 person craft on Lake Toho where your boat captain will give you a commentary on the wildlife in the area. We have taken this ride on several occasions. Both summer and winter, we have, always been thrilled by the variety of wildlife in the area. We have also taken some terrific photographs of gators and eagles, deer and racoons, turtles and sand cranes but you cannot photograph the feeling this ride gives.
As you skim over the water with the wind in your face and the spry on your skin, you feel rejuvenated. These boats do have the disadvantage of having noisy engines but no worries, the captain provides you with the correct ear wear. Every so often he will stop the boat to allow photo opportunities and to tell you something more of the lake and the area. We have seen nests of baby alligators on the shore and young gators in the shallows. On the very hot days or in the hunting season it is hard to spot the larger gators but you just know they are out there.
As we have been during the different seasons we have enjoyed a variety of flora as well as fauna and once we were lucky enough to be there when the water lilies were in full bloom and they proved to be a beautiful sight. Another favourite sight has been when the cattle have been crossing the shallows, sometimes carrying an egret on their backs.
Each visit brings a new experience as you pass through the tall grasses at 45 mph in the safety of your boat.
Back at the holding area you can purchase a drink or an ice cream to refresh you as you wait under the covered pavilion for your name to be read out. No reservations are needed and the airboats leave every 30 minutes so there is no need to wait for a long time.
They are open all year from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, 364 days a year. During rainy days the airboat tours will operate in between showers.
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Page added on: 10 July 2008
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Baby 'gators seen from the airboat
Aboard the airboat
They go that way!
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