Sawgrass Recreation Park – Everglades Airboat Tour

This time last year we were getting ready to head to Miami Florida for New Year’s 2020/2021.  While we were looking forward to visiting some of the local attractions, the one thing I was REALLY looking forward to was the airboat ride through the Everglades. I had seen it so many times on CSI Miami at the beginning and had always wanted to do it. So after we booked our airline tickets, I booked our tour at Sawgrass Recreation Park. It was near the end of our trip and I could hardly wait for our ride, lol.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Hut

Sawgrass Recreation Park has been around since the mid-1950s and is actually located in Fort Lauderdale. However, it was once an old fishing camp until it became an airboat attraction in the 1970s. It now also houses exhibits with many rescues and adopted mammals as well as reptiles. They really care about the Everglades and its Eco-system.Exhibits

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Gator 3

We got there a bit early for our tour so we were able to check out the exhibits while we waited. They were so interesting. The first exhibit we checked out was the Glades Exhibit. Here we saw a short presentation by an employee and learned more about the Everglades and about some of the conservation efforts which are being made.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Nick

We got there a bit early for our tour so after checking in for our tickets, we were able to explore some of the exhibits while we waited. They were so interesting. The first exhibit we checked out was the Glades Exhibit. Here we saw a short presentation by an employee and learned more about the Everglades and about some of the conservation efforts which are being made.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Baby Gator

As interesting as that was, the Reptile Exhibit was the best! This is where you can see dozens of species of both Florida native and exotic reptiles. Sawgrass Recreation Park handlers were in with the alligators demonstrating how these incredible animals live and survive in the wild. They also shared stories about some of the alligators they have in the past including their 1000 one named Cannibal. After the live presentation and a Q & A session, we made our way out and were able to see a baby alligator in their Meet a Baby Alligator Experience. Why is it a baby anything is so cute? Lol. We took a bunch of pictures. While walking around, we also saw some HUGE tortoises, iguanas, and peacocks. That was so special to see and experience firsthand.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Turtle

BUT, the best part was yet to come, the Airboat ride. A few minutes before the tour they announced our letter (they gave us a sticker with a letter on it when we checked in) and we all made our way to the boat dock. As we were waiting they explained that the boats were really loud and gave us earplugs to use during our ride.  They didn’t seem so loud when they were coming in and going out of the dock, but I figured they were louder when they were going fast across the glades. I wasn’t wrong, lol.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Gator 1

We finally boarded the boat and made our way out to the glades. Our captain introduced himself as Captain Jack and told us a little about what we were going to experience and see while on the ride, and went over the standard safety precautions. After that, we were on our way. We hadn’t gotten very far when we eyed our first alligator, which was awesome! I was a little surprised at how long he was though.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Us

We were gone for about 20-30 mins and sometimes I felt like we were flying over the water, lol. I was so excited and kept slapping Gene’s leg in excitement 🙂 He said I was geeking out, and maybe I was, lol. All I know was that I was having an absolute blast and didn’t want to come back. It wasn’t too hot since it was January 1st and I could have stayed out there for hours. Sadly we did eventually have to come back in, but I have some wonderful memories and pictures that I will always treasure from our tour.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Crocodile

We learned a lot about alligators and even a little about the difference between them and crocodiles while exploring Sawgrass Recreation Park. If you are planning your own visit, check out their website for more information. I will say they definitely care about your experience and making the public aware of the importance of the Eco-system in the Everglades. As a matter of fact, I think I will end with their mission statement. If you have been on a similar tour, please comment below and share your experience. Would love to hear about it.

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Sign

Their mission statement: Here at Sawgrass it is our mission to bring awareness to every visitor of the importance of our Everglades ecosystem. In particular, we hope to express the need to preserve the fragile environment and sustain the wildlife that depends on it. We feel the generations yet to come, the children will be the keepers of our planet. It is vital that they are educated and have the opportunity to interact with these magnificent creatures. Each mammal or reptile you see at our park is indeed our family and many have been adopted, rescued, or donated over the years. We hope you leave our park with a better understanding of this special environment. Welcome to our Everglades! -The Sawgrass Family

Sawgrass Recreation Park Visitor Information


1006 N. US Highway 27 Fort Lauderdale Florida, 33327




Boats leave every 20 to 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A final boat leaves at 5 p.m., but they recommend guests arrive no later than 4 p.m. because the animal exhibits close at 5 p.m. when the last boat boards. This way you can check out the exhibits before the last boat leaves.


Adult 13 and older

Children 4-12

Infants 3 and Under




Sawgrass does have limited accessibility for guests who are handicapped. If you are able to comfortably take a step down into the boats or have a family member help you into the boat, you will be able to enjoy a boat ride. If you are apprehensive about having to get into the boat comfortably, you can still enjoy the animal exhibits for a discounted cost.


Love to Travel

I would love to send you my free travel itinerary cheat sheets and emails when I post new articles! I usually post 2 times a week. Sign up now, receive your free travel sheets, and don’t miss an article. Thanks, Samantha

Travel Freebies

Subscribe to our mailing list

This post was created using WordPress. Create your own site for FREE!

2 thoughts on “Sawgrass Recreation Park – Everglades Airboat Tour

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *