Everglades Holiday Park is a classic (if a bit kitschy) introduction to the Florida Everglades and its wild inhabitants. Geared toward the whole family, the 29-acre (11.7-hectare) park has been entertaining and educating visitors for almost 40 years and is also the home of Animal Planet’s Gator Boys TV show.
The park is most famous for its airboat tours. Head out with a guide to see where Florida gators make their home and learn why it's so important to protect these areas. You’ll also see wild birds, snakes, and other flora and fauna that are not found anywhere else in the United States.
The Everglades Holiday Park boasts an animal rescue operation, and the park’s management believes that the best way to raise awareness about the importance of conserving natural wetlands is by allowing its visitors access to some of its best-known inhabitants. All of the alligators featured at Everglades Holiday Park are native inhabitants of the Everglades or rescue animals, and their health and wellbeing is taken very seriously.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Airboat rides are considered safe for babies and young kids; children 3 and younger are admitted for free.
- The boats are covered to protect against the sun, but be sure to wear sunscreen.
- Remember to bring insect repellent, especially if you are visiting during the summer.
How to Get There
Everglades Holiday Park is located at the western end of Griffin Road, off US 27, in Fort Lauderdale. If driving, take the I-595 or the Sawgrass Expressway to I-75 south, then continue to Griffin Road west (exit 13B). If you book a VIP tour, the park will provide pickup and drop-off from hotels in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach counties.
When to Get There
Airboat tours operate daily, departing every 20 minutes from morning through late afternoon. Tour schedules vary seasonally. The area can be hot and humid in the summer, so the best time to visit the Florida Everglades is from November through March.
Why Are Airboat Rides Popular in the Everglades?
Everglades National Park is comprised of swampy, shallow water, so the area is difficult to navigate with traditional boats. Airboats (the first of which was invented by Alexander Graham Bell) were introduced to South Florida in the 1920s and became a popular method for exploring the waterways and, eventually, a fun tourist attraction.