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Florida Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Florida Safaris & wildlife activities

Key West: Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Eco Cruise Tour

1. Key West: Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Eco Cruise Tour

Enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise in Key West. Snorkel in the Key West Wildlife Refuge, see playful bottlenose dolphins, and enjoy a cold beer or wine as you cruise. Climb aboard a fast catamaran and head out into the Gulf. As you cruise, see the grace and beauty of the resident Key West dolphins in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Look for bottlenose dolphins as they swim, play, and feed. Then, head to the Key West Wildlife Refuge to snorkel in the shallow backcountry waters. Relax in the knowledge that your tour has the prestigious “Dolphin SMART” certification, a national program created by conservation agencies, that protects and promotes the responsible observance of dolphins. Begin your ride back to the dock, and enjoy a complimentary cold beer and chilled wine. Opt for the sunset tour and experience the world-famous Key West sunset as a bonus.

Everglades National Park: Airboat Tour and Wildlife Show

2. Everglades National Park: Airboat Tour and Wildlife Show

Discover the Everglades National Park, a diverse landscape providing crucial habitats for numerous rare and endangered species. Take an airboat ride, and view alligators, turtles, and even the elusive Florida panther.  After paying the park admission fee, immerse yourself in swampland often referred to as the River of Grass. The park known as such because of the endless prairies of sawgrass that rise three to ten feet above the surface of the water. Encounter lush vegetation of the Everglades which also includes mangroves, cypress, palms, pines, and hardwood hammocks (small islands). The sawgrass is often so dense that travel is only possible through natural water passages. Ride on an airboat, which is designed to operate well in shallow water and marshlands. Propelled by an aircraft-type propeller and powered by either an aircraft or automotive engine, have a fast and fun journey. Complete your visit with a wildlife and alligator show. Get up close with these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.

Crystal River: Pontoon Boat Cruise and Swim with Manatees

3. Crystal River: Pontoon Boat Cruise and Swim with Manatees

Get back to nature and discover the home of the world’s largest population of endangered manatees in the winter on a pontoon boat tour to Three Sisters Springs. Get the chance to interact with the curious, gentle giants in their natural habitat.  Learn all about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips for your snorkel tour to make the most of your day. Hear about "passive interaction" that ensures that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do. Then, journey to the estuary with a Coast Guard captain aboard a covered pontoon boat. Get your snorkeling gear on, marvel at the wildlife around you, and get up close to the sea cows as they move slowly through the water. Head back to base camp to visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop and purchase unique souvenirs. Get tips on what to do in the Kings Bay area, along with directions from the well-informed staff to other local attractions and restaurants.

Panama City Beach: Sunset Catamaran Cruise

4. Panama City Beach: Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Admire the sunset as you cruise around the Gulf of Mexico aboard a catamaran. Unwind with a drink as you marvel as the blue sky transforms into a spectacular light show. Check in with plenty of time, then take a 5-7 minute walk down to the dock where you will board "Footloose," your catamaran for the evening. Set sail to explore the Gulf of Mexico and admire some of the best sites Panama City Beach has to offer with the sea breeze in your hair. Listen to tropical music as you sail and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, Sangria, cold beer, or a non-alcoholic drink. You can buy additional drinks and snacks at the fully stocked onboard bar, which takes cash or credit cards. Keep a sharp lookout for dolphins as these majestic creatures are often more active in the late afternoon. Enjoy the company of family and friends as you admire the western horizon turn every color imaginable in a breathtaking show.

Miami: Everglades Airboat Ride, Wildlife Show & Bus Transfer

5. Miami: Everglades Airboat Ride, Wildlife Show & Bus Transfer

Set off on a guided trip from Miami to discover Florida’s wildlife. Enter Everglades Holiday Park to enjoy a 45-minute airboat ride and an educational wildlife show. Benefit from skip-the-ticket-line entry and receive a free photo of your group. Head to the airboat to begin your guided cruise through the Everglades. Keep watch for native wildlife as your experienced guide will point out alligators, soft-shelled turtles, and birds in their natural habitat.  Next, see a wildlife show and get up close with alligators. Learn how these reptiles — who were once nearly hunted to extinction — made a dramatic recovery in numbers. Even take a photo with a baby alligator at the end of the show.  Board the bus to return to Miami.

Tampa: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance

6. Tampa: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance

Get close to many of Florida’s aquatic and terrestrial animals and ecosystems, as well as others from around the world at the Florida Aquarium, including sea turtles and coral. Your ticket allows you to access all of the exhibits, which feature diverse creatures and habitats.  The Florida Aquarium works to protect and restore our planet on many conservation fronts, including research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s sea turtle and coral populations and to ensure that sharks continue to swim the seas.  Get up close and personal with unique moon jellies at the touch pool experience in the Moon Bay exhibit and learn about this hypnotically graceful ocean creature with surprising survival skills. On the Wetlands Trail, see species such as alligators, river otters, and even the invasive Burmese python. There is also a large aviary that allows birds to explore in a safe environment. Journey through a mangrove forest to see it teeming with local fish. Witness feedings of the intriguing pink spoonbill or other animals and learn more about the wildlife during scheduled presentations at the ranger station. Embark on the Journey to Madagascar, a unique exhibit featuring ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons, hissing cockroaches, and marine life found in the Indian Ocean. In the Bays to Beaches exhibit, see spiny lobsters and the strange Toadfish as well as Batfish who walk on the bottom of the seafloor. Take the opportunity to touch the gentle aquatic creatures at Stingray Beach, or bizarre creatures that have no backbone such as anemones and sea stars. In the coral tunnel, discover the intriguing sea dragons and sea horses. The Florida Aquarium journey culminates at the 500,000-gallon habitat that features sharks, rays, sea turtles, reef fish, and moray eels. Learn about the aquarium’s conservation efforts at the Waves of Wonder gallery. The highlight of this section is the Heart of the Sea where you will see bonnethead sharks, loggerhead turtle, tarpon, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays, plus a variety of reef fish. At The Splash Pad, bring swimsuits for the kids who are invited to play in the outdoor plaza at the rain-forest-themed water feature with dump buckets and waterworks, plus net climbs, slides, and more.

Crystal River Small Group Swim with Manatee Tour

7. Crystal River Small Group Swim with Manatee Tour

Swim with manatees in the spring-fed King’s Bay Wildlife Refuge in Crystal River, home to the world’s largest population of the endangered creatures during the winter. Encounter these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Benefit from the services of a Coast Guard certified captain and in-water educator and photographer. Learn about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips to make the most of your day. Hear about passive interaction to make sure that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do! Then, suit up and board a covered pontoon boat to immerse yourself in the manatees' world. Be treated like royalty aboard the boat and see the wildlife refuge in style. Return to the facility at the end of your adventure and visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop! Hear about other local attractions and restaurants, and get answers to any questions you may have before you depart.

Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

8. Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

Glide through the saltwater marshes and shallow waters of the Homosassa River and Gulf of Mexico aboard a powerful airboat. Look for bottlenose dolphins and other wildlife in their natural habitat to reconnect with nature. Feel the speed beneath you as you twist and turn through the mangroves, canals, and backwaters. Access areas that other boats can't reach and encounter abundant wildlife off the beaten path. Marvel as your US Coast Guard Captain and guide safely pilots the boat at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Get an adrenaline rush as you traverse the waterways and soak up the natural beauty on all sides. Every day is different when it comes to the wildlife, but a morning ride is highly recommended if you hope to encounter animals in the wild. The diverse birdlife will truly amaze you, while West Indian manatees can sometimes be seen on a good day.

Miami: Everglades Safari Park Airboat Tour and Park Entrance

9. Miami: Everglades Safari Park Airboat Tour and Park Entrance

Discover the flora and fauna of Everglades Safari Park while your captains navigate through the pristine waters of the national park on an airboat tour. Get to know this unique landscape up close with a guide. Enjoy wildlife shows, exhibits, an observation platform, and a jungle trail boardwalk. Begin your airboat journey deep into nature's mysterious wilderness. Relax as you pass through an intricate River of Grass system. Learn about the wetlands from your guide as you maneuver through this secretly preserved jungle and its inhabitants. Experience breathtaking panoramic views as you glide along the park with stops on levees along the way. Be on the lookout for alligators, turtles, deers, wild hogs, and raccoons. Encounter native flora and other exotic wildlife in the Everglades' lush vegetation and tranquility. After your 40-minute airboat ride, take a closer look at some of the animals that call the Florida Everglades home during an interactive Wildlife Nature Show. You can also explore the winding Jungle Trail on foot, view the observation deck, and see other park exhibits.

Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entry Ticket

10. Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entry Ticket

Enjoy and explore a world of underwater animals at Gulf World Marine Park. Enjoy a fun day out for all the family where educational tours and animal encounters abound. Learn more about your favorite animals and experience them up close. During your visit, get the chance to watch 3 daily educational presentations featuring dolphins, sea lions, and more. Explore the indoor and outdoor gardens, see tropical birds, and get up close and personal with the park's friendly stingrays and even pet them. Enjoy the shows and explore the exhibits for as long as you like. Take advantage of the flexibility in your ticket to linger longer and wander around the grounds.

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What people are saying about Florida

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,629 reviews

This was amazing!! First time to Florida on our honeymoon and we just showed up with our tickets and paid for parking and they took care of the rest! We had Luiz as a guide and he was knowledgeable and funny and made the trip great! Our manatee instructors were Gina and Andrew and they were fabulous! We saw lots of manatees (at least 10) and got to swim with them! The only suggestion I have is to bring some $5’s, $10’s, $20’s for tips! And a warm change of clothes if it’s chilly! Our trip was about 8.5 hours total (8am-4:30pm) but time varies I think! Would definitely do it again!!!

Very cool experience! The crew ensured a pleasant stay with unlimited food and drinks. The canoe trip could have been a little longer. This was divided into two groups given the number of canoes. Our round was a bit short because the previous group ran out as someone had fallen out of the canoe. But would be nice if you could canoe for an hour. Now it was only half an hour.

Fantastic airboat ride through the Everglades! Daniel was an amazing guide - he knew all of the best places to see alligators (we saw 8-10 of them up close), and he was knowledgeable in answering our many questions about the Everglades. I went with my husband and adult children - we all loved it and would highly recommend it!

The package offered was reasonably price. The bus was simple to find and the ride was comfortable the operator of the boat was well versed and we actually seen a lot of wildlife and an alligator as well.

Fun! I wish it had more science, but it was for a delightful mass audience and fun and very well organized anyway.