Where to See Large Wild Alligators in Florida

An amazing video of a large alligator in Florida is making its rounds across the internet this week. With one person taking video on one side, and a few lucky nature photography enthusiast on the other, an alligator estimated to be fifteen feet long crossed between the group allowing everyone a long look at one of Florida’s most recognizable residents.  The beast, commonly referred to as Mr. Hunchback by locals, is a regular sight for hikers at the Circle B Bar Reserve and now everyone wants to see him.  All week long the quiet reserve has received so many visitors they were having trouble parking!  (Take a look at the news report below for interviews with the photographers on-hand and to see the increase of hikers on the trails.)

Where to See Wild Alligators in Florida?

Although the Polk Nature Center/Circle B Bar Reserve has been the highlight of the state this week, there are dozens of other great wildlife locations across the state that can offer tourist an inside look at large alligators.  My favorite way to observe alligators is via an airboat ride.  It is like two great adventures in one.  First, you ride a fun airboat through the swampy water. Then you stop to watch stunning Florida wildlife — in the wild! It’s amazing!

My second favorite way to see gators is by driving along the Tamiami Trail!  This is one of my absolute favorite roads in Florida.  While driving you see dozens of alligators sunning in the canals and can easily pull over to watch them from the safety of your vehicle!  (This is a great way to watch alligators with small children because you don’t have to worry about them falling into the water or running in a direction they shouldn’t.)

Lastly, if you want to see alligators up close and personal — visit the alligator farm!  An alligator farm will bring you as close to an alligator as you want, you can even hold baby alligators there!  Sure, it isn’t the wild, but no matter how you view alligators in Florida, it’s wild!

Where to See Wild Alligators in Florida
5 Alligator Safety Tips:

  1. Never forget that an alligator is a wild animal, who can kill you!
  2. Always respect their space
  3. Use your camera zoom instead of getting closer for a better photo
  4. Observe with extreme caution when children are present.
  5. Go with a guide (or Park Ranger) if you aren’t familiar with the area.

Note for non locals:  Don’t do anything you saw the other people doing in the video (above).  They were too close to that alligator. Laying on the ground to take a photo of a 15 foot alligator – don’t do that.  And no, the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve are not recommended when hiking with children or your furbabies.  If you want to bringing your children to see alligators, consider the three suggestions I gave you instead.

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