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Airboat Rides

Where Can Visitors Take an Airboat to See Alligators?

There are a lot of reasons to take your family on an airboat tour — experience an adrenaline rush, take a break from electronics, or check an item off your bucket list — but seeing gators is probably one of the main ones. While there’s never a gator guarantee on an airboat tour, there are certain places around the state where you’re more likely to spot one at any time of day. To make sure you get a good view of alligators on your airboat ride, take a look at the best places to book your tour.

Central Florida

Many think that South Florida is the best place to spot alligators, but Central Florida has just as many marshes, wetlands, and waterways — making it a top choice for visitors who want to take an airboat tour within range of other state attractions. In fact, some of the Everglades leads all the way up into certain parts of the area.  

The Everglades

Alligators thrive in Everglades National Park. That’s because this part of Florida is especially swampy, warm, and wet. Fortunately, the Everglades span over a massive chunk of the state, which means you can hitch an Everglades airboat ride without having to travel south. Beyond gators, you’re sure to spot a ton of other animals in the Everglades, such as:

  • Deer
  • Panthers
  • Frogs
  • Turtles
  • Lizards
  • Birds

A Local Fish Camp

Perhaps the best spot for prime alligator sightseeing is a locally owned fish camp that brings you as close to wildlife as safely possible. By booking a local tour with trusted captains, you can get even more of an authentic Florida experience. And when you book your airboat ride with a local tour company, you can expect longer ride times, a shorter wait, and even more excitement.

Book Your Airboat Tour 

If you’re interested in touring the Everglades on a locally owned airboat tour in Central Florida, book your ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Family operated right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee, our fish camp offers airboat tours that take passengers right through the Everglades’ headwaters. To schedule a trip on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

When Is the Best Time of Year to See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

From picking the freshest fruit to watching flowers reach full bloom, some experiences are best when in season. But is there a right time of year to see alligators on an airboat ride? It might be true for some states. In Florida, however, just about every day of the year is filled with endless gator action.

When Are Alligators Most Active?

Because Florida has a year-round tropical climate, every season has prime opportunities to see gators on the shore and in the water. In fact, airboat tours are offered throughout the year because there’s always wildlife to watch out for. From the start of winter through the start of spring, Florida wetlands go through the “dry season.” On the other hand, during the months of May, June, October, and November, the Florida Everglades thrive in the “wet season,” or rainy season. Luckily, no matter which season you travel to the Everglades, you’re sure to spot some gators.

When Can I See Baby Alligators?

While you can easily see full-grown alligators throughout Florida and throughout the year, there’s a small window of time for those who want to see gators at their tiniest. Before the wet season starts, alligators start mating in Florida. So, by the time September rolls around, most female gators are ready to hatch their babies.

What Time of Day Will I See a Gator?

The right time of day to see a gator depends on the season in which you take a tour. Because Florida summers reach peak temperatures during the afternoon, gators are more likely to sunbathe early in the morning or right around sunset. That’s because these times of day are a cool escape from the extreme midday heat. However, during the winter months, gators tend to soak up the sun in exactly the opposite hours: the afternoon. Because winter temperatures can be lower when the sun goes down, gators like to take in as much heat as possible in the colder months.

Where Can I See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

Depending on the time of year, hour of the day, and season of the state, you could come across gators of any shape or size. If you want to see one up close on your next trip to Central Florida, book an airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Touring through the headwaters of the Everglades, our USCG captains can map out all the best gator sightseeing spots. To reserve your seats on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

Are Airboat Rides Safe for Everyone?

If you’re thinking about taking the family on an airboat
ride, chances are, you’ve got some questions. Beyond wondering how much fun
your kids will have and the kind of wildlife you’ll see, you’ll need to know
just how safe these attractions are. Luckily, you don’t have to personally test
each one to find out. Here’s how to make sure you book a tour with the safest
airboat ride in the area.

Pick
Certified Captains

With an experienced captain at the helm of your airboat
ride, safety always comes first. But what kind of experience should you look
for in a captain? Other than a license to legally operate the vehicle, make
sure your airboat captain is certified through an accredited institution, like
the United States Coast Guard. To earn this type of recognition, captains must
pass rigorous courses, training, and tests.

Check for
Safety Gear

Your airboat tour guide should provide proper gear before you get started, including lifejackets and headsets. Younger passengers or not-so-strong swimmers can wear their lifejackets throughout the tour. For adults who prefer to ride without, however, lifejackets will still remain close by for easy access in case of emergency. Furthermore, to protect your ears from the loud noise during the tour, most captains will pass out noise-reducing headphones.

Read Online
Reviews

When searching for the safest airboat ride, you don’t have
to test them out yourself. Instead, go online and check the reviews of previous
passengers. To get the best picture of just how safe this adventure is for your
family, check for reviews from parents and first-time airboat passengers. Depending
on which website you use to find reviews, you might even be able to chat more
with the people who shared an opinion.

Look for
Locally Owned

While commercially owned airboat rides can still be safe,
they often operate under far more relaxed regulations when compared to locally
owned ones. If you’re looking for a locally owned airboat ride with
USCG-certified captains, top-of-the-line safety gear, and an unbeatable
reputation, book your airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. We’ve taken
children and adults of all ages on the waters and across the vast landscape of
Lake Kissimmee. To get answers to all of your airboat ride questions, contact us today.

4 Things to Do in Central Florida This Summer

Of all the reasons you just can’t wait for summer — warm weather, blooming wildlife, and even more time outside — your upcoming Central Florida vacation is probably the biggest one. This year, instead of sharing your season with crowds, long lines, and lots of traffic, spend your time at some of the area’s locally owned and history-rich attractions.

Here are some activities that you can enjoy with your family, friends, or significant other this summer in Central Florida.

Sample a Few Delicious Sweets

No summer vacation is complete without some sweet treats. Satisfy your cravings and try some all-new flavors at Webb’s Citrus Candy Factory. Famous for their goat milk fudge and array of chocolate confections, this candy factory is favored by locals. Or, get your hands on some old-fashioned marmalade, jam, and jelly made locally at Davidson of Dundee. Sample some gourmet citrus chocolates and swipe some jars of your favorite fruity spread to take home.

Take a Stroll Through the Local Gardens

Central Florida is full of natural wildlife and nature preserves, some of which are personally grown and raised by local botanical experts. Visit Harry P. Leu Gardens to see acres of exotic plants, trees, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re in the mood for even more nature, head over to Mead Botanical Garden. This 47.6-acre public park features everything from a bike trail to a butterfly garden.

Beat the Heat at a Nearby Museum

If you’re looking for a unique way to take a break from the outdoors, spend part of your trip taking in local art, history, and art history at one of Central Florida’s nearby museums, including:

Embrace Adventure on an Airboat Tour

Do you want to add some adventure to your itinerary? Look no further than the one and only Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Known as one of the top airboat tours in the state, Grape Hammock’s airboat rides take passengers on a trip to experience the “real” Florida right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee.

Are Airboat Rides Fun for Kids?

Whether you’re on a budget or on a mission to find unique experiences to share with your family, it can be a bit of a struggle to find an activity your kids will actually have fun with. If you are a resident of or are traveling to Central Florida, however, you may have considered airboat tours as a potential adventure.

But if you’ve never been on one yourself, you might be afraid they’re a little bit too exciting or perhaps not exciting enough. To help you decide whether airboat rides are right for your family, check out all the features that make them a top choice for just about every parent.  

Unlimited Adventures

Where standard boat tours are slow and boring, airboat rides are fast and adventurous. As your airboat zooms across the waters around you, your children are sure to feel the same level of excitement as they would on their favorite kid-friendly roller coaster — except this ride lasts for more than just one or two minutes. Even if your kid is less daring, they’re sure to feel comfortable and have a great time with mom and dad right by their side on the tour.

Top-Secret Stories

Because airboat rides take passengers into the depths of local lakes and swamps, experienced airboat captains are typically resident experts of the area. If your kids are curious about Florida history or the secrets of the local land, they can ask their airboat captain for the inside scoop.

Instant Access

Nobody likes waiting in line — especially young children. Instead of taking them to an amusement park where most of their day will be spent standing around for their favorite rides, a bite to eat, or a turn in the restroom, take your kids to an airboat ride reserved in advance. This way, you won’t have to wait in never-ending lines or spend ridiculous amounts on special amusement park passes.

Unforgettable Moments

Because each airboat ride is different from the last, the memories made on a tour are so incredibly unique when compared to those made at even the biggest Central Florida amusement park. Ultimately, families choose airboat rides over other attractions so they can get everyone out of the house and on a fun-filled expedition like no other.

Reserve Your Airboat Ride

At Grape Hammock Fish Camp, our USCG captains will take your family on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure through the beautiful and bountiful Lake Kissimmee. Get close to exotic animals, learn from area experts, and feel the rush of the ride.

How to Pick the Best Airboat Ride for Your Kids

For moms and dads, the best airboat rides are kid-approved, but fun-friendliness isn’t the only thing that makes one ride better for your children than the competition. General safety, positive word of mouth, and overall uniqueness are the top qualities that can make some tours rise above the rest—and here’s how to tell which of them really is the best.

Safety Standards

There are plenty of “fun” activities that won’t get your parents’ seal of approval, which is why you shouldn’t settle for an airboat tour without doing some safety research. You can usually find out everything you need to know about how safe a tour company is by visiting their website or reading their blog. However, if you aren’t completely sold, give them a call and ask what sort of measures they use for security on board.

Experienced Captains

If you’re searching for a kid-friendly airboat tour, know how to search for kid-friendly airboat captains. A captain known for creating a wild ride might seem like a blast, but they probably aren’t the most age-appropriate guide for your kids. Airboat captains with a lot of local experience, however, can teach everyone on board about nearby wildlife, history, and current events. Likewise, an experienced captain with training and certifications is a trusted leader to put at the helm of your airboat tour, because they can provide a ride that won’t make anyone on deck feel unsafe.

Great Reviews

It’s no secret that the best airboat rides have the best reviews. But if you want to see which of the best is best for your child, dig a little deeper into local feedback and look for reviewees who brought kids along for their trip. This will help you separate airboat tours that are great for adults from airboat tours great for everyone, and it will even give you a look into why families liked specific tours for their kids over others.

Exotic Wildlife

Spotting wild animals on your tour is not only an adventurous and unique experience for your kids but a chance for them to learn while having a ton of fun. That’s why the best airboat rides come with a wildlife guarantee. While it’s common to see alligators on your trip, there’s so much more to explore in wild Florida. So, try and find an airboat tour somewhere central in the state that’s surrounded by various animals.

The Best Airboat Ride in Central Florida Are you still looking for the right ride? Take the whole family to Grape Hammock Fish Camp for a locally run airboat tour. Journey through the south end of Lake Kissimmee, right in the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, and get close to wildlife you can’t find anywhere else. Exploring the area with our USCG captains, your family will feel safe and have fun.

What to Wear on a Central Florida Airboat Ride

Are you planning to take an airboat ride but aren’t sure what to wear? Beyond water and a fully charged camera, here’s everything you’ll want to bring on the boat.

Plenty of Sunscreen

The breeze on an airboat tour might make it easier to beat the heat, but the sun can still do damage at top speeds. To protect your skin from too much exposure or sunburn, apply sunscreen before you set out. Since you’ll be on the water for roughly an hour or more, bring your lotion on board so you can reapply.

Comfortable Clothes

Clothing isn’t optional on an airboat tour, but the right outfit will change with the seasons. In the summer and spring months, slip into a tank top, shorts, and other lightweight clothes that will help you stay cool. In the fall and winter, bring a light jacket and comfortable pants to keep things covered as the Central Florida chill sets in.

Eye Glasses

Sunlight and high speed can put a strain on your eyes. Many airboat tour guides will recommend that passengers bring a pair of sunglasses to block out the sun and make it easier to spot alligators, birds, and other animals. If you want to have the best view on the boat, wear a pair of binoculars around your neck to quickly swap out with your shades.

Bug Spray

Airboat rides bring passengers close to wild animals—and their natural habitat. Because Florida freshwater is a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs, you should keep some insect repellant on hand. This will help you ward off mosquitos, flies, and other pests that can pop up on your airboat ride. You can spray some on right before you board and keep the bottle by your side to touch up.

Close-Toed Shoes

Surprise rain showers can come up at any time during your airboat tour. Of course, you might catch some light mist as you glide through the ride, but full-on rainfall can put a damper on your drive. To keep your feet dry and safe from blisters, wear close-toed shoes, like sneakers or rain boots.

Airboat Rides in Central Florida

Now that you know what to wear on your ride, you need to know where to book your tour. For an exclusive airboat experience with USCG Captains, reserve your airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. As a family-owned and operated Central Florida fish camp, Grape Hammock has decades of experience on the water and a general store to help you stock up before your trip.

The History of Airboats

From board games to video games, many of the greatest forms of entertainment have drastically evolved since their invention—but few items have made as big of a transformation as airboats. The way they’re designed and even the reason passengers take airboat rides is vastly different from when the watercraft was first invented over a century ago.

What once was used exclusively for testing machinery and researching aquatic life is now a go-to, family-friendly form of Florida recreation, and here’s a look at how it all got started.

The Airboat Prototype

Alexander Graham Bell invented the first airboat in 1905. Nicknamed “The Ugly Duckling,” the first version of these famous watercrafts was very different from the flat, smooth one known today. And, rather than using them for entertainment or sport, Graham Bell used his primary prototype to test various engines and tools for other pieces of equipment.

The First Official Airboat

Although a man named Glenn Curtiss registered the first Florida airboat in 1920, it wasn’t until 1943 that these machines began to take their true shape. Modeling the boats with lightweight aluminum materials, Cecil S. Williams, Leo Young, and G. Hortin Jensen introduced the first airboat model to have both a flat bottom and a seat for the pilot, which inspired the designs for modern versions.

The Introduction of Airboats

As airboats became more popular across the country, scientists began using them for research, and everyday citizens began using them for recreation or transportation. Many people even created homemade versions of the watercraft so that they could easily access their local waters without having to make such a large investment up front.

The Use of Airboats Today

Airboats have come a long way since the first version was designed over 100 years ago. Now, these watercrafts are fast, efficient, and safer for both passengers and aquatic wildlife. They’re a major attraction for Florida locals and visiting tourists, and they’ve even become a standard watercraft for natural disaster relief and water emergencies.

The Best Central Florida Airboat Ride

If you want to learn more about the history of airboats, schedule your airboat ride with the history-rich Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Our airboat captains have extensive experience with their watercrafts and the Florida waters around them. To plan a fun adventure for the whole family, call us today at 863-692-1500 and book your airboat ride.

Are Airboat Tours Family-Friendly?

If you’re planning a family trip to Florida, you might have a hard time finding the right attractions to suit everyone in your party. Although you want to take the little ones on an adventure they’ll never forget, Grandma and Grandpa can’t be on their feet all day.

Fortunately, airboat tours are the perfect way to accommodate and entertain both the youngest and eldest passengers in your party.

Get Close to Wildlife

Passengers of all ages enjoy airboat tours, because each outing on an airboat is a one-of-a-kind excursion. While cruising through the waters of Florida, everyone on board is guaranteed to see some wildlife up close. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a sunbathing gator or cross paths with a rare Florida bird.

Learn Something New

Airboat tours are a guilt-free way to entertain your children, because they can learn all about the Florida waters, ecosystem, and aquatic life right from the watercraft. And, although the propellers on an airboat create some serious noise, each passenger is given a headset linked directly to the captain’s microphone. This system cancels out the sounds of the watercraft, so you can easily hear all the tips and tokens of wisdom from your airboat captain.

Go on an Adventure

Most people assume that airboat tours are only for daredevils and thrill seekers, but they’re actually the perfect adventure for children who might be intimidated by some other attractions in Florida. Rather than being strapped into an oversized seat and separated from Mom and Dad, your children can sit right next to you to feel totally secure on their excursion.

Tips for Every Passenger

No matter how young or old your party members are, here are some essential items that will help you make the most out of your airboat tour.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
  • Comfortable clothing

Airboat Tours in Central Florida

At Grape Hammock Fish Camp, our USCG captains have years of experience with Florida waters and wildlife, so you can feel good about bringing your whole family along for an exciting and educational airboat tour. For more information or to schedule a tour for your family, call us today at 863-692-1500.

How Are Airboat Tours Different from Other Boat Tours?

With so many Central Florida attractions vying for a top spot among the hearts of residents and visitors, it can be hard to find the best bang for your buck. Anyone looking to have a truly exclusive experience in Florida will end up deciding between a range of outdoor adventures, but there’s only one option that fits the budget and exceeds the expectations of every passenger possible: airboat tours.

Airboat tours are a great way to walk on the wild side without spending wild amounts of money, and they’re a fantastic, family-friendly option for parties of all ages. If you still aren’t entirely sure whether these tours are right for you, take a look at what makes them stand out from all the rest.

They’re Super Personal

Unlike ferry rides and other large boat tours, airboat tours provide a truly intimate experience. Tour guides can effortlessly maneuver the watercraft through intricate passages to bring guests to some of the most exclusive scenes in the state. And, rather than pushing their way to the edge of the ride just to get a decent glimpse at what lies beyond, every airboat passenger gets the best seat on the boat.  

They’re Full of Adventure

You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to enjoy an airboat tour, but these rides are an absolute blast for adventurers of all ages. Airboats can reach high speeds and rip through virtually anything that Florida waters throw their way, but they’re also a safe outdoor alternative. Because these captains have years of experience navigating the waves and controlling the watercraft, you can bring your entire family along for a Florida airboat tour without a worry.

They’re Practically Unlimited

Regular motorboats easily get stuck in the muddled waters of Florida, but airboats were designed to coast across waves and navigate through all kinds of vegetation. Airboats can easily trek through shallow waters, crowded coves, and tangled depth, because the massive propellers allow the boat to graze just above the surface.  

They’re Safer for Wildlife

Airboats aren’t fueled by underwater motors, which means they can safely skim across waters without disturbing surrounding wildlife. Sure, these large boats can cause some ripples and ruckus on the surface, but they aren’t nearly as upsetting to Florida’s aquatic creatures as some other boat tours can be.

They’re Incredibly Affordable

Considering the speeds you reach and the scenes you encounter on an airboat tour, these attractions certainly pack in a ton of value. Rather than drifting through calm waters with a cheap paddleboat tour or racing through waves with a luxuriously priced speedboat rental, airboats offer top-speed adventures, one-of-a-kind views, and safe sailing at an unbeatable rate.

Airboat Tours on Lake Kissimmee

If you want an unforgettable outdoor adventure, book your spot on an airboat tour with Grape Hammock. Our seasoned tour guides take passengers throughout the exceptional waters and abundant ecosystem of Lake Kissimmee to provide a unique experience on every single outing.

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