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Airboat Rides

What Is an Airboat?

In many ways, the airboat is the distinctive boat of Florida. Though they were invented in Canada, airboats first appeared in America nearly 100 years ago.

Ever since then, they have been used to explore the unique environment of the Everglades and have become synonymous with natural Florida.

In fact, it is difficult to reach many spots in the Everglades, Lake Kissimmee, and the St. John’s with anything other than an airboat.

How Airboats Work

What makes the airboat special is that it does not have any underwater steering or propulsion parts. A large propeller inside a cage powers the airboat forward, and the pilot uses rudders to direct the column of air and change directions.

The boat itself is a long, light, shallow structure that sits on the top of the water. This makes it easy for the propeller to push the boat forwards, since it can skim across the surface rather than cut through water like other boats.

It takes considerable skill to operate an airboat, since there is no mechanism to stop or reverse the boat.  

Airboat Tours

Airboats are perfectly suited to exploring Florida’s nature at its best. Lake Kissimmee is home to a lot of marshes, sloughs, and other wetland environments.

Boats with underwater propellers or deep hulls cannot access many of these areas without disturbing or destroying the habitat and getting stuck in the shallows. Lake Kissimmee has a similar environment with many swamps and shallows that are inaccessible by other boats.

What is there to see on an airboat tour? In addition to the striking scenery of Florida’s unique wetlands, airboat tours offer up-close looks of the native animals of the area like alligators, exotic birds, deer, and even buffalo!

An experienced airboat pilot with deep knowledge of their environment will be able to take passengers close to these animals in their natural habitat, which is an increasingly rare opportunity.

Lake Kissimmee Airboat Rides

When it comes to airboat tours, you can’t do better than Grape Hammock’s. Our guides, Captain Kevin and Captain Barrett, have lived on Lake Kissimmee all their lives and have a deep love and respect for the area.

Come experience natural Florida through the eyes of those who know it best with our airboat rides!

When’s the Best Time to Go on an Airboat Ride?

Florida isn’t all beaches and theme parks. It is home to some of the most scenic wetlands in America, where famous Florida wildlife like alligators, manatees, and roseate spoonbills coexist.

The best way to experience all of the beautiful scenery and creatures is by zooming across marshes, mangroves, and lakes on an airboat tour.

However, you may wonder when is the best time of the year to go on an airboat tour? Can you can see more animals in the summer or winter, in the morning or at midday?

Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your airboat ride.

Best Time of Year

This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Florida is a nice place to be during any time of year. Unlike many other places in America, there are really only two seasons in the Sunshine State: summer and winter.

The summers are hot and sunny, the winters mild and dry. When it comes to airboat tours, the cooler temperatures are actually preferred times to go.

During the winter, you have a greater chance to see a lot of alligators. The summer is hot, and most of them are hiding in the shade. We do, however, operate year-round.

Best Time of Day

When the weather is nice, there really is no bad time of day to go on an airboat tour. If it’s alligators you are dying to see, then around dawn or dusk would be the best, since they are most active at these times. But, you will be able to see them sunning themselves on the banks of the shore whenever the sun is out (assuming it isn’t too hot).

What time you take your tour is entirely up to you, though it is always smart to keep in mind the weather conditions for your time of year.

For example, Florida is notorious for the afternoon thunderstorms, so you could opt to go out early in the morning.

There’s no one that knows Lake Kissimmee better than the folks at Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Our captains can help you experience Florida’s natural wildlife like never before.

If you have any questions about wildlife, weather, or seasons, don’t hesitate to ask us. Check out this page to learn more about our airboat tours.

What to Know Before Going on an Orlando Airboat Tour

Both Florida natives and visitors know that airboat tours are one of the greatest adventures to have in the state. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel down to the Everglades to get an exclusive airboat experience. Some of the most remarkable wildlife and unforgettable views can be found right here in Central Florida. To get the most out of the experience, here are the top four things you need to know before going on an Orlando airboat tour.

There Will Be Noise

Airboat engines are responsible for propelling these impressive watercrafts through rugged terrain and vast stretches of water, which is why they make a little more noise than average boats. You can expect to receive a pair of headphones or a microphone headset to reduce noise and to listen to your airboat guide.

It’s Always the Right Time to Ride

There’s sure to be something amazing to see when you’re out on the water. Don’t worry about missing anything – your captain will be there to point out the must-see spots and spread their knowledge on the local fish, birds, and other animals of the area. Whether want to you catch the early morning wildlife or wait to view the colorful Florida sunset, you’re guaranteed to get maximum enjoyment from your ride.

You Can Bring the Whole Family Along

An Orlando airboat tour is the perfect experience to have with the whole family. Bring your little ones for an open water adventure that they’ll remember forever. As a great way to get the family together for a unique experience, airboat tours are also affordable enough to let everyone in on the fun. And since no airboat ride is the same, you can keep bringing the family back for a new experience each time!

You’re Safe with Grape Hammock Orlando Airboat Tours

One of the most important things to know before going on an airboat tour is that you’re going to be just fine. Our USCG captains are not only area experts, they’re also experienced airboat safety specialists. Having delivered countless airboat tours, our captains ensure that you and your loved ones will be safely guided across Lake Kissimmee.

If an Orlando airboat tour sounds like something you would be interested in, contact our crew at Grape Hammock Fish Camp. We can break down everything that you should expect from your trip and answer any questions you may have about the tour.

Tips for Seeing Gators on Our Alligator Boat Tour

Safely spotting gators is what makes alligator boat tours a famous Florida attraction. These creatures may be cold blooded, but you don’t only have to wait for the temperature to drop to get a peek at a gator.

Here are some year-round tips for seeing gators on our airboat tour across Lake Kissimmee.

Know Where They Hide

Stagnant waters, wetlands, and the shores of swampy stretches are a gator’s go-to spots. Along the shore banks of Lake Kissimmee, gators will typically create muddy pools to help regulate their body temperature.And while on tour, your captain will periodically stop so that you can look for movement in still waters.

And while on tour, your captain will periodically stop so that you can look for movement in still waters.

Alligators are stealth experts that know how to stay hidden up until the moment they strike. During the search for potential prey, sawgrass marshlands are the secret spot for lurking gators.

Even when the sawgrass flattens, gators will still be able to use these areas as camouflage while they scan for other wildlife.

Know When They Hide

Alligators have to eat, but they also have to keep their body temperature under control during the colder months. Alligators are known to be more active in cooler temperatures.

If you’re taking an alligator boat tour during the winter or fall, you shouldn’t have to look hard to spot some sunbathing gators.

In order to warm up, these reptiles will gather on dry land to catch the incoming heat of the sun, which provides a great view for nearby boat tours.

Pick the Right Alligator Boat Tour Captain

Boating with the team at Grape Hammock Fish Camp gives you the best seat on Lake Kissimmee.

Our USCG captains can safely lead your tour to prime alligator territory. If you want to schedule an alligator boat tour, visit our website or call 863-692-1500.

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