Sawgrass Recreation Park#8 in Best Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
Take an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades at Sawgrass Recreation Park and prepare to be amazed (or scared) by the close-up vistas of alligators and other creatures. You can even reserve an airboat tour for nighttime runs to see nocturnal animals in their natural state. Or, arrange for a private tour, which is twice as long as the standard 30-minute ride.
Past travelers raved about their airboat rides at Sawgrass Recreation Park. In fact, many were surprised at how close they were able to get to the gators and found their tour guides to be knowledgeable and entertaining. The only thing that made some visitors uncomfortable (aside from being an arm's-length away from wild gators) was the small, dirty cages in which the attraction's animals reside.
Tours start at 9:30 a.m. each day, with the final boat tour at 5 p.m. Along with the ride, admission to the park also gives you the opportunity to explore various wildlife exhibits, including those inhabited by reptiles and other exotic creatures. Admission costs $22.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 4 to 12; children 3 and younger get in for free. Private excursions range from $250 to $500, while nighttime rides cost $20 or $40 per person. On-site amenities include a complimentary parking lot, a photo booth, a grill, two gift shops and a pavilion with picnic tables. The park sits about 25 miles west of Fort Lauderdale in Weston. For more information, visit Sawgrass Recreation Park's website.
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#1 Fort Lauderdale Beach
Want a beautiful Florida beach without a crazy party scene? Fort Lauderdale Beach may be just what you're looking for. Here you'll find a calmer and less chaotic version of Miami Beach – but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There are still parties, but you're more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline than raucous groups of college kids. Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. There are also beach chair and water sports equipment rentals near the shore.
Recent visitors loved Fort Lauderdale Beach for its wide, expansive shoreline, with some noting that even when there were a lot of people, it didn't feel crowded. Many were also impressed with how clean the beach is, adding that its calm waters make it a great place to bring kids.
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