10 Best Everglades Airboat Tours, Florida

Taking an airboat ride in the Everglades is an exciting and thrilling attraction that appeals to people of all ages. The Everglades, located in southern Florida, is a unique and diverse ecosystem that’s home to a wide variety of nature and wildlife. Exploring this vast wilderness via airboat allows visitors to get up close and personal with the breathtaking beauty of this tropical natural park.

One of the main reasons why an airboat ride is fun for all ages is the exhilarating speed and maneuverability of these boats. Powered by a large propeller at the back, airboats glide effortlessly over the water and easily can navigate through the shallow marshes and grassy wetlands of the Everglades.

In addition to the thrilling ride, an airboat tour also provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the area’s delicate ecosystem. Knowledgeable and experienced guides accompany visitors on these tours; offering insights into the flora and fauna that thrive here.

Having lived in Florida for the past 13 years, I’ve had the opportunity to take several airboat tours, and I can confidently say that I have never had a bad experience. Airboat tours are a popular way to explore Florida’s vast wetlands, swamps, and marshes. These tours offer a chance to get up close and personal with the state’s rich ecosystem.

10 Best Airboat Tours Tours in Everglades

Here’s a list of the 10 best Florida Everglade airboat tours. This selection includes family-friendly tours, nighttime tours, and more. They all offer a unique and exhilarating way to explore the fascinating ecosystem of the Everglades.

1. Everglades Airboat Tour in Fort Lauderdale

airboat tours everglades

This Everglades airboat tour from Fort Lauderdale is one of the most enjoyable around. The tour center opens at 9:00 AM, rain or shine, and their last boat departs at 4:00 PM. The tours are sixty minutes long and depart every twenty minutes.

During this Everglades airboat tour, you’ll be treated to a live narration from an experienced tour guide and will have the chance to see alligators and other Florida wildlife up close and personal. My favorite part of the tour was learning about the ongoing conservation and preservation efforts in the Everglades.

Everglades Airboat Tour in Fort Lauderdale Details:

2. Western Everglades Adventure Tour

Fan airboat in the swamp.

The Western Everglades Adventure Tour in Fort Myers is an excellent way to experience the Everglades ecosystem. This tour lasts for an hour and is especially popular with families. During the ride, in addition to alligators, you’ll likely spot herons, egrets, and spoonbills. It’s a great option for nature lovers who are keen to look out for some local wildlife.

Western Everglades Adventure Tour Details:

3. Florida Everglades Private Night Airboat Ride Tour

A man driver an airboat at night tour.

The unique thing about this airboat tour in the Everglades is that it allows you to embark on an adventure to remember at night; viewing the Everglades in an entirely different light (or without!). You’ll glide across the waters at 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers) while your tour guide offers tips on how to find wildlife such as alligators, birds, and turtles in the area.

Because this is a seasonal experience, availability can sometimes be limited. Therefore, I advise anyone interested in this tour to call in advance to schedule and confirm the time of your tour ahead of your trip.

Florida Everglades Private Night Airboat Ride Tour Details:

4. Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure & Wildlife Encounter

Airboat Adventure and alligator encounter.

Also located at Sawgrass Recreation Park, one of the top airboat tours in the Everglades is the Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter. This tour, which meets at Sawgrass Recreation Park, is an exciting way to see the Everglades up close and personal.

The tour lasts for forty minutes and includes admission to Sawgrass Recreation Park. It’s a great option for families who are looking for a fun way to fill a morning or afternoon and offers a chance to learn more about the park’s conservation measures.

Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter Details:

5. 3-4 Hours Everglades Tour from Miami

Everglades airboat ride in the lake.

The 3-4 Hour Everglades Airboat Tour from Miami is a truly worthwhile experience – I can’t recommend it enough. One of the key highlights of this tour is the convenience it offers with its pick-up service from select hotels in the Miami area; meaning you can simply relax and wait for your designated pick-up time, without having to worry about transportation arrangements.

Enjoy the surroundings as you learn about the flora, history, and wildlife around you. This is an ideal trip for the whole family and one that offers a more personalized feeling thanks to its smaller groups.

3 – 4 hours Everglades Tour from Miami Details:

6. 90-Minute Everglades Airboat Tour in Central Florida

Airboats Tours in Everglades National Par surrounded by mangroves.

Another tour offering a smaller group setting, making this option extremely worthwhile, is this 90-minute Everglades Airboat Tour in Central Florida. It usually takes no more than 15 people on board at a time, meaning you’ll likely have a more private, interactive, and immersive experience.

This Everglades tour is a unique experience that allows you to escape the bustling city life of central Florida. As you embark on this adventure, you’ll find yourself lost in the tranquility of nature, far away from the urban chaos.

90-min Everglades Airboat Tour in Central Florida Details:

7. Everglades Day Safari from Ft Lauderdale

Brown pelican resting on the turbine of an airboat in Everglades city.

The Everglades Day Safari from Fort Lauderdale is a full-day adventure. Your day will start when an air-conditioned van picks you up from your hotel to take you to the meeting point for the airboat tour. In addition to picking up, and dropping off, this tour offers lunch, including fried alligator! If you’ve never had it before, it’s a must-try.

This small group tour is limited to nine people which ensures a more personalized experience. After a thrilling ride on the airboat, you’ll hop into a van and drive through the pine savannahs and cypress forests of Big Cypress National Preserve.

Everglades Day Safari from Ft Lauderdale Details:

8. Everglades Excursion from Miami

Airboat ride in the Everglades of Florida, USA

On this Everglades Airboat Tour from Miami, you’ll take a bus from Miami to the Everglades Park. Once there, you’ll take a one-hour airboat ride deep into the Florida wetlands. According to one review, sitting near the back of the boat can get loud so they recommend taking advantage of the earplugs offered.

As you journey through the marsh, you can keep a lookout for unique birds, alligators (of course!), and even turtles. The pick-up and drop-off transportation is included and makes for a convenient round-trip adventure.

Do the Everglades Excursion from Miami Details:

Location: Holiday Inn Port of Miami-Downtown, an IHG Hotel (meeting point)
Duration: One hour
Cost of the Tour: From $69.00
How to Book: Book your tickets here online

9. Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Ride

A cool day riding an airboat in the lake.

Everglades Holiday Park’s Airboat Ride is fun for the entire family. You and your loved ones will embark on a 45-minute narrated airboat ride and tour the Everglades from Fort Lauderdale. Keep in mind that food and drinks aren’t available for purchase on this particular tour, so be sure to fuel up for the adventure beforehand.

After the tour, you’ll be treated to a performance from the world-famous Gator Boys, an alligator rescue team in their pool. What makes this Everglades airboat tour unique is one free professional group photo is included in the price; giving you something to remember your experience and take home with you.

Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Ride Details:

Location: 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
Duration: 45 Minutes
Cost of the Tour: From $59.00
How to Book: Book your tickets here online

10. Private 2-Hour Airboat Tour of Miami Everglades

Tourists visit the National Park by airboat. The park is a major attraction in Florida.

This two-hour Everglades airboat tour out of Miami is fun for everyone. Unlike most airboat rides, this Private 2-hour Airboat Tour of the Miami Everglades is wheelchair accessible, so everyone in the family can participate. Not many airboat rides are so accessible which is what makes this private ride unique and comfortable for all guests.

Conveniently located just 27 minutes from Miami Beach, this private airboat tour is easy to incorporate into your itinerary while visiting Miami. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, wildlife lover, or are simply seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure, this Private 2-hour Airboat Tour of the Miami Everglades is a must-try experience.

Private 2-Hour Airboat Tour of Miami Everglades Details:

Location: 5334 FL-90, Miami, FL 33185
Duration: 2 Hours
Cost of the Tour: From $250.00
How to Book: Book your tickets here online

Where to Stay in Everglades for the Airboat Tours Tours

The skyline of Miami while sunset.

These are a few of the best neighborhoods in Everglades for tourists wanting to join an airboat tour:

Miami Area – Best for Airboat Tours

Staying in Miami is an excellent idea for anyone looking to take an airboat tour as the city is right in the heart of the Florida Everglades. There are so many airboat tours to choose from in the area. Many of these tours offer hotel pick-up and drop-off, and some are even within walking distance.

A great hotel in the area is The Palms Hotel and Spa. This tropical-themed resort offers an outdoor pool in a floral garden setting. Additionally, all the rooms have Chromecast streaming so you don’t have to miss an episode of your favorite television shows while you are away.

Fort Lauderdale Area – Best for Airboat Tours

Fort Lauderdale is an excellent location to stay in for anyone interested in airboat tours thanks to its proximity to the Florida Everglades. There’s so much to see and do in Fort Lauderdale itself, such as the beaches, family-friendly activities, and vibrant nightlife. Many of the airboat tours in the area offer pickup from nearby Fort Lauderdale hotels.

The Hyatt Centric Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale is an excellent place to stay. This hotel offers a restaurant, a bar, and an outdoor pool. They even have complimentary bikes to ride around the property.

Central Florida – Best for Airboat Tours

Staying in Central Florida, specifically in Kissimmee and Orlando, is highly recommended for individuals interested in airboat tours. This area is home to numerous airboat tours, making it an ideal destination for such activities. Moreover, many of these tour companies provide convenient pickup services from various hotels in the area.

The Hyatt Regency Orlando is located in the heart of International Drive and only a few miles from the main theme parks. This hotel has two pools one of which offers a slide. There’s also a spa and a 24-hour fitness center.

Getting Around Everglades

This is a cypress tree standing alone at sunrise in the Everglades National park.

Getting around the Everglades is fairly easy since the majority of airboat tours will pick you up from your hotel. Many of the tour operators offer pick-up and drop-off options, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting to and from your tour. When booking an Everglades airboat tour check and see if they pick up from your hotel or a nearby meeting spot.

If you aren’t staying in a hotel that offers pickup for your airboat tour, or are a local rather than visiting the area, then you’ll need a vehicle to get to and from the tour meeting places. Before heading out on your tour, it would be best to make sure you have the directions to your meeting point to ensure you arrive on time.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a vehicle and want to take an Everglades airboat tour. You can take an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to the meeting point location. However, I would make sure to call your rideshare service earlier than needed to make sure you arrive on time at the meeting point.

Airboat Tours: FAQs

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about airboat tours in Everglades, Florida:

Why are airboat tours famous?

Airboat tours are famous because people love to see the unique wildlife in the area such as alligators, turtles, and birds.

How much are airboat rides in the Florida Everglades?

Airboat rides in the Florida Everglades range from $25 to $250.

What is the best time of day to do the airboat tour in the Everglades?

The best time of day to do the airboat tour in the Everglades is in the morning or early afternoon as this is when the animals are most active.

Do you get wet on airboat tours?

There’s minimal splashing on airboat tours so, no, you’re unlikely to get wet.

What should I wear on an airboat ride?

When taking an airboat ride you should wear comfortable clothing. Be sure to apply sun lotion as many of the boats are open-aired and you’ll be exposed to the Florida sun. Take a hat that you can tie if possible and consider breathable, protective sleeves.

Why are airboat seats so high?

Airboat seats are so high so that the operator and passengers can have a better view of their surroundings.

How much do you tip an airboat driver?

You should tip your airboat driver at least 15%.

How many people fit on an airboat tour?

The amount of people that can fit on an airboat tour depends on the boat size.

What is the best month to visit the Everglades?

The best time to visit the Everglades is from November through April as this is the area’s dry season and there’s less humidity and mosquitoes.

What shoes should you wear on an airboat?

You should wear close-toed shoes such as sneakers on your airboat ride.

Can you wear a hat on an airboat ride?

Yes, you can wear a hat on an airboat ride. Consider wearing one that ties beneath the chin to reduce the chances of losing it during the trip.

Can you get seasick on an airboat?

No, since the airboat rides in calm water, you shouldn’t get seasick.

Do airboats touch the water?

Airboats sit on the water, not in it.

What is the most beautiful part of the Everglades?

The Anhinga trail is the most scenic place and is the best place to see a variety of large water birds and gators.

Do airboats go fast?

Yes, some airboats can reach speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.

Do we need to book an Everglades airboat tour in advance?

Yes, Everglades airboat tours can sell out fast so it’s recommended to book one in advance so as to not be disappointed.

Are Everglades airboat tours safe?

Yes, Everglades airboat tours are safe.

Can you rent an airboat in the Everglades?

Yes, you can rent an airboat in the Everglades.

In Closing

Everglade airboat tours offer a thrilling and enjoyable experience for the entire family. With a wide range of options available, it’s important to explore and compare the different tour options available to find the one that best suits your preferences. If you prefer a refreshing morning adventure, opt for a tour that sets off early in the day.

For those who seek a unique and mysterious experience, nighttime airboat tours are also available. If you prefer a more inclusive experience, there are airboat tours that additionally serve lunch as part of the package.

Everglade airboat tours offer a range of options to cater to different preferences. Whether you choose a morning tour, a nighttime adventure, or one that includes lunch, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable and enjoyable experience exploring the captivating beauty of the Everglades.

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